The central question that this paper seeks to examine is how the youth protest movements that were credited for Ethiopia’s recent political reforms were divided and captured by existing structures of power. Three years of youth protest movements (from 2015-2018) forced the former ruling party of Ethiopia, the Ethiopian Peoples’ Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) to introduce political reforms in 2018. Since 2018, several major political changes have happened. Some of the major changes include – the replacement of the EPRDF by the Prosperity Party (PP), ethnic polarization, intensification of violent conflicts, including the war in Tigray and the fragmentation of the so-called change leadership. Moreover, despite the relaxation of the political atmosphere for opposition participation, the opposition parties performed low in the 2021 June parliamentary elections. As a result, Abiy Ahmed’s Prosperity Party will govern both at the federal and regional levels with little participation of the opposition parties. All these developments give the imperative to ask how Ethiopian youth are affected by the political changes. We contend in this paper by drawing comparative examples from other countries, such as Egypt and Tunisia in which youth movements in the post-protest period tend to be divided and captured by existing structures of power – both by ruling and opposition parties and other forces. In the Ethiopian case as well, the different political forces right after 2018 entered into a stiff competition to capture the youth. The government, however, used its economic and political leverage to capture the leaders and even a large number of youth by providing them economic opportunities such as land and participation in employment schemes. On the other hand, more militant youth leaders joined opposition parties including the armed movements – the Oromo Liberation Front – Shane in the Oromia region. In the context of the ongoing war in northern Ethiopia, the youth are being mobilized in large numbers by both the government and the TPLF. In the end, we contend in this paper, all these will lead to the disempowerment of youth. Put in other words, even if youth brought the political changes, they are now entrapped in the politics of the old.