Ethiopia Military

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Ethiopian Civil War

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The Ethiopian Civil War (1974-1991) began on September 12, 1974 when Derg staged a coup d’état against Emperor Haile Selassie, and lasted until the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), a coalition of rebel groups, overthrew the government in 1991.

The revolutionaries put an end to the monarchy in March of 1975 and Crown Prince Asfaw Wossen settled permanently in London, United Kingdom where several other members of the Imperial family were already based.

The other members of the Imperial family who were still in Ethiopia at the time of the revolution were imprisoned.

This included Amha Selassie’s father the Emperor, his daughter by his first marriage, Princess Ijigayehu, his sister Princess Tenagnework and many of his nephews, nieces, relatives and in-laws.

In 1975, first his daughter Princess Ijigayehu, and then his father Emperor Haile Selassie died in detention. Members of the Imperial family would remain imprisoned until 1988 (for the women) and 1989 (for the men).

The Derg got rid of politics opponents between 1975 and 1977 as a response to the declaration and instigation of an Ethiopian White terror against the Derg by various opposition groups.

Brutal tactics were used by both sides, including executions, assassinations, torture and the imprisonment of tens of thousands without trial, most of whom were innocent.

The Ethiopian Red/White terror was the “urban guerrilla” chapter of the brutal war the government fought with guerrillas fighting for Eritrean independence for its entire period in power, as well as with Marxist Tigrean rebels, and with other rebel groups ranging from the conservative and pro-monarchy Ethiopian Democratic Union (EDU) to the far leftist Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Party (EPRP).

In the mean time, Derg faced an invasion from Somalia in 1977, which sought to annex the eastern parts of Ethiopia, which were predominantly inhabited by Somalis.

The Ethiopian army was able to overcome the Somali army, supported by the Western Somali Liberation Front, only with massive military assistance from the Soviet Union and Cuba.

Ethiopia under the Derg became the Socialist bloc’s closest ally in Africa, and became one of the best-armed nations of the region as a result of massive military aid chiefly from the Soviet Union, GDR, Cuba and North Korea.

Most industries and private urban real-estate holdings were nationalized by the Derg in 1975.

The Derg satisfied its main slogan of “Land to the Tiller” by redistributing land once belonging to landlords to the peasant tilling the land.

The Derg’s violent rule was coupled with the draining effects of constant warfare with the separatist guerilla movements in Eritrea and Tigray resulting in a drastic fall in general productivity of food and cash crops.

Although Ethiopia is prone to chronic droughts, no one was prepared for the scale of drought and famine that struck the country in the mid-1980s, in which up to one million may have died.

Hundreds of thousands fled economic misery, conscription, and political repression, and went to live in neighboring countries and all over the Western world, creating an Ethiopian diaspora for the first time.

Keywords: Prince Asfaw Wossen, Ethiopian Civil War, Marxist Derg, Emperor Haile Selassie, Princess Ijigayehu, White terror,


10 Comments so far ↓

  • glenn

    no man should have to fight a man from the same place it is the worst expierience


    My daughter, adopted from Ethiopia in 1994, born around 1986, remembers growing up in a miltitary camp by the name of Warita(sp?). Is there any way to find out more about her birth place?

  • prashant

    Dear sir

    sir i request this information please secrate, you office lavel watching, this guy buy now one usd 12.50 bir and sold 14 bir per usd dolar

    sir you chek this all company account and last years havemuch income tax and vat diposit this guy not paid income tax and vat after show loss. and all money save this cheating with ethio goverment you asking havemany company there and asking you import your shop items but not give bill who give this vat and income tax, asking havemany company with you business all is cliear,

    this very secret information important FINANCIAL AND REVENUE CRIME WITH ETHIOPIA COUNTRY,

    sir one indian nationalty man BHARAT SHAH daily milion dolar and other foreign currency exchange and transfer out of country unofficialy,

    sir this man somany company format in ethiopia and import this man all import under invoice and revenue loss ethiopian goverment, this man last maybe 40 years in ethiopia,

    sir i give you parsonal leval this information but you official lavel invastigation, and recovery goverment money i think minimum 2 milion dolar recovery,

    becouset\ this man long time this business, allredy bilions dolar this man tranfer and revenue loss ethio goverment, now u send parsonal leval any froeigner exchange money then u first arrested after asking all question,

    bharat shah one indian food items shop in addis near mariden hotel bole road,

    i also business ethio long time, this information truely,

    i proud ethiopia


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