By Bereket H. Selassie

The Horn of Africa, a strategically very important zone embracing Ethiopia, Eritrea, Somalia, and Djibouti, has been an area of uninterrupted armed clash for almost twenty years. within the first a part of this publication, Bereket Selassie exhibits how this clash, which has price hundreds of thousands of lives and despatched tens of millions of refugees wandering into the barren region, is rooted within the region's heritage and geography. Its important resource lies within the nature of the Ethiopian empire-state, whose imperialist personality didn't change—despite pronouncements to the contrary—with the overthrow of the semifeudal rule of Emperor Haile Selassie in 1974. the 1st chapters define the origins of the Ethiopian nation, the expansion of the competition to Haile Selassie and to the regime that changed him, and convey how this in flip ended in the ruthless suppression of nationwide and democratic hobbies and fueled militant liberation fronts between suppressed nationalities. Selassie then turns to an research of the historical past and improvement of those liberation activities, together with their struggles, courses, and effectiveness. He areas this dialogue in the context of the clash among the “territorial integrity” of an inherited empire and the best to self-determination of a suppressed country. In separate chapters, he discusses the Eritrean anti-colonial fight, the Tigrean and Oromo nationwide liberation struggles, and Somalia’s fight to regain its “lost territories.” within the ultimate part, Selassie then argues that during order to appreciate those occasions, it's also essential to comprehend the the most important position performed via outdoor intervention within the Horn. He analyzes the actions and moving alliances of the massive powers (the Soviet Union and the USA) and of the neighboring Arab nations.

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First, the rise in the world price of oil and the government’s decision to increase gasoline prices by 50 percent led to a strike by taxi drivers that crippled the capital city. Thousands of their passengers were sympathizers. This was followed by the first general strike in Ethiopian history, held between March 7 and 11,1974, and led by the labor unions that were the product of Haile Selassie’s industrialization program. Their strike, and their demands, were a crucial factor in the developing revolution.

Here again the external (Western) connection is evident. -Ethiopia Defense Pact, the United States took over. The United States influenced military policy in Ethiopia until 1977 through its supply of military hardware, software, training, and advice. Building an educational system was a further part of this process, but here what the “modernization” did was to create the social forces— Ethiopia: Empire-State 21 teachers, students, organized industrial workers, and young army officers—that exploded in 1974.

MEISON maintained that the military was the only organized and armed group capable of defending the achievements of the revolution, and that the EPRP’s demand for a provisional people’s government would have a counter-revolutionary effect because it would introduce into the government elements whose loyalties to the masses were questionable. The EPRP, however, rejected this on the grounds that the military, as represented by the Dergue, would use its power for the interests of its own class. The Dergue itself had an ambivalent relationship to the left groups, needing their support and thus courting them, but also fearing and distrusting them.

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