By Bereket H. Selassie
The Horn of Africa, a strategically very important region embracing Ethiopia, Eritrea, Somalia, and Djibouti, has been an area of uninterrupted armed clash for almost 20 years. within the first a part of this ebook, Bereket Selassie exhibits how this clash, which has rate hundreds of thousands of lives and despatched tens of millions of refugees wandering into the barren region, is rooted within the region's background and geography. Its imperative 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 country, the expansion of the competition to Haile Selassie and to the regime that changed him, and exhibit how this in flip ended in the ruthless suppression of nationwide and democratic activities and fueled militant liberation fronts between suppressed nationalities. Selassie then turns to an research of the heritage 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 precise 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 an important position performed by means of outdoors intervention within the Horn. He analyzes the actions and transferring alliances of the large powers (the Soviet Union and the USA) and of the neighboring Arab international locations.
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By then the “Negelle flu” had spread. Army units in Asmara imprisoned their officers and then presented a list of grievances, labor-union-fashion, and demanded immediate redress. One item on the list referred to the lack of concern on the part of the government in general, and the high command in particular, for the fate of the many soldiers fighting in Eritrea. It noted that the families of high-level officers were sent abroad for medical treat ment of minor ailments, while their comrades-in-arms were left for hyenas to feast upon, and nobody took care of their families.
The Dergue had proclaimed itself the creator of the “demo cratic revolution,” and yet it did not take long for its anti democratic nature to be revealed. This raises the question of whether a democratic dialogue and united front among the various left groups was ever possible, and whether an organiza tion such as the Dergue is capable of responding to a democratic challenge with other than repression and terror. Some com mentators explain the Dergue’s anti-democratic behavior by pointing to the autocratic nature of its leader, Mengistu.
It took part in dismantling the peasant associations that the ZEMECHA and land reform measures had created by infiltrating them with its members and by drafting the peasants to fight in Eritrea and the Ogaden. In the cities, confrontation had begun to take a violent form as early as September 1975, when the EPRP organized a protest march to celebrate the anniversary of the emperor’s overthrow. Students and workers participated, the students having traveled from the ZEMECHA areas and the workers taking part after a clandestine CELU congress.