Ethiopia is a country in east Africa. It is bordered by Eritrea to the east and South Sudan to the north. It is a Communist country and co-founder of the Confederation of African Marxist Countries. It was ruled by a Communist dictator until a revolution and civil war (1987-1989) replaced him with a less radical Communist government.
- 1 History
- 2 Government
- 3 Military
- 4 Economy
- 5 Religion
- 6 Media
- 7 Sport
- 8 Education
- 9 Foreign Relations
Ethiopia had been under the control of the Communist dictator Mengistu Haile Mariam who had replaced Emperor Haile Selassie I in a coup. Prior to the country's rule by Haile Selassie I, it had been occupied by Italy in WW-II where the Italians and had been the scene of a guerrilla war.
The country was not hit by bombs on Doomsday but the loss of contact from the USSR and Cuba meant that Ethiopia lost all off its aid from the USSR and the Derg (A junta led by Mengistu Haile Mariam) lost contact with its advisors in Cuba.
Eritrean war of independence (1983-1984)
The Eritrean struggle for independence wasn't interrupted by Doomsday and the first problem facing the Derg was the Eritrean rebels. The Ethiopian army was better armed and skilled than the rebels but the rebels knew the terrain and a guerrilla war broke out in eastern Eritrea. The rebels captured the Ethiopia navy base in 1983 which sparked a massive uprising of anger within the Ethiopian army and navy, by late 1983 the rebels had occupied eastern Eritrea and had begun to mount an offensive on the Ethiopian border, the Ethiopian army's morale was severely damaged by the offensive and the less hardline elements of the Derg became disenchanted with the war.
The remainder of the Ethiopian navy and air force that hadn't been captured by the Eritreans staged a rebellion against the Derg along with some parts of the army. The rebels called themselves the Ethiopian Liberation Army (ELA) and were led by a Cuban advisor called Ligan Lopez, Lopez's power base was primarily in the east of Ethiopia and he established a provisional government called the People's Republic of Ethiopia. Lopez and the PRE signed a peace treaty with the Eritrean rebels by signing over Eritrea to them.
Independence of the PRE (1984-1987)
The Derg government allowed the PRE to exist as a separate government to allow them to deal with their own problems. The PRE's government decided to allow the Derg to coexisted with them and the two governments signed an uneasy peace treaty, with peace with the Derg secured the PRE built up the infrastructure within its own land, the economy of the PRE was built up by Lopez's government and the country was secured.
Lopez introduced compulsory conscription for the PRE's people to allow it to grow into a powerful force in Ethiopia. It eventually became obvious to the Derg that the quality of life in the PRE was much greater than the quality of life in Ethiopia and if that fact became obvious to the Ethiopian people as well there would be a mass exodus of Ethiopians to the PRE. So to prevent this from happening the Derg chose to invade the PRE's territory, the PRE responded and the country degraded into civil war.
Civil War (1987-1989)
The PRE retaliated quickly by introducing conscription for all citizens aged 18-35 to increase the size of the army and air force, Lopez had been prepared for a war with the Derg and had complete control of the military and ordered the army to begin combat operations against the Derg. The PRA (People Republic of Ethiopia Army) began to fight a guerrilla war against the Derg, the PRA had been well trained by the Cuban forces that had joined them and made good progress against Derg forces. The PRA had restored the country to its pre war size by late 1988 and started to attack the Derg forces. The war would continue for another five months before the Derg surrendered on the terms that Mengistu Haile Mariam would remain president while Lopez became Prime Minister.
During the Civil War a break away state formed in the region of Ogaden and the PRE was unwilling to risk more troops overreaching itself, to this day the PRE claims to control the region but it is actually under the control of The Republic of Ogadenia.
Eritrea/Ethiopia War (1990-2000)
The PRE decided that the country should recapture its lost territory in Eritrea. Although the Eritreans had been shocked by the Ethiopian invasion the Eritrean government quickly mobilized the army to recapture the region. The Eritreans used their experience in guerrilla combat to hold of the Ethiopians but there strength in numbers meant that the relatively small Eritrean army was overrun, while the Ethiopians were wining the war it was a Pyrrhic victory as Eritrean guerrillas were inflicting large casualties. The war would continue in one way or another for ten years with combat taking place in both the skies and land. The leaders of the two countries eventually decided to hold peace talks and surprisingly it was discovered that the two countries had a similar political structure and ideology. This discovery would lead to closer ties between the two nations and they eventually became the co-founders of the Federation Of Marxist African Countries.
The country had been totally devastated in the civil war and the Ethiopian/Eritrean war. The Ethiopian government chose to make rebuilding the country their priority, the country's education and medical systems had to be rebuilt from the ground up and its farming industry needed totally reforming. Due to the better relations with Eritrea the country's navy was scrapped and the air force was downgraded and the resources freed up were used to help rebuild the country. Despite this, the army was increased. The rebuilding efforts will probably not be completed until 2011 at the earliest and the education system will probably never reach the targets assigned.
Ethiopia is a single party democracy and all government officials come from the People's Party. However, the MP's and government officials are elected although the president is not elected. Since the original revolution by the Derg the country has been predominantly left wing.
The Ethiopian Armed Forces are divided into the Army and Air Force. The army is the largest section of the armed forces and is responsible for the defence of the country's borders, it is equipped with Soviet and Cuban equipment supplied to them by the USSR, the army has only been used in one combat since the civil war. The Air Force is made up of equipment supplied by Cuba and the USSR and is one of the largest Air Forces in Africa.
Ethiopia's main industry is that of subsistence farming and 50% of the country is devoted to farmland, the other major employers in Ethiopia are the Armed forces and the government. The other major industry is manufacture, the country can produce some Soviet equipment as well as basic utilities. Most of the major cities have electricity and the county is relatively urbanised. There is also an oil deposit on the border with South Sudan which has been a source of conflict between the two nations.
The major religion in Ethiopia is Christianity and most of the country has followed it since its adoption as the official religion in the 4th century. There is a cathedral in the capital and in some of the cities. The other major religions are Islam and traditional African religions. Recently there has been tension between the two factions due to the war between Ethiopia and the ICU in Somalia.
All of the media in Ethiopia is state controlled and harshly regulated, there is a nationwide radio station that broadcasts state news and music. A TV station broadcasts in the capital and in the other largest cities but not in the rest of the country and there are two national newspapers as well, a tabloid and broadsheet is produced.
Association football is the largest team sport in Ethiopia and the teams compete with those from nearby Eritrea, the other large sport is cycling which was introduced to the country during its occupation by Italy.
While the government of Ethiopia has been successful in most of its social reforms the education system remains the poorest and worst public organisation. Most people in Ethiopia are illiterate although those who join the armed forces have to learn English as a requirement, even those who can afford to go to school receive wildly different types of education depending on where they live, people in the east of the country learn Tigrinya and those in the west learn Amharic. Because of the difficulties with language the Ethiopian government has made English the language of the government and the military.
The country has good relations with Eritrea and South Sudan as all three are members of the Confederation of Marxist African countries but has not established relations with most of Africa's nations.