Ethiopia(ˌiːθɪˈəʊpɪə) is an east African country in the Horn of Africa bordered by Somalia, Sudan, Eritrea, Djibouti, and Kenya. Its location is 8 00 N, 38 00 E. The total area is 1,104,300 sq km. Addis Ababa is the capital, with Amharic, Oromo, Tigrinya, English, and Arabic as official languages.
The population of Ethiopia is 90,873,739 with an average life-expectancy of 55.8 years. The ethnic breakdown is 34.5% Oromo, 26.9% Amhara, 6.2% Somali, 6.1% Tigre, 4% Sidama, 2.5% Guragie, 2.3% Welaita, 1.7% Hadiya, 1.7% Affar, 1.5% Gamo, 1.3% Gedeo, and 11.3% other. Ethiopia is 43.5% Orthodox, 33.9% Muslim, 18.6% Protestant, 2.6% traditional, 0.7% Catholic, 0.7% other. The literacy rate is 50.3% for males and 35.1% for females.
Menelik was succeded by Emperor Lij Iyasu(1913-1916). He was later deposed and replaced by his aunt Empress Zauditu. Empress Zauditu was succeded by Haile Selassie I, her cousin. Ethiopia received her first constitution under Haile Selassie, becoming a constitutional monarchy. Italy still remained a threat to Ethiopia, in 1936 Dictator Benito Mussolini invaded and took over Ethiopia. With the help of the British, in 1941, Haile Selassie I was able to end Italian occupation. In 1964, Ethiopia engaged in armed conflict with Somalia over border disputes. In March, a truce was agreed to, a demilitarize zone established along the border. Fighting would occur intermitently. Eritrea during that time also, demanded independence from Ethiopia, forming insurgence groups that engaged in guerrilla warefare. Diplomatic relations became strained with Sudan, who Ethiopia charged with assisting Eritrean rebells.
Haile Selaise would play a major role in foreign African affairs. He played a leading role in the formation of the Organization of African Unity.
Mounting domestic issues-- inflation, unemployment, corruption, and drought(1972-1975) caused Haile Selaise to be deposed, in 1974. The Provisional Military Administrative Council or Derg run the country, headed by Mengistu Haile Mariam. The council held a communist ideology. The Derg nationalized all land and abolished the monarchy in 1975, turning Ethiopia into a republic. Mengistu proceeded to solidify his power by having political rivals executed in 1977. Political opposition arose with the formation of the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Party(EPRP) carrying out guerrilla urban warfare against the regime or "white terror." Mengistu responded with "red terror" with 100,000 political enemies being killed or vanished. The EPRP began to gain ground, but because of military assistance from the USSR and Cuba the Mengistu regime regain territories.
In the 80's, Mengistu invoke reform to put on a facade of civil rule and gain international support. The Derg was dismantle and replaced with an elected national assembly. Derg members still held power. Mengistu founded the Workers Party of Ethiopia, based on Marxist Leninist ideology and proclaimed the country the People's Democratic Republic of Ethiopia. By the late 80s, the rebels began to re-group and regain territories. By 1991, EPLF had taken over Eritrea and EPRDF had taken over Ethiopia, with Mengistu fleeing to Zimbabwe. Meles Zenawi head of the EPRDF, setup a transitional government in Addis Ababa. In 1994, Ethiopia elected representatives to the Constituent Assemby, which would write up the new constitution. In 1995, a new constitution was enacted. In May 1995, the Council of People's Representative was elected with EPRDF receiving the majority of seats. Meles was elected as prime minister.
In 1999, conflict broke out at the Ethiopian/ Eritrea border. Both side accused the other of stealing territory. In 2000, both countries decided to place the issue under a committee to demarcate the border.
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CIA, Factbook, Ethiopia
Keller, Edmond J. "Ethiopia." Microsoft® Encarta® 2006 [DVD]. Redmond, WA: Microsoft Corporation, 2005.