The Civil War in Ethiopia

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It was the year 1974, September 12, a group of Military men known as the Derg decided to start a war and overthrow the government and its Emperor named Haile Selassie. The Emperor used to be a caring man, until he began to care less and no longer worried about his people and their living situation. Many would notice his lack of leadership and would protest for a new leader, even the students would try to speak up but would be ignored or shut down by the military. Ethiopia was a place where many suffered, not just by the hands of Emperor Haile Selassie, but also by the evil war created by the Derg.

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The Derg wasnt just a simple group that served justice because the government was corrupted. In the book Beneath the Lions Gaze written by Maaza Mengiste the Derg was no better than the actual government. There were parts in the book where the author showed how controlling the Derg really was, they played a huge part in the Ethiopian Civil War. From murdering innocent people because of one little mistake they would say or do, to even exterminating the Emperor and anyone who was on the Emperors side. The book was supposed to show you a glimpse of what would happen to families, individuals, and anything living thing that would dare go against the Derg in real life. The Derg murdered thousands of innocent human beings without a reason, they werent to have emotional feelings or remorse for the people that they would kill. They had no problem executing their own people if it meant getting rid of threats and enemies. If bad times were being put down in a book imagine how it would have been in real life.

Between the years 1774-1777, was when most of the events took place, by 1794 everything calmed down. But it wasnt until December 2006 that a few leaders of the Derg deserved what was coming and that was justice for all their wrong doings. The moment many noticed that the Emperor was being distant were in the years 1972-1974, later on the Emperor Haile Selassie died while being in detention. The Derg then started eliminating their enemies between the years 1975-1977, many other groups were not happy with how the Derg were running things so they decided to start attacks for Eritreans independence. Groups like Urban Guerrilla and Somalia rebelled but the Ethiopian military defeated them with the help of the Soviet Union and Cuba, which then made Ethiopia and ally for Africa.

Since the Derg had military help from the Soviet Union, Cuba, and even Korea on Ethiopias side, it was then considered the best armed nation in their region. Not only were there many disagreements in between those years but also there was some good in them too. The Derg decided to come up with a new rule in which lands that landlords owned would be taken away from them and given to the peasants, this was called Land to the Tiller. This new rule was both good and bad because the peasants would at least have a place to build a home, but it wasnt fair for the landlords who worked to have their lands. With all the rules and mistreatments that many had to go through, it caused people to leave Ethiopia leading to lack of food, crash crops ,and productivity in general. Most of the population left the land they were born and spread all across the Western countries in search for a better future for them, making Ethiopia a lonely country.

It is highly expected with controlling governments to have rebels, sometimes many dont think they would act out but when somethings wrong there is always sometime that will express how they feel. Many rebels came from Ethiopia, Eritrea, and Tigray all demanding for justice and seeking a better government to finally give the people what theyve been longing for. Even though the Derg was known as a powerful military, it failed to stop rebellions forming in Eritrea. Most of the rebels were more active in Tigray, but it inspired many others to come out and fight for their country and their freedom. More and more of the population united against the Derg to regain back the land that was taken from them, plenty of new organizations were also created to help them take down the Derg and bring peace instead of wars. At the end of the year 1987 the organizations created by the the rebels from Eritrea and Tigray controlled 90 percent of the regions.

In the end, despite all the troubles that Ethiopia and Eritrea went through, good come out triumphing all evil. Eritrea became an independent country, many Ethiopians were not happy about that decision but it was something that the Eritreans voted highly voted and fought for. Ethiopia was divided into 10 regions with a new government known as The Mengistu, but of course there are a handful of the people that dont agree with the new government and hope to soon have a better one to take control. Last but not least regions like Tigray were taken over by organizations called TPLF and EPRDM, which focused on Addis Ababa.

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The Civil War In Ethiopia. (2019, May 18). Retrieved March 20, 2023 , from

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