Eritrean War of Independence
The Eritrean War of Independence was a conflict fought between the Ethiopian government and Eritrean separatists from September 1961 to May 1991. Eritrea was claimed by the Ethiopian Empire from 1941 after both territories were liberated from Italian occupation as part of Italian East Africa during World War II. Ethiopia's wishes were fulfilled by the United Nations General Assembly in 1950, Eritrea became a constituent state of the Federation of Ethiopia and Eritrea in 1952. Eritrea's declining autonomy and growing discontent with Ethiopian rule caused an independence movement led by the Eritrean Liberation Front in 1961, leading Ethiopia to dissolve the federation and annex Eritrea the next year. Following the Ethiopian Revolution in 1974, the Derg abolished the Ethiopian Empire and established a Marxist-Leninist communist state, bringing the Eritrean War of Independence into the Ethiopian Civil War and Cold War conflicts; the Derg enjoyed support from the Soviet Union and other Second World nations in fighting against Eritrean separatists supported by the United States and various other nations.
The Eritrean People's Liberation Front became the main separatist group in 1977, expelling the ELF from Eritrea exploiting the Ogaden War to launch a war of attrition against Ethiopia. The Ethiopian government under the Workers Party of Ethiopia lost Soviet support at the end of the 1980s and were overwhelmed by Eritrean separatists and Ethiopian anti-government groups, allowing the EPLF to defeat Ethiopian forces in Eritrea in May 1991; the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, with the help of the EPLF, defeated the People's Democratic Republic of Ethiopia when it took control of the capital Addis Ababa a month later. In April 1993, the Eritrean people voted unanimously in favour of independence in the Ethiopia-supported Eritrean independence referendum, with formal international recognition of an independent, sovereign Eritrea the same year; the Italians colonised Eritrea in 1890. In 1936, Italy invaded Ethiopia and declared it part of their colonial empire, which they called Italian East Africa.
Italian Somaliland was part of that entity. There was a unified Italian administration. Conquered by the Allies in 1941, Italian East Africa was sub-divided. Ethiopia reoccupied its Italian occupied lands in 1941. Italian Somaliland remained under Italian rule until 1960 but as a United Nations protectorate, not a colony, when it united with independence in 1960, form the independent state of Somalia. Eritrea was made a British Protectorate from the end of World War II until 1951. However, there was debate as to; the British proposed that Eritrea be divided along religious lines with the Christians to Ethiopia and the Muslims to Sudan. This, caused great controversy. In 1952, the UN decided to federate Eritrea to Ethiopia, hoping to reconcile Ethiopian claims of sovereignty and Eritrean aspirations for independence. About nine years Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie dissolved the federation and annexed Eritrea, triggering a thirty-year armed struggle in Eritrea. During the 1960s, the Eritrean independence struggle was led by the Eritrean Liberation Front.
The independence struggle can properly be understood as the resistance to the annexation of Eritrea by Ethiopia long after the Italians left the territory. Additionally, one may consider the actions of the Ethiopian Monarchy against Muslims in the Eritrean government as a contributing factor to the revolution. At first, this group factionalized the liberation movement along geographic lines; the initial four zonal commands of the ELF were all lowland areas and Muslim. Few Christians joined the organization in the beginning. After growing disenfranchisement with Ethiopian occupation, highland Christians began joining the ELF; these Christians were part of the upper class or university-educated. This growing influx of Christian volunteers prompted the opening of the fifth command. Internal struggles within the ELF command coupled with sectarian violence among the various zonal groups splintered the organization; the war started on 1 September 1961 with the Battle of Adal, when Hamid Idris Awate and his companions fired the first shots against the occupying Ethiopian Army and police.
In 1962, Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia unilaterally dissolved the federation and the Eritrean parliament and annexed the country. In 1970 members of the group had a falling out, several different groups broke away from the ELF. During this time, the ELF and the groups that joined together to form the Eritrean People's Liberation Front fought a bitter civil war; the two organizations were forced by popular will to reconcile in 1974 and participated in joint operations against Ethiopia. In 1974, Emperor Haile Selassie was ousted in a coup; the new Ethiopian government, called the Derg, was a Marxist military junta, which came to be controlled by strongman Mengistu Haile Mariam. The new Derg regime took an additional three to four years to get complete control of both Ethiopia and parts of Somalia. With this change of government and widely known recognition, Ethiopia became directly under the influence of the Soviet Union. Many of the groups that splintered from the ELF joined together in 1977 and formed the EPLF.
By the late 1970s, the EPLF had become the dominant armed Eritrean group fighting against the Ethiopian government. The leader of the umbrella organization was Secretary-General of the EPLF Ramadan Mohammed Nour, while the Assistant Secretary-General was Isaias Afewerki. Much of the equipment used to combat Ethiopia was captured from the Ethiopian Army. During this tim
Sudan or the Sudan the Republic of the Sudan, is a country in Northeast Africa. It is bordered by Egypt to the north, the Red Sea to the northeast, Eritrea to the east, Ethiopia to the southeast, South Sudan to the south, the Central African Republic to the southwest, Chad to the west, Libya to the northwest, it has a population of 39 million people and occupies a total area of 1,886,068 square kilometres, making it the third-largest country in Africa. Sudan's predominant religion is Islam, its official languages are Arabic and English; the capital is Khartoum, located at the confluence of the White Nile. Since 2011, Sudan is the scene of ongoing military conflict in its regions South Kordofan and Blue Nile. Sudan's history goes back to the Pharaonic period, witnessing the kingdom of Kerma, the subsequent rule of the Egyptian New Kingdom and the rise of the kingdom of Kush, which would in turn control Egypt itself for nearly a century. After the fall of Kush the Nubians formed the three Christian kingdoms of Nobatia and Alodia, with the latter two lasting until around 1500.
Between the 14th and 15th centuries much of Sudan was settled by Arab nomads. From the 16th–19th centuries and eastern Sudan were dominated by the Funj sultanate, while Darfur ruled the west and the Ottomans the far north; this period saw Arabization. From 1820 to 1874 the entirety of Sudan was conquered by the Muhammad Ali dynasty. Between 1881 and 1885 the harsh Egyptian reign was met with a successful revolt led by the self-proclaimed Mahdi Muhammad Ahmad, resulting in the establishment of the Caliphate of Omdurman; this state was destroyed in 1898 by the British, who would govern Sudan together with Egypt. The 20th century saw the growth of Sudanese nationalism and in 1953 Britain granted Sudan self-government. Independence was proclaimed on January 1, 1956. Since independence, Sudan has been ruled by a series of unstable parliamentary governments and military regimes. Under Gaafar Nimeiry, Sudan instituted Islamic law in 1983; this exacerbated the rift between the Islamic north, the seat of the government and the animists and Christians in the south.
Differences in language and political power erupted in a civil war between government forces influenced by the National Islamic Front and the southern rebels, whose most influential faction was the Sudan People's Liberation Army concluding in the independence of South Sudan in 2011. In April 2019, following contentious protests that faced fierce resistance from the Omar al-Bashir regime, the Sudanese military, under the command of Ahmed Awad Ibn Auf, took control of the nation and established a Transitional Military Council; this move dissolved the constitution. The country's place name Sudan is a name given to a geographical region to the south of the Sahara, stretching from Western Africa to eastern Central Africa; the name derives from the Arabic bilād as-sūdān, or "the lands of the Blacks". The name is one of several toponyms sharing similar etymologies meaning "land of the blacks" or similar meanings, in reference to the dark skin of the inhabitants; the term "Sudanese" had a negative connotation in Sudan due to its association with black African slaves.
The idea of "Sudanese" nationalism goes back to the 1930s and 1940s, when it was popularized by young intellectuals. By the eighth millennium BC, people of a Neolithic culture had settled into a sedentary way of life there in fortified mudbrick villages, where they supplemented hunting and fishing on the Nile with grain gathering and cattle herding. During the fifth millennium BC, migrations from the drying Sahara brought neolithic people into the Nile Valley along with agriculture; the population that resulted from this cultural and genetic mixing developed a social hierarchy over the next centuries which became the Kingdom of Kush at 1700 BC. Anthropological and archaeological research indicate that during the predynastic period Nubia and Nagadan Upper Egypt were ethnically, culturally nearly identical, thus evolved systems of pharaonic kingship by 3300 BC; the Kingdom of Kush was an ancient Nubian state centered on the confluences of the Blue Nile and White Nile, the Atbarah River and the Nile River.
It was established after the Bronze Age collapse and the disintegration of the New Kingdom of Egypt, centered at Napata in its early phase. After King Kashta invaded Egypt in the eighth century BC, the Kushite kings ruled as pharaohs of the Twenty-fifth Dynasty of Egypt for a century before being defeated and driven out by the Assyrians. At the height of their glory, the Kushites conquered an empire that stretched from what is now known as South Kordofan all the way to the Sinai. Pharaoh Piye attempted to expand the empire into the Near East, but was thwarted by the Assyrian king Sargon II; the Kingdom of Kush is mentioned in the Bible as having saved the Israelites from the wrath of the Assyrians, although disease among the besiegers was the main reason for the failure to take the city. The war that took place between Pharaoh Taharqa and the Assyrian king Sennacherib was a decisive event in western history, with the Nubians being defeated in their attempts to gain a foothold in the Near East by Assyria.
Sennacherib's successor Esarhaddon went further, invaded Egypt itself, deposing Taharqa and driving the Nubians from Egypt entirely. Taharqa fled back to his homeland. Egypt became an Assyrian colony.
Mengistu Haile Mariam
Mengistu Haile Mariam is an Ethiopian politician, the leader of Ethiopia from 1977 to 1991. He was the chairman of the Derg, the military junta that governed Ethiopia, from 1977 to 1987, the President of the People's Democratic Republic of Ethiopia from 1987 to 1991; the Derg took power in the Ethiopian Revolution following the overthrow of Emperor Haile Selassie I in 1974, marking the end of the Solomonic dynasty which had ruled Ethiopia since the 13th century. Mengistu purged rivals for power from the Derg and made himself Ethiopia's dictator, attempting to modernize Ethiopia's feudal economy through Marxist-Leninist-inspired policies such as nationalization and land redistribution, his bloody consolidation of power in 1977–1978 is known as the Ethiopian Red Terror, a brutal crackdown on opposition groups and civilians following a failed assassination attempt by the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Party in September 1976, after they had ignored the Derg's invitation to join the union of socialist parties.
Internal rebellion and government repression characterized Mengistu's presidency, the Red Terror period being a battle for dominance between the Derg, the EPRP and their rivals the All-Ethiopia Socialist Movement, who had aligned themselves with the Derg. While this internal conflict was being fought Ethiopia was threatened by both Somali invasion and the guerilla campaign of the Eritrean People's Liberation Front who demanded independence for Eritrea a province of Ethiopia; the Ogaden War of 1977–1978 over a disputed border region with Somalia was notable for the prominent role of Mengistu's Soviet and Cuban allies in securing an Ethiopian victory. The catastrophic famine of 1983–1985 is what brought his regime the most international attention. Mengistu left for Zimbabwe in May 1991 after the PDRE National Assembly dissolved itself and called for a transitional government, his departure brought an abrupt end to the Ethiopian Civil War. Mengistu Haile Mariam still lives in Harare and remains there despite an Ethiopian court verdict finding him guilty in absentia of genocide.
His regime is estimated to be responsible for the deaths of at least 1,200,000 Ethiopians, to over 2,000,000. Mengistu's Oromo father, Haile Mariam Wolde Ayana, was born in Furii, the 8 km west of Addis Ababa, he was in the service of the Shewan landowner Afenegus Eshete Geda, who had encountered him while he was on a hunting expedition in the administrative district of Gimira and Maji under the governorship of Dejazmach Taye Gulilat. He became an enlisted man in the Ethiopian army. Afenegus Eshete Geda was the half-brother of Dejazmach Kebede Tessema's wife, Woizero Yitateku Kidane, it was through this connection that Mengistu's parents are alleged to have met. Unsubstantiated accounts allege that Mengistu's mother was the illegitimate daughter of Dejazmach Kebede Tessema, a high ranking nobleman and Crown Councilor to Emperor Haile Selassie, himself suspected of being the illegitimate son of Emperor Menelik II; these rumors of Mengistu being the grandson of Dejazmach Kebede are believed, but have never been confirmed by either Mengistu himself or by the late nobleman's family.
Mengistu was born on 21 May 1937 in Kaffa Province. His mother died during childbirth. After the death of his mother and his two siblings went to live with their grandmother for a few years, he came back to live with his father and soon after joined the army at a young age. Mengistu's father was proud of his son's achievements, though some people believe the Ethiopian popular account that states that his family was far from proud of his political accomplishments. Mengistu followed his father and joined the army, where he attracted the attention of the Eritrean-born general Aman Andom, who raised him to the rank of sergeant and assigned him duties as an errand boy in his office. Mengistu graduated from the Holetta Military Academy, one of the two important military academies of Ethiopia. General Aman became his mentor, when the General was assigned to the commander of the Third Division took Mengistu with him to Harar, was assigned as Ordnance officer in the 3rd division. A few years before his departure for training to the US he was in conflict with the 3rd Division commander General Haile Baykedagn whose policy of strict discipline and order did not sit well with Mengistu.
At the time, the Ordnance group was offered military technical training support in the US. Despite his disapproval of Mengistu's insubordination and disrespect, the General was obliged to release him and Mengistu went for a six-month training program in Maryland, United States. Returning after his training, he was expected to command the Ordnance Sub-division in Harar. Years Mengistu would murder General Haile Baykedagn along with the 60 ministers and generals. While studying in the United States, Mengistu experienced racial discrimination, which led him to a strong anti-American sentiment, he equated racial discrimination in the United States with the class discrimination in Ethiopia. When he took power, attended the meeting of Derg members at the Fourth Division headquarters in Addis Ababa, Mengistu exclaimed with emotion: In this country, some aristocratic families automatically categorize persons with dark skin, thick lips, kinky hair as "Barias"... let it be clear to everybody that I shall soon make these ignoramuses stoop and grind corn!
Bahru Zewde notes that Mengistu was distinguished by a "special ability to size up situations and persons". Although Bahru notes that some observers "rather charitably" equated this abi
Lake Tana is the source of the Blue Nile and is the largest lake in Ethiopia. Located in Amhara Region in the north-western Ethiopian Highlands, the lake is 84 kilometres long and 66 kilometres wide, with a maximum depth of 15 metres, an elevation of 1,788 metres. Lake Tana is fed by the Lesser Abay and Gumara rivers, its surface area ranges depending on season and rainfall. The lake level has been regulated since the construction of the control weir where the lake discharges into the Blue Nile; this controls the flow to hydro-power station. In 2015, the Lake Tana region was nominated as UNESCO Biosphere Reserve recognizing its national and international natural and cultural importance. Lake Tana was formed by volcanic activity, blocking the course of inflowing rivers in the early Pleistocene epoch, about 5 million years ago; the lake was much larger than it is today. Seven large permanent rivers feed the lake as well as 40 small seasonal rivers; the main tributaries to the lake are Gilgel Abbay, the Megech and Rib rivers.
Lake Tana has a number of islands. It has fallen about 6 feet in the last 400 years. According to Manoel de Almeida, there were 21 islands, seven to eight of which had monasteries on them "formerly large, but now much diminished." When James Bruce visited the area in the 18th century, he noted that the locals counted 45 inhabited islands, but stated he believed that "the number may be about eleven." A 20th-century geographer named 37 islands, of which he believed 19 have or had monasteries or churches on them. Remains of ancient Ethiopian emperors and treasures of the Ethiopian Church are kept in the isolated island monasteries. On the island of Tana Qirqos is a rock shown to Paul B. Henze, on which he was told the Virgin Mary had rested on her journey back from Egypt; the body of Yekuno Amlak is interred in the monastery of St. Stephen on Daga Island. Emperors whose tombs are on Daga include Dawit I, Zara Yaqob, Za Dengel, Fasilides. Other important islands in Lake Tana include Dek, Gelila Zakarias and Briguida.
The monasteries are believed to have been built over earlier religious sites. They include the fourteenth-century Debre Maryam, the eighteenth-century Narga Selassie, Tana Qirqos, Ura Kidane Mehret, known for its regalia. A ferry service links Bahir Dar with Gorgora via various lakeshore villages. There is Zege Peninsula on the southwest portion of the lake. Zege is the site of the Azwa Maryam monastery. Since there are no inflows that link the lake to other large waterways and the main outflow, the Blue Nile, is obstructed by the Blue Nile Falls, the lake supports a distinctive fish fauna, related to species from the Nile Basin. About 70% of the fish species in the lake are endemic; this includes one of only two known cyprinid species flocks, which consists of fifteen large, up to 1 m long, Labeobarbus barbs. Eight of these are piscivorous and an important prey is the small Barbus tanapelagius, another endemic of the lake. Other noteworthy endemic species are Afronemacheilus abyssinicus, one of only two African stone loaches, the tana subspecies of the Nile tilapia.
Lake Tana supports a large fishing industry based on the Labeobarbus barbs, Nile tilapia and sharptooth catfish. According to the Ethiopian Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture, 1,454 tons of fish are landed each year at Bahir Dar, which the department estimates are 15% of its sustainable amount. Among other fauna, the lake supports few invertebrates: There are fifteen species of molluscs, including one endemic, an endemic freshwater sponge. Numerous wetland birds, such as the great white pelican and African darter, reside at Lake Tana, it is an important resting and feeding ground for many Palearctic migrant waterbirds. There are no crocodiles, but the African softshell turtle has been recorded near the Blue Nile outflow from the lake. Homepage of Lake Tana Biosphere Reserve Lake Tana project webpage of The Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union Lake Tana project at Aberystwyth University Photographs of the lake Unesco plan for Lake T'ana LakeNet Profile Pictures from Lake Tana and the Monasteries