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Ethiopia (/ˌθiˈpiə/; Amharic: ኢትዮጵያ, ʾĪtyōṗṗyā, About this sound listen ), officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia (የኢትዮጵያ ፌዴራላዊ ዲሞክራሲያዊ ሪፐብሊክ, yeʾĪtiyoṗṗya Fēdēralawī Dēmokirasīyawī Rīpebilīk About this sound listen ), is a country in the Horn of Africa. It shares borders with Eritrea to the north and northeast, Djibouti and Somalia to the east, Sudan and South Sudan to the west, and Kenya to the south. With over 102 million inhabitants, Ethiopia is the most populous landlocked country in the world and the second-most populous nation on the African continent. It occupies a total area of 1,100,000 square kilometres (420,000 sq mi), and its capital and largest city is Addis Ababa.

Some of the oldest skeletal evidence for anatomically modern humans has been found in Ethiopia. It is widely considered as the region from which modern humans first set out for the Middle East and places beyond. According to linguists, the first Afroasiatic-speaking populations settled in the Horn region during the ensuing Neolithic era. Tracing its roots to the 2nd millennium BC, Ethiopia's governmental system was a monarchy for most of its history. In the first centuries AD, the Kingdom of Aksum maintained a unified civilization in the region, followed by the Ethiopian Empire circa 1137. During the late 19th-century Scramble for Africa, Ethiopia was one of two nations to retain its sovereignty from long-term colonialism by a European colonial power. Many newly-independent nations on the continent subsequently adopted its flag colours. The country was occupied by Italy in 1936 and became Italian Ethiopia (part of the Italian East Africa) until 1941. Ethiopia was also the first independent member from Africa of the 20th-century League of Nations and the United Nations. In 1974, the Ethiopian monarchy under Haile Selassie was overthrown by the Derg, a communist military government backed by the Soviet Union. In 1987, the Derg established the People's Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, but it was overthrown in 1991 by the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, which has been the ruling political coalition since.

Selected panorama

Crater Lake
Credit: Hansueli Krapf

Landscape near Debre Zeyt, Ethiopia

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Column of ONLF rebels.jpg

The insurgency in Ogaden, waged by the separatist Ogaden National Liberation Front rebel group in Ethiopia's Somali region, began in 1995 and is ongoing. "The group's aims have varied over time from increased autonomy in Ethiopia to outright independence to joining a 'Greater Somalia'."[1] "[T]"he long-running conflict has been largely invisible [to the outside world] as Addis Ababa has restricted access to the region."[1]

The low-level guerrilla campaign was continuing, generally neglected by foreign media, until several high-profile ONLF attacks in the region in 2007, including the attack on the Chinese oil site at Abole and the attacks on Jigjiga and Dhagahbur. In response, Ethiopia launched a military crackdown in June 2007 in order to root out the rebels. The offensive was accompanied by high criticism and allegations of serious human rights abuses. The offensive was also allegedly linked to Ethiopia's involvement in Somalia. "One motive for Ethiopia's ouster of the Union of Islamic Courts (UIC) in December 2006 may have been to cut the links between the ONLF, the ruling Islamic Courts and Eritrea, including arms and logistical supply lines from Eritrea and Somalia to the ONLF in Ethiopia's eastern region."[2] (Read more...)

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Ethiopia - New Bride.jpg
Credit: Mark Knobil

An Ethiopian bride.

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In the news

Wikinews Ethiopia portal
  • July 19: After signing peace declarations, Eritrea reopens embassy in Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa
  • August 27: South Sudanese President Salva Kiir signs peace deal
  • August 12: Dibaba’s comeback: Long-distance track star wins her first World Championship title since 2007
  • September 21: Hailemariam Desalegn sworn in as Ethiopia's prime minister
  • August 22: Ethiopian prime minister Meles Zenawi dies at 57
  • October 19: Jailed Swedish journalists tried as terrorists
  • November 8: Haile Gebrselassie announces retirement from athletics
  • March 5: BBC: Ethiopian famine aid 'siphoned off' to buy weapons according to rebels, report
  • February 10: UK loses appeal to conceal Binyam Mohamed torture
  • February 8: "Black box" found near crash site of Ethiopian Airlines flight



Selected biography

Amda Seyon (also Amde Tsiyon and other variants, Ge'ez ዐምደ ፡ ጽዮን ʿamda ṣiyōn, Amharic āmde ṣiyōn, "Pillar of Zion") was Emperor of Ethiopia (1314–1344; throne name Gebre Mesqel Ge'ez ገብረ ፡ መስቀል gabra masḳal, Amh. gebre mesḳel, "slave of the cross"), and a member of the Solomonic dynasty. According to the British expert on Ethiopia, Edward Ullendorff, "Amde Tseyon was one of the most outstanding Ethiopian kings of any age and a singular figure dominating the Horn of Africa in the fourteenth century." His conquests of Muslim borderlands greatly expanded Ethiopian territory and power in the region, maintained for centuries after his death. Amda Seyon asserted the strength of the newly (1270) installed Solomonic dynasty and therefore legitimized it. These expansions further provided for the spread of Christianity to frontier areas, sparking a long era of proselytization, Christianization, and integration of previously peripheral areas.

(Read more...)

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  1. ^ a b Unrest Simmers In Ethiopia's Ogaden, Aljazeera English, April 15, 2008
  2. ^ [1]
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