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Ethiopia External and Internal Opponents
Sources: The Library of Congress Country Studies; CIA World Factbook
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    After the 1974 overthrow of Haile Selassie, the Mengistu regime confronted several internal rebellions and one major external opponent. These internal rebellions consisted of threats posed by Eritrean secessionists, Tigrayan rebels, and other, less active guerrilla movements in the center and south of the country. Whatever the political orientation or ethnic composition of these insurgent groups, the Ethiopian government characterized them variously as "traitors," "counterrevolutionaries," "feudalists," "shifta" (bandits), or "paid agents of the CIA." By 1991 the Eritrean People's Liberation Front (EPLF) and the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF) had emerged as the strongest guerrilla groups opposed to the government.

    Since the end of World War II, Somalia has posed the only serious external threat to Ethiopia. In the late 1980s, however, the nature of this threat changed, perhaps permanently, as the Somali government became more involved with maintaining its internal security and less capable of recreating a "Greater Somalia."

    Data as of 1991

    NOTE: The information regarding Ethiopia on this page is re-published from The Library of Congress Country Studies and the CIA World Factbook. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Ethiopia External and Internal Opponents information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Ethiopia External and Internal Opponents should be addressed to the Library of Congress and the CIA.

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Revised 10-Nov-04
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