Ethiopia: A Post-Cold War African State

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Praeger, Jan 1, 1999 - History - 229 pages
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When the oppressive Marxist-Leninst dictatorship of the Derg collapsed in 1991, there was hope that a new era might begin for a democratic Ethiopia. However, backed by the United States, the Ethiopian Peoples Revolutionary Front established a government that would not share power. Instead of a transition to democracy, the EPRF denied opposition parties meaningful participation in elections, violated human rights, and intensified ethnic distrust among the people. According to critics, repressions of the government are on a scale equivalent to those of the world's worst dictatorships. Vestal examines the plight of the Ethiopian people and counters questionable government pronouncements. He concludes with suggestions for a revised U.S. policy toward Ethiopia and for peaceful negotiations between the government and its political opposition to develop a more democratic approach.

Ethiopia, an African nation with close ties to the United States dating from World War II, is a troubled land. When the oppressive Marxist-Leninist dictatorship of the Derg collapsed in 1991, there was hope that a new era might begin for a democratic Ethiopia. However, backed by the U.S., the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front established a government that would not share power. Instead of a transition to democracy, the EPRDF denied opposition parties meaningful participation in elections, violated human rights, and intensified ethnic distrust among the people.

According to critics, repressions of the government are on a scale equivalent to those of the world's worst dictatorships. Vestal examines the plight of the Ethiopian people and counters questionable government pronouncements. He concludes with suggestions for a revised U.S. policy toward Ethiopia and for peaceful negotiations between the government and its political opposition to develop a more democratic approach.

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About the author (1999)

THEODORE M. VESTAL is Professor of Political Science at Oklahoma State University.