Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-5d6d958fb5-xnv6z Total loading time: 0.198 Render date: 2022-11-26T12:01:23.494Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "useRatesEcommerce": false, "displayNetworkTab": true, "displayNetworkMapGraph": false, "useSa": true } hasContentIssue true

From Af Abet to Shire: the defeat and demise of Ethiopia's ‘Red’ Army 1988–89

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  12 May 2004

Gebru Tareke
Affiliation:
Hobart and William Smith Colleges.

Abstract

Within a period of just a year during the late 1980s, the Ethiopian Revolutionary or ‘Red’ Army suffered serious defeat in both Eritrea and Tigray. Although numerically and technically superior to its opponents, dissension in the army's ranks, political meddling from Addis Ababa, loss of will, and the remarkable skill and determination of its opponents prevented it from achieving victory. Two years after its humiliating defeat in Tigray, the army collapsed, and the military regime it had sustained disappeared. Eritrea succeeded in declaring its independence and the Tigrayan rebels seized power in Ethiopia. This article demonstrates that the Eritrean and Tigrayan forces ultimately won because they had grass-roots support and because they were able to back each other militarily and politically. In the meantime, the dictatorship in Addis Ababa was losing popular support as its ‘citizens’ were no longer willing to make the sacrifices that were necessary to continue the struggle. Only by considering these points can we appreciate why Africa's second-largest army was annihilated or, conversely, why the insurgents triumphed, for their success was not inevitable.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
© 2004 Cambridge University Press

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)
2
Cited by

Save article to Kindle

To save this article to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

From Af Abet to Shire: the defeat and demise of Ethiopia's ‘Red’ Army 1988–89
Available formats
×

Save article to Dropbox

To save this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Dropbox account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

From Af Abet to Shire: the defeat and demise of Ethiopia's ‘Red’ Army 1988–89
Available formats
×

Save article to Google Drive

To save this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Google Drive account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

From Af Abet to Shire: the defeat and demise of Ethiopia's ‘Red’ Army 1988–89
Available formats
×
×

Reply to: Submit a response

Please enter your response.

Your details

Please enter a valid email address.

Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *