Ethiopian dictator Mengistu Haile Mariam's fall from grace in May 1991 was as dramatic as his rise to power. From an obscure ordnance officer in his mid-thirties, Mengistu was installed to the highest levels of state power in the midst of a deep political crisis in 1974. His ascent signaled the end of feudalism and monarchism and ushered in an era of republicanism. Under his administration, however, Ethiopia was swept by a wave of militarization, terror, war, misery, and dislocation unprecedented in the country's history. This chapter analyzes the approximate causes of Mengistu's ouster and the legacies of the civil wars. It discusses the government campaign against Eritrean insurgency and how the revolution transformed the country's political, economic, social, and cultural environments.
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