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The Ethiopian RevolutionWar in the Horn of Africa$
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Gebru Tareke

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780300141634

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300141634.001.0001

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The Vanquished Revolutionary Army: Birth and Evolution

The Vanquished Revolutionary Army: Birth and Evolution

(p.111) 4 The Vanquished Revolutionary Army: Birth and Evolution
The Ethiopian Revolution

Gebru Tareke

Yale University Press

The widespread militarization of the state was a product of revolution and civil war, resulting in social changes that had profound consequences for the agrarian population, the largest segment of society in Ethiopia. In a desperate attempt to win the wars, the revolutionary government mobilized resources on a grand scale, allowing the military to dictate agrarian policies and to become the main instrument of the state's exploitation of the peasantry. The never-ending demands for men and resources spared no village or community. This chapter examines the Ethiopian military's structural and organizational attributes in order to understand why it lost and why the Eritrean insurgents won. It looks at the rise of the revolutionary army (“Red Army”) and the government' use of militias and national conscription in the fight against insurgency.

Keywords:   militarization, revolution, civil war, Ethiopia, military, peasantry, insurgency, revolutionary army, militias, national conscription

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