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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: Defeat and Demise

The Vanquished Revolutionary Army: Defeat and Demise

(p.138) 5 The Vanquished Revolutionary Army: Defeat and Demise
The Ethiopian Revolution

Gebru Tareke

Yale University Press

Ethiopia's revolutionary army lost the war to the Eritrean insurgents not because they lacked men and weaponry. To understand better why the soldiers of Ethiopian dictator Mengistu Haile Mariam lost in the fight against insurgency, three interrelated issues need to be considered. First we need to consider the army's contentious relationship with the Workers' Party of Ethiopia (WPE), which undermined troop unity and effective control by introducing the triangular command. The second issue concerns government economic policies and political structures, which may not have strengthened the insurgents but clearly weakened the state. The third issue was the military's serious internal weaknesses that made it extremely vulnerable to the insurgents of Eritrea.

Keywords:   revolutionary army, Ethiopia, insurgents, Mengistu Haile Mariam, Workers' Party of Ethiopia, economic policies, political structures, Eritrea, insurgency

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