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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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Nakfa: “Even the Mountains Fought”

Nakfa: “Even the Mountains Fought”

(p.218) 7 Nakfa: “Even the Mountains Fought”
The Ethiopian Revolution

Gebru Tareke

Yale University Press

After defeating Somalia, civil wars swept through Ethiopia in 1980. The government launched major offensives against the “eastern irredentists” and “northern secessionists” in 1980 and 1982, respectively. While Operation Lash essentially achieved its objective of quashing the eastern rebellion, Operation Red Star failed in its bid to put an end to the Eritrean insurgency despite the state's mobilization of the bulk of its armed forces and resources to storm Nakfa, the hub of the insurgents. This chapter focuses on Operation Lash and Operation Red Star as part of the Ethiopian government's counterinsurgency strategy in Nakfa. It examines the government's introduction of the so-called villagization to isolate and destroy the rebels and at the same time resettle displaced peasants. It shows how miscalculation led to the failure of the military campaign in Eritrea.

Keywords:   civil wars, Ethiopia, Operation Lash, rebellion, Operation Red Star, Eritrea, insurgency, Nakfa, counterinsurgency, villagization

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