Write a 5 pages paper on military rule in ethiopia. Emperor Haile Selassie ruled Ethiopia for nearly 40 years. In September of 1974, he was overthrown in a military coup. Famine and drought were sweeping through Ethiopia, but the emperor kept most of those details out of the press. When the people discovered the true extent of the terrible disaster, they welcomed the revolution and saw it as the first step to modernizing their country after four decades of autocratic rule. Unfortunately, the military junta (the Derg) could not deliver on its promises because of a series of wars, invasions, and skirmishes following on the heels of drought and famine.
Mengistu Haile Mariam executed General Teferi Benti in 1977 and took over the government, bringing the Red Terror into full swing (Beshah and Tupy, 2008). The military junta collapsed in 1987, and Mengistu became president (Gavish and Shabtai, 2009). Throughout their reign, the Derg looked toward Marxist-Leninist policies to structure the government. Nationalization, a founding tenet of Marxism (Donham, 1999) caused large businesses and vast tracts of land to be co-opted and put under the government’s control. Banks and factories were seized, and schools were shut down for two full years as students were conscripted into the nationalization efforts (Beshah and Tupy, 2008). The Dergue government was overthrown in 1991, but decades of wars and natural disasters have made it difficult for the nation to recover itself (Beshah and Tupy, 2008).
Stories of torture and death abound from the Red Terror days. One man was arrested in 1987 for being Jewish, held in solitary confinement in a 1 meter by 1-meter cell for a year, beaten with an iron rod, and otherwise tortured day and night (Gavish and Shabtai, 2009). Another man, a member of an opposition student movement, was arrested in 1978 by agents of the Ethiopian junta, tortured for 15 days and then shot. .