Derg

EthiopiaEthiopian RevolutionProvisional Military Government of Socialist EthiopiaDergueSocialist EthiopiaProvisional Military Administrative Council19741974 revolution1974–1987Communist Junta
The Derg (Ge'ez: ደርግ, "committee" or "council"), officially the Provisional Military Government of Socialist Ethiopia, was a Communist Marxist-Leninist military junta that ruled Ethiopia from 1974 to 1987.wikipedia
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Ethiopian National Defense Force

Ethiopian ArmyEthiopian troopsEthiopian Armed Forces
The Derg was established in June 1974 as the Coordinating Committee of the Armed Forces, Police and Territorial Army by low-ranking officers of the Ethiopian Army and police led by Chairman Aman Andom. Derg, which originally consisted of soldiers at the capital, broadened its membership by including representatives from the 40 units of the Ethiopian Army, Air Force, Navy, Kebur Zabagna (Imperial Guard), Territorial Army and police: each unit was expected to send three representatives, who were supposed to be privates, NCOs and junior officers up to the rank of major.
This was roughly the same number maintained during the Derg regime that fell to the rebel forces in 1991.

Aman Andom

Aman Mikael Andom
The Derg was established in June 1974 as the Coordinating Committee of the Armed Forces, Police and Territorial Army by low-ranking officers of the Ethiopian Army and police led by Chairman Aman Andom.
Aman Mikael Andom (አማን ሚካኤል አንዶም; 21 June 1924 – 23 November 1974) was an Ethiopian General and the first post-imperial acting Head of State of Ethiopia.

Ethiopia

EthiopianAbyssiniaFederal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia
The Derg (Ge'ez: ደርግ, "committee" or "council"), officially the Provisional Military Government of Socialist Ethiopia, was a Communist Marxist-Leninist military junta that ruled Ethiopia from 1974 to 1987.
In 1974, the Ethiopian monarchy under Haile Selassie was overthrown by the Derg, a communist military government backed by the Soviet Union.

Ethiopian Empire

EthiopiaAbyssiniaEthiopian
The Derg was formally renamed the Provisional Military Administrative Council and in September 1974 overthrew the government of the Ethiopian Empire and Emperor Haile Selassie during mass protests.
It began with the establishment of the Solomonic dynasty by Yekuno Amlak from approximately 1270 and lasted until 1974, when Emperor Haile Selassie was overthrown in a coup d'état by the Communist Derg.

Mengistu Haile Mariam

MengistuHaile Mariam MengistuMenghistu
Mengistu Haile Mariam became Chairman in 1977, launching the Qey Shibir to eliminate political opponents, with tens of thousands imprisoned and executed without trial. The committee elected Major Mengistu Haile Mariam as its chairman and Major Atnafu Abate as its vice-chairman.
He was the chairman of the Derg, the military junta that governed Ethiopia, from 1977–87, and the President of the People's Democratic Republic of Ethiopia (PDRE) from 1987–91.

Resettlement and villagization in Ethiopia

resettlementvillagizationforced deportations
The abolition of feudalism, increased literacy, nationalization, and sweeping land reform including the resettlement and villagization from the Ethiopian Highlands became priorities.
Shortly after the 1974 revolution, as part of their policy of land reform it became Derg policy to accelerate resettlement.

Ethiopian Civil War

Ethiopian revolutioncivil war1974 Ethiopian Revolution
By the mid-1980s, Ethiopia was ravaged by various issues such as droughts, economic decline, the 1983–1985 famine, increasing reliance on foreign aid, mismanagement, corruption, the after-effects of failed Derg policies, the Eritrean War of Independence, and the Ethiopian Civil War between the Derg and United States-backed ethnic militias.
The Derg overthrew the Ethiopian Empire and Emperor Haile Selassie in a coup d'état on 12 September 1974, establishing Ethiopia as a Marxist-Leninist communist state with itself as a military junta and provisional government.

Eritrean War of Independence

Eritrean War for Independencewar of independenceEritrea
By the mid-1980s, Ethiopia was ravaged by various issues such as droughts, economic decline, the 1983–1985 famine, increasing reliance on foreign aid, mismanagement, corruption, the after-effects of failed Derg policies, the Eritrean War of Independence, and the Ethiopian Civil War between the Derg and United States-backed ethnic militias.
Following the Ethiopian Revolution in 1974, the Derg abolished the Ethiopian Empire and established a Marxist-Leninist communist state, bringing the Eritrean War of Independence into the Ethiopian Civil War and Cold War conflicts.

Workers' Party of Ethiopia

General Secretary of the Workers' Party of EthiopiaWorkers Party of EthiopiaWPE
In 1987, Mengistu abolished the Derg and formed the People's Democratic Republic of Ethiopia led by the Workers' Party of Ethiopia, with a new government dominated by surviving members of the Derg.
The Workers' Party of Ethiopia was founded in 1984 by the Derg, the ruling provisional government of Ethiopia, as the vanguard party for a planned future socialist state.

People's Democratic Republic of Ethiopia

EthiopiaPDREEthiopian Democratic People's Republic
In 1987, Mengistu abolished the Derg and formed the People's Democratic Republic of Ethiopia led by the Workers' Party of Ethiopia, with a new government dominated by surviving members of the Derg.
The Derg, the military junta that had ruled Ethiopia as a provisional government since 1974, planned for transition into a civil government and proclaimed a socialist state in 1984 after five years of preparation.

Amha Selassie

Asfaw WossenCrown Prince Asfaw WossenAsfa Wossen
This was pending the return of Crown Prince Asfaw Wossen from medical treatment in Europe, when he would assume the throne as a constitutional monarch.
He was again proclaimed on the deposition of his father by the Derg on 12 September 1974 – an act he never accepted as legitimate – which ended in the abolition of the Ethiopian monarchy in March 1975.

One-party state

one-partyone-one-party system
The Derg abolished the monarchy and embraced communism as an ideology, establishing Ethiopia as a Marxist-Leninist one-party state with itself as the vanguard party in a provisional government.

Atnafu Abate

Atnafu
The committee elected Major Mengistu Haile Mariam as its chairman and Major Atnafu Abate as its vice-chairman.
Lieutenant Colonel Atnafu Abate (Geez: አጥናፉ አባተ; late 1930s – November 12, 1977 ) was an Ethiopian military officer and a leading member of the Derg, the military junta which deposed Emperor Haile Selassie and ruled the country for several years.

Military junta

juntamilitary governmentMilitary governments
The Derg (Ge'ez: ደርግ, "committee" or "council"), officially the Provisional Military Government of Socialist Ethiopia, was a Communist Marxist-Leninist military junta that ruled Ethiopia from 1974 to 1987.

Tafari Benti

Brigadier General Tafari Benti became both the new Chairman of Derg and head of state, with Mengistu and Atnafu Abate as his two vice-Chairmen, both with promotions to the rank of Lieutenant-Colonels.
Brigadier General Tafari Benti (October 1921 – 3 February 1977) was the Head of State of Ethiopia (28 November 1974 – 3 February 1977), and chairman of the Derg, the ruling junta.

Red Terror (Ethiopia)

Red TerrorQey ShibirEthiopian Red Terror
Mengistu Haile Mariam became Chairman in 1977, launching the Qey Shibir to eliminate political opponents, with tens of thousands imprisoned and executed without trial.
Qey Shibir or Key Shibbir (Amharic: ቀይ ሽብር ḳäy šəbbər), also known as the Ethiopian Red Terror, was a violent political repression campaign of the Derg against other competing Marxist-Leninist groups in Ethiopia and Eritrea from 1976 to 1977.

Ogaden War

Ethio-Somali WarOgaden campaign1977–1978 conflict with Ethiopia
Once the Derg had gained victory over these groups and successfully fought off an invasion from Somalia in 1977, it engaged in a brutal war against armed opponents.
The Soviet Union disapproved of the invasion and ceased its support of Somalia, instead starting to support Ethiopia; the United States, conversely, ceased its support of Ethiopia and started supporting Somalia.

Ethiopian Democratic Union

EDU
These groups included guerrillas fighting for Eritrean independence, rebels based in Tigray (which included the nascent Tigrayan Peoples' Liberation Front) and other groups that ranged from the conservative and pro-monarchy Ethiopian Democratic Union to the far leftist Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Party.
The Ethiopian Democratic Union or EDU, also known as Teranafit (formerly a separate group based in Shire before it merged with the EDU), was one of the political parties that formed in opposition to the Derg regime of Ethiopia.

Alem Zewde Tessema

Alem Zewde Tessema had established the armed forces coordinated committee on 23 March.
He was active at the beginning of the Ethiopian Revolution, helping to create the "Coordinating Committee of the Armed Forces", which originally was intended to support Prime Minister Aklilu Habte-Wold but came under the control of Majors Atnafu Abate, Sisay Hapte, and Tafara Teklaeb, who turned it into the group later known as the Derg.

Communist state

Communist regimecommunist countriescommunist
The Derg (Ge'ez: ደርግ, "committee" or "council"), officially the Provisional Military Government of Socialist Ethiopia, was a Communist Marxist-Leninist military junta that ruled Ethiopia from 1974 to 1987.

Haile Selassie

Haile Selassie IEmperor Haile SelassieHaile Selassie I of Ethiopia
The Derg was formally renamed the Provisional Military Administrative Council and in September 1974 overthrew the government of the Ethiopian Empire and Emperor Haile Selassie during mass protests.
The Derg, a committee of low-ranking military officers and enlisted men, set up in June to investigate the military's demands, took advantage of the government's disarray to depose the 82-year-old Selassie on 12 September.

Land reform in Ethiopia

land reformcoercive property transfersabolishing feudal tenure
On 4 March 1975, the Derg announced a program of land reform, according to its main slogan of "Land to the Tiller," which was unequivocally radical, even in Soviet and Chinese terms.
Attempts to modernize land ownership by giving title either to the peasants who till the soil, or to large-scale farming programs, have been tried under imperial rulers like Emperor Haile Selassie, and under Marxist regimes like the Derg, with mixed results.

Ethiopian Air Force

Imperial Ethiopian Air ForceAir ForceAir Force of Ethiopia
Derg, which originally consisted of soldiers at the capital, broadened its membership by including representatives from the 40 units of the Ethiopian Army, Air Force, Navy, Kebur Zabagna (Imperial Guard), Territorial Army and police: each unit was expected to send three representatives, who were supposed to be privates, NCOs and junior officers up to the rank of major.
The army was short in equipment of all sorts, and after the Derg acquired power United States President Jimmy Carter cut off all military aid to Ethiopia.

Somalia

SomaliFederal Republic of SomaliaSOM
Once the Derg had gained victory over these groups and successfully fought off an invasion from Somalia in 1977, it engaged in a brutal war against armed opponents.
After the siege of Harar, a massive unprecedented Soviet intervention consisting of 20,000 Cuban forces and several thousand Soviet experts came to the aid of Ethiopia's communist Derg regime.

Famine

faminesfood shortagesfood crisis
Though human rights violations were committed by both sides, the great majority of abuses against civilians as well as actions leading to devastating famine were committed by the government.
Compounding this problem was the intermittent fighting due to civil war, the government's lack of organization in providing relief, and hoarding of supplies to control the population.