Allula wrote:The unresolved border issue compounds other pressing problems. These include Eritrea's inability to provide enough food; two thirds of the population receives food aid. Moreover, economic progress is hampered by the proportion of Eritreans who are in the army rather than the workforce. This clearly implies that the very fundamental question is whether Eritrea is a viable state to feed its citizens without any good and friendly political and economic relations with its immediate neighbour, Ethiopia.
Zmeselo wrote:AL-LIEBA IS PROUD OF THIS? From the same BBC-shite!
Ethiopia is Africa's oldest independent country and its second largest in terms of population. Apart from a five-year occupation by Mussolini's Italy, it has never been colonised.
It has a unique cultural heritage, being the home of the Ethiopian Orthdodox Church and a monarchy that ended only in the coup of 1974.
It served as a symbol of African independence throughout the colonial period, and was a founder member of the United Nations and the African base for many international organisations.
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At a glance
Politics: Prime Minister Meles Zenawi won a fourth term in elections held in May 2010. Secessionist groups maintain a low-level armed struggle
Economy: One of fastest growing non-oil economies in Africa. Depends heavily on agriculture, which is often affected by drought. Coffee is a key export
International: Eritrea hived off in 1993 and a border dispute escalated into full-scale war in 1999. Border tensions persist. Ethiopian troops helped oust Islamists who controlled southern Somalia in 2006. Ethiopia is seen as a key US ally
Country profiles compiled by BBC Monitoring
Ethiopia has suffered periodic droughts and famines that lead to a long civil conflict in the 20th centiry and a border war with Eritrea.
In the first part of the 20th century Ethiopia forged strong links with Britain, whose troops helped evict the Italians in 1941 and put Emperor Haile Selassie back on his throne. From the 1960s British influence gave way to that of the US, which in turn was supplanted by the Soviet Union.
Although it has had fewer of the coups that have plagued other African countries, Ethiopia's turmoil has been no less devastating. Drought, famine, war and ill-conceived policies brought millions to the brink of starvation in the 1970s and 1980s.
In 1974 this helped topple Haile Selassie. His regime was replaced by a self-proclaimed Marxist junta led by Mengistu Haile Mariam under which many thousands of opponents were purged or killed, property was confiscated and defence spending spiralled.
The overthrow of the junta in 1991 saw political and economic conditions stabilise, to the extent that the country is regarded as one of Africa's most stable.
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Ogaden National Liberation Front - ONLF
Separatist group in Ogaden region, home of ethnic Somalis
Aims to defend rights of Ogadeni people, defend resources from exploitation by state
Has conducted low-level guerilla campaign since 1994
2007 attack on oilfield killed 65 Ethiopian troops and 9 Chinese workers
Eritrea gained independence in 1993 following a referendum. Poor border demarcation developed into military conflict and full-scale war in the late 1990s in which tens of thousands of people were killed.
A fragile truce has held, but the UN says ongoing disputes over the demarcation of the border threaten peace.
Ethiopia is one of Africa's poorest states. Almost two-thirds of its people are illiterate. The economy revolves around agriculture, which in turn relies on rainfall. The country is one of Africa's leading coffee producers.
Many Ethiopians depend on food aid from abroad. In 2004 the government began a drive to move more than two million people away from the arid highlands of the east in an attempt to provide a lasting solution to food shortages.
Drought-prone and short of food, Ethiopia has suffered a series of famines in recent decades At the end of 2006 Ethiopia sent between 5,000 and 10,000 troops into Somalia to support forces of the weak transitional government there and helped to oust the Islamists who had controlled southern Somalia for six months.
But, despite initial successes, the Ethiopians were unable to break the power of the Islamists, who gradually began to win back lost territory.
Ethiopia's presence in Somalia formally ended in early 2009, when it pulled its troops under an agreement between the transitional Somali government and moderate Islamists
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