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Ethiopia

country valley population rift

Ethiopia, formerly Abyssinia, country on the eastern edge of Africa, bordered by Eritrea on the north, the Sudan on the west, Kenya and Somalia on the south, and Somalia and Djibouti on the east.

Land

Geographically, Ethiopia consists of two great plateaus, separated by part of the Great Rift Valley. The Ethiopian plateau, to the west of the Great Rift Valley, is the most fertile and most densely populated part of the country. East of the Great Rift Valley is the Somali Plateau, which slopes eastward to the Ogaden Plateau and reaches over 14,000 ft (4,267 m) in the Urgoma Mountains. The Great Rift Valley separating the plateaus is a long, narrow cleft dotted with lakes and broadening in the north to form the Danakil Depression, a desert. Lake Tana in the northwest is the country's largest lake and the source of the Blue Nile, one of the main components of the Nile River. The capital of Ethiopia is Addis Ababa.

People

The Amhara and Tigray ethnic groups constitute about one-third of the population and have traditionally accounted for most of the ruling class. Most of them are Coptic Christians. Amharic, a Semitic language, is the official language of the country, although English is widely spoken. The Galla, most of whom are Muslims, are the largest single ethnic group, accounting for 40% of the population. About one-tenth of the population practices tribal religions.

Economy

Ethiopia's economy is based upon agriculture and about 75% of the population is directly dependent upon farming and livestock raising. Coffee is the chief cash crop and principal export.

History

Traditionally, the kings of Ethiopia claimed descent from Menelik, the son of King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba, but the first Ethiopian kingdom to have left any historical record dates from the 1st century A.D. Coptic Christianity was introduced in the 4th century A.D. Throughout most of the Middle Ages Ethiopian power was weakened by internal political conflict and armed clashes with neighboring Somalis. In modern times, Menelik II reconsolidated the old empire in 1889. In 1895 Italy invaded Ethiopia but was defeated by Menelik's troops in 1896 at Aduwa. In 1936 Mussolini's Italian Fascist government invaded again. The country was liberated from occupation in 1941 when Emperor Haile Selassie, who had first come to power in 1930, was restored to the throne. His rule lasted until 1973, when army officers ousted him and inaugurated a one-party state that nationalized most of the economy.

The military government has continued a war against the forces struggling for the independence of Eritrea, a territory annexed by Ethiopia in 1962, and there have been repeated armed clashes with Somalia over a territorial dispute. Compounding the country's troubles, reduced rainfall in the early 1970s led to serious drought and famine. The civil war with the Eritreans ended in 1991 and Eritrea became independent in 1993. In 1998 a border dispute between the two countries led to a war.

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over 5 years ago

Ethiopia was never colonized but the article states that it's Independence was in 1896. This is a year when Ethiopians won the Italians in the battle field of Adwa, who came to invade and colonize Ethiopia. Indeed they came again in 1935 and stayed in the country for 5 years while the patriots of Ethiopia were in war with them (Italians). Finally, in 1941 Ethiopians chased out the Italians and installed again their king, who was most of the time in UK in that period of war.