4/11/2020, Insurrection broke out in Tigray Province. The TPLF
(Tigray People�s :Liberation Front) accused Eritrea of assisting Ethiopian
forces in the conflict; Eritrea fought a border war with Ethiopia when the TPLF
dominated the Ethiopian Govermment. From 2018 President Abiy had reduced TPLF
influence over central Government, and the flashpoint for this was was the
postponement of regional elections by Addis Ababa, on the grounds of the Covid
Sanctions against Eritrea ended (see 12/2009).
Ethiopia and the separatist Ogaden National Liberation Front reached an
agreement. This ended a 34-year struggle.
Ethioipia and Eritrea formally ended their State of War.
4/2018, Abiy Ahmed,
ethnic Oromo, became leader of the rulimng EPRDF (Ethiopian People's
Revolutionary Democratic Front), and began reforms. In 5/2018 thousands of
Ethiopian political prisoners were released, and the State of Emergency was
anti-Government protests in Ethiopia; State of Emergency proclaimed.
and Djibouti settled their border dispute.
sanctions imposed on Eritrea for its support of Islamic rebels in Somalia. See
clash between Eritrea and Djibouti over the disputed Ras Doumeira area.
2007, Ethiopia sent troops into Somalia to fight Islamist
forces there. Eritrea pulled out of IGAD (Intergovernmental Authority on
Development) as IGAD backed the Ethiopian intervention in Somalia.
2006, The UN accused Eritrea of sending arms to a rival�
Islamist administration in Somalia, whose interim government was meanwhile being sent arms by Ethiopia.
4/2005, Italy returned the first part of the Axum Obelisk, which had been looted by Italian forces in 1937.
3/2004, Ethiopia began resettling people away from the over-farmed and drought-stricken
2003, A UN boundary commission awarded the Badme
region to Eritrea; Ethiopia refused to accept this.
2001, Ethiopia withdrew its forces
from Eritrea, but refused to accept the boundary commission�s decision on the
6/1/1999, Four days
of border fighting began between Ethiopia and Eritrea.
1998, Tensions between Eritrea and Ethiopia escalated into a border
war. The issue was sovereignty over a small
area around the border towns of Badme and Sheraro; 70,000 died in the conflict across both sides.
11/6/1998, The UN
officially declared a famine in Ethiopia, as one million faced starvation.
1994, A new Ethiopian Constitution divided the country into ethnically-based
24/5/1993, Eritrea became independent. from Ethiopia, after 32 years of
war between them. In 1961, to gain
Ethiopia as an ally against the Soviets, Western powers had insisted on a
federation of Ethiopia with Eritrea, although Eritrea was supposed to retain
its own government, Shortly afterwards, Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie
annexed Eritrea as a mere province. However
in 1974 Haile Selassie was deposed and the country became pro-Soviet. In
1991,with Soviet support ended, Eritrean rebels were making headway and they
managed to capture the Eritrean capital, Asmara, in 5/1991. A referendum on
independence in Eritrea produced a majority of 99.81% in favour.
27/4/1993. The Ethiopian province of Eritrea voted
overwhelmingly for independence.
1991, The EPLF (Eritrean Popular
Liberation Front) took the Eritrean capital, Asmara.
Communism and rule of Colonel
22/5/1991, Ethiopian President Mengistu Haile Mariam
escaped to Zimbabwe
as rebel forces closed in on the capital, Addis Ababa. The EPLF
took the Eritrean
capital, Asmara. With massive spending on Soviet armaments to put down
rebellions in Eritrea, Tigray and Oromo provinces, agriculture was starved of
cash and the country went from being 40% forested to almost tree-less and
EPLF took the port of Massawa.
3/4/1988. Ethiopia and Somalia concluded a peace agreement,
ending 11 years of border conflict.
1987, The EPLF refused an offer of autonomy for Eritrea,
and fighting intensified.
1987, Mengistu was re-elected President under a new
14/12/1984, A group of rock
stars led by Bob Geldof formed �Band Aid� to raise money for
Ethiopian famine victims.
25/11/1984, Bob Geldof
rock stars recorded �Do They Know It�s Christmas� for the Band Aid famine
relief initiative in Ethiopia. All proceeds from sales of the songs would go
towards famine relief. The famine killed one million Ethiopians.
24/10/1984, The Ethiopian
Government appealed for Western food aid to save an estimated 6.4 million from starvation.
1982, Major campaign by Ethiopia against Eritrean
secessionists, the �Red Star Campaign�;
however Ethiopian forces suffered severe casualties.
30/6/1978, Ethiopia began a major offensive in Eritrea.
left Ethiopian territory, so ending the Ogaden War.
5/3/1978. Ethiopian forces,
backed by Russia and Cuba,
completely retook the region of Ogaden seized by Somalia in
21/1/1978, Ethiopian forces
began expelling Somali
forces from the Ogaden, see 23/7/1977 and 5/3/1978.
1977, Colonel Mengistu�s �Red Terror� campaign began. Thousands of po;litical dissidents
died, and agriculture was forcibly collectivised. Tigray began fighting for
independence, led by the TPLF (Tigrayan
People�s Liberation Front).
Mengistu Haile Maram became leader of Ethiopia after killing 8 other
members of the ruling council.
Selassie, deposed Emperor of Ethiopia, nicknamed �the Lion of
Judah�, died in exile. He was the claimed 225th descendant of the
legendary son born to King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba, said to be the forst
pof the Royal line of Ethiopia. In 1916 he had become Ras (Prince) Tafari,
and in 1930 became Emperor of Ethiopia. He was seen as the Messiah� by Rastafarians, who saw Ethiopia as the
Promised Land. He was exiled to England during
the Italian occupation of Ethiopia, 1935-39, but
returned to Ethiopia in 1941. He helped found the Organisation for African
Unity (OAU) but faced considerable opposition within Ethiopia and was deposed
21/3/1975, Ethiopia abolished the monarchy, and became a
12/9/1974. In Ethiopia, President Haile Selassie was deposed by leaders of the armed forces. He was taken to prison where he died in 1975. A
famine in 1972 in which 200,000 Ethiopians died had exposed the organisational
inadequacies of the Ethiopian Government. From early 1974 Ethiopia saw strikes,
army mutinies, demonstrations by students and peasants revolts. In June 1974 a
committee of junior army officers was formed, known as the Derg (Amhharic for
�committee�), and it was this body who overthrew the President. Unfortunately
rule by the Derg proved more autocratic and oppressive than under Haile Selassie.
1973, A severe famine began in Wallo
Province, Ethiopia; 200,000 people died.
1970, The ELF split on ideological
grounds, and the EPLF (Eritrean Popular Liberation Front) was formed, and
aimed at creating a �social revolution�.
Eritrea with Ethiopia; start of independence struggle by Eritrea
1967, Full scale guerrilla warfare in Eritrea
waged by ELF.
disliking the autonomous status of Eritrea, fully incorporated the region into Ethiopia as merely another
province, This provoked a fierce struggle for Eritrean independence, led by the ELF.
1958, The ELF (Eritrean Liberation Front)
was formed, to gain independence for Eritrea.
15/9/1952. Eritrea, having previously been under
British rule since the defeat of the Italians there in 1940, was transferred as
an autonomous region to the rule of Ethiopia. This Federation was
consequrnt upon a Unted Nations General Assembly vote.
1945, Post World War Two, Britain now administered Eritrea as a UN Trust Territory.
1943, Rebellion in Tigre (the Woyane, or uprising). Tigre resented having
lost influence to the South. The Woyane was suppressed with the help of the
British RAF bombing the rebels.
1941, British forces expelled the Italians and restored Haile
Selassie. Selassie set up a
constitution, Parliament and Cabinet, but in practice ruled as an absolute
Second Italian invasion of Abyssinia
In Abyssinia, Italy executed \Ras Desta Demti, son in law of exiled leader Haile Selassie.
Italian forces pillaged Addis Ababa, capital of Ethiopia.
Haile Selassie arrived in London in exile, after the Italian
Italy annexed Abyssinia (now Ethiopia), having completed the invasion begun on
6/5/1936, Marshal Pietro
Badoglio nominated Giuseppe Bottai as the first Italian Governor
of Addis Ababa.
5/5/1936. The Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa fell to Italian troops under General Badoglio.�
The League of Nations had signally failed in its efforts to prevent the
Emperor Haile Selassie fled
Addis Ababa as Italian troops closed in, bombing Ethiopian villages with
mustard gas. 100,000 Italian troops under Mussolini began an invasion of Ethiopia in October 1935, in revenge for an
Ethiopian defeat of Italian forces at Adawa in 1896. Ethiopia has asked the
League of Nations to apply sanctions to Italy but the UK and France wavered on
denying oil to Italy; the League of Nations lost all credibility.
Selassie, Ethiopian Emperor, made a determined last attack against
the invading Italians at the Battle of Mai Ceu. However the Italian lines held
and Abyssinian forces were forced to retreat, under fire from Italian aircraft.
Major offensive by the Italians in Ethiopia. Up to this point the mountainous
terrain had favoured the Ethiopian defenders against the superior Italian
military equipment, and monopoly of tanks and aircraft, and Italian use of
mustard gas. However the Italians now shattered the Ethiopian Army and by
mid-March 1936 held all of northern Abyssinia (Ethiopia).
18/11/1935. The League of
Nations imposed sanctions on Italy, because of its invasion of Ethiopia.� The sanctions ended on 15/7/1936.
8/11/1935. The Italians completed the invasion of
Tigre Province, Ethiopia, occupying the capital, Makale. Both France and
Britain could have opposed the invasion by closing the Suez Canal. However
France was bound by treaty to Italy not to oppose the invasion, and Britain did
not wish to drive Mussolini into the arms of
Hitler. Events in Ethiopia seemed largely
irrelevant to many Britons, although some saw ominous warnings in the invasion
of a poor African country by a well-armed European state.
19/10/1935. Sanctions were
imposed on Italy by the League of Nations.
7/10/1935, Adowa, Ethiopia,
fell to the Italians after minimal resistance.
2/10/1935. The Italian army invaded Abyssinia (Ethiopia) after Mussolini�s
forces pounded border towns. See 9/5/1936, and 5/12/1934.
Ethiopia was put on a war footing in anticipation of an Italian invasion.
Mussolini did invade Ethiopia on 2/10/1935.
Italian troops set sail for Ethiopia as the border dispute over the Italian
post at Wal-Wal inside Ethiopia escalated.
united Eritrea and Somaliland as Italian East Africa.�����������
5/12/1934. Italy and Ethiopia clashed on the
Somaliland border.� At the oasis of
Walwal, 100 Ethiopians were killed by an Italian Expeditionary Force, which had
penetrated some 50 miles beyond the borders of Italian Somaliland; the Italians
suffered some 50 casualties.� Mussolini wanted to establish an Italian east
African Empire, consisting of Eritrea, Ethiopia, and Somalia, and to avenge the
defeat of the Italians by the Ethiopian Emperor
Menelik in March 1896.� See
2/11/1930. Ras (Duke) Tafari was
crowned Haile Selassie (Might of the Trinity), Emperor of Ethiopia. At this time, the only
African countries with Black rulers were Ethiopia and Liberia.
3/4/1930. Ras Tafari became Emperor Haile
Selassie of Ethiopia. He ruled the country for 44 years.
2/4/1930, Zauditu, Empress
of Ethiopia, died.
signed a 20 year treaty of friendship with Ethiopia.
28/9/1923. Ethiopia joined the League of Nations.
27/7/1914, Amha Selassie, last Emperor of Ethiopia, was
born in Harar, Ethiopia (died 1997)
11/12/1913, Menelik II, Emperor of Ethiopia, died. His
Iyasu, was deposed for converting to Islam, also for attempting an alliance
daughter, Zauditu, became Empress with Ras
Tafari as Regent.
4/6/1906, Britain, France and Italy guaranteed the independence of Ethiopia.
15/5/1902, Britain and Abyssinia signed a Treaty defining the
frontier between Abyssinia and Sudan. Abyssinia also agreed to allow Britain to
construct a railway through its territory connecting Sudan and Uganda.
6/2/1902, France agreed with Ethiopia to finance a railway
from Djibouti to Addis Ababa. Britain and Italy both protested.
26/11/1901, Britain and Italy agreed a frontier between Eritrea
and the Sudan.
13//12/1900, Britain, France and Italy signed an agreement to
preserve, in Ethiopia, the integrity of the ancient empire of Abyssinia.
24/1/1900, A French-Italian convention formally settled the
border between French Somaliland and the Italian colonies at Raheita, Eritrea.
15/5/1897, Britain and Abyssinia concluded a Treaty of Friendship.
First Italian invasion
6/10/1896, The Treaty of
Addis Ababa ended the Ethiopian War. Italy agreed to withdraw its plans for an
1/3/1896. An Italian force invading Tigre
in Ethiopia was crushed by British and Ethiopian
forces under Menelik at the Battle of Adowa. 100,00 Ethiopians
slaughtered 7,000 Italians.
The war was essentially unnecessary for
Italy; facing economic depression and anarchy at home, Crispi, the Italian Prime Minister, decided on a �cheap foreign war�. General Baratieri took command of an army of 16,000, and recklessly provoked Ethiopia by
occupying northern Tigre. He then lingered there for a year giving the
Ethiopians time to muster a large army. Menelik finally
lured the Italians into a fight, but the battle was chaotic. Italian orders
were misunderstood and brigades became separated, allowing the Ethiopians to
cut them down one by one. This defeat ensured that Ethiopia remained
independent for another forty years, until avenged by Mussolini.
15/1/1895, Italian forces defeated the
Ethiopians at Senafe, following an Italian victory (13/1/1895) at Koatit.
However later in the year the Italian Army pushed too far south,and, lacking
support, was defeated at Amba Alagi (7/12/1895) and then at Macalle
17/7/1894, Italian forces under Colonel
21/12/1893, Italian forces under Colonel
23/7/1892. Haile Selassie, Emperor of Ethiopia, was born
in Harar Province, as Tafari Makonnen. When the Italians invaded in
1936 he went into exile but resumed full authority after Ethiopia was liberated
1/1/1890, The Kingdom of
Italy officially proclaimed the colony of �Eritrea� in Africa. It was named
after the Roman
1889, Addia Ababa was designated as the capital of
2/5/1889, Menelik II,
Emperor of Ethiopia, signed what he saw as a treaty of friendship with Italy
(Italy saw it as Ethiopia accepting a protectorate), giving Italy full control
over the territory of Eritrea.
4/1888, Italy sent 20,000 troops to what they now called
their colony of Eritrea. Fighting with the Ethiopian Army was averted by
negotiations, and Italy retired, leaving 5,000 troops stationed in the region.
25/1/1887, War broke out
between Ethiopia and Italy. The Ethiopians routed an Italian army at
5/2/1885, An Italian force
occupied the former Egyptian garrison at Massawa, the Egyptians having
withdrawn in 1884 due to the Mahdi Rebellion. Britain signalled its concent to
12/1/1872, Yohannas IV
(Tigrayan chieftain)� was crowned
King of Ethiopia. The Tigrayan region briefly regained its cultural dominance
(see 1770s). Under Yohannas IV�s successor, Menelik II, from 1889, the south
became supreme once more.
3/1870, An Italian company bought the port of Assab (now
Eritrea) from Sultan
Berehan of Raheita for �1,880. This port was then bought out by the
Italian Government in 1882, after the port company had acquired more land in
1879-80.� Italy then occupied the port of
Beilul to the north in 1885 and in the same year took over Massawa from
Egypt.� This expansionist policy, and free imports of Italian goods, caused a
deterioration in relations between Italy and Ethiopia. Egypt, Turkey and India were also concerned about
the new Italian presence in Assab, although Britain was willing to tolerate an
Italian commercial (but not political) presence there.
Abyssinia, was finally taken by the British. Theodore� Kassai
91816-68), Emperor of Abyssinia from 1855, was shot and killed.
11/2/1855, Kassa Hailu crowned
as Tewodros II, Emperor of Ethiopia.
17/8/1844, Menelik II, Emperor of
Ethiopia, was born.
� 1850s, Era
of the Princes (Zemene Mesafint); a period of civil war with various regions of Ethiopia
vying for supremacy.� At this time the
previously culturally dominant Tigray area, Axum heartland and origin of
Ethiopia�s National Epic Kebre Negast,
The Chronicle of the Glory of Kings, written by Tigratan monks, began to lose
out to the southern Shoa Amharic region. See 1872.
1753, End of the reign of Iyasu II.
1730, End of the reign of Bakaffa (acceded 1682).
Bacaffa of Ethiopia died; he had
reigned since 1721.
1682, Accession of King Iyasu I of Ethiopia.
Fasilades of Ethiopia died; he had reigned since 1627.
Fasilides founded the Ethiopian capital of Giondar.
1632, Accession of King Fasilidas of Abyssinia; ruled until 1637. He expelled
End of the reign of Sysenius (acceded 1606).
1/2/1563, Sarsa Dengel succeeded his father Menas
(acceded 1559) as Emperor of Ethiopia.
Emperor of Ethiopia 1540-59, died.
II, Emperor of Ethiopia, died.
1540, End of the reign of Lebna Dengel
7/3/1529, At the Battle of Shimbra Kure, Imam Ahmad Ibn Ibrihim al-Ghazi
defeated the forces of Lebna Dengel, Emperor of Ethiopia. This
Islamic invasion of Ethiopia was repelled in 1543 with Portuguese assistance.
Yaqub (1399-1468) became King of Ethiopia.
18/2/1332, Amda Seyon I, Emperor of Ethiopia began his
campaigns in the southern Muslim province.
1270, Overthrow of the Zagwe Dynasty
by Amhara Princes, and start of the Solomonid Dynasty. Accession of King Yekuno Amlak of
Abyssinia; ruled until 1285.
brought to the coast of Eritrea by Arab traders.
Rise of Kingdom of Axum
525, King Kaleb of Axum conquered southern Yemen, and built churches there.
Ca. 350, Death of King Ezana of Axum, reigned ca. 320-350.Axum
was a Greek-influenced
Semitic trading state founded ca. 1 AD. From its port at Adulis it traded
across the Red Sea and by the 3rd C AD controlled Yemen. King Ezana
converted to Christianity;
Axum later became the Christian
Kingdom of Ethiopia.
invaded the Kingdom of Kush.
320, Accession of Aksum
500 BCE, Foundation of the Kingdom of Axum, which later became Ethiopia. End of the reign of King Nastasen
525 BCE, End of the reign of King Harsiotf (ascceded 560).
560 BCE, End of the reign of King Pankharer (acceded 600)
600 BCE, End of the reign of King Asperta (acceded 630).
650 BCE, End of the reign of King Tandamane, son of Tirhaka