Being a military officer during Ethiopia’s troubled times, Dawit Shifaw understood what the civilian population and his fellow officers clamored for: reforms. The call for reforms, however, was riddled with incompetence, violence, and politics.
In the book “The Diary of Terror: Ethiopia 1974 to 1991”(Trafford, 2012), the author narrates the events the led to the Ethiopians’ discontent with their revered Haile Selassie and the reign of terror by successive military leaders after the emperor was deposed in a military coup.
The mistreatment of peasants by the feudal lords and the emperor’s incompetence and lack of political will to meet the demands of his people stirred the flames that led to peasant and civilian uprisings, respectively. As these occurred, there was already brewing discontent within the military, and while trouble was brewing back home, Ethiopian exiles in neighboring Somalia condemned their emperor and Eritreans commenced their struggle for independence.
The situation in Ethiopia did not change even after the emperor was overthrown. The communist Derg took over and its leader Colonel Mengistu Haile Mariam persecuted his political opponents. As rebels in Tigray sought independence, Somalia invaded the Ogaden region. Years later, a devastating famine occurred.
History buffs will find Ethiopia’s modern history painful to read, but they will gain insights from the author’s balanced views and objective treatment of the personalities involved.
Readers could reach the author through email at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Diary of Terror: Ethiopia 1974 to 1991
Written by Dawit Shifaw
Published by Trafford Publishing
Published date: July 20, 2012
Paperback price: $16.26
About the Author
The author was in the navy when the military came to power in Ethiopia. Some of the officers who formed the military council that overthrew the emperor of Ethiopia and ruled the country were his classmates and co-workers who shared him what they were doing. The author was a university graduate of political science and one of the 250 officers and men who were sent to the former USSR in 1979 for training in party political work. He was a head of research and documentation in the armed forces and a newspaper editor.