The Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia (Ityop'iya, Amharic ኢትዮጵያ) is a country situated in the Horn of Africa. It has one of the most extensive known histories as an independent nation on the continent. Unique among African countries, Ethiopia maintained independence during the Scramble for Africa, and continued to do so until 1936, when the Italian army invaded the country. British and Ethiopian troops defeated the Italians in 1941, but Ethiopia did not regain sovereignty until the signing of the Anglo-Ethiopian Agreement of December 1944. (Pankhurst)
Main article: History of Ethiopia
In 1974 a pro-Soviet Marxist-Leninist military junta, the Derg, deposed Emperor Haile Selassie, who had ruled since 1930, and established a one-party socialist state. The ensuing regime suffered several bloody coups, uprisings, wide-scale drought, and massive refugee problem. It was eventually defeated in 1991 by a coalition of rebel forces under the name Ethiopian Peoples' Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF). In 1994 a constitution was adopted leading to Ethiopia's first multiparty elections in the following year. A border war with Eritrea (a nation which separated from Ethiopia in 1992) erupted in May 1998. This has hurt the nation's economy but since strengthened the ruling coalition.
Main article: Politics of Ethiopia
Main article: Regions of Ethiopia
Ethiopia is divided into 9 ethnically-based administrative regions (kililoch; singular - kilil):
Afar; Amhara, Benishangul-Gumaz; Gambela; Harari; Oromia; Somali; Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples Region; Tigray.
Additionally, there are two chartered cities (astedader akababiwach, singular - astedader akabibi), Addis Ababa and Dire Dawa.
Main article: Geography of Ethiopia
Ethiopia is an ecologically diverse country with land below sea level and above 10,000 feet. Lake Tana in the north is the source of the Blue Nile. It also has a large number of endemic species, notably the Gelada Baboon and the Ethiopian wolf (or Simien fox).
Main article: Economy of Ethiopia
Main article: Demographics of Ethiopia
Ethiopia is home to many different groups of people, the three largest groups being the Oromo, Amhara (whose Amharic language is used for official purposes), and Tigrawot.
The Axumite Kingdom was one of the first nations to officially adopt Christianity, when St. Frumentius of Tyre converted Ezana of Axum during the fourth century CE. Islam in Ethiopia dates back almost to the founding of the religion; Islamic tradition states that Bilal was from present-day Ethiopia. A small group of Jews, the Beta Israel, lived in Ethiopia for centuries, though most have emigrated to Israel. There are numerous indigenous African religions in Ethiopia.
Main article: Culture of Ethiopia