The defense was reorganized after the 1991–93 civil war
in northern Ethiopia / Eritrea resulting in 1993 in
independent Eritrea. To see related acronyms about this country, please check ABBREVIATIONFINDER where you can see that ETH stands for Ethiopia. An agreement was reached on the
distribution of age-old Soviet stock. Struggles flared up
again in 1998–2000. The combat forces (2006) amount to about
180,000 men enlisted, which is organized in an army of six
divisions and a strategic reserve of six brigades. The Air
Force, 2,500 men, comprises 48 fighter planes and 25
(attack) helicopters. The equipment is older and of Soviet
origin with low reliability. The issue of spare parts is
partly solved through purchases from North Korea. Defense
costs have decreased from 17.9 to 3.8% of GDP in 1985-2006.
Ethiopia participates in peacekeeping operations in Burundi
(ONUB) and Liberia (UNMIL).
That same month, nearly 40 African state leaders in Adis
Ababa met for the African Union (AU) summit.
In May 2005, the Ethiopian government and several UN
humanitarian organizations called on the international
community to contribute $ 320 million. US $ in humanitarian
relief to the country. The call was justified by the
increase in the number of people in extreme poverty and the
delays in the distribution of emergency aid in the first
months of the year. The original target was DKK 272 million.
However, due to the deterioration of the population
situation, this was raised to 320, of which donors had
already guaranteed 47%. Acc. The UN has 3.8 million.
Ethiopians need relief.
The May 2005 election had a 90% turnout and was won by
Prime Minister Zenawi, who declared that the high turnout
was an indication of the success of his democratization
policy. The opposition stated that its candidates and
sympathizers had in some places been harassed, but the
opposition's support was increased in the election. EU
election observers stated that the election had been marked
by fraud. A month later, police opened fire on a
demonstration in Adis-Ababa where people protested against
alleged electoral fraud. Over 20 protesters were killed, an
unknown number wounded and many businesses destroyed. An
independent October report stated that since May, the regime
has killed 193 protesters during protests against the
The demonstrations continued throughout 2005 and each
time the freedom of the press was curtailed. There were
still fewer critical newspapers and by the end of the year,
14 journalists were under indictment that could lead to the
In March 2006, Ethiopia and Eritrea agreed to resume
cooperation on the demarcation of the border between the two
On March 29, the World Bank, the IMF and the African
Development Bank (ADB) gave the green light that 13 African
countries - including Ethiopia - should have canceled their
foreign debt. The cancellation took effect on July 1.
On December 24, 2006, Ethiopia invaded its ancient
heirloom Somalia. Here, the Islamic courts had come to
power, creating peace in the chaos that had dominated the
country for the previous 15 years. But the United States
feared that the Islamic courts would make Somalia a base for
al-Qaeda, and therefore Ethiopia to invade. On December 29,
Ethiopian forces entered Mogadishu, bringing the courts to a
fall. Ethiopian occupation forces - supported by the United
States - continue to exist in Somalia. The number of
occupation troops is debated. Ethiopia speaks of 3-4,000
soldiers. The CIA says 7-8,000 while Somalis estimate the
number is closer to 30,000.