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Country information - Ethiopia
Country name - conventional long form : Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia
Country name - conventional short form : Ethiopia
Country name - local long form : Ityop'iya Federalawi Demokrasiyawi Ripeblik
Country name - local short form : Ityop'iya
Country name - former : Abyssinia, Italian East Africa
Government type : federal republic
Capital - name : Addis Ababa
Capital - time difference : UTC+3 (8 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
National holiday : National Day (defeat of MENGISTU regime), 28 May (1991)
Nationality - noun : Ethiopian(s)
Nationality - adjective : Ethiopian
Languages : Amarigna 32.7%, Oromigna 31.6%, Tigrigna 6.1%, Somaligna 6%, Guaragigna 3.5%, Sidamigna 3.5%, Hadiyigna 1.7%, other 14.8%, English (major foreign language taught in schools) (1994 census)
Currency (code) : birr (ETB)
Currency code : ETB
Major infectious diseases - degree of risk : high

Ethiopia is located Eastern Africa, west of Somalia. The climate is tropical monsoon with wide topographic-induced variation. The terrain is high plateau with central mountain range divided by Great Rift Valley.


This entry usually highlights major historic events and current issues and may include a statement about one or two key future trends.
Background : Unique among African countries, the ancient Ethiopian monarchy maintained its freedom from colonial rule with the exception of the 1936-41 Italian occupation during World War II. In 1974, a military junta, the Derg, deposed Emperor Haile SELASSIE (who had ruled since 1930) and established a socialist state. Torn by bloody coups, uprisings, wide-scale drought, and massive refugee problems, the regime was finally toppled in 1991 by a coalition of rebel forces, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF). A constitution was adopted in 1994, and Ethiopia's first multiparty elections were held in 1995. A border war with Eritrea late in the 1990s ended with a peace treaty in December 2000. The Eritrea-Ethiopia Border Commission in November 2007 remotely demarcated the border by geographical coordinates, but final demarcation of the boundary on the ground is currently on hold because of Ethiopian objections to an international commission's finding requiring it to surrender territory considered sensitive to Ethiopia.

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