Ethiopia and the Cold War

Political Effects

Communist Party Takes Over

1974 - 1987

When General Teferi Benti is mysteriously killed, Mengistu Haile Mariam took over to create a communist party in Ethiopia. This gained support from the Soviet Union. This period of time shows the progression of support.

Reversal of Superpower Support

1974 - 1977

Before the Ogden War, the United States supported Ethiopia, and the Soviet Union supported Somalia. When the war broke out, the two superpowers switched support.

Ogden War

May 1977 - June 1977

When Maxamed Siyaad Barre, president of Somalia, took control over a large section of Ogden, Ethiopia, North Korea, Cuba, and the Soviet Union supported Mengistu Haile Mariam, head of state in Ethiopia. The U.S. provided support to Somalia, however, Ethiopia eventually took back Odgen.

Economic Effects

Haile Selassie was kicked out of power

September 12, 1974

Haile Selassie, the figure of power for Ethiopia, was appointed out of power, along with their decoration. This was the spark of the the government change, which caused the economic change/downfall.

Switch in power


Ethiopia was under US control which changed in the year 1977, and they soon became controlled by the Soviet Union. Not only did this change who they were controlled by but it also changed their economic system. Their government changed from a democracy to a communist government.

Soviet Union supporting Ethipoia


Allies of Ethiopia supported Ethiopia by providing them with military aid and finacial support. In result of this support, they gained back control of Odgen.

Cultural Effects

Begining of Soviet Union Support


The Soviet Union stepped in and helped win the Ogaden war by giving Ethiopia helicopter pilots, soldiers, and weapons. The Soviet Union helped Ethiopia culturally because thousands of Ethiopian lives were saved.



The 1978 drought in Ethiopia forced large numbers of people to move into southeastern Somalia. More than 1,000 people each day moved to refugee camps in Sudan which were provided by international relief agencies. Women and children suffered from dehydration, malnutrition, and diseases.

Beginning of U.S. Support (take2)


In the 1991 downfall of the Ethiopian government, the U.S. started aiding Ethiopia. The U.S. helped Ethiopia by reducing famine, vulnerability, hunger, and poverty. The two countries work together to gain food security, improve health services, strengthen education, promote trade, and provide human rights for the Ethiopian citizens.