Ethiopia: Uncle Sam Steps In

As the Mengistu regime verges on collapse, the U.S. tries to avert a slaughter by brokering peace among the competing factions

With the rebels only 75 miles from the capital, the President discredited and the army demoralized, the script would seem to be preordained for Ethiopia. Liberia and Somalia have provided the worst kind of models in the past year: the government falls, blood splatters the capital, thousands flee the country, tribes and clans clash, anarchy prevails. This time, the foreshadowing has prompted an earnest attempt to rewrite the scenario. The chief scribe is the U.S., which until recently, when the Soviets became less active in the region, had little influence over Ethiopia's quasi-Marxist combatants.

The latest effort to mediate the conflict...

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