Ethiopia: Rebels Take Charge

The guerrillas seize the capital and agree to help form a peace government, but a unified and democratic Ethiopia remains a quixotic dream

Finding himself one moment a rebel, the next the de facto ruler of Ethiopia, Meles Zenawi allowed himself a wry comment during a press conference in London last week. Asked about the banner hanging behind him, a red flag emblazoned with the image of an AK-47, the modern guerrilla's weapon of choice, the leader of the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front smiled. "I suppose we won't use the Kalashnikov anymore," he said, giving voice to widespread hopes that the decades of civil war in Ethiopia were finally over.

But Meles spoke too soon. Within 24 hours his soldiers, who had just...

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