Title: The Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia
Population Change: 2.57
National Average Age: 19
Urban Percentage: 21
Christian Population: 52,580,000
Christian Percentage: 64
Introduction: Ethiopia in the Horn of Africa is a rugged landlocked country split by the Great Rift Valley. With archaeological finds dating back more than 3 million years it’s a place of ancient culture. Among its important sites are Lalibela with its rock-cut Christian churches from the 12th–13th centuries. Aksum is the ruins of an ancient city with obelisks tombs castles and Our Lady Mary of Zion church.
Overview: Unique among African countries the ancient Ethiopian monarchy maintained its freedom from colonial rule with the exception of a short-lived Italian occupation from 1936-41. 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. A constitution was adopted in 1994 and Ethiopia's first multiparty elections were held in 1995. A border war with Eritrea in the late 1990s ended with a peace treaty in December 2000. In November 2007 the Eritrea-Ethiopia Border Commission (EEBC) issued specific coordinates as virtually demarcating the border and pronounced its work finished. Alleging that the EEBC acted beyond its mandate in issuing the coordinates Ethiopia has not accepted them and has not withdrawn troops from previously contested areas pronounced by the EEBC as belonging to Eritrea. In August 2012 longtime leader Prime Minister MELES Zenawi died in office and was replaced by his Deputy Prime Minister HAILEMARIAM Desalegn marking the first peaceful transition of power in decades.