Ethiopia’s Role in South Sudan’s March to Independence, 1955-1991

by Belete Belachew Yihun


The historical processes leading to the emergence of the states of Eritrea (1991) and South Sudan (2011) have yet to be satisfactorily reconstructed. The extended conflict between Ethiopia and Sudan since the late 1950s and the resultant war of attrition and vengeance they have waged against each other is considered among the primary factors. Allying with regional and global powers-to-be, the two states engaged extensively in actions designed to bring about the disintegration of the other. This article attempts to recount the retaliatory measures both the imperial regime and the Derg have executed against Sudan’s intervention in Eritrea. The policy lines persistently adopted by Ethiopian governments reveal the fact that if Sudan could not refrain from meddling in the Eritrean conflict, then they had to respond in kind.

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Belete Belachew Yihun is Assistant Professor of History at Jumma University, Ethiopia.