Oct 1, 1987
This paper summarizes the author's observations during a five-week visit to Ethiopia in February and March 1989. It describes the deteriorating military and political situation with reference to developments during 1988, as well as at the time of the visit. Over a 3000 km. trip, the author visited resettlement sites, new villages, new schools, monasteries, historic sites, and conservation areas. Local officials briefed him on the economy and on arrangements for setting up new administrative regions. The paper includes extensive observations on the difficulties the Ethiopian Marxist regime was encountering in its agricultural policies and resettlement programs, relations with the church, and management of the economy. The implications of the administrative reorganization of the country that was now under way are discussed at length. Ethiopia in early 1989 was ripe for change and much of the population expected change. The coup of May 1989 failed, however, to dislodge the Stalinist-type regime of President Mengistu Haile Mariam.