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Post 09 Feb 2014, 21:39
Does anybody have any neutral, or even positive, accounts of the Derg? Who was the ideological backbone of the group? They seem pretty mysterious as a group.
Post 11 Feb 2014, 16:56
The most notable work sympathetically analyzing "Socialist Ethiopia" (and the Derg) is The Ethiopian Revolution by Fred Halliday and Maxine Molyneux.

As for a balanced read, I hear Revolutionary Ethiopia: From Empire to People's Republic is good.

From what I understand there wasn't much "mysterious" about the Derg, it started off as a military committee formed to take power out of the hands of the Emperor owing to mass protests against famine and corruption on the part of workers and students. Mengistu represented the "left-wing" of the Derg and liquidated the more moderate faction. He then received Soviet support and sought to rid the country of feudalism, while at the same time keeping oppressed nationalities (most notably Eritreans) within the country.

In a late 90s interview he declared that Gorbachev betrayed "international socialism," praised Fidel Castro and Kim Il Sung, and came across as having basically the same politics as he did while in power.
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