U.S. Plans to Be ‘Midwife’ to a New Rule in Ethiopia 1991 Again History repeats it self…???

U.S. Plans to Be ‘Midwife’ to a New Rule in Ethiopia 1991 Again History repeats it self…???

U.S. Plans to Be ‘Midwife’ to a New Rule in Ethiopia

By Neal A. Lewis

May 26, 1991

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(nytimes)–With the Ethiopian Government near collapse, the United States is preparing to help shape a new government for the country as Washington resumes a position of influence it has not had for nearly two decades in a pivotal part of Africa.

As rebels ring the outskirts of the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, United States officials are scheduled to preside at a series of meetings in London this week with rebel leaders and what remains of the Ethiopian Government.

“Our focus will really be to midwife a new Ethiopian government,” a senior State Department official said.

It will not be an easy task, officials said. Two of the three rebel groups have espoused a melange of Marxist ideologies over their years on the battlefield and one, the Eritrean People’s Liberation Front, is committed to some form of independence for the northern part of the country. Hoping for Unity

But American officials hope that the Marxist oratory that served as a unifying ideology in the field can be put aside as the rebels contemplate the task of governing the country.

The eclipse of the Government in Addis Ababa, officials and analysts say, is another illustration of the effects of the end of the U.S.-Soviet rivalry that for so long fueled conflicts in places like Ethiopia.

The officials said the United States played the dominant role in overseeing the Ethiopian situation because of several factors, including the virtual abandonment of the Ethiopian Government by Moscow, urgent appeals to the White House from American Jewish groups concerned over the fate of thousands of Ethiopian Jews stranded in Addis Ababa and a heightened worry in the Bush Administration about a new famine in Ethiopia.

When Herman J. Cohen, the Assistant Secretary of State for Africa, convenes the peace conference on Tuesday morning in a British Government building, he will face three rebel factions that have never sat down together to consider the future of Ethiopia. Factious Group of Rebels

The conference table will reflect the factious nature of Ethiopia itself, a country of 55 million people. The Eritrean rebels have sought independence from the central Government in nearly 30 years of fighting, contending that as an Italian colony, Eritrea deserved its own independence when the colonial powers began to leave Africa. The members of the Eritrean front do not even like to think of themselves as Ethiopians.

The current Eritrean leader is Isaias Afwerki, a man described by officials as the most forceful of the rebel leaders. Mr. Isaias is believed to have been educated in Italy and has won the admiration of some officials for his intellect.

One Administration official said that one of the biggest obstacles in achieving a new national order will be insistence on some form of autonomy by Mr. Isaias’s group.

The Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front is dominated by rebels from the province of Tigre who have been battling the central Government since 1975. Their representative at the conference will be Meles Zenawi, who like most of the Tigrean rebels was educated at the best schools in Addis Ababa and is steeped in Marxist ideology from student movements.

American officials said that despite the Marxist positions of both Tigrean and Eritrean groups, now was a good time to assist the groups because collectivist ideologies were losing favor in the third world with the collapse of the Soviet empire. Least Significant Group

The third group at the conference will be the Oromo Liberation Front, represented by Yahannes Lata Wagayo. The Oromos, the dominant tribe in southern Ethiopia, are largely Christian and have long resented the ruling Amhara tribe of the central plateau. The Oromos are the least significant militarily but could prove to be an important factor if the Tigreans and Eritreans are sharply at odds.

Because of the Soviet withdrawal of interest in Ethiopia, Washington filled a vacuum in the last few years of the war as an outside player. As events worsened in recent months, Administration officials said their planning was haunted by memories of the horrors in Monrovia, Liberia, and Mogadishu, Somalia, in recent months when victorious rebel forces rampaged through fallen capitals.

The phrase used repeatedly by White House and State Department policy makers was the need for a “soft landing” in Ethiopia, a far larger country than either Liberia or Somalia. “If we had the kind of situation in Mogadishu reoccur in Addis, it would have been a disaster on a far larger scale for years to come,” a senior Administration official said.

A version of this article appears in print on , Section 1, Page 10 of the National edition with the headline: U.S. Plans to Be ‘Midwife’ to a New Rule in Ethiopia.

Barruu qorannoo seeraa kanas kan bara 2015 katabame yakka suukkanneessaa Minilik saba Oromoo irratti dalage warra yeroo ammaa kana madaa seenaa nutti kakaasaa jiranuuf naa qaqqabsiisaa.

Liinkii armaan gadii yoo cuqaastan ni argattu.