Bereket Habte Selassie, Conflict and Intervention in the Horn of Africa (New York: Monthly Review Press, 1980).
Bereket Habte Selassie’s thesis is that the core problem in the Horn of Africa is the crisis of the Ethiopian empire. Ethiopia, constructed forcefully by an ascending Abyssinian state, is now being torn by the organized resistance of its fractious colonized peoples. Selassie’s firsthand experience of working with the revolutionary regime in its first year lends some intimacy to his account. In the most interesting chapters, on the regional and international aspects, Selassie maintains that the realignment of forces in the Horn represented moves of expedience rather than political principle. Selassie’s work is a good beginning for understanding this important arena of struggle, but does not address all the issues. It is necessary to look closer at the historical and theoretical bases of Soviet intervention in the region in support of repressive regimes, and also to examine more sharply the class character and political nature of some of the organizations fighting for “self-determination.”