Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Beyond Regional Circularity: The Emergence of an Ethiopian Diaspora

By Aaron Matteo Terrazas
In March 2007, Foreign Affairs magazine described the Horn of Africa — the area comprising the east African states of Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, and Sudan — as the "hottest conflict zone in the world."

Over the past half century, the Horn of Africa has played host to some of the world's deadliest conflicts. Caught in the crossfire, the region's population has shifted back and forth across international borders seeking refuge not only from violence, but also from poverty, famine, natural disasters, failed states, and repressive governments. Landlocked Ethiopia, which shares a border with every other state in the Horn, is at the intersection of a complex system of multidirectional regional and international flows of humanity.

The movement of people within the Horn of Africa is hardly a new phenomenon. However, migration from Ethiopia to countries beyond the Horn can be linked to the 1974 revolution that overthrew Emperor Haile Selassie and installed a Marxist military regime, the Derg. Before 1974, the few Ethiopians who went abroad were elites who did so to study and then returned
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