Page:Statesman's Year-Book 1921.djvu/709

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657

ABYSSINIA.

(Ethiopia.)

Thk ancient Empire of Ahyssinia, or ' Ethiopia, ' includes the Kingdoms of Tigre, with Lasts, in the north-east ; Amhara, with Gojam, in the west and centre ; Shoa in the south ; besides territories and dependencies as far as KafTa in the south and Harar in the south-east, with considerable portions of the Galla and Somali Lands. The following are the provinces into which the country is divided : — (1) Harar and Dependencies ; (2) Wollo ; (3) Kassa and Magi; (4) Gore; (5) Tigre; (6) Damot and Gojam; (7) Equatorial Provinces ; (8)Gondar ; (9) Jimma. The whole area is 350,000 sq. miles, with an estimated population of over 8 millions. For treaties relating to the boundaries of Abyssinia ate Thi Statesman's Yeab-Book for 1907, p. 667. An agreement was reached in December, 1907, for the delimitation of the frontier towards British East Africa. The frontier follows the Dawa up to Ursulli, whence it runs mainly westwards, passing the south end of Lake Stephanie, and. after crossing the north-eastern branch of Lake Rudolf, runs mainly northwards and terminates at 6° N. 35* E. This frontier, however, is not yet finally delimitated and accepted by the Abyssinians.

Government.

By the convention of Addis Abbaba of October 26, 1S96, between Italy and King Menelik, the independence cf Abyssinia was recognised.

Under an Agreement signed December 13, 1906, on behalf of Great Britain, France, and Italy, the three Powers undertake to respect and en- deavour to preserve the integrity of Abyssinia ; to act so that industrial concessions granted in the interest of one of them may not injure the others ; to abstain from intervention in Abyssinian internal affairs ; to concert together for the safeguarding of their respective interests in terri- - tories bordering on Abyssinia ; and they make agreements concerning rail- way construction in Abyssinia and equal treatment in trade and transit for their nationals.

After the overthrow of Theodore, King of Amhara, by the British in 1868, the suzerain power passed to Prince Kassai of Tigre, who assumed the old title of Nigusa Nagasth (' King of Kings'), and was crowned in 1872 as Johannes II., Emperor of Ethiopia. After the death of this potentate in 1889, Menelik II., King of Shoa (born 1842), G.C.B., G.C.M.G., became the supreme ruler of Abyssinia. Menelik died in December, 1913, and was succeeded by Lij Yasu, born in 1896, son of his second daughter, Waizeru Shoa Rbgga and Ras Mikael, the chief of the Wollo Gallas.

On September 27, 1916, Lij Yasu was deposed by public proclamation, and Waizeru ZauditU, another daughter of Menelik, born 1876, was nominated Empress, and Ras TafFari, G.C.M.G., proclaimed regent and heir to the throne. The Empress was crowned at Addis Abbaba on February 11, 1917. The Dew government has been recognised by Great Britain.

The political institutions are essentially of a feudal character, analogous to those of mediaeval Europe. There is a vague State Council consisting of the most important rases, under whom, for administrative purposes, are governors of districts and provinces and chiefs of villages. In August, 1919, Cabinet Government was again introduced after over a year's personal administration by the Regent.

The Abyssinian Army in the field consists of two main parts. The standing army composes the nucleus, and the remainder of the forces are drawn from the chiefs and their retainers summoned in time of war, a sort of