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The Derg is popular name for the Provisional Military Administrative Council, the Ethiopian miltiary government that took power when dissident military officers overthrew Emperor Haile Selassie in 1974. Major Mengustu Haile Mariam took power and eliminated rivals soon after the coup in what became an increasingly Stalinist regime. Initially supported by the United States with large amount of military aid, the Red Negus made Ethiopia a client of the Soviet Union in return for an even larger flow of weapons.

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