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Derg Downfall Day
Ethiopia

Derg Downfall Day 2019 and 2020

Ethiopia’s national day comes every 28 May and is referred to as Derg Downfall Day. It commemorates the defeat of the tyrannical, Communist Derg military regime by forces that resisted it for many years during prolonged civil war.

YearDateDayHoliday
201928 MayTueDerg Downfall Day
202028 MayThuDerg Downfall Day

Emperor Haile Selassie ruled Ethiopia from 1930 till 1974, and he was killed by the Derg in 1975. The Derg regime was run by a joint committee of military, police and defence force, called the “derg”. It ruled Ethiopia from 1974 until 1991, when it was finally overthrown.

The Derg murdered thousands of protesters and political opponents during its long reign, but since the Civil War continued through the whole period, its control was never complete.

Derg Downfall Day is kept to pay homage to those who gave their lives to resist and defeat the oppressive Derg regime. It is a day full of speeches and is an off-work day. Monuments are visited all over Addis Ababa, and many come to see them, remember the struggle for freedom, and to lay laurels down in respect for the “martyrs”.

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