List of wars involving Ethiopia

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This is a list of wars involving the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and its predecessor states.

Ethiopian Empire (1137–1975)[edit]

Conflict Combatant 1 Combatant 2 Results
Conquests of the Emperor Amda Seyon I


Ethiopian Pennants.svg Ethiopia Flag of Adal Sultanate.svg Sultanate of Ifat

Kingdom of Damot

Hadiya Sultanate

Enderta Province

Beta Israel

AbyssiniaIfat kingdom


Ethiopian Pennants.svg Ethiopia Flag of Adal Sultanate.svg Sultanate of Ifat Victory
  • Ifat sultanete defeated
Abyssinian–Adal War
Ethiopian Pennants.svg Ethiopia
Flag Portugal (1521).svg Portugal
Flag of Adal Sultanate.svg Adal Sultanate
Flag of the Ottoman Empire (1453-1517).svg Ottoman Empire
Iyasu II's Invasion of Sennar
Ethiopian Pennants.svg Ethiopia
 Sennar Sultanate Defeat
Zemene Mesafint
Ethiopian Pennants.svg Various factions Ethiopian Pennants.svg Various factions Reunification of Ethiopia
British Expedition to Abyssinia
Ethiopian Pennants.svg Ethiopia  United Kingdom Defeat
Ethiopian–Egyptian War
Ethiopian Pennants.svg Ethiopia  Egypt Victory
  • Egyptian Khedive defeated.
  • Yohannes consolidates power in the Ethiopian Empire.
  • Collapse of Egyptian Khedive.
Ethio-Mahdist Conflicts
Ethiopian Pennants.svg Ethiopian Empire

Welega Rulers (Nedjo)

Beni-Amir Allies (Kufit)

Tukrir Allies (Gallabat)

Mahdist Sudan

BeniShangul Rulers (Nedjo)

  • Conflicts are decentralized, break into three main "fronts" fought during different though overlapping periods, with Mahdist armies holding different goals on each. However, Mahdist forces are typically repulsed and raids/conflicts broadly cease after Battle of Gallabat, Emperor Yohannes killed there.
Italo-Ethiopian War of 1887–1889 Ethiopian Pennants.svg Ethiopia  Italy Compromise[2]
Agar Maqnat

(Late 1870s–1897)

Ethiopian Pennants.svg Kingdom of Shewa Flag of Adal Sultanate.svg Emirate of Harar

Ethiopian Pennants.svg Kingdom of Gojjam

Mahdist Sudan

Kingdom of Kaffa

Kingdom of Jimma

Arsi Oromo

First Italo-Ethiopian War (1896)  Ethiopia  Italy Victory
  • Ensured Ethiopia's independence
  • Italian defeated.
Dervish War
 British Empire
 Italian Empire
Dervish State Ethiopian Allied Victory
  • Collapse of the Dervish State.
Second Italo-Ethiopian War
 Ethiopia  Italy Defeat
  • Italian conquest of and consolidation of control over most of Ethiopian Empire's territory, establishment of Italian East Africa
East African Campaign  United Kingdom
 Belgian Congo
 Free French
 Italy Ethiopian Allied Victory
Korean War
 South Korea
 North Korea
 Soviet Union
Congo Crisis
Flag of Congo-Léopoldville (1960-1963).svg Congo-Léopoldville
 South Kasai
Bale Revolt
 Ethiopia Oromo and Somali rebels Victory
  • Revolt crushed, peace agreement
1964 Ethiopian–Somali War
 Ethiopia Somalia Somalia Stalemate
  • The military of Ethiopia offensive repulsed, ceasefire agreement.[3][4]

Communist Ethiopia (1975–1991)[edit]

Conflict Combatant 1 Combatant 2 Results
Eritrean War of Independence
 South Yemen
Ethio-Somali War
 South Yemen
Somalia Somalia
  • Somali retreat from Ogaden with assistance by Soviet adviers, Cuban and South Yemani personnel
Ethiopian Civil War
Ethiopia PDRE Ethiopian Empire Ethiopian Empire
Ethiopian Empire MEISON
Ethiopia EDUP
Regime change
  • Fall of government, installation of new TPLF-led government, the EPRDF

Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia (from 1995)[edit]

Conflict Combatant 1 Combatant 2 Results
Insurgency in Ogaden
 Ethiopia Flag of Ogaden National Liberation Front.svg ONLF Victory
  • Military defeat of ONLF forces.
Eritrean–Ethiopian War
 Ethiopia  Eritrea Victory
War in Somalia
Somalia TFG
United Nations AMISOM
  • Islamists withdrawal from Somalia.
Oromia–Somali clashes
 Ethiopia Oromia Region Oromia Region

Somali Region Somali Region
Tigray Region Tigray

OLA insurgency
 Ethiopia OLA Ongoing
Benishangul-Gumuz conflict
Amhara Region Amhara militias
Gumuz militias
  • Gumuz Liberation Front
  • Buadin


Tigray War
Amhara Region Amhara militias

Tigray Region Local militias
Tigray Region TDF

  • The Ethiopian army had released thousands of soldiers taken by the TPLF.
  • TPLF forces still in control of 40% of Tigray.
2020–21 Ethiopian–Sudanese clashes
Amhara Region Amhara militias
 Sudan Ongoing
  • Most of the border recaptured by Sudan.


  1. ^ Gikes, Patrick (2002). "Wars in the Horn of Africa and the dismantling of the Somali State". African Studies. University of Lisbon. 2: 89–102. Retrieved 7 November 2016.
  2. ^ Sarkees, Meredith Reid; Wayman, Frank Whelon (2010). Resort to War: A Data Guide to Inter-State, Extra-state, Intra-State, and Non-State Wars, 1816–2007. Washington, D.C.: CQ Press. p. 262: "The conclusion of the war is coded as a compromise".
  3. ^ "Somalia profile - Timeline". BBC Africa. 4 January 2018. Retrieved 14 May 2018.
  4. ^ "Onwar". Archived from the original on 13 April 2018. Retrieved 4 January 2018.