Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, is a country situated in the Horn of Africa that has been landlocked since the independence of its northern neighbor Eritrea in 1993. Apart from Eritrea to the north, Ethiopia is bordered by Sudan to the west, Kenya to the south, Djibouti to the northeast, and Somalia to the east.
Ethiopia is one of the oldest nations in the world and the second-most populous nation in Africa. It has yielded some of the oldest traces of humanity, making it a candidate for the so-called "Cradle of Humanity". Ethiopia proudly claims to be "the only African country that has never been colonized", since the Liberian state, though continuously independent, was founded by African-American colonists, and since a five-year military occupation of Ethiopia by fascists (1936-1941) was a dismal failure. Having been converted during the fourth century AD, it is also the second-oldest officially Christian nation.
Historically a relatively isolated mountain empire, Ethiopia has more recently become a crossroads of global international cooperation. It became a member of the League of Nations in 1923; signed the Declaration by United Nations in 1942; was one of the fifty-one original members of the United Nations (UN); founded the UN headquarters in Africa; and currently hosts the headquarters of the African Union, formerly the Organisation of African Unity, of which it was the principal founder.
In English, Ethiopia was also historically known as Abyssinia, derived from the Arabic form of the Ethiosemitic name "ḤBŚT," modern Habesha. In some countries, Ethiopia is still called by names cognate with "Abyssinia," e.g. Turkish Habesistan and Arabic Al Habesh, meaning land of the Habesha people. The term Habesha strictly refers to only the Semitic-speaking peoples of Ethiopia (predominantly the Amhara and Tigray-Tigrinya people who have historically dominated the country politically and which combined comprise about 36% of Ethiopia's population). However, in contemporary Ethiopian politics the word Habesha is often used to describe all Ethiopans. Abyssinia can strictly refer to just the North-Western Ethiopian provinces of Amhara and Tigray as well as central and Eritrea, while it was historically used as another name for Ethiopia.
The Hebrew word for Ethiopia as mentioned in the Bible is Cush, the father of Ityopp'is, making reference to the indigenous Cushitic-speaking peoples of the region.