The 1880s were marked by the Scramble of Africa and modernisation of Etiopia, when the Italian began to vie with the British for influence in bordering regions. Asseb, a port near the southern entrance of the red Sea, was bought in March 1870 from the local Afar Sultan, vassal to the Ethiopian Emperor, by an Italian Company, which by 1890 led to the Italian colony of Eritrea, conflict between the two countries resulted in the battle of Adwain 1896, whereby the Ethiopians deafeted Italy and remained independent, under the rule of Menelek II . Italy and Ethiopia signed a provisional treaty of peace on 26 Oct. 1896.
The early twentieth century was remarkable by the reign of Emperor Haile Selassie I, who came to power after IyasuV was deposed. Modernisation of Ethiopia started during his time from 1916
Ethiopia was never colonised by a European Power. Excepting the occasion when the independence of Ethiopia was interrupted by the Second Italo-Abyssinian War and Italian occupation (1936-1941). During this time of attack Haile Selassie appealed to the United Nations in 1935 and delivered an adress that made him a world wide figure .Following the entry of Italy into World War II, the British Empire forces together with patriot Ethiopian fighters liberated Ethiopia in 1941and made an agreement, Anglo-Ethiopian Agreement in Dec. 1944 with British .
Haile Selassie's reign came to an end in 1974, when a Soviet- Backed Marxist- Leninist military junta, the "Derg", a provisional adminstrative council of soldiers, headed by Lt. Col. Mengistu Haile Mariam who later on assumed the power of the Derg as Chairman, after having his two predecessors and ten thousands suspected opponents killed.