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During the 1960s and 1970s, the Government of Ethiopia supplied Southern Sudanese insurgents with arms, training and political support. This support has been explained as retribution for Sudanese aid to Eritrean rebels fighting against the regimes of Emperor Haile Salassie and the Derg. This is one aspect of the Ethiopian rationale for this proxy war, but other factors were also relevant. Based on primary sources from the Ethiopian Ministry of Defence and the Nation Archive of Great Britain, this article shows that Ethiopian policy was also influenced by local concern for state control in Ethiopia's Western region of Gambella, by the regional interests of Middle Eastern powers in the Horn of Africa and by the global context of Cold War, reflecting a network of multi-level proxy wars.