The struggle for Eritrean independence was aided actively – and almost alone – by Eritreans living in Europe and North America. Many non-Eritrean progressives from Western countries viewed that struggle as iconic and its aims as compelling. In 1991 the Ethiopian regime finally fell – to Ethiopian rebels in Ethiopia, and to the Eritrean fighters in Eritrea. They had defeated not only the oppressive Ethiopian regime but its successive super-power sponsors. It was an unparalleled victory, that many observers believed would enable Eritrea to lead post-colonial Africa into a new era of progressive democracy. In 1993 an independent Eritrea proudly took its seat at the United Nations.