• Short Summary

    A spokesman for the Eritrean Liberation Front (ELF), Mr. Mouhammad al Omar, listed three conditions?

  • Description


    TRANSCRIPT: SEQ. 1: MR. OMAR: "On the seventeenth of July a co-ordinised attack on the training station at Asmara captured two Americans Steve Campbell and Jim Gerald. Again on the twelfth of September 1975, the liberation forces attacked the Kagrew station and inflicted heavy damage on the base and captured two more Americans and six Ethiopians. We have forwarded our demands to the American Embassy in Khartoum. There were as follows: number one to release Eritrean prisoners in Addis Ababa; second to liquidate all American military installations in Eritrea; third to compensate Eritrean civilians attacked by the air raid and weapons made by the United States. It has been announced that they can liquidate the entire Eritrea population within one year, but I want to reply on this statement of the Provisional Government that they can't liquidate the whole Eritrean people because they are today fighting for their independence and freedom so the liquidation of the whole population, I think its impossible...only for propaganda.

    Initials MV/0050

    ED'S NOTE: This film is serviced with parts of Mr. Omar's news conference.

    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: A spokesman for the Eritrean Liberation Front (ELF), Mr. Mouhammad al Omar, listed three conditions for the safety of two Americans and six Ethiopians kidnapped during a raid on a U.S. communications centre at Asmara, Ethiopia, last Friday, when he addressed a news conference in Beirut, Lebanon, on Monday (15 September).

    Mr. Omar called on the United States to announce its attitude on the conditions, and said that if silence was the answer he ELF wold not be responsible for what happened.

    The conditions are: that the U.S. shut down the communications centre and all other bases it operates in Eritrea; pay compensation for areas of Eritrea bombed by the Ethiopean Government..."Using American weapons"...; refrain from giving aid to Ethiopia; and also the release of Eritrean freedom fighters held in Addis Ababa jails.

    ELF now hold a total of four Americans and six Ethiopians hostage. The first kidnap took place last July,when liberation forces captured two Americans from the same Kagrew centre.

    The groups raid on Friday was a bloody battle. An Ethiopian Government spokesman said at least nine Ethiopian civilians were killed and 29 wounded when the forces shot their way into the station compound.

    ELF demanded cash and arms from the U.S. for the two men kidnapped last July but American officials say they have not been able to establish contacts with the forces on a basis which negotiations could take place.

    Eritrea is a northern province of Ethiopia and secessionist forces have been battling with the Ethiopian Government for its independence for some time.

    Brigadier-General Teferi Bante, Chairman of Ethiopia's provisional Military Government, said the kidnappers were being hunted by all available men. He said the Government had expected some action from ELF to mark celebrations of the first anniversary of the overthrow of Emperor Haile Selassie.

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    Reuters - Including Visnews
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