Somalia's military President Mohamed Siad Barre has accused the Soviet Union of supporting Ethiopia for strategic reasons.
Somalia's military President Mohamed Siad Barre has accused the Soviet Union of supporting Ethiopia for strategic reasons. Speaking on Friday (21 October ) the eighth anniversary of Somalia's Russian-backed socialist revolution, President Barre said the Soviet arms build-up in Ethiopia had jeopardised relations between his country and Moscow. The President later reviewed a spectacular military parade staged to mark the anniversary.
SYNOPSIS: A crowd of 7,000 people in Mogadishu watched by the hour-long processions, which seemed to feature almost as many participants. President Barre reviewed it from his official enclosure.
Although it was largely a display of military might, women played a large part, with the crowds responding to their singing and chanting.
And the women weren't there just for decoration, as these women soldiers demonstrated.
In his speech earlier, President Barre had appealed to world powers to urge the Soviet Union to stop its "dangerous supply of arms" to Ethiopia. Somalia has been under Moscow' influence since its revolution. But, source observers of the war being fought by the Somali Liberation Front in the Ogaden region, contend the Soviet Union has taken the side of Ethiopia.
Somalia's youth was well represented to an audience which included Soviet and American diplomats, as well as representatives from other countries.
The Somali commandos who took part in the storming of the hijacked West German plane last week received special applause. Their joint operation with West German special police was said by Reuters News Agency to have marked a favourable change in the country's attitude to the West. But, judging by President Barre's earlier speech, Somalia now thinks less warmly of the Soviet Union, which had supplied these tanks and MIG jets in earlier years.