Hundreds of thousands of people turned out in the streets of Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, on Saturday (13 September) to celebrate the overthrow of the late Emperor Haile Selassie.
SV PAN TO Large crowd in stadium
CU Brigadier-General Teferi Benti speaking
MCU Army officers and leaders (2 shots)
MV Children cheering, leading parade followed by float
MV Army officers watching parade
MV Benti and others leaders applauding
MV Parade in progress (4 shots)
MV Benti and other applaud as dancers perform (2 shots)
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Background: Hundreds of thousands of people turned out in the streets of Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, on Saturday (13 September) to celebrate the overthrow of the late Emperor Haile Selassie.
The huge crowds gathered in the renamed Revolution Square where they were addressed by the new leaders of Ethiopia.
The main speech was made by the Chairman of the Provisional Military Government, Brigadier-General Teferi Benti.
He called for a new dedication to the ideals of equality and socialism.
The members of the Provisional Government watched a huge parade which filled the square with floats, flags, banners, placards and thousands of children, dressed in colourful national costumes.
Emperor Haile Selassie was deposed on 12 September 1974 and died in disgrace almost a year later.
SYNOPSIS: The newly-named Revolution Square in the capital city of Ethiopia, Addis Ababa, was filled to capacity last Saturday as more than two hundred thousand people celebrated the overthrow of the late Emperor Haile Selassie.
The Chairman of the Provisional Military Government, Brigadier-General Teferi Benti, spoke to the crowd.
Along with other government leaders, he called for a renewed dedication to the ideals of socialism.
The government leaders watched a large procession of floats, bands, children in colourful national costume and massed flags, banners and placards. Portraits of Chairman Mao and signs proclaiming "Down with imperialism" were visible among the crowd, but on the whole it was meant to be a national rather than a political occasion. There seemed little doubt that the great majority of those parading were doing so voluntarily. Most of them ... Moslems, minority ethnic groups, students and others ... had little cause to love the late Emperor. The new government took over one year ago, proclaiming a socialist nation of Ethiopia, and the end of what it called "feudalism".
Despite the tone of jubilation throughout the day, Brigadier-General Teferi hit a more serious note when he referred to the continuing warfare in the country's northern province of Eritrea. The province has been trying to obtain autonomy from the new government. It held federal status until the late Emperor unilaterally annexed it as a province in 1962. But General Teferi told the crowd there could be no compromise and Eritrea would remain an Ethiopian province. However he held out an apparent hope of a settlement in the region when he stressed that decentralisation of government would be one of the aims of the military leaders. General Teferi added that the government believed a decentralised administrative structure would, to a large extent, remove all obstacles to a lasting peace.