On Monday (6 March), Ethiopia's Ambassador to Kenya called a special news conference to confirm that Ethiopian forces had recaptured the Ogaden town of Jijiga from Somali forces.
GV EXTERIOR Ethiopian Embassy in Nairobi.
SCU Ethiopian Ambassador to Kenya Mengiste Desta Speaking.
MR. DESTA: " have called this press conference in order to confirm to you that the Ethiopian People's Army has retaken the Cara Mara mountain ranges, the town of Jijiga, and the surrounding areas by completely demolishing the enemy forces. This has taken place yesterday, Sunday, March 5, 1978 at 9 am, East African time. Revolutionary Ethiopia's flag has been rehoisted in the town of Jijiga and is now proudly and triumphantly flying. At this very hour the revolutionary army is marching forward triumphantly by scoring further victories. The enemy forces are in complete disarray and are fleeing in every direction with no definite destination.
Despite heavy odds, no matter how great the sacrifices may be, no matter how long it may take, the broad masses of the Ethiopian people are firmly determined to see to it that Ethiopia shall remain united at all costs. No power on Earth can therefore deter Ethiopians from faithfully honouring that commitment."
The Ethiopian statement in Nairobi followed a similar announcement by its Embassy in London on Sunday, when it was claimed that Jijiga had been taken after a fierce battle with the Somalis. But this claim was denied in turn by the Somali Embassy in London, which issued a statement saying bitter fighting was going on in the area, but Jijiga was still under Somali control.
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Background: On Monday (6 March), Ethiopia's Ambassador to Kenya called a special news conference to confirm that Ethiopian forces had recaptured the Ogaden town of Jijiga from Somali forces. The Ambassador, Mr. Mengiste Desta, described the recapture of the town as a decisive victory.
SYNOPSIS: The news conference was held at the Ethiopian Embassy in the Kenyan capital Nairobi, and was attended by dozens of newsmen.