• Short Summary

    A bitter political attack on Ethiopia by Somalia and Libya marred the celebrations of the tenth anniversary of the Organisation of African Unity at Africa Hall, Addis Ababa on Saturday (May 26).

  • Description

    CU ZOOM OUT Emblem & delegates at chairman's bench

    SCU Ali Aboker speaks

    CU General Gowon

    SCU Habta-Wold speaks.

    SV Emblem

    SV Libyan delegate Zeid speaks in Arabic

    SV Ethiopian F.M. Dr. Haile onto rostrum

    SV Dr. Haile speaks

    ALI ABOKER: "I am confident you will deeply consider and give due weight to this serious situation. This is indicated by unnecessary, heavy concentration of troops on a war footing by Ethiopia. I need not emphasis that if unabated the present critical situation could go out of hand at any moment."

    Translation of Ethiopian Prime Minister Habte-Wold speaking in French.

    "In the name of his Majesty the Emperor I want to reply to the attack and the accusations which have been made by the chief of the Somalian delegation. It is with a lot of regret that we are forced to speak up: to put the situation in perspective. The chief off the Somalian delegation has left us no alternative. I'm going simply to the facts.

    Mr. President ten years ago exactly at the signing of the charter. Ethiopia had been the object of false accusations by the Somalia delegation. (INDISTINCT) Ten years ago we have been accused as well - of what?

    First of having mobilised our troops at the border with Somalia. It is not true and we regret to say it is not even believable."

    Acting Foreign Minister Abu Zeid speaks in Arabic on film.

    DR. HAILE: "I must apologise to the very eminent men in this conference room and I regret that the occasion arose for me to exercise the right of reply of my delegatio in connection with the insults that have been heaped by the representative of Libya upon my government and people. Mr. Chairman, I am not here to respond to his proposal that this organisation be moved to another headquarters, to another city. That is up to the assembly of head of state of governments who through a unanimous decision have made a decision to locate this organisation in Addis Ababa.

    There are some things which the Government of Libya must understand. Africa is not for sale.

    We are independent sovereign states. Africans are jealous of their independence and their sovereignty. No matter how wealthy Libya is, that means nothing for us. There is no head of state, there is no representative of an African government in this room that is prepared to accept dictation from Libya. You had better learn that. The philosophy of Libya is cultural, and linguistic chauvinism. It is religious fanaticism. It is arrogance above all - arrogance.

    Initials SGM/2148 SGM/2235

    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: A bitter political attack on Ethiopia by Somalia and Libya marred the celebrations of the tenth anniversary of the Organisation of African Unity at Africa Hall, Addis Ababa on Saturday (May 26).

    In the morning session Somalia accused Ethiopia of preparing an imminent invasion against her. In the afternoon Libya accused Ethiopia of supporting the minority white regimes in Africa by her support of Israel.

    Both attacks were strongly rebutted by Ethiopia.

    The Somalia attack came in a message from President Siad Barre. The message read by Somalian Vice President Ismail Ali Aboker said the President was unable to attend the celebrations and the summit "due to the very tense and grave situation existing near the de facto border between my country and Ethiopia."
    The message called on the OAU to intervene in the present crisis and force Ethiopia to desist "from her preparations for an aggressive war against Somalia."
    The accusations were made in the presence of Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie.

    The Ethiopian Prime Minister Akilu Habte-World immediately told the conference that the charge that his country had mobilised her forces was absolutely ???true. Ethiopia has no claims against Somalia and only wanted to live with her in peaceful good-neighbourliness.

    A special conciliation committee was set up and despatched to Mogadishu to persuade President Said to attend the summit.

    On Monday (May 26) President Siad arrived in Addis Ababa and said he had come to pursue his country's campaign for OAU intervention in what he called "a territorial dispute" with Ethiopia.

    The dispute concerns the Southern desert region of Ethiopia where oil is reported to have been discovered.

    Later an Ethiopian official said his Government would not give up an inch of the country.

    The Libyan delegation called for the removal of the OAU headquarters from Addis Ababa and for the severance of diplomatic and other links with Israel by all OAU members.

    Acting Foreign Minister Abu Zeid also accused Ethiopia of hosting United States military bases which were supplying information to South Africa and Rhodesia through NATO.

    Dr. Minasse Haile the Ethiopian Foreign Minister said there were no U.S. military bases in his country only a communications establishment outside Asmara.

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