As the Ethiopian Army, now re-equipped and re-organised with Soviet aid, pushed ahead with its offensive against the Somalis in the Ogaden, the Government has embarked upon an unprecedented public relations exercise.
As the Ethiopian Army, now re-equipped and re-organised with Soviet aid, pushed ahead with its offensive against the Somalis in the Ogaden, the Government has embarked upon an unprecedented public relations exercise. Western newsmen, for long periods banned from the country, have been invited to Ethiopia to "objectively" re-asses the "problems, progress and triumphs of the Ethiopian revolution" as well as the conflict with Somalia. Newsmen from more than 20 countries took up the offer.
SYNOPSIS: What's been worrying the Ethiopians most has been the reports appearing in the West of the country's "Red Terror" campaign.....during which hundreds are believed to have been killed, and thousands detained. But the Ethiopians say the Red Terror has made the streets safer and made Addis Ababa a city where people can walk freely...although the visiting newsmen have been warned by officials that they mustn't go out alone at night. And the Dergue member in charge of public relations, Lieutenant Tamrat Ferede, told the visiting newsmen that the Red Terror will continue.
The newsmen, about 75 of them, have been promised they'll be taken to the war front....but so far that hasn't happened. Virtually all that's been seen of the conflict outside Ethiopia or within has been rallies like this one....held to expose "anti-people". Children were urged to come forward and confess if they'd been tempted to join the Ethiopian people's Liberation Party...the country's main opposition. That's the party whose "dirt" the Red Terror is pledged to "wash away". Scores are said to have stepped forward....while others marched with wooden rifles outside St George's Cathedral -- where Haile Selassie was crowned -- to show their willingness to bear arms against Somalia.