The Ogaden Desert, home of hundreds of thousands of nomadic tribesmen and their families, has in recent months become the centre of guerrilla activity in the continuing war between Somalia and Ethiopia.
MV Soldier on guard on Ogaden Desert
GV Nomad women and children in encampment
MV Donkey laden with baskets
CV official briefing men about dismantling of huts
LV Huts dismantled by workers and belongings packed
MV Red Cross vehicle
LV Women take children to Red Cross doctors
CV Emaciated children and babies (2 shots)
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: The Ogaden Desert, home of hundreds of thousands of nomadic tribesmen and their families, has in recent months become the centre of guerrilla activity in the continuing war between Somalia and Ethiopia. The desolate countryside is adjacent to Ethiopia's easternmost boundary with Somalia. This film from Visnews' Library shows nomad families at the height of drought conditions in November 1975 as some of them were being assisted by Red Cross workers and medical teams.
SYNOPSIS: The continuing guerrilla warfare between Ethiopia and Somalia has centred on the barren Ogaden Desert region alongside Ethiopia's eastern most boundary. Here, less than two years ago, the Desert's nomadic tribesmen and their families were struggling to survive in some of the most extreme drought conditions conditions the country had known. With the drought came famine and thousands of deaths particularly among the children.
Ethiopian and European Red Cross workers moved into the area to bring desperately-needed medical help, and food supplies...but also to help the families remove their flimsy homes and belongings to less hostile country.
Many families helped during this crisis have since returned to the vast scrubland wilderness and are feared to be caught up in the hostilities of the present fighting between Ethiopian and Somali factions. For some the fight may be starting all over again, but latest reports suggest many are fleeing to whatever safety they can find. According to Western Somalia Liberation Front, which now occupies much of the territory, many villages and settlements have ben liberated by its advancing troops.