The Ethiopian Journalists Association has held a mass sports and music show to raise funds for the war in the Ogaden Desert against Somali nationalists.
The Ethiopian Journalists Association has held a mass sports and music show to raise funds for the war in the Ogaden Desert against Somali nationalists. The eight-hour show included serious events like a 5,000-metre contest with competitors like world-class long-distance runner Miruts Yifter, and a light-hearted race for heavyweight spectators.
SYNOPSIS: Several thousand people attended the open-air show in the National Stadium in Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital, held in a carnival atmosphere. The money raised from the sale of tickets, food and drink was to go to a special fund to buy provisions for Ethiopian army and air force units engaged in the Ogaden war. The battle itself began in the middle of August this year, and has so far taken a heavy toll of lives and war machinery - mostly Soviet arms supplied to both sides. Reports from the battle front have said that the Somali Government is heavily committed to the fight, with both regular forces and armourment. But the Somali Government has consistently denied the reports, saying the war is being fought by Somali nationalist groups alone. Back on the sports field, the Ethiopian Government has announced that it will boycott the 1978 African Games because Somalia will be participating. Ethiopia is also boycotting the East and Central African Athletic Championships in Somalia next month (November).
Among the participants in the Ethiopia war-fund show were several of the nation's leading bands, providing a musical background to the more serious business of winning races, raising money, and lifting the morale of the people.