In Ethiopia, the Eritrean People's Liberation Front (EPLF) claims to have brought virtually the whole of the northern province of Eritrea under its control.
SCU Member of the Executive Committee of the Eritrean People's Liberation Front speaking in English
TRANSCRIPT: REPORTER: "What is the Front's reaction to reports of the Soviet military build-up in Ethiopia?"
MENKERIOS: "The Ethiopian regime has been using all these arms it has been getting, to massacre the Eritrean people. It has moved its so called peasant army, it has moved its regular army, its planes, its tanks, all of them to annihilate the Eritrean people. Recently, while the fighting in Massawa was going on, it bombed civilian population is several towns in Eritrea, including (indistinct) and Massawa itself with napalm bombs and phosphorous bombs. So we say that all this military support to Ethiopia is being used to massacre the people, who are fighting for the right to nation, self determination really. We therefore urge all those countries, which are supporting militarily the Ethiopian regime, to stop their support, which is being used for a genocidal end. It also aggravates the possibility of a peaceful solution, a really peaceful political solution in Eritrea or the whole of Africa in general."
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Background: In Ethiopia, the Eritrean People's Liberation Front (EPLF) claims to have brought virtually the whole of the northern province of Eritrea under its control. Speaking in the Lebanese capital of Beirut on Tuesday (17 January), Haile Menkerios, a member of the EPLF Executive Committee, said that three quarters of the port of Massawa is under guerrilla control, together with the road linking Massawa and Asmara, the Eritrean capital, 64 kilometres (40 miles), away. He claimed that the only connection now with the rest of Ethiopia is by air. He was also asked about his movement's reaction to reports of Soviet military support for the Ethiopian Government.