INTRODUCTION Ethiopia's Head of State, Lt.-Colonel Mengistu Haile-Miriam, has accused neighbouring Sudan of direct aggressive military involvement in his country and has warned Ethiopians to be ready for an emergency call to "crush the aggression".
MV Lieutenant Colonel Mengistu speaking in Addis Ababa
GV EXT PAN Crowds waiting in Revolution Square as hearse arrives with military guard
MV Hearse with guard
MV Colonel Atnafu Abate arrives
MV Mourners around hearse chanting PAN TO coffin on stand
MV Mourners around coffin
MV Mourners carrying portraits of Communist leaders PAN TO crowd chanting
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Background: INTRODUCTION Ethiopia's Head of State, Lt.-Colonel Mengistu Haile-Miriam, has accused neighbouring Sudan of direct aggressive military involvement in his country and has warned Ethiopians to be ready for an emergency call to "crush the aggression". He was speaking in a national radio and television address in Addis Ababa on Tuesday (12 April) as the government continued to wage a desperate battle to assert control over the country.
SYNOPSIS: Lt. Colonel Mengistu claimed Sudan was supplying tank and artillery support for anti-government movements such as the Ethiopian Democratic Union, the EDU, or secessionist movements in the Red Sea province of Eritrea. There, forces are beginning their final push for independence and he said that, ??? supporting the fighting, Sudan is openly violating the honour and entity of Ethiopia. He termed President Jaafar Nimeiri as "the dictatorial ruler of the Sudan" and accuse him of making a recent pact with Egypt in order to suppress democratic forces in the Sudan and disrupt the unity of Ethiopia.
Meanwhile, the government faces increasingly strong opposition in Addis Ababa. There have been numerous reports of political violence and killings and on Tuesday a funeral service was held for a leading member of the ruling Military Council. He was second Lieutenant Neguissie Negassa, who was killed last week by unknown assassins. He had been in charge of a civilian politburo. responsible for spreading Marxist idealogy in Ethiopia and the divisions over Marxist interpretation have led to several hundred deaths in recent weeks.
Strife between pro and anti-government factions increased rapidly after a military coup in February when the head of state, Brigadier General Teferi Bante was shot dead.
Since then the military government has mounted an increasingly violent campaign against its opposition. Alleged violations of human rights led to cutbacks in military aid by the United States and some reports say that at least 200 people have died in political violence in the past two months.
Government supporters are being armed and extensive training is being given to the newly-instituted People's Militia.