In Ethiopia, the National Revolutionary Development Campaign was launched on Saturday (3 February) with a massive rally and march-past in Revolutionary Square, Addis Ababa.
In Ethiopia, the National Revolutionary Development Campaign was launched on Saturday (3 February) with a massive rally and march-past in Revolutionary Square, Addis Ababa. Head of State, Lieutenant-Colonel Mengistu Haile-Mariam, addressed a crowd estimated at hundreds of thousands.
SYNOPSIS: First came the troops. Many of them had seen action in the Ethiopian government's battles against Somali forces in the Ogaden Desert, and against Eritrean secessionist guerrillas in the north.
In modern Ethiopia, now transformed into a Marxist state, women, too, have been trained to use military weapons, such as sub-machineguns.
Colonel Mengistu reviews the parade. In his address, he called on the country's workers to unite in beating one of the country's most persistent enemies -- poverty. He said Ethiopia's primary task was to build its economy, which he described as unbalanced and weak. Among the setbacks it had suffered in beating the Somalis and Eritrean guerrillas was a decrease in food production. Coupled with devastating drought in northern regions, this had forced the government to buy large quantities of grain from abroad.
Colonel Mengistu said the country's natural resources -- arable land, minerals, fisheries and capacity for hydro-electric power -- had scarcely been tapped. He also foresaw the prospect of earning substantial amounts of foreign capital by making proper use of Ethiopia's cattle population -- which , he estimated, was among the largest in Africa. These forecasts were a direct call to farm workers, who had marched in the parade.
Ethiopia has been supplied with modern farm equipment by friendly socialist countries. Colonel Mengistu said the aid and co-operation they had offered was just the beginning, and he was confident they would stand by Ethiopia until she was economically sound.