On his second visit to Paris in recent months, the Vice Secretary-General of the Eritrean People's Liberation Front (EPLF) -- Issayas Afeworki sought French government diplomatic support for independence movements in the Red Sea province of Eritrea.
SCU Issayas Afeworki, Vice Secretary-General Eritrean Peoples Liberation Front speaking (SOT)
TRANSCRIPT (SEQUENCE ONE):
AFEWORKI: "As a result of the aggression policy, executed in the mantle of Addis Ababa, regime and under the tutelage of the Soviet Union, the Ethiopian people have been relegated to acute impoverishment with the plummeting economy situation deteriorating overall security, forcing the conscription and the total deprivation of their political human rights. The various political force, condoned by the Soviet Union and the (indistinct) regime to consolidate their power have invariably failed and to no avail. At this stage, even the military institution they regard as their absolute political base is not only cracking but more ominously has commended to raise arms in dissension. The recent border incursion into Somali territory under the umbrella of what they call the Somali Salvation Democratic Front in an apparent attempt to create internal and external confusion is one evidence of their desperation."
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Background: On his second visit to Paris in recent months, the Vice Secretary-General of the Eritrean People's Liberation Front (EPLF) -- Issayas Afeworki sought French government diplomatic support for independence movements in the Red Sea province of Eritrea. His mission followed indications of French assistance in finding a negotiated solution to the 21-year war for Eritrea, annexed by Ethiopia in 1952. At a news conference on January 10, Mr Afeworki was critical of Ethiopian military offensives against the Eritrean guerrilla movement and the neighbouring nation of Somalia. He repeated claims of extensive Soviet support for the Ethiopian regime. Mr Afeworki spoke of Ethiopia's deteriorating economic situation and the deprivation of political and human rights. He described recent Ethiopian border incursions into Somalia as evidence of desperation within the Addis Ababa regime and claimed increasing dissention within the Ethiopian Army.