Ethiopian head of state Mengistu Haile Mariam has conferred with Soviet President Leonid Brezhnev on ways of strengthening ties between their countries and settling the conflict on the Horn of Africa.
Ethiopian head of state Mengistu Haile Mariam has conferred with Soviet President Leonid Brezhnev on ways of strengthening ties between their countries and settling the conflict on the Horn of Africa. Meanwhile, in Rome, a leader of the separatist guerrilla forces, which have been opposing Ethiopian ruling authorities for many years, has claimed Ethiopia was preparing another offensive that included heavy bombing the defoliation in Eritrea.
SYNOPSIS: Soviet and Ethiopian flags flew side by side when Colonel Mengistu's party arrived at Moscow airport on Thursday (16 November). Mr Brezhnev led the welcoming committee of Soviet leaders. The Soviet Union was Ethiopia's major benefactor in their success in driving Somali forces from the Ogaden desert earlier this year. Ethiopian government forces had an estimated billion dollars worth of Soviet military hardware, plus the help of some fifteen thousand Cuban troops in overcoming the Somalis. Tass, the official Soviet news agency reported that the two leaders confirmed their resolve to press for political settlement in the area based on renunciation of territorial claims.
Western diplomats say they believe Colonel Mengistu's main reason for visiting Moscow was to seek Soviet economic help in rebuilding Ethiopia's battered economy, and that he briefed Mr. Brezhnev on the Eritrean situation. Mr. Brezhnev on the Eritrean situation. The same day, in Rome, a director of the Eritrean Peoples' Liberation Front(EPLF), Mr Ramadah Mohamed Nur, spoke of a new Ethiopian offensive.