Ethiopia's military rulers stunned the ancient African country's 25 million people on Sunday (24 November) with the news that 60 former Government Ministers and officials had been summarily executed.
GV Aman exits air-craft and greeted as band plays (August 1974)
GV dignitaries look on
SV General Aman greeting officials (2 shots)
SV general Aman inspecting troops and military vehicles (4 shots)(mute)
SV General Aman raising hat to crowd
crowd listens as General Aman speaks (4 shots)
GV PAN FROM tank TO town building (September 1974)
SV INTERIOR General Aman greeting Cameroon Ambassador (2 shots)
CU General Aman ZOOM OUT TO GV with QAU Secretary General and aide
SV General Aman greeting US Charge d'Affaires
SV General Aman talking to Soviet Charge d'Affaires (2 shots)
SV General Aman greeting Chinese Charge d'Affaires
SV General Aman with Egyptian Ambassador
GV EXTERIOR Grand Palace (Sept 1974)
SV newsmen outside Palace
SV General Aman entering Conference room and taking seat at table as newsmen watch (5 shots)
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Ethiopia's military rulers stunned the ancient African country's 25 million people on Sunday (24 November) with the news that 60 former Government Ministers and officials had been summarily executed.
Among the 31 military officers executed was Lieutenant-General Aman Andom, Chairman of the Provisional Military Government, who was put under house arrest last Friday (22 November). Before the September coup in Ethiopia, which toppled Emperor Haile Selassie, General Aman was Ethiopian Defence Minister and Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces.
A Military Council statement read over the Radio between intervals of martial music, said that the mass executions were carried out to mete out justice to officials of the previous regime who had thrived on corruption, maladministration and who had enriched themselves at the country's expense.
SYNOPSIS: Ethiopia's military rulers announced on Sunday that sixty high ranking Government officials and military officers had been summarily executed. Among them was Lieutenant-General Aman Andom, Chairman of the Provisional Military Government. The General was one of the leaders of the Army insurrection which toppled Emperor Haile Selassie from his throne last September and was one of the most powerful men in the country.
Before the military take-over, General Aman was Ethiopian Defence Minister and Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces. Last August the General was sent to study the military, economic and political situation in Eritrea where the Government forces were fighting separatist guerrillas of the Eritrean Liberation Front. The General was an Eritrean himself and understood the mood of the people.
General Aman was given a warm reception by a huge crowd of eighty thousand who heard him address them in their local language.
General Aman said that the slogan of the Armed Forces Movement was 'Ethiopia First' and he emphasised that he had brought a message of peace to Ethiopia. In turn he called on the leaders of the province to bring peace to the region.
With the military in command following the coup on 11 September, General Aman became Chairman of the Ethiopian Armed Forces Committee. One of his first jobs was to receive foreign diplomats. The Cameroon Ambassador was among the first to call on him.
Even then the military was divided on whether to have a military-civilian Government or a People's Government.
General Aman had been educated at Oxford University and Sandhurst, the British military college. He desired to maintain relations of friendship and goodwill with all countries. He told the United States and Soviet Charges d'Affaires that Ethiopia would be non-aligned. He gave the same message to the Chinese envoy. General Aman favoured a policy of social reform at home and peace and unity abroad.
Egypt was a nation which had specially close ties with Ethiopia and the General did all he could to strengthen them.
At the first international news conference he gave, General Aman proclaimed that former Government Ministers and officials would be tried by a general court-martial for their crimes. At the time, the Military Council with General Aman at its head had ordered the arrest of about one hundred and seventy Ministers, landowners, government officials. governors and judges. Today, General Aman is himself dead. His execution may result in trouble in his native Eritrea where he was popular. One of the main reasons for his downfall was his refusal to send five thousand crack troops to garrison his home province.