Ethiopia, claiming major successes in its new offensive in the Ogaden war against Somali forces, held a major military fund raising bazaar in the capital, Addis Ababa, earlier this month.
Ethiopia, claiming major successes in its new offensive in the Ogaden war against Somali forces, held a major military fund raising bazaar in the capital, Addis Ababa, earlier this month. Funds raised at the colourful day-long event are to go to the Ogaden war effort and to Ethiopia's other fight-against the breakaway Eritrean Liberation Front, ELF.
SYNOPSIS: The bazaar was an event that attracted large crowds from all over the city-some who came just to watch, others to participate. It was organised by 13 city residents' associations and 13 womens' groups. Some brought livestock for sale. Handicrafts, like these carpets were also put up for sale by auction.
But there were constant reminders of the serious background to the fun.
The Mayor of Addis Abba, Dr. Alemu Abebe arrived for the main part of the proceedings on a camel and was joined by other officials including members of the ruling Provisional Military Administrative Council.
Along with the entertainments, there were political speeches.
On show too was just a small part of Ethiopia's regular Army of 41,000 men, most of whom are engaged in the new offensives in the Ogaden and in dealing with the offensive by ELF in their siege of the provincial capital, Asmara.
Revolutionary dance by the Addis Ababa Municipality National Dancers emphasises the resolve of the socialist state to win its wars. Soviet aid has been helpful in recent months with the arrival of large supplies of arms, ammunition and MIG fighter planes.
But for some at least, the grim realities of a nation in conflict were put aside for one afternoon. There was sun and sports-here a tug of war. Specially invited guests and others were able to relax and just watch the entertainments.
The bazaar was the first, but not the last say officials.