In the Somali capital Mogadishu on Sunday (12 February) a crowd estimated at 100,000 assembled to hear their president, Siad Barre, issue a call to arms.
GV PAN: crowd assembled at rally with flags and banners.
SV AND GV: crowds at rally with banners and flags (3 shots)
SV TILT DOWN TO soldier carrying gun.
CU AND GV: demonstrators with banners and flags (3 shots)
According to Reuters about 30,000 people volunteered for military service after the call to arms speech. In the Ogaden the Somali-backed guerillas gained control of about 90 percent of the region during a seven month campaign. The Ogaden is populated almost exclusively by ethnic Somali nomads but was ceded to Ethiopia when colonial powers drew up their boundaries in the 1890's.
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Background: In the Somali capital Mogadishu on Sunday (12 February) a crowd estimated at 100,000 assembled to hear their president, Siad Barre, issue a call to arms. The day before, the government declared a state of emergency and ordered all ex-servicemen to report for mobilisation.
SYNOPSIS: These moves follow reports that Somali-based guerrilla forces fighting in the disputed Ogadan desert region are now falling back in the face of Ethiopian counter attacks.
Up to new Somalia says all the fighting against Ethiopia has been conducted by guerrillas of the Western Somalia Liberation Front. But it announced of Saturday (11 February) that regular Somali troops will be sent to the region.
In a speech to the crowd president Barre said every Somali who could carry a rifle should prepare to defend his nation. He told them that Somalia would have to unite and rely on its own forces, accusing western powers of supporting what he termed the Soviet Union's brazen aggression in the Horn of Africa. There was also a plan, he said, backed by Russia, for Ethiopian forces to invade Somalia and seize coastline along the Gulf on Aden.