With the United States and the Soviet Union now openly criticising each other's policy towards the Horn of Africa, the fighting in Ethiopia, for so long described as the 'Forgotten War' has been thrust to the forefront of international politics.
GV PAN: workers and troops listening to members of cultural troupe.
SV: member of cultural troupe speaking to crowd.
CU: militia soldier
SV PAN OVER: crowd responding to speaker. (2 shots)
SV ZOOM OUT FROM: girls in troupe singing Pan TROUPE (2 shots)
GTV: troupe in foreground, PAN troupe and crowd (2 shots)
SV ZOOM OUT FROM: Troupe cheering and crowd responding. (2 shots)
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Background: With the United States and the Soviet Union now openly criticising each other's policy towards the Horn of Africa, the fighting in Ethiopia, for so long described as the 'Forgotten War' has been thrust to the forefront of international politics. The Ethiopians are fighting on two fronts in the north against Eritrean guerrillas and to the east against Somali-backed forces. Recently their hopes of success have been boosted by a massive airlift of Soviet arms. Fund raising for the war effort has become part of everyday life in Ethiopia, and cultural troupes, performing revolutionary works, have proved a big attraction.
SYNOPSIS: Recently the Municipal Hall National Theatre Cultural Troupe from Addis Ababa visited the Awash Valley in the Hararje Region, and for two days entertained troops and workers from the town of Malka Warer and surrounding area.
More than 30,000 attended the performances. They were mainly Afairs, who have raise over 50,000 United States dollars for the Ethiopian cause. Many are in the Ethiopian army or militia stationed in Malka Warer.
The troupe, who spoke a different language to that of the Afars in the audience, sang and danced through a series of revolutionary works.
The entertainers urged the Afars to fight on to victory on all fronts.
The revolutionary works performed by the troupe, emphasised the determination of the Ethiopian government to win the wars, and on the battlefield Soviet and Cuban aid had certainly boosted Ethiopia's position. It is reported that because of the growing seriousness of the situation, United States' President Jimmy Carter has called for talks between Ethiopia and Somalia.
President Carter also accused the Soviet Union of unwarranted involvement in the area, a charge it has dismissed.