The Ethiopian Head of State, Mengistu Haile Mariam and Sudanese President Ja'afar Nimeiri watched a parade of thousand in the streets of the Sudanese capital, Khartoum on Sunday (25 May), celebrating the eleventh anniversary of the military coup which brought the Sudanese government to power.
GV EXTERIOR: Young girls presenting flowers to President Ja'afar Nimeiri of Sudan and visiting Mengistu Haile Mariam of Ethiopia seated on dais in Khartoum.
SCU: Sudanese first Vice President and leader of armed forces General Abdul Majid speaking
GV: Military march-past of jeeps and armoured vehicles (2 shots)
SV: Various columns of troops (male and female) marching past. (3 shots)
SV AND CU: Mengistu and Nimeiri saluting troops
SV PAN: Crowd seated
SV: Traditional folklore dancers performing
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Background: The Ethiopian Head of State, Mengistu Haile Mariam and Sudanese President Ja'afar Nimeiri watched a parade of thousand in the streets of the Sudanese capital, Khartoum on Sunday (25 May), celebrating the eleventh anniversary of the military coup which brought the Sudanese government to power. The celebrations came on the eve of five days of talks between the aimed at patching up relations between the two countries.
SYNOPSIS: A few years ago Ethiopia and Sudan were on the verge of war. On Sunday (25 May) the Ethiopian Head of State was the guest of honour at Sudan's revolution celebrations.
Patient diplomacy, combined with a mutual need to improve relations, has led to the round of talks between the Addis Ababa and Khartoum governments. But there are still several thorny issues which remains to be solved. The main disagreement has been over Sudan's decision to grant sanctuary to refugees from Ethiopia's war against Eritrean secessionists. Earlier this month, the Sudanese Vice President and leader of the armed forces, General Abdel Majid, met Colonel Mengistu at a closed meeting in Addis Ababa where it's believe they discussed Eritrea. The Presidents took the salute as contingents from the armed forces marched past.
Ethiopia has often suspected Sudan of being the primary source of supplies and medicines for the Eritrean guerrillas. The Sudanese, on the other hand, were worried that the influx of thousand of Ethiopian and Eritrean refugees was becoming a social and security problem. The economic burden, they said, was impossible to bear. It appears the two Governments are now advocating a peaceful settlement. Colonel Mengistu suggested in a speech on Saturday (24 May) that the two countries should pool their manpower and financial and natural resources.
President Nimeiri said after talks on Monday (26 May) that Sudan and Ethiopia shared the goal of peace and stability in Africa.