Somalia's Charge d' Affairs in Kenya said on Friday (20 January) that there are between 7,000 and 8,000 Russians and between 6,000 and 7,000 Cubans supporting Ethiopia in its wars against Somali backed rebels in the East and Eritrean secessionists in the North.
GV AND SV: native dancers (2 shots)
GV: crowd watching
SV: from right to left: Dr. Haile Mikaile minister of Culture and Colonel Debella Denssa, watching.
SV: group of singers PAN TO crowd.
GV: man on trampoline
SV: Mikaile and Colonel Denssa watching.
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Background: Somalia's Charge d' Affairs in Kenya said on Friday (20 January) that there are between 7,000 and 8,000 Russians and between 6,000 and 7,000 Cubans supporting Ethiopia in its wars against Somali backed rebels in the East and Eritrean secessionists in the North. Mr Dahir Hussein Dirir said there were up to 6,000 additional personnel from Warsaw pact countries in Ethiopia. American intelligence sources, quoted by Reuters news agency, estimate the up to 2,000 Cubans and 1,000 Soviet military advisers have been flown to Ethiopia to help train Government forces in the use of heavy military equipment being ferried into Ethiopia by the Soviet Union.
SYNOPSIS: The Provisional Military Administrative Council which rules Ethiopia is finding it a hard task paying for its military operations-which for the most part are going badly. Morale among Government forces is reported to be low and the Government has been attempting to kill two birds with one stone with travelling entertainment groups.
The groups' task is to entertain troops and workers, lift morale and raise funds. In Addis Ababa, one of the bigger occasions was watched by-on the right-Dr Haile Mikaile, the Minister for Culture.
The situation in Ethiopia has alarmed the West, There have been reports of Soviet ships and aircraft firing on Eritrean secessionists who have surrounded the Ethiopian port of Massawa on the Red Sea. The reports have been denied both by the Soviet Union and Ethiopia. War ships and aircraft of the United States are now reported to be shadowing the Russian supply carriers.
It's 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 has also accused the Soviet Union of unwarranted involvement in the area, a charge it has dismissed.