CBS Evening News for Thursday, Oct 06, 1977
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(Studio) 1 of Africa's longest wars is ntlist. movement to gain independence for Eritrea from Ethiopia. War seems to be going in ntlists.' direction at present.
REPORTER: Walter Cronkite
(Eritrea) History of Eritrea region noted; was declared quasi-independent federation with Ethiopia, in 1952, by UN. This ended when Emperor Haile Selassie annexed area in 1961. Guerrilla war began then and conts. today under Marxist military rule of Lieutenant Colonel Mengistu Halle Mariam. Like Ethiopia's war in south Ogaden Desert region, Eritrean conflict doesn't go well for government; recently, Eritrean People's Liberation Front and rival, Eritrean Liberation Front, have gained important victories. Govt. has claimed EPLF and ELF get weapons from Arab ntns. which want to dismember Ethiopia and isolate her from Red Sea; ntlists. say they get weapons from Ethiopian garrisons regularly. Though government denies any of its troops or members of People's Militia have been taken prisoner, 4000 are prisoners of EPLF; ntlists. don't have facilities to take care of POW's and want to give them up to international organization Lifestyle of POW's described;