The Largest Security-Cleared Career Network for Defense and Intelligence Jobs - JOIN NOW

Military

DATE=2/16/99 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT NUMBER=2-245584 TITLE=ETHIOPIA ERITREA (L-ONLY) BYLINE=SCOTT STEARNS DATELINE=EMBADAKAYNA, ETHIOPIA CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: ETHIOPIA IS REINFORCING POSITIONS ALONG ITS NORTHERN BORDER, PREPARING FOR ANOTHER ROUND OF FIGHTING WITH ERITREA. CORRESPONDENT SCOTT STEARNS IS AT THE FRONT, WHERE HE REPORTS THOUSANDS OF CIVILIANS HAVE BEEN DRIVEN FROM THEIR HOMES. TEXT: CONVOYS OF TRUCKS CLIMBED THE STEEP, DUSTY HILLS OF NORTHERN TIGRAY PROVINCE, CARRYING AMMUNITION AND DIESEL FUEL TOWARD THE FRONT. RUSSIAN SELF-PROPELLED GUNS, ARTILLERY MOUNTED ON TANK BODIES, LINE THIS ROCKY RIDGE, FLANKED BY ANTI-AIRCRAFT GUNS AND INFANTRY DUG-IN BEHIND LOW ROCK WALLS. THIS IS THE TSORONA FRONT, WHERE ETHIOPIA SAYS IT IS DEFENDING ITSELF IN THIS BORDER WAR AGAINST ERITREAN INVASION, AND ERITREA SAYS ETHIOPIA IS TRYING TO PREVENT IT FROM RECLAIMING LAND IT SAYS IS RIGHTFULLY ERITREA'S. HEAVY SHELLING HAS DISPLACED MORE THAN 16-THOUSAND PEOPLE ON THIS FRONT. LESS THAN 10-KILOMETERS FROM THE FIGHTING, UNDER AN OUTCROP OF DRY RED ROCKS NEAR THE VILLAGE OF EMBADAKAYNA, MORE THAN 160 FAMILIES ARE LIVING IN CAVES. // OPT // THEY COOK IN SMALL, MUD OVENS OUTSIDE THIN, STICK SHACKS DRAPED WITH BLANKETS AND CARDBOARD ROOFS. A YOUNG MOTHER STEWS GOAT MEAT WHILE HER SON FIGHTS WITH A CHICKEN FOR A SCRAP OF PAPER TORN FROM A SCHOOL EXERCISE BOOK. IT IS AN ENGLISH LESSON, PRINTED NEATLY IN BLUE INK. IT READS: "THE DAY IS LONG." // END OPT // ABABA GEBRESELASSIE WAS ONE OF THE FIRST PEOPLE TO MOVE TO THE CAVES. WITH THIN GRAY HAIR BRAIDED CLOSE TO HER HEAD, MS. GEBRESELASSIE SAYS SHE LEFT HER HOME IN THE VILLAGE OF MAIHAMATU WHEN THE COMPOUND CAME UNDER ATTACK FROM ERITREAN SHELLINGS. /// GEBRESELASSIE ACT IN TIGRINYAN -- IN FULL AND UNDER /// MS. GEBRESELASSIE SAYS IT IS A TWO-KILOMETER WALK TO WATER FROM THE CAVE. BUT COMPARED TO THE LIVES OF HERS SONS AND HER BROTHER AT THE FRONT, SHE THINKS IT'S NOT SO BAD. // OPT // SHE SAYS-- WE HAVE SOME FOOD. WHAT IS HARD IS HOW COLD IT GETS AT NIGHT IN THE ROCKS. // END OPT // ZEROU BERHANE IS A LOCAL COUNCIL MEMBER, RESPONSIBLE FOR DISTRIBUTING BLANKETS, PLASTIC SHEETING, AND A RATION OF WHEAT. WITH FIGHTING ON THE TSORONA FRONT CONTINUING, HE SAYS THE SAFEST PLACE FOR CIVILIANS IS TO STAY IN THE HILLS. /// ZEROU ACT IN TIGRINYAN -- IN FULL AND UNDER /// MR. ZEROU SAYS THEY RESETTLE PEOPLE IN CAVES BECAUSE THEY CANNOT BUILD NEW HOUSES FOR EVERYONE WHO IS DISPLACED. HE SAYS -- HERE IN THE ROCKS, THE PEOPLE ARE PROTECTED FROM SHELLING. MORE AND MORE ETHIOPIAN SOLDIERS ARE MOVING NORTH IN TRUCKS AND ON FOOT THROUGH ABANDONED STONE VILLAGES. AFTER EIGHT-MONTHS OF THREATS FROM ERITREANS ACROSS THE BORDER, MICHAEL MILEW SAYS IT IS TIME HE JOINS THE FIGHT -- INSTEAD OF WAITING IT OUT IN THE CAVES. /// MILEW ACT IN TIGRINYAN -- IN FULL AND UNDER /// AFTER WAITING TO SEE WHAT HAS HAPPENED IN THIS WAR, MR. MILEW SAYS -- ALL MY OLDER BROTHERS ARE AT THE FRONT NOW, SO IT IS TIME I LEAVE THE FAMILY HERE AND JOIN THEM. IT IS AN UNLIKELY WAR BETWEEN FORMER ALLIES DIVIDED BY ECONOMIC JEALOUSIES, TERRITORIAL RIVALRIES, AND A SEEMING DESIRE TO PROVE THEY DO NOT NEED EACH OTHER, ALTHOUGH NO TWO COUNTRIES IN AFRICA ARE MORE ALIKE IN LANGUAGE AND CULTURE THAN ETHIOPIA AND ERITREA. MS. GEBRESELASSIE SAYS EVERYTHING SEEMED FINE BEFORE ERITREAN INDEPENDENCE IN 1993. NOW WITH THIS WAR, SHE WONDERS IF LIFE HERE WILL EVER BE THE SAME. /// REST OPT /// /// SECOND GEBRESELASSIE ACT IN TIGRINYAN -- IN FULL AND UNDER /// MS. GEBRESELASSIE SAYS BEFORE THE WAR, ETHIOPIANS AND ERITREANS CROSSED THE BORDER TO ATTEND EACH OTHERS' WEDDINGS AND BAPTISMS. SHE SAYS -- IT IS WHY WE WERE SO SURPRISED BY THE FIGHTING, BECAUSE BEFORE WE WERE FRIENDS. (SIGNED) NEB/SKS/PCF/RAE 16-Feb-99 10:53 AM EST (1553 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .





NEWSLETTER
Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list