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actors involved in the decisions that MOSCOW, MENGISTU, AND plicit references to this action in these shaped political outcomes.

THE HORN: DIFFICULT documents, Soviet Ambassador Interestingly, the documents from CHOICES FOR THE KREMLIN Anatolii P. Ratanov was reliably rethe Russian archives appear to have

ported at the time to have been the first been carefully selected to elide signifi

by Paul B. Henze

to congratulate Mengistu after the speccant “blank spots” even on the issues

tacular bloodbath in the Derg when sevand period covered. By contrast, the The Russian and East German eral challengers of Mengistu, most noformer East German materials, though documents reproduced here constitute tably Head of State Teferi Bante, were limited in number, seem more insight- a useful contribution to the history of shot. As a result, Mengistu emerged ful in the concentrated details they pro- the Horn of Africa during the critical into the open as the dominant figure as vide on one issue in particular: the events of 1977-78. They provide in- Chairman of the Provisional Military Ethio-Eritrean high-level mediation. sights into the Soviet relationship with Administrative Council (PMAC), i.e. Nevertheless, within the two-year the authoritarian leaders of Ethiopia and

the Derg. period covered in these documents there Somalia at that time, Chairman The documents provide useful inare significant issues that find scant Mengistu Haile Mariam and President formation on the activities of Cuba as coverage. From the Soviet side these Mohammed Siad Barre, as well as into junior partner to the Soviets in Ethioinclude materials pertaining to the motivations of these men and some pia during this period. A long near-verMoscow's intelligence assessment and of their associates.

batim report from the archives of the possible involvement during the Ethio- Both Mengistu and Siad Barre former German Democratic Republic of pian power struggle; relations with or- were stubborn and ambitious leaders a meeting between Fidel Castro and ganizations other than the PMAC; mili- who confronted the Kremlin with diffi- Erich Honecker on Castro's return from tary reports from General Petrov and cult choices, which it tried to avoid for Africa in early April 1977 gives us vivid others in the Ogaden; and early mili- as long as possible. Siad comes across detail that confirms what has long been tary planning involvement in Eritrea. as a more blatant liar than Mengistu, generally known of Castro's unsuccessFrom the East German side, materials who appears to have been more genu

ful effort to mediate the developing related to its assistance in restructuring inely devoted to "socialism." While Horn crisis in mid-March 1977. A subthe Ethiopian security services would Siad seems totally mendacious and de- sequent briefing by Soviet Ambassador be of high interest. Beyond 1978, So- vious in his manipulation of the Sovi- Ratanov of Cuban Gen. Arnaldo Ochoa viet and other socialist countries' in- ets, Mengistu is shown with his back to provides a remarkably frank, and not volvement in the Ethiopian vanguard the wall. He was determined to win entirely positive, appraisal of Ethiopia's party formation process would, of Soviet support by vigorously profess- military and political predicament and course, be of critical importance. ing his loyalty to “socialism" and mak- performance as of mid-summer 1977.

ing clear his readiness to serve Soviet The Soviet Union was remarkably 1 Cited in P. Margushin, “Sovetskii Soyuz aims throughout the Horn and in the uncreative in its efforts to deal with the v Afrike," Novoe Russkoe Slovo, 4 October world at large. The documents occa- situation provoked by Siad Barre's at1979.

sionally reveal Soviet concern that tack on Ethiopia. Siad felt his way cau2

Dawit Wolde Giorgis, Red Tears: Fam- Mengistu and his Derg associates were tiously at first, operating behind a faine, War, and Revolution in Ethiopia, (Tren- moving too fast, and these concerns cade of what he claimed were only guerton, NJ: Red Sea Press, 1989), 21.

were sometimes expressed to him. But rilla operations. But by July 1977, So3

Robert Patman, The Soviet Union in the as the Horn crisis developed, they be- malia was openly invading Ethiopia Horn of Africa (Cambridge, Eng.: Cam- came more concerned about preserving with regular military forces. Neverbridge University Press, 1990), 193; Rene Mengistu's power than Siad's. The rea- theless, Somali officials adhered to the Lefort, Ethiopia: An Heretical Revolution? son, undoubtedly, is that Ethiopia was pretense well into 1978 that the opera(London: Zed Press, 1983), 206.

a much more important country than tion was entirely the initiative of guer4 Giorgis, Red Tears, 35-36.

Somalia. The Soviets originally estab- rillas. Even though Soviet officials in 5

Ermias Abebe, “The Vanguard Party: Im- lished themselves in Somalia because both Somalia and Ethiopia had to be perial Instrument of Soviet-Third World they were unable to do so in Ethiopia. well aware of what was happening, Policy (1976-1986),” Ph.D. Dissertation, To those knowledgeable of the de- Moscow—on the surface at least-perUniversity of Maryland (College Park), tails of Ethiopian history during this sisted on the course adopted early in the 1994.

period, enthusiastic Soviet references to year: trying to bring the Somalis and 6

See EPRP founding member Kiflu the "decisive action" Mengistu took on Ethiopians together to compose their Tadesse's The Generation, (Silver Spring, 3 February 1977 are noteworthy. In differences. Long reports by Soviet MD: Independent Publishers, 1993), 98. spite of repeated protestations of peace- Deputy Foreign Minister Leonid 7.

Bereket Habte Selassie, “Political Lead- ful desires, these references show that Ilychev of almost four weeks of meetership in Crisis: The Ethiopian CaseHorn Soviets had no reservations about ap- ings with a Somali delegation in Mosof Africa 3:1 (Jan.-Mar. 1980), 7.

proving violence as a means of settling cow from late July through the third differences. Though there are no ex- week of August chronicle an elaborate charade of negotiations. Unfortunately to provide Ethiopia support to defend tensified. We get no comparative evaluthe documents available to us here do itself against Somalia, but details have ations of officials with whom the Sovinot include parallel reports of dealings not been declassified. This, neverthe- ets were dealing in Mogadishu and with the Ethiopian delegation that was less, appears to be the point at which, Addis Ababa. in Moscow during the same period, but de facto, Moscow finally made an irre- The documents also lack any direct it appears that the Somalis and the vocable decision to opt for Ethiopia reference to intelligence. It is hard to Ethiopians never even engaged in pre- over Somalia.

believe that Soviet officials did not reliminary face-to-face talks. The reason Whether or not Ambassador ceive extensive KGB and GRU reportwhy is easy to see in written statements Ratanov agreed with Moscow's contin- ing from agents in both Somalia and each delegation gave the Soviets of its ued insistence on further efforts to bring Ethiopia. There is, in fact, good reason country's position, for neither left any the Somalis and Ethiopians together in to believe that the Soviets were re-inroom for compromise or even discus- negotiations at the expert level,” he suring themselves during this period by sion with the other.

followed Moscow's orders and repeated maintaining contacts with political While the independence of erst- this position as late as 23 August 1977 groups opposed to Mengistu in Ethiowhile French colony of Djibouti caused in a meeting with Cuban Ambassador pia as well as opponents of Siad Barre immediate worry, both Ethiopia and to Ethiopia Perez Novoa. The Soviets in Somalia. They, the East Germans, Somalia behaved with caution. Ratanov were even more hesitant on the ques- the Cubans, and perhaps other socialist did not react to an offer by Mengistu to tion of manpower, for the main purpose countries must also have had contacts support intervention in Djibouti. Ethio- of this meeting with the Cuban envoy among Eritrean factions. We do find pia lacked the strength to intervene was to chastise him for permitting Cu- tantalizing references to opposition to alone.

ban Gen. Ochoa to promise Mengistu the Derg and to the strain under which The biggest problem looming in that more Cuban technicians would be Mengistu found himself as a result. At the background of the discussions re- coming: “The decision to send Cuban times the Soviets seem to be more apported in these documents is Eritrea. It personnel to Ethiopia does not depend

personnel to Ethiopia does not depend prehensive of Mengistu's staying power was already the most intractable prob- on Havana, but on Moscow.” Ratanov than U.S. officials were at the time. lem of all for Moscow in its relations expressed the Soviet fear that a large- The final portion of Ratanov's 18 with Mengistu. Ethiopian military per- scale introduction of Cubans into Ethio- March 1977 meeting with Berhanu formance in meeting the Somali inva- pia could provoke the Eritreans or So- Bayeh sheds indirect light on attitudes sion was inhibited by the predicament malis to call in troops from supportive among the Ethiopian public. Major which Mengistu had got himself into in Arab countries such as Egypt.

Berhanu asks to have the Soviets arEritrea. The Soviets were not impressed Taken as a whole, these Russian range for a scholarship for his younger with the performance of Mengistu's documents seem to have been made brother to study in Moscow and exarmy in Eritrea. An East German docu- available to give a picture of a well-in- plains that the young man has been unment from December 1977 reveals what tentioned and relatively benign Soviet able to complete his work at a prestiappears to be Ambassador Ratanov's Union confronted with a situation it gious Addis Ababa secondary school irritation at Mengistu's intransigence on neither anticipated nor desired. The because, as the relative of a Derg memEritrea as well as the hope that some- Soviets are shown to be surprised by ber, he became the object of harassment how a basis for negotiation with the the crisis, reluctant to choose between by other students. Even at this relatively rebel movement there might be devel- Ethiopia and Somalia, and trying to

Ethiopia and Somalia, and trying to early stage of the Derg's history, its oped. This became a major Soviet aim delay hard decisions as long as possible. popularity with the student population during the next decade and led to re- This does not fit with the general atmo- seems to have been quite low. peated East German efforts (and some sphere of Third World activism charac- Nevertheless, most of the basic Italian Communist attempts) to bring teristic of the Soviet Union at this time. questions about Soviet policies and calEritrean and Ethiopian Marxists to- While there seems to be no reason to culations during 1977 which I identigether.

question the authenticity of the docu- fied as still needing clarification in my In response to Mengistu's urgent ments themselves, there are obviously discussion of this period in a 1991 pleading, the Soviets agreed during July large gaps in this documentation. We study remain open so far as these docu1977 to send in urgently needed trans- find nothing about differing views ments go. The Russian documents stop, port equipment to enable the Ethiopi- among Soviet officials or various ele- for the most part, at the point when hard ans to utilize some of the tanks and guns ments in the Soviet bureaucracy, nor Soviet decisions about action and the Soviets had already provided as a about different interpretations of devel- implementation began to be made: at result of agreements reached during opments between the Soviet establish- the end of September 1977. For exMengistu's December 1976 and May ments in Mogadishu2 and Addis Ababa. ample, they shed no light on how these 1977 visits to Moscow, but the Krem- We see no reflection of options and decisions were arrived at and carried lin was still apparently hoping to limit courses of action that must have been out, or how risks were assessed. The its commitment. Politburo minutes of discussed in the Soviet embassies in the massive airlift and sealift of Cuban 4 and 11 August 1977 confirm decisions Horn and in Moscow as the crisis in- troops and equipment that startled the world from November 1977 onward, or make them more amenable to Soviet EAST GERMANY AND THE the decision to send General V. Petrov manipulation. In its crudity, it is insult- HORN CRISIS: DOCUMENTS to Ethiopia to oversee operations ing to the intelligence of the Ethiopi- ON SED AFRIKAPOLITIK against the Somali forces, get scant ans. They did not take it seriously mention, as does Mengistu's "closed" enough to bring it to the attention of the By Christian F. Ostermann or secret trip to Moscow in October United States toward which they were 1977 at which the imminent Soviet showing some warmth at this very pe- The documents from the archives Cuban military effort was undoubtedly riod in hopes of getting previously or- of the former Socialist Unity Party of the chief topic of conversation. [Ed. dered military equipment and spare Germany (SED)—the Stiftung Archiv note: Both are mentioned in passing in parts released. It is hard to believe that der Parteien und Massenorganthe 3 April 1978 Soviet Foreign Minis- a seasoned and experienced officer such isationen der SEDim Bundesarchiv, try background report on Soviet-Ethio- as Ratanov was not engaging in a cha- Berlin—included in the selection of pian relations printed below; a gener- rade in reporting this grotesque scheme Russian and East German materials on ally-worded Soviet report to the East and discussions of it with senior Ethio- the Horn of Africa crisis in 1977-78 German leadership on Mengistu's trip pian officials to Moscow.4

demonstrate the usefulness of is also included.) Likewise these docu- Limited as they are in what they multiarchival research for an underments are devoid of reference to the reveal of the debates and actions of standing of Soviet and Cuban policy. decision to shore up Ethiopian forces Soviet officials in Ethiopia, Somalia, Given the difficulties with access to the by transferring South Yemeni armored and Moscow in 1977-78, these Soviet- Soviet and Cuban archives, the formerly units to Ethiopia in late summer 1977 bloc documents are worth more detailed top-secret documents from the East to blunt the Somali advance.

examination and analysis, a task which German Communist party archives, The most curious aspect of this I hope to undertake at greater length and among them high-level discussions bebatch of documents concern three that also encourage others to do. More such tween CPSU, SED and Cuban party opdeal with “Operation Torch”—an al- documents may eventually become eratives, help to understand Moscow's leged American plot to assassinate available, as well as a potentially rich and Havana's interests and actions, in Mengistu and attack Ethiopia from collection of Ethiopian materials from ways that usefully supplement and go Sudan and Kenya. Ethiopian leaders this period that has been assembled in beyond what is currently available from presented what they described as docu- Addis Ababa for use in the trial of those countries, in this regional flarementation of the plot to Soviet-bloc dip- former Derg officials (the future status up that become a superpower crisis. lomats in early September 1977, and of these documents is unclear, but it is The documents also provide new claimed that it was planned to be to be hoped that they will be made avail- insights into the East German role in launched on 1 October 1977. The text able to scholars). Access to these ma- the Cold War in Africa. By the midof the description of the plot, suppos- terials, as well as additional U.S. gov- 1970s, Africa had become an increasedly conceived and directed out of the ernment documents still awaiting de- ingly important arena for GDR foreign U.S. Embassy in Nairobi, reads like a classification and still-inaccessible Cu- policy. Prior to the "wave of recognifourth-rate pulp thriller. Nothing in it, ban and other sources, may enable a far tion" following the Basic Treaty beincluding the names of the American better understanding of the Horn of Af- tween East and West Germany in 1972, officers who were supposedly directing rica Crisis of 1977-78.

East Berlin's primary interest in Africa it, bears any relation to known or plau

was to enhance its international standsible facts. Perhaps the oddest feature Though Siad told me on meeting with him in ing and prestige. The decolonization of "Operation Torch" is its lack of diMogadishu in September 1977 that Somalia had

process seemed to offer plenty of opno regular military personnel in Ethiopia, the rect connection with Somalia or with United States never took his claims seriously.

portunities for the regime of SED first Eritrean rebels.

Neither, so far as we can tell, did the Soviets. secretary Walter Ulbricht to undermine

2 If the Soviets actually took this “re- Moscow had up to 4000 advisers in Somalia as and circumvent the "Hallstein docport” seriously, why did they not chalof the beginning of 1977. There was also a siz

trine," Bonn's post-1955 policy to conable Cuban presence in Somalia. lenge all the countries supposedly co- 3

Chapter 5, “Crisis and Degeneration”, pp. 133

sider the establishment of diplomatic operating in mounting it—Kenya, 167 in The Horn of Africa from War to Peace

relation with the GDR by any third Sudan, and the United States? It bears (London/New York: Macmillan, 1991).

country to be an “unfriendly act” toall the marks of a disinformation op4 I served as the officer responsible for Horn af

wards the Federal Republic. Grounded eration of the kind that the Soviets (of- ing this period. No scheme remotely resembling fairs in the U.S. National Security Council dur

in the belief that the West German govten through Bulgaria or Czechoslova- "Operation Torch” was ever considered by the ernment was the only government truly kia) frequently undertook during this U.S. Government.

representative of the German nation, the period. Whatever specific purpose it

"Hallstein doctrine" effectively manwas designed to serve is unclear. One

aged to deny the GDR international lepossibility is that it may have been in

gitimacy outside the Soviet bloc. tended to heighten the paranoia of

East German efforts to subvert the Mengistu and his Derg colleagues and

Hallstein doctrine in Africa by gaining

1

diplomatic recognition were only par- ported East Berlin's claim to a to reassure the new leader of the Soviet tially successful. In the wake of the Sonderrolle (special role) within the so- bloc's and, in particular, the GDR's, 1956 Suez crisis, East Berlin managed cialist camp as Moscow's most trusted continued interest in close relations. to get its foot in the door in Egypt, and perhaps most significant ally. At the Within weeks, a representative from the largely because of its outspoken con- same time, increased trade with Afri- GDR Ministry for State Security was demnation of West German support for can countries decreased the GDR's de- sent to Addis Ababa to negotiate miliIsrael as well as its demonstrative soli- pendence on Soviet economic support tary (and intelligence) support (includdarity with the Egyptian people in the and provided valuable foreign curren- ing the sending of East German miliform of large long-term loans. Such cies and markets. Finally, the GDR's tary cadres) for the Mengistu regime. overt support did not go unnoticed in increased presence on the African con- As the documents show, East Berlin's Cairo. In the months after Suez, Egyp- tinent reflected a growing East German high hopes for Mengistu were soon tian President Gamel Abdul Nasser Sendungsbewusstsein (missionary zeal) crushed by his reluctance fully to adopt agreed to the establishment of an Egyp- among many SED officials who per- the Soviet model and in particular his tian trade mission in East Berlin. Shortly ceived the export of Soviet-style social- refusal to establish an avant-garde afterwards, the East German trade mis- ism to Africa to be a crucial element in Marxist-Leninist party. Given its pression in Cairo was upgraded to a consu- the growth and eventual success of ence on the scene, and the missionary late-general. Under special plenipoten- world communism.

zeal and the long-standing ties of its tiary Ernst Scholz, the mission soon East German leaders seized the emissaries, East Berlin was determined developed into East Berlin's African opportunity for increased involvement to change Mengistu's mind. Following headquarters for its quest for recogni- on the Horn of Africa when the end of several personal visits by Lamberz to tion.

imperial rule in Ethiopia in 1974 threw Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian leader Despite increased East German the region into turmoil. Despite the suc- agreed to receive a SED Central Compropaganda against the “imperialist” cess of the New Democratic Revolution mittee mission which would work toFederal Republic in the 1960s, however, in Ethiopia in April 1976, Moscow's wards the formation of a workers' party. Ulbricht's efforts continued to fall short position in Addis Ababa remained East Berlin's efforts in socialist nationof formal recognition, largely due to deeply troubled. To the south, Somalia's building, however, proved futile. Fed up West German economic pressure and putatively socialist leader, Mohammed with Mengistu's intransigence, his allthe threat of the Hallstein doctrine. Most Siad Barre, took advantage of encompassing preoccupation with the African leaders, even the ones rated Ethiopia's weakness and seized the wars with Eritrea and Somalia, and the "progressive," were indifferent to com- Ogaden region from Ethiopia. Despite PMAC's suspicion against any rival orplexities of the German question. Les its interest in the strategically important ganization, the East German mission querelles allemandes, however, persis- Somalia harbor of Berbera, Moscow left in November 1978 after a ninetently plagued East Berlin's relations grew increasingly uncertain and wary month stint in the Ethiopian capital.2 with African countries. Alhough Willy of its close relations with Siad Barre. The East German presence in the Brandt's Neue Ostpolitik freed the More significantly, Moscow's long- region - and East Berlin's longstanding GDR's interlocutors from the fear of standing support of the Eritrean libera- ties with Siad Barre in particular - also West German political sanctions, any tion movements against Addis Ababa proved advantageous when Soviet rerapprochement with East Berlin still

now had to be balanced with its inter- lations with Somalia plummeted in the bore the risk of economic reprisals. 1 est in the survival—and thus territorial course of the Somali-Ethiopian War

Africa remained a field for com- integrity of the Ethiopian Revolution, (1977-1978). Soviet military support of petition with the Federal Republic fol- led, until early 1977, by a military junta

led, until early 1977, by a military junta the Mengistu regime and Moscow's inlowing the diplomatic breakthrough of of uncertain ideological convictions. creasing suspicions regarding Siad the early 1970s, but with recognition Not until February 1977, when Lt. Col. Barre's collusion with the West exacerwidely secured, other aspects of the Mengistu Haile Mariam, the First bated tensions between the two counGDR's African policy assumed greater Deputy Chairman of the Provisional tries, and in November 1977 Siad Barre importance. GDR political, ideological, Military Administrative Council, seized expelled Soviet and Cuban advisers and and military support for liberation the post of PMAC chairman, did Mos- abrogated the three-year old Treaty of movements and countries with a social- cow throw its full weight behind the Friendship and Cooperation with the ist orientation demonstrated to Moscow Ethiopian regime.

USSR. By contrast, Somali-East Gerand other East-bloc countries East The GDR's embroilment in the cri- man relations initially remained stable, Germany's growing importance and al- sis was to some extent the result of for- providing Moscow with an ongoing lowed the SED leadership to develop a tuitous circumstance. Walter Lamberz, channel of communication. As more distinct international profile, en- SED politburo member and Erich Honecker explained to Castro in April hancing both the regime's international Honecker's trouble shooter for Africa, 1977, "we are pursuing the goal of keepand domestic legitimacy. Close cultural- happened to be in Addis Ababa on the ing up the dialogue with Siad Barre and ideological ties and economic-military eve of the coup which brought Mengistu tieing him to us as much as possible." cooperation with African states sup- to power and was immediately on hand Nevertheless, GDR aid to Ethiopia soon

4

."8

surpassed previous commitments to

2 See the confidential “Memorandum of Converprove futile. Mengistu had no confi

sation between Comrade Hermann Axen and the Somalia. dence in the talks with the Eritreans, and

head of the SED Central Committee Working East Germany's increased stature the “Cuban comrades have doubts as Group in Ethiopia, Comrade Herbert Graf, on 2 on the Horn was also reflected in the well,” Lamberz reported to Berlin.? August 1978 in the CC Building," Stiftung SED's efforts to mediate between the Disaster struck in March 1978.

Archiv der Parteien und Massorganisationen

der SED" im Bundesarchiv, Berlin (SAPMOPMAC and the Eritrean liberation Lamberz, whose personal relationship Barch) DY 30 IV 2/2.035/127. movements. Preliminary talks with with Mengistu had made the talks pos- 3

East German drafts of the envisioned agreement Mengistu, held in late 1977, and with sible, died in a helicopter crash in Libya. can be found in SAPMO-BArch DY30 IV 21 Siassi Aforki, general secretary of the The negotiations in March proved ever 2.035/127. See, e.g., Klaus Willerding (Dep. ForRevolutionary People's Party of Eritrea more acrimonious. With the war with

eign Minister) to Lambert, 30 January 1978, ibid.

“Memorandum on the Conversation between and deputy general secretary of the Somalia subsiding, the PMAC, by June,

the General Secretary of the CC of the SED, Erich Eritrean People's Liberation Front went on the offensive in Eritrea, rout- Honnecker, and the Delegation of the Provisional (EPLF), in January 1978, led to three ing the EPLF forces. The SED was, Military Administrative Council of Ethiopia sets of secret negotiations between the CPSU officials informed their SED

(PMAC), headed by Berhanu Bayeh on 31 Janu

ary 1978, in the Residence of the Central Comwarring parties in East Berlin in Janu- counterparts, trying to “square the

mittee," Berlin, 31 January 1978, ibid. ary/February, March, and June 1978. circle” in Ethiopia. Once the PMAC 5

Both parties agreed to seek a peaceful solution Eager to avoid further Eritrean-Ethio- was on the offensive, the Soviets ad- of the conflict. “Information on the Conversapian confrontation that would only vised, “an attempt on our part to stop

tions between the Representatives of the Provi

sional Military Administrative Council (PMAC) serve Western interests, the SED sought the Ethiopian leadership in its military

of Socialist Ethiopia and the Eritrean People's to engineer a peaceful and comprehen- course is a very delicate problem. Liberation Front (EPLF) under participation of sive settlement that included Eritrean With interest in a political settlement representatives of the Socialist Unity Party of autonomy and Ethiopian territorial in- waning on all sides, the third round of

Germany (SED) at the end of January/early Feb

ruary 1978 in Berlin," Berlin, 6 February 1978, tegrity.3 The fact that the PMAC and talks (10 June 1978) in Berlin was

ibid. EPLF agreed to negotiations at all—the doomed to fail. The SED had to ac- 6

Memorandum, 23 March 1978, ibid. first since the conflict had erupted 17 knowledge that “the meeting reflected

7

Memorandum of Conversation between Comyears earlier—was in itself a remark- a further hardening of the positions and

rade Lamberz and the Cuban Ambassador in

Ethiopia, Comrade Pepe, on 3 March 1978 (based able achievement. SED leaders spent mutually exclusive positions."9 More

on notes by Comrade Gen. Maj. Jaenicke),” 4 much energy and personal leverage in clearly than the second meeting, the March 1978, ibid. swaying both sides to the negotiating self-appointed SED mediators had to

8

“Memorandum of Conversation between Comtable, at one point causing Berhanu acknowledge, “it was evident that the

rade Friedel Trappen and Comrade R.A.

Uljanowski on Thursday, May 11, 1978, 11:00 Bayeh, a member of the PMAC Execu- PMAC has the intention to seek a mili

am to 1:30 pm in the CPSU Central Committee,” tive Committee to agree to meet Aforki tary solution.” According to an internal ibid.

9 “since he, as we can tell, appeals to you SED report, Berhanu now considered Information on the Third Meeting between the (the East Germans).”4 the "liberation of Eritrea, of course

representatives of the PMAC of Socialist Ethio

pia and the EPLF in Presence of the delegate of Getting both sides to negotiate in through force," as the only option. 10

the SED Central Committee on 10 June 1978 in Berlin was one thing, substantive The East Berlin negotiations on Eritrea Berlin, ibid.; on 10 June 1978 in Berlin, ibid.

10 progress another. Despite a successful thus ended in failure. The “best result Ibid.

11 first round, SED expectations soon so- of the meeting[s] was that the SED com

Memorandum by Hermann Graf on a 16 June

1978 Conversation with Valdez Vivo, 21 June bered. Mengistu remained more inter- rades are starting to give up on their il

1978, ibid. ested in a military solution of the lusions,” one Cuban leader, somewhat Eritrean problem and proved unrespon- gloatingly, related Berhanu's reaction to sive to East Germans calls to conceptu- the break-down of the Berlin talks. 11 alize a political solution that would ac- Subsequent mediation efforts commodate Eritrean interests. The proved similarly futile, and the issue Eritreans, for their part, remained stead- was not resolved until 1991—when the fast in their desire for full independence, military defeat and overthrow of the unacceptable to both East Berlin and Mengistu regime allowed the Eritrean Addis Ababa. Following the second rebel forces to triumph and achieve naround of talks in Berlin on 23 March tional independence, which was subse1978, "the opposing points of view re- quently ratified by popular referendum. mained unchanged," the East German negotiators noted.

For a good survey of the East-West German riEast Berlin's efforts to mediate be

valry in Africa see John Winrow, The Foreign

Policy of the GDR in Africa (New York: Camtween the warring factions raised eye

bridge University Press, 1989), 54-120. See also brows, at least in Havana. As the Cu- Jude Howell, “The End of an Era: the Rise and ban ambassador in Ethiopia, Pepe, told Fall of G.D.R. Aid,The Journal of Modern AfLamberz, the GDR's efforts would

rican Studies 32:2 (1994), 305-328.

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