Anniversary of Battle of Ogaden Celebrated in Ethiopia

By Asad Cabdullahi Mataan

Addis Ababa (Prensa Latina) The Cuban Embassy in Ethiopia paid homage to the 163 Cuban fighters killed in the battle of Ogaden, the victory of which occurred 40 years ago marking the end of the Somalian invasion into this neighboring country.

A wreath was placed at the memorial-monument located in the capital city’s downtown dedicated to the Cuban fighters killed in that battle.

The wreath was laid down by Cuban Ambassador in Ethiopia Vilma Thomas and hundreds of Ethiopians that studied in Cuba.

During the ceremony, Thomas said that Cubans in Ethiopia not only left a legacy in the history of this country, but they sealed forever an indestructible friendship, fertilizing the path with their own blood to strengthen and increase ties for the benefit of current and future generations.

Thomas said that the name given to that operation was Baragua, to honor the historic protest carried out by Cuban hero Antonio Maceo against the Spanish colonialism, the 100 years of which are celebrated today.

On behalf of the Ethiopian Government, deputy minister of Foreign Affairs Hirut Zemene thanked the courage of the Cuban heroes and heroines who offered their lives to defend the sovereignty of Ethiopians.

‘We, the people of Ethiopia will always remember that noble cause that both Cuba and its Government did in our defense, in response to our need,’ said Hirut.

The Embassy of Cuba in Ethiopia opened an exhibition with pictures from the period 1977-1978 related to that struggle, and also about the life of Ethiopians in Cuba during their studies there, when many of them were still younger than 12 years.

The victory in Ogaden, on March 15th, 1978, ended with the invasion of Somalia, the President of which, Mohamed Siad Barre, sought to control Ethiopia and much of the Horn of African, to establish a single State ruled by him.

Source: Prensa Latina