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Digital Archive International History Declassified

February 18, 1977

SOVIET EMBASSY IN EAST GERMANY, REPORT FOR CPSU CC SUMMARIZING VISIT TO SOMALIA ON 31 JANUARY-1 FEBRUARY 1977 BY DELEGATION OF THE GDR SOCIALIST UNITY PARTY (SED) CC

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    Soviet Embassy in East Germany, Report for CPSU CC Summarizing Visit to Somalia on 31 January-1 February 1977 by Delegation of the GDR Socialist Unity Party (SED) CC regarding the tensions between Somalia and Ethiopia and the need for a resolution, as well as the request by Somalia for East German aid
    "Soviet Embassy in East Germany, Report for CPSU CC Summarizing Visit to Somalia on 31 January-1 February 1977 by Delegation of the GDR Socialist Unity Party (SED) CC," February 18, 1977, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, TsKhSD, f. 5, op. 77, d. 1618, ll. 1-5 http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/111628
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Soviet Embassy in East Germany, Report for CPSU CC Summarizing Visit to Somalia on 31 January-1 February 1977 by Delegation of the GDR Socialist Unity Party (SED) CC, 18 February 1977

USSR EMBASSY IN
GERMAN DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC

SECRET, Copy no. 1
18 February 1977

TO THE SECRETARY OF THE
CC CPSU comrade B. N. PONOMAREV

We send to your attention according to classified procedures this report concerning the trip to Somalia, Mozambique, and Ethiopia (January 31 - February 11 of this year) by a delegation from the German Democratic Republic, headed by Politburo member, Secretary of the CC SED, comrade W. Lamberz.
ATTACHMENT: above-mentioned document of 41 pages, secret.
USSR AMBASSADOR TO
GERMAN DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC
/s/ P. ABRASIMOV

[attachment]

SECRET, Copy no. 1
Attachment to no. 122
18 February 1977
Translated from German

REPORT
concerning a trip to the Democratic Republic of Somali by a delegation from the CC SED from
31 January-1 February 1977

From 31 January to 1 February a delegation from the CC SED, headed by Politburo member, Secretary of the CC, Werner Lamberz visited Mogadishu at the invitation of the leadership of the Somali Revolutionary Socialist Party (SRSP). The delegation comprised: CC Member Kurt Tidke, Candidate-Member of the CC Eberhard Heidrich, Deputy Chief of the CC Section Freidel Trappen.

In accordance with its instructions, the delegation conveyed from the Secretary General of the CC SED Erich Honecker to the Secretary General of the SRSP and to the President of the Democratic Republic of Somalia, Mohammed Siad Barre, a message in response to the letter from Barre dated 24 November 1976, and concluded an agreement on collaboration between the SED and the SRSP for 1977-78.

The delegation received Mohammed Siad Barre, with whom they engaged in a detailed discussion.

Werner Lamberz conveyed greetings from the Secretary General of the CC SED and Chairman of the State Council of the GDR, Eric Honecker, and conveyed some explanations regarding his message. At the same time he stated the SED position with regard to the progressive development in Somalia and reported on the decisions of our party leadership, which were made as a result of the discussions of comrade [GDR Vice President Willi] Stoph in Somalia with comrade Samantar in the GDR. It was declared that the SED will now and in the future, to the extent of its abilities, offer support to the Republic of Somalia. At the same time, particular attention was drawn to the concurrence of the party.

Mohammed Siad Barre expressed his thanks for the message from Eric Honecker and expressed his gratitude for the GDR's manifestation of solidarity with the anti-imperialist liberation struggle. Somalia considers the help, which has been offered by the SSNM brigade in the preparation of specialists, to be particularly useful. Siad Barre in detail elucidated the internal situation in Somalia and, at the same time, particularly underscored the difficulties in realizing the party program.

In connection with the statement by Werner Lamberz concerning relations between the SDR and Ethiopia, Barre first and foremost affirmed the necessity of reaching a peaceful settlement of the problem with Ethiopia. However, at the same time, it was notable that his position on this question was contradictory and not free of nationalist features. He expressed doubt about the revolutionary nature of development in Ethiopia and characterized the Ethiopian leaders as chauvinists, and as connected to Zionist forces. Progressive forces in Ethiopia, including Marxist-Leninists, are persecuted and destroyed.

In the course of further conversation, in particular after the statement setting forth our position regarding the necessity of reaching agreement between progressive forces in Somalia and Ethiopia, and of the inadmissibility of any possibility that the imperialists should profit from the discord between the two states, Barre declared that he was prepared to study seriously any proposition of the Ethiopian leadership, in particular, from Mengistu. (Attachment 1). [not printed--ed.] (During the meeting between members of the Somali party and state leadership and the delegation, at which ambassadors of the socialist countries were also present, the Soviet ambassador to Mogadishu informed me that at the end of January [1977] comrade Brezhnev had likewise sent a message to Siad Barre, containing an urgent request that Barre reconsider the Somali position with regard to Ethiopia and that they avoid any exacerbation of the conflict.)

During the discussion of the project for a party agreement proposed by the SED, at first clarity was achieved with regard to the notion that the central content of such an agreement should be cooperation in the political-ideological area and that cooperation between our parties comprises the nucleus of all relations between our states and peoples. However, the SRSP delegation, headed by Politburo Member Ahmed Suleiman Abdullah, came forward with a request which greatly exceeds the ability of the SED (to build five fully equipped regional Party schools, to equip 82 regional Party committees with radio technology and supply with typographical machines, to accept an exceedingly large number of students for study at SED institutes of higher education, etc.), with which it was not possible to agree. In spite of these unrealistic requests, we succeeded in concluding an agreement which is realistic and which represents significant assistance and support for the Somali Party (Attachment II).[not printed--ed.]

It was strikingly apparent that, both during the time when our delegation toured around the city and during the negotiations on a Party agreement, mention was made repeatedly of the assistance and support which Somalia receives from China.

According to various [sources of] information, apart from a strongly progressive core in the Somali leadership, there is also a pro-China force which leans to the side of reactionary Arab states. (Last year Somalia was accepted into the Arab League as its youngest member.)

/s/ comr. R. A. Ulianovskii

[Source: TsKhSD, f. 5, op. 77, d. 1618, ll. 1-5.]