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Digital Archive International History Declassified

September 10, 1977

SOVIET AMBASSADOR TO ETHIOPIA A.P. RATANOV, MEMORANDUM OF MEETING WITH MENGISTU

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    Soviet Ambassador to Ethiopia A.P. Ratanov, memorandum of meeting with Mengistu with heads of diplomatic missions for the European socialist countries regarding the "imperialist" plot on the part of the US and other countries to overthrow the Ethiopian government
    "Soviet Ambassador to Ethiopia A.P. Ratanov, Memorandum of Meeting with Mengistu," September 10, 1977, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, TsKhSD, f. 5, op. 73, d. 1636, ll. 139-40; translation by Mark H. Doctoroff. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/110957
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Soviet Ambassador to Ethiopia A.P. Ratanov, Memorandum of Meeting with Mengistu, 10 September 1977

TOP SECRET, Copy No. 2
From the journal 29" September 1977
RATANOV, A.P. Issue No. 350

RECORD OF CONVERSATION
with the Chairman of the PMAC MENGISTU HAILE MARIAM
10 September 1977

On September 10, together with the heads of the diplomatic missions of Bulgaria, Hungary, the GDR, PDRY, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Romania, PDRK [People's Democratic Republic of Korea; North Korea], Cuba, and Yugoslavia, I was invited to visit Mengistu Haile Mariam. From the Ethiopian side, Atnafu Abate and Berhanu Bayeh, Deputy Chairman of the PMAC and member of its Permanent Committee, respectively, took part in the meeting, along with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Felleke Gedle-Giorgis.

Mengistu said that the goal of this meeting was to inform the governments of the socialist countries and the PDRY, through their representatives in Addis-Ababa, about the discovery by the PMAC of an imperialist plot against the Ethiopian revolution, in which to some extent or another are participating the USA (the initiator of the plot), Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Kenya, and Somalia.

According to the document, which fell into the hands of the PMAC "from trusted sources," CIA official E. Kelly from the USA Embassy in Nairobi has worked out a coordinated plan of action of domestic Ethiopian counterrevolutionary forces and the countries which support them, which envisages a range of acts at the end of September - beginning of October of this year, which have as their goal the overthrow of the PMAC and the creation of a pro-Western, reactionary government. Terrorist acts in Addis-Ababa against members of the PMAC leadership and the organization of a combined attack of military formations prepared on the territories of Sudan and Kenya, and also a continuation of Somali aggression, are parts of the plan.

In this regard Mengistu Haile Mariam said that in the aforementioned document there are listed various types of military sub-units and their specific tasks are set forth. The attack would begin simultaneously from the north-west, west, and south in the direction of Addis-Ababa. In fact, as far as Somalia is concerned, its forces which are located on the territory of Ethiopia, on 10 September of this year again attacked Jijiga, in the event of the capture of which they are planning an attack on the administrative center of that region, Harar, and the great industrial center Diredawa. Battles for Jijiga are continuing.

Among the number of parties and organizations which are participating in the plot, Mengisu named the Eritrean separatist organization, the Ethiopian Democratic Union, [and] the Movement for the Liberation of the Afars (detachments of this movement would attack Assab).

In conclusion, having declared that the PMAC is taking measures now to explode the schemes of the participants in the plot, Mengistu expressed the hope that the socialist countries, whose assistance is decisive for Ethiopia, will provide it at this critical moment the necessary political and military support. In this regard he noted that one of the most serious problems for Ethiopia may be the problem of fuel, since the Arab countries intend to apply an embargo on deliveries of fuel to Ethiopa (which are realized through the company Mobil).

The heads of the diplomatic missions promised to bring the information which Mengistu had provided to the attention of their governments.


AMBASSADOR OF THE USSR

IN SOCIALIST ETHIOPIA
/s/ A. RATANOV