Request by the Ethiopian leader, Mengistu Haile Mariam, for immediate delivery of weapons to support the government in the Ethiopian civil war.
March 30, 1988
Telegram from Wolfgang Bayerlacher to Erich Honecker
This document was made possible with support from The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars
[GDR Embassy in Ethiopia]
Addis Abeba Instant Message
vvs-t-b 7/111- 21/88 First copy 1 page
Comrade Erich Honecker
On 30 March at 8:00 hours I informed Comrade Mengistu about the reaction by Comrade E. Honecker to his request for support. Comrade Mengistu expressed his heartfelt thanks and emphasized that the swift reaction by Comrade E. Honecker does confirm that you can absolutely rely on the SED and the GDR in every situation.
He is willing to receive Comrade [Hans] Kopmann. An appointment will be arranged after the latter’s arrival.
During the meeting he [Mengistu] decided that the candidate of the Politburo of the Central Committee of the WPE [Worker’s Party of Ethiopia] and [Ethiopian] Minister for Interior will be in charge for all questions regarding the implementation of the upcoming deliveries. Through him also the overflight and landing approval for the special plane announced for 30 March is to be obtained.
It was agreed that all questions regarding the arrival of the special plane are to be discussed with the head of his office, Comrade Mengistu Gemechu.
 Translator’s note: Hans Kopmann, an official from “Bereich Kommerzielle Koordinierung” (“Sector Commercial Coordination”), a secret GDR state enterprise to generate foreign currency and purchases from Western countries. Between 1978 and 1989 Kopmann was also the GDR “Special Envoy for Implementation of Tasks assigned by the GDR Party and State Leadership to support the Ethiopian Revolution”.
The GDR Ambassador to Ethiopia reports that he conveyed to Mengistu Erich Honecker's willingness to support the Ethiopian revolution.
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