30 Aug 1985

“The primary goal of the Ethiopian government in Eritrea and Tigray Provinces, in our judgment, is to defeat the long-standing insurgency movements. Consequently, we believe that military operations, the government’s famine relief programs, and the resettlement program are all subordinate to this prime objective, often to the detriment of the famine-threatened population…

…Addis Ababa’s military campaign in Tigray Province earlier this year was intended, in part, to bring more of the population under its control and to disrupt insurgent relief operations. On at least two occasions, Ethiopian aircraft attacked Tigrean relief convoys operating near the war zone, jeopardizing both international relief workers and refugees. The regime probably calculated that the offensive would force the population, denied assistance elsewhere, to flock to government relief facilities…

…The Mengistu regime will continue to make minor concessions to the donor countries to preclude a cessation of Western relief assistance, but humanitarian concerns will continue, in our judgment, to take a back seat to its military struggle with insurgents.” Intelligence Memorandum