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02 Dec 1998 description

WASHINGTON -- Former National Security Adviser Anthony Lake will return to the Horn of Africa this week "as planned, to continue U.S. efforts to help find a peaceful solution to the dispute between Eritrea and Ethiopia," State Department Spokesman James Rubin announced December 2.

Following is the State Department text of Rubin's announcement:

(BEGIN TEXT)

US DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Office of the Spokesman

30 Nov 1998 description

Ethiopia
Ethiopia's main rainy season has ended and a record harvest is forecast. The unseasonably late, heavy rains that covered northern and eastern Ethiopia in October tapered off late in the month, allaying fears of widespread crop damage from flooding and helping some crops by allowing them to complete the grain-filling stage. The benefits were most noticeable in areas where the rainy season had a late start.

18 Nov 1998 description

RUBIN COMMENTS ON ANTHONY LAKE VISIT TO ETHIOPIA, ERITREA
(11/18 statement by State Department spokesman) (240)

WASHINGTON -- Former White House National Security Adviser Anthony Lake has just returned from a second mission to Ethiopia and Eritrea and plans to "visit the region again soon" to help seek a "peaceful resolution" of their border dispute, State Department Spokesman James Rubin said November 18.

Following is the text of a statement by Rubin, released by the department:
(BEGIN TEXT)

U.S. Department of State

28 Apr 1998 description

Ethiopia's belg (secondary) season started early this year, but a dry spell lingered from mid-March to mid-April. This dry spell was most pronounced in the belg areas of South Tigray and North Wello Zones. Due to the early start of the season, most farmers in the northern highlands completed planting by the beginning of March, and by the end of the month, crops were at growth stages ranging from emergence to full canopy coverage. The dryness has affected crops differently, depending on altitude.

26 Mar 1998 description

Pastoral populations in Ethiopia's southeastern lowlands depend heavily on livestock exports to Somalia, most of which are reexported to the Gulf States. Saudi Arabia has responded to outbreaks of Rift Valley fever in eastern Africa by banning livestock imports from eight countries in the region, including Ethiopia. No cases of livestock Rift Valley fever have been reported in Ethiopia, however, and the Ethiopian Ministry of Health recently determined that suspected human cases were actually malaria.

26 Feb 1998 description

Many areas of Ethiopia received above-normal rainfall in January. Although these rains were unseasonable, they were generally welcome and they have improved pastures and increased water availability, which is normally low at this time of year. Off-season crops planted during the unusual rains of October and November benefited from the abundant moisture, and it is likely that they will attain maturity and good yields.

28 Jan 1998 description

December is normally the month when farmers in Ethiopia complete the main-season harvest and when threshing activities are at their peak. This year the process has been delayed by 1 to 2 months by unseasonable torrential rainfall in October and November, which caused floods and damaged crops. When these abnormal rains eased at the end of November, widespread harvest activities resumed.