The July 1 op-ed column "Genocide in the Horn of Africa" appeared to support The Post's policy toward media coverage of Ethiopia: report negative and outdated news -- focusing on the Ethiopian1735358053parallel drawn between racist South Africa and Ethiopia.

In contrast to South Africa, Ethiopia has had a proud history of repelling outside forces that would use our country to advance their own self-interests. Ethiopia's situation cannot be fairly construed as a "racist or exclusionary" regime. In fact, our people and government are fighting for Ethiopian unity of all factions against opposition forces that are being manipulated for strategic reasons that have nothing to do with the betterment of Ethiopia and our people.

Admittedly, the civil conflict in Ethiopia is tearing our country apart, as The Post's series on the war reported {May 16 to May 18}. But that series focused on the war as seen through the eyes of the rebel forces operating in the Eritrean and Tigrean provinces and neglected to report actions taken by the Ethiopian government to advance a peace process begun last year.

In none of these lengthy stories did The Post see fit to report a June 14 announcement by former president Jimmy Carter that the Eritrean People's Liberation Front had decided to pursue a military option rather than a peaceful resolution to the conflict.

That action undermined the achievements of the recent U.S.-Soviet summit, which called for superpower cooperation in conducting a joint airlift of relief supplies. It also dashed hopes for the resumption of the stalled peace talks with the United Nations as an observer.

The Ethiopian government has gone on record to accommodate all issues raised by the Tigrean People's Liberation Front, including the formation of an interim government if the TPLF is commited to the unity and territorial integrity of Ethiopia. And, again, The Post did not consider this development newsworthy.

In promoting change in Ethiopia, the government has abandoned Marxist ideology and initiated political and economic reforms. Our government has adopted constitutional measures that would guarantee individual rights as our pluralistic society evolves. In economic matters, the failure of Ethiopia's centrally planned economy has demonstrated the need for a "mixed economy."

Historically, the U.S.-Ethiopian relationship has been a strong one. As the peace process moves forward and democratic reforms begin taking root, it is our hope that our two countries can again return to full diplomatic relations.

-- Girma Amare The writer is counselor and charge d'affaires for the Embassy of Ethiopia.