3 JANUARY 1936, Page 5

The Abyssinian Attacks In Northern Abyssinia the Italian army, from

advancing southward on a narrow front, is increasingly being obliged to face westward to meet determined though sporadic attacks on a wide one. The principal Abyssinian thrusts, near Aksum and at Abbi Addi, have on the whole been reasonably successful. No great force was employed on either side, and casualties, the exact extent of which it is difficult to ascertain, were relatively severe. South of Makallc the Minister of War is in position with the best equipped part of the Emperor's forces, and an Abyssinian column is reported north-east of that place. Strategy on this front for the first time becomes coherent, and there is no doubt that the Abyssinians, helped by their country, arc very effectively slowing up a campaign in which slowness, for economic_ reasons, is most unwelcome to Italy. It must, however, not be forgotten that it may suit Marshal Badoglio to stand fast until bombing, hunger and the losses suffered in their sporadic attacks have had time to take the sting out of the Abyssinian resistance. The bombing of a Red Cross unit within twenty miles of Dolo shows that the opposing forces near the Kenya border are in fairly close contact. Full details of this are not yet known, but Italian attempts to justify the outrage are such as to suggest that methods of barbarism were deliberately adopted.