Thursday, 4 June 2020

The Daring ELF Operation of Haikota July/August 1963

The Daring ELF Operation of Haikota  July/August 1963

An ELF unit led by Adem Mohamed Hamid planned to attack and take control of the police station in Haikota. At the beginning of the armed struggle, it was the police force that got engaged with the ELF units. The Haikota Station was an essential outpost for that purpose. An ELF fighter, Mebrahtu Tseggai, from Ashera nicknamed, Agaat, was sent to Haikota to survey the possibility and collect information.  When he finished his mission, he reported to the Head of the unit Adem Mohamed Hamid, nicknamed ‘Gendifil’-elephant soldier that it was possible.  Gendefil then went to Haikota disguised as a mad person and confirmed it was indeed feasible. Before the operation, a policeman from Bushuka station, Omer Dini, had defected to the ELF with some weapons.

According to the plan, the unit stopped a passenger bus near Haikota. The bus was on its way to Tessenei. The driver was Abu Humed. The fighters, some of them unarmed, known then as ‘Kolei’ stopped the bus before it reached Haikota. They politely asked all the passengers to disembark near a place with Trees and water. They took over the van and drove to Haikota, singing marriage songs. They stopped in front of the police station and immediately attacked and took control of the station. In the exchange, there were some casualties in the police.  But not from the fighters. The police were taken by surprise.

The fighters took 35 rifles (Abu Ashara), 60 hand grenades, and two light machine guns for the first time. They drove the bus into the wilderness, but the bus got stuck in a river-bed, not far from the town. So they had to carry all the weapons for a long distance. This incident paved the way for the battle of Togoruba that took place on 15th March 1964, which was the first confrontation with the Ethiopian army.  

Gendefil, who was born in the village of Shalab near Aqordat 1935, joined the Sudanese Defence Forces in 1953. He met Awate in Hawasheit on 28/9/1961. He passed away on 17.04.1996

A short biography on Gendefil , in Arabic.

Source: ELF records and interviews with persons who knew about the operation

Sunday, 17 May 2020

إدريس محمد آدم في مقابلة مع الباحث الالماني، جونتر شرودر مارس 1989

إدريس محمد آدم في مقابلة مع الباحث الالماني، المهتم بقضايا القرن الإفريقي، جونتر شرودر

الزمان / المكان:مارس 1989 / الخرطوم يتحدث فيها عن بدايات الثورة

شكرًا لود عثمان لترجمة المقابلة إلى العربية

Monday, 11 May 2020

Günter Schröder Interview with Tesfay Weldemikael "Dagiga' 1989_1991

Günter Schröder Interview with Tesfay Weldemikael "Dagiga' 1989_1991 

Different Aspects of the History of the Eritrean Revolution:

  • The youth and student movement in Asmera in the early '70s and how and when he joined the ELF
  • ELF Fedaayin Administration before 1975 
  • Background of some Revolutionary Council (RC) Members
  • The political situation in Eritrea and the other political movements in 1991
  • On the relations of ELF with TPLF and EPRP

Monday, 2 March 2020

An Unfinished African Dream/ Eritrea: Ancient Times To 1968

An Unfinished African Dream/ Eritrea: Ancient Times To 1968 by Mohamed Kheir Omer, published 2020 by LuLu Publishing Services, based in the USA

One minute summary:

Amazon author page:

Book website:

Book interview in English:

Book Review by Pen Eritrea:

Book interview in Tigrinya:

Book interview in Amharic Part I:

Book interview in Amharic part II:

Book Interview with Tempo Africtv:

Available at:

Available at:

Book Review by Prof. Tekeste Negash:

Saturday, 29 February 2020

Tigrinya Applicatives in Lexical-Functional Grammar by Nazareth Amlesom

Tigrinya Applicatives in Lexical-Functional Grammar, a 2011 PhD Thesis by Nazareth Amlesom, Department of Linguistic, Literary and Aesthetic Studies University of Bergen

Part of the Abstract:

The primary goal of this thesis is to describe and analyze applicative constructions in Tigrinya. An applicative construction is characterized by a verb that bears an affix for an argument that either has a semantic role that is not normally entailed by the lexical meaning of the base verb or is specified as a peripheral argument. The choice of an applicative expression is motivated by semantic and discourse factors. Applicatively expressed arguments are associated with referents that possess high semantic prominence and discourse salience. The applicative phenomenon is viewed as a morphosyntactic strategy that introduces a core object function that is salient in the discourse event described by the verb. The theoretical motivation of this study is to explore the conditions that trigger object marking in Tigrinya so as to examine the semantic, functional and discourse properties of objects. The main theoretical framework used in this research is Lexical-Functional Grammar (LFG). This formalism assumes that the different linguistic information pertaining to functional, semantic and discourse structures can be modeled as interrelated parallel representations.

Saturday, 15 February 2020



Eritrea is the only country in Africa that has no civil strife, but yet produces the largest number of refugees

Sunday, 19 January 2020

Eritrea: Miscellaneous historical Documents from the 40s & 50s

Eritrea: Miscellaneous historical Documents from the 40s & 50s

Abdulgadir Kebire replying to a person who accused him in the Ethiopian sponsored newspapers

 British Statistics on Casualties due to Shifta activities and casualties inflicted on them
1948 - April 1950
 Police Commissioner authorizing the flying of the Muslim League flag 1951
  Police Commissioner's copy to Ibrahim Sultan authorizing the flying of the Muslim League flag 1951

Thanks to Jelal Yassin for sharing

Saturday, 28 December 2019

Animal Diseases and Veterinary Services in Eritrea 2001

Animal Diseases and Veterinary Services in Eritrea: The Past, Present and Future Challenges

Mohamed Kheir Omer, Gebrehiwet Taeme and Andom Gebremeskel

A paper presented at the Eritrean Studies Association Conference held at Asmara, Eritrea

June 2001

Can be downloaded at the link below:

Thursday, 26 December 2019

Refugees and citizens: Understanding Eritrean refugees’ ambivalence towards homeland politics

Refugees and citizens: Understanding Eritrean refugees’ ambivalence towards homeland politics, a 2019 article by Milena Belloni, University of Antwerp, Belgium

This article revisits ambivalence as a protracted state which does not simply develop as a result of the migration experience but stems from overlapping levels of normative inconsistency. Drawing from my ethnography of Eritreans’ everyday life in the homeland and abroad, I analyse their attitudes of patriotism and disenchantment through an ambivalence lens. Their ambiguous attitudes are arising from national and transnational Eritrean state policies and are further complicated by their role as “political refugees” in host countries. My informants’ ambivalence stems from them embodying more than one role (i.e. patriots, family breadwinners, refugees from and citizens of their homeland), from contradictory expectations pertaining to the same role (i.e. young citizens in Eritrea) and from clashing implications of being members of two different social systems (i.e. the destination country and the country of origin). Thus, Eritreans’ political loyalties and actions are characterized by a state of ambivalence throughout their migration process. Despite its peculiar characteristics, this case study sheds light on the complexity of ambivalence, as more than a temporary condition, for migrants and refugees in particular. In the current scenario of emigrant states’ transnational governance, protracted ambivalence is likely to mark the attitudes of an increasing number of people on the move as both refugees from and citizens of their country of origin.

You can access the full text at the link:

Monday, 23 December 2019

Introducing Haji Jaber's award winning Arabic novels

Introducing Haji Jabir's award winning Arabic novels

Haji Jaber is an Eritrean novelist, born in the coastal city of Massawa in 1976. He escaped with his family to Jeddah while he was breast feeding, to escape Ethiopian atrocities. He grew up and studied in Jeddah. As an immigrant in Saudi Arabia it was difficult for his family to find him a school but at last, he was able to get private education. He has published so far four novels: Samrawit (2012), winner of the Sharjah Award for Arab Creativity in 2012, Fatma's Harbour (2013), The Game of the Spindle (2015), which was longlisted for the 2016 Sheikh Zayed Book Award, and Black Foam (2018) which won the prestigious ‘Katara Prize’ In the category of the published Arabic novel. Eritrea is vividly present in his novels.

Samrawit (2012) is about discovering Eritrea after a long immigrant life in Jeddah, it is about the author’s or at times the main character’s first his interaction with the Eritrean Embassy there. It was about ‘home coming’. His first emotion-laden travel to Asmara and Massawa. Though the author had no personal memories about Eritrea, his collective memories are rich taken from his family who talked about the country daily. His mother’s longing to Zewditu, her close friend in Massawa. The main character falls in love with an Eritrean girl, Samrawit who lives abroad but was visiting Eritrea the same time he was there, he is being a Muslim and she being a Christian had its challenges. Samrawit is about this journey.

His second novel, Fatma's Harbour (2013) is about the main character from Ghinda who lives in Asmara and falls in love with a secondary school student who fails her exams deliberately to avoid Sawa and who lives at the old street of ‘Mersa Fatma’ meaning Fatma’s harbour. The street is close to Enda Mariam. Through the main character, the author takes us to youth life in Asmara, the Asmara University refusal to go to Kemtawi Maatot in 2001, the measures taken by Eritrean government, life in the national service in Sawa, the kidnapping by the Rashaida (what the author calls the Shifta), life in Shegerb refugee camp in Sudan with its old refugees of the 1960s and the new one. All those events are beautifully narrated in the journey of the main character in search for his lover. The novel was translated to Italian under the title’ L‏a fuga della picola Roma’.

His third novel, The Game of the Spindle, centers around the main character, who is a charming girl who had lost her both parents in the struggle and who lives with her grandmother who excels in spinning yarn and telling stories. The story centers in the newly formed Archives Department, where the charming girl is employed. The archives department aim is to digitalize documents written by fighters during the liberation. The folders are marked by three colors, BROWN which are considered public, YELLOW which are regarded semi-confidential and RED which are strictly confidential. People are recruited to this department after a lot of scrutiny. The beginners are given only the BROWN files and as their loyalty is tested their gradually deal with the confidential files. The main character starts with the BROWN ones, but quickly finds them boring and uses her beauty to get to the RED files.  The Red files get edited by the president of the state. She starts manipulating the stories in the files, re-writing them as she would tell the story. It is in those RED files she discovers a stunning history about her parents and about the President.

Black Foam follows a group of Ethiopian Jews, the “Falash Mura”, who are driven by poverty and desperation, emigrate to Israel in search of a better life. Amongest them is Dawoud, who changed his name to “Dawit” so that western NGOs can take him to Europe but fails. Upon learning that Falasha Jews are being transported to Israel, he invents a new identity, changing his name and history, so that he can travel to Israel alongside the Falasha Jews. However, on arrival, he faces the trials and suffering experienced by dark-skinned immigrants in the country.

Saturday, 30 November 2019

Tigre Studies in the 21st Century, a Review

 Tigre Studies in the 21st Century , RAINER VOIGT, ed. / Tigre-Studien im 21. Jahrhundert, Studien zum Horn von Afrika, 2 (Köln: Rüdiger Köppe, 2015). xi, 241 p

A Review of the book;

At the 3rd International Enno Littmann Conference held at the Freie Universität in Berlin
on April 1–4, 2009, under the heading ‘Tigre, Aksum and More’, a special panel was devoted to the T gre language and literature and to Tigre society.  The present volume, carefully edited by Rainer Voigt, who was also the organizer of the conference, contains the papers presented on this panel in which scholars from Eritrea also actively participated. It is doubtless to their presence that we owe a refreshing first in Ethiopian and Eritrean studies, namely: abstracts of the articles also in Tigre. This language is described by the editor in the Introduction as the third largest Ethiopic-Semitic language after Amharic and Tigriñña;  this is true only if we adopt the new trend in Ethiopian studies, and consider what used to be the Gurage dialect cluster with nearly 3,000,000 speakers or more, as a distinct group of several separate languages.

The book:

Thanks to Suleiman Bekit for sharing

Thursday, 7 November 2019

Eritrea - Ethiopia Boundary Commission DECISION Regarding Delimitation of the Border

Eritrea - Ethiopia Boundary Commission DECISION Regarding Delimitation of the Border between The State of Eritrea and The Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia 

Wednesday, 6 November 2019

Aspects of Tigrinya Literature until 1974

Aspects of Tigrinya Literature (until 1974) by Hailu Habtu, a M.Phil. thesis, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, 1981

This dissertation aims to study the origin and development of Tigrinya as a written language-a topic that has so far received little scholarly attention. As time and the easy accessibility of all the relevant material are limiting factors,this investigation is necessarily selective. Chapter One takes stock of all available writing in the Tigrinya language frcm its beginning in the middle of the last century up to 1974. Chapter Two briefly investigates the development of written Tigrinya to serve varying functions and ends and the general direction that its development took. Chapter Three provides a glimpse of the breadth and variety of literature incorporated in the Eritrean Weekly News published in Asmara by the British Information Services frcm 1942 to 1952. The E W N represented the sudden birth and development of a secular writing and provided a tradition and a reservoir of literature on which Tigrinya fiction later drew. Chapters Four, Five and Six deal with Tigrinya fictional literature on the basis of selected themes v. g. historical and political themes (Chapter Four), prostitution and approbation against dissolute life (Chapter Five), and education and success (Chapter Six)

Thursday, 29 August 2019

Günter Schröder on what is the real population in Eritrea and why it is kept as confidential

Günter Schröder on what is the real population in Eritrea and why it is kept as confidential:

Günter Schröder, who is a German scholar with extensive research on Eritrea in particular and in the Horn of Africa in general and this is his take on what is the real population and why does the government doesn’t publish actual surveys done or conduct a population census. Based on available data and on population growth, he estimates the resident population to be 3.2 million and explains the distubing population trends.

Monday, 26 August 2019

How Eritrea's regime policies causing large scale exodus of mainly young men impact on gender distribution and population growth in the country

How Eritrea's regime policies causing large scale exodus of mainly young men impact on gender distribution and population growth in the country

Günter Schröder, who is a German researcher with extensive research on Eritrea in particular and in the Horn of Africa in general and this is his take on how the large scale exodus of mainly young men impact on gender distribution and population growth in the country. This is part of his engagement with EriMedrek.

Watch the video:

Eritrea regime's social engineering impact on ethno-demographic balance of population

Eritrea regime's social engineering impact on ethno-demographic balance of population

Günter Schröder, who is a German researcher with extensive research on Eritrea in particular and in the Horn of Africa in general and this is his take on Eritrea's regime social engineering impact on ethno-demographic balance of population. This part of his engagement with EriMedrek. On this part he explains that the average population growth in the country was 12 % but the corresponding population growth in the Central Region was 20 % that shows more and more people have migrated to Asmara, but there has been a big original population loss in the Northern Red Sea Zone (NRZ), and Southern Red Sea Zone (SRZ) corresponding respectively to 30 % and 20 %. In case of NRZ the Tigrait speaking population has emigrated to Sudan and the Afar in the SRZ have emigrated to the Afar Region in Ethiopia. This population loss was compensated by the settlement of the Tigrinya speaking highlanders in those areas. The biggest population growth has been in Gash-Barka (36 %) mainly due to the government schemes of settling Tigrinya speaking highlanders in the region.

Watch the video here:

Friday, 9 August 2019

Asmara Pictorial Book 1890-1938 Print and ebook in Italian English Arabic Tigrinya


From 4 villages to a UNESCO’s World Heritage Site


 من ٤ قرى صغيرة لـ" قائمة التراث العالمى" لليونسكو


ካብ ኣርባዕተ ዓድታት ናብ ቦታ ቅርስታት ዓለም ባህልን ትምህርትን ውድብ ሕቡራት ሃገራት(UNESCO)

From 4 villages to a UNESCO World Heritage Site This is the first part of pictorial books about Asmara, the capital of Eritrea, covering the period 1890 -1938. On the 8th of July, 2017, Asmara was included in the UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites. UNESCO, described Asmara as a Modernist City of Africa and added, “Located at over 2,000 m above sea level, the capital of Eritrea developed from the 1890s onwards as a military outpost for the Italian colonial power. After 1935, Asmara underwent a large scale programme of construction applying the Italian rationalist idiom of the time to governmental edifices, residential and commercial buildings, churches, mosques, synagogues, cinemas, hotels, etc.” This pictorial book takes you through that journey on how Asmara developed from four villages to a modernist city, with explanatory captions in Italian, English Arabic and Tigrinya.

SBS Tigrinya interview with the authors:

"ኣስመራ፡ ካብ ኣርባዕተ ዓድታት ናብ ቦታ ቅርስታት ዓለም" ዕላል መጽሓፍ ምስ / መሓመድ፡ ኣቶ ነጋሽን ኣቶ ጀላልን

A summary of  book promotion with Asmara Shuker music:

The book is available at:

Characteristics of typical African elections

Characteristics of typical African elections:

- There is lack of transparency in the process of elections
- The incumbent President has a better chance of cheating
- The loser does not acknowledge defeat even if the country is on fire
- Some times one can never make it to the presidency if one has a smaller social base, as people are more liable to elect persons from their own social base, but for some the only goal in life is to be a president, all or none
- The opposition wants to rule, in the first free elections, instead of building up on their achievements and prepare for the next elections