Thursday, 5 February 2015

Fait Tinga Longhi, nicknamed “Fighting Gun” one the veterans for the independence of Eritrea

Fait Tinga Longhi (1912 - 1997)
ፋይድ ቲንጋ ሎንጊ
فايد تينغا لونجي


Fait Tinga Longhi, nicknamed “Fighting Gun” one the veterans for the independence of Eritrea

Short Biography:

Faid Tinga Longhi:

-          Born in Gullu (Suzena) in 1912, from the family of the fraction Alummu, Cunama.
-          Elected Representative at the Eritrean Assembly, Married with Mamma Catta, one son.
-          Enlisted in the Colonial Troops Corps (1-V-1934) 2. Battalion, then
-          Assigned to the Autonomous Company, commanded by Captain Bongiorno in Agordat which became the 27th  battalion. 

-          He participated in the 1935-36 campaign. From Agordat to Suzena in Tucul, across the Mareb and participate in the fight of Addi kilt (28.03.1936); followed the destination to Axum, Biacundi, Amba Bircutan, adi Remoz (Welkait) and Gondar (1937).
-          He fought at the Battle of the Bosa.
-          Promotion to Buluqbash on the field 10.11.1937, and to that of Mezza (Debre Marqos in March 1938 and of Againti (Debre Tabor), in which he was seriously wounded and proposed for promotion to Sciumbash and silver medal.
-          Hospitalized, and then under license convalescence, he was discharged on 1.04.1939 to Celga. 

-          Called back to the European conflict, he was assigned with the 104th Battalion to Omhajer, where he stayed until 01.06.1940, then for the entire war he scouted the Sudanese border, until the Battalion was dissolved.
-          Faid returned to the country and dedicated himself to the cultivation of the plain of Tole Albibi.
-          In November 1943, a conflict arose with the Beni Amer population due to the question of grazing, an armed gang attacked the village of Tole Albibi, killing one of his nephews, another woman, a man and raiding livestock and burning houses

-          Therefore, with a band of 58 other cunama he gave himself to banditary: they removed 160 cattle from a Tribe of Beni Amer ad Adghennat (OBellet).
-          They had a fight in December 1943 with those and another with a detachment of 32 policemen
-          About 12 Months later all of them were arrested and tried;
-          Faid Tinga was forgiven and appointed as Gullu's sub clan chieftain, serving for the British Police authority in various locations on the borders of the Cunama country with Serae and towards Hamasien for the return of the Shifta. 

-          Following the bloody contests between Cunama and Beni Amer in the area between Barentu and Gash (1949-50), a band outside the law assaulted the countries of Gullu and Danca on 24.12.1950, plundering 89 people and killing 3 (Burning 173 Tucul 7,800 quintals of cereals, legumes and oil seeds, 700 heads of cattle, sheep, horses and camels, plus 1800 shillings, were destroyed or plundered).

-          Faid Tinga once again returned to the bush with about thirty companions, and upon the request from the authorities through Mohammed Badume Casu, He surrended on 25.03.1951 in Barentu.
-          Sciumbasci: Campaign 1935-36; 1940-45
-          Bashai: 1936 He was awarded a gun for honor:
-          Er. war military value; proposed for bronze and silver medal

-          Elected representative to the Eritrean assembly 26.03.1952 for the Cunama population Alummu, Coita, Ghega, Oganna, Fode, and Aimassa.

    Source:  Source: Chi è? dell’Eritrea 1952. Dizionario Biografico: Con una Cronologia by Giuseppe
          Puglisi pp. (120-121)
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   Thanks to Jelal Yassin for the translation from Italian to English, Tigrinya and Arabic
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    Fait Tinga had 13 children (3 girls and 10 sons) from 5 wives. Four of his sons were martyred in the Eritrean War of Independence. His first wife Mamma Catta is still alive
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ፋይድ ቲንጋ ሎንጊ (1912 – 1997)

-       ፋይድ ቲንጋ ብ1912 ኣብ ጉሉ(ሱዘና) ተወልደ። ንሱ ካብ ቀቢላ ኣሉሙ ናይ ኩናማ እዩ። ኣብ ባይቶ ኤርትራ ከም ወኪል ድሕሪ ምምራጹ ንማማ ካታ ተመርዕዩ ወዲ ተቦኰረ። ንሰን ቀዳምይቲ በዓልቲ ቤቱ እየን።
-       ብ1934 ኣብ መግዛእታዊ ውትህድርና ኢጣልያ ተጸንቢሩ ኣብ ካልኣይ ቦጦሎኒ ኣገልገለ።
-       ድሒሩ ኣብ ትሕቲ ካፕቴን ቦንጆርኖ ኣብ ኣቑርደት ዓስከረ። ድሕሪ ስም እታ ቦጦሎኒ ናብ ቦጦሎኒ 27 ምቕያሩ ድማ ኣብ ወተሃደራዊ ወራራት 1935-36 ተሳተፈ። ካብ ኣቑርደት ናብ ሱዘና ትኹልን ስግር መረብን ገዓዘ። ከምኡ’ውን ብ28 ሚያዝያ 1936 ኣብ ዓውደ ውግእ ዓዲ ክልት ተዋግአ። እቲ ወተሃደራዊ ወፍሪ ብ1937 ናብ ኣኽሱም፡ ቢያኩንዲ፡ እምባ ብርኩታን፡ ዓዲ ረሞዝ ኣብ ኣውራጃ ወልቃይትን ጎንደርን ለሓመ። ፋይድ ኣብ ውግእ ቦሳ’ውን ተሳቲፉ ነበረ።

-       ኣብ ዓውደ ውግኣት ብዘርኣዮ ወተሃደራዊ ብቕዓት ድማ ብ10 ሕዳር 1937 ናብ ናይ ብሉቕባሽ መዝነት ደየበ።
-       ኣብ ውግኣት ብዘጥረዮ ተመክሮ ኣብ መጋቢት 1938 ኣብ ደብረ ማርቆስ ናብ ናይ ሜዛ መዓርግ ክድይብ ከሎ ድሒሩ ድማ ኣብ ደብረ ታቦር ናብ ኣጋኢንቲ ተሰጋገረ።  ኣብቲ እዋን’ቲ ብኸቢድ ተወጊኡ ነበረ። ብድሕር’ዚ ድማ ብሩር መዳልያ ዘውህብ ናይ ሹምባሽ መዓርግ ንምውሳድ ተሓጽዩ ነበረ።
-       በዚ ምኽንያት ኣብ ሆስፒታል ተዓቚቡ ክሳብ ዝሓዊ ክእለ ተፈቕደሉ። እዚ ድማ ብ1/04/1939 ንኽፋኖ ምኽንያት ኮኖ። ናብ ሰልጋ ድማ ከደ።

-       ድሕሪ ገለ እዋን ድማ ኣብ ግርጭት ኤውሮፓ ንኽሳተፍ ናብ ንጡፍ ዕማሙ ክምለስ መጸዋዕታ ተገብረሉ። ኣብ ቦጦሎኒ 104 ኣብ ኦምሓጀር ተመዲቡ ድማ ክሳብ እታ ቦጦሎኒ ዝተሰናበተትሉ ግዜ ማለት 01/06/1940 ኣገልገለ።
-       ኣብ ሕዳር 1943 ኣብ መንጎ ቀቢላኡን ህዝቢ በኒዓምርን ብናይ መግሃጫ መሬት ክርክር ዝሰዓበ ግርጭት ተፈጥረ። ዝዓጠቑ ጉጅለ ንዓዲ ቶለ ኣሊቢቢ ኣጥቂዖም 3 ሰባት ቀተሉ። ሓደ ካብቶም ዝተቐትሉ ሰባት ድማ ወዲ ሓዉ ንፋይድ ነበረ። እቶም ጉጅለ ጥሪት ዘሚቶም ገለ ገዛውቲ ኣንደዱ። ድሕር’ዚ ፍጻሜ’ዚ ፋይድ ቲንጋ 58 ደቂ ቀቢላኡ መሪሑ ጉጅለ ሽፍታ ኣቖመ።
-       ጉጅለኡ ድማ 160 ከብቲ ካብ ቀቢላ በኒዓምር ኣብ ዓድገነት ዑበል ዘረፉ።
ኣብ ታሕሳስ 1943 ድማ ምስ ፖሊስ ተዋግኡ። ድሕሪ ከባቢ 12 ወርሒ ድማ ብምሉኦም ተታሒዞም ናብ ፍርዲ ቀረቡ። ፋይድ ቲንጋ ተማሒሩ ናይ ንኡስ እንዳ ጉሉ መራሒ ተሰየመ።

-       ፋይድ ምስ ሰበስልጣን ፖሊስ ብሪጣንያ ኣብ ውሽጢ ዶባት ኩናማ ክተሓባበር ጀመረ።
-       ድሕሪ ደማዊ ውግእ ኣብ መንጎ ኩናማን በኒዓምርን ብ1949-50 ስዒቦም ሸፋቱ ንገጠራት ጉሉን ዳንካን ብ24/12/1950 ወረርወን። 3 ሰባት ክቕተሉ ከለዉ 89 ድማ ተዘመቱ። ዓዲ ቱኹል ብምቅጻል፡ 7800 ኩንታል ኣእካልን ናይ ዘይቲ ዘራእትን፡ 700 ከብቲ፡ ኣባጊዕ፡ ኣፍራስን ኣግማልን፡ ከምኡ’ውን 1800 ሽልን ዓንዩን ተዘሚቱን።
-       ፋይድ ቲንጋ ድማ ዳግማይ ምስ ከባቢ 30 ዝኣኽሉ መካይድቱ ናብ በረኻ ወጸ። ካብ ሰበስልጣን ብመንገዲ መሓመድ ባዱመ ካሱ ብዝተገበረሉ ሕቶ መሰረት ድማ ብ25/03/1951 ኣብ ባረንቱ ኢዱ ሃበ።

-        ሹምባሽ: ወራር 1935-36; 1940-45
-       ባሻይ: 1936 ናይ ክብሪ ጠበንጃ ተሸለመ
-       Er. ወተሃደራዊ ክብሪ; ንናይ ብሩርን ኣስራዝን መዳልያ ተሓጽየ
-       ኣብ ባይቶ ኤርትራ ብ26.03.1952 ከም ወኪል ህዝቢ ኩናማ ኣሉሙ፡ ኮይታ፡ ገጋ፡ ኦጋና፡ ፎዴን ኣይማሳን ተመርጸ።

ፋይድ ቲንጋ ካብ 5 አንስቲ 13 ቆልዑ ወሊዱ ፣ ሰለስተ ካብ አተን ካኣ ድቂንስትዮ እየን። ዉርይቲ ስነጥበባዊት ደሀብ ሓንቲ ካብአተን እያ። ካብ ደቁ 4 አብ ገድሊ ተሰዊኦም።
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فايد تينغا لونجي

ولد فايد تينغا لونجي في قولا ( سوزينا )  في عام 1912. وقد كان من قبيلة آلومو من كوناما.
بعد انتخابه ممثلا في البرلمان الإريتري ، كان متزوج من ماما كاتا وأنجبا ابن . في عام 1934 انضم إلى الجيش الإيطالي الاستعماري ضمن المجندين في  المستعمرة وخدم في الكتيبة الثانية.
استقر في اغردات تحت قيادة بونجيرو . وبعد إعادة تسمية الكتيبة 27 كتيبة ، شارك في الحملة العسكرية 36- 1935. انتقل من أغرادت إلى سوزينا في توكولا بعد عبوره لنهر مأرب. كما حارب في معركة أدي كيلت في 28 مارس 1936

استمرت الحملة العسكرية إلى أكسوم ، وبياكوندي ، وأمبا بيركوتان ، وعدي ريموز في منطقة ويلكيت ، وجوندار في عام 1937. وشارك أيضا في معركة بوسا .بناء على إنجازاته العسكرية في ساحة المعركة ، تمت ترقيته إلى رتبة شاويش في 10 نوفمبر 1937.
من خلال الخبرة القتالية تمت ترقيته إلى "ميزا" في مارس عام 1938 في "ديبري مرقص" وتم ترقيته لاحقًا إلى "أجيانتي" في "ديبري تابور". في هذه المعركة أصيب بجروح خطيرة ، وكان في وقت لاحق مرشح لترقية إلى رتبة شمباش والحصول على ميدالية فضية.
وبناءً عليه ، تم إدخاله إلى المستشفى. وقد أدى هذا إلى تسريحه في 01/04/1939 ، وذهب إلى سيلجا.
بعد فترة استدعي إلى الخدمة الفعلية للمشاركة في الصراع الأوروبي وعين في الكتيبة 104 في أم حجر. خدم هناك حتى تم تسريح كتيبته في 01/06/1940

عاد فايد تينغا إلى قريته وبدأ يعمل كمزارع في سهول طولي علي بيبي  . في نوفمبر 1943 ، اندلع صراع بين قبيلته و البني عامر بسبب نزاع حول المراعي. هاجمت عصابات مسلحة قرية طولي علي بيبي وقتلوا ثلاثة أشخاص. واحد من الرجال الذين قتلوا كان ابن أخ فايد. وأسفر الهجوم أخذ المواشي وإحراق بعض المنازل.
بعد هذه الحادثة ، شكّل فايد تينغا و 58 من رجال القبيلة  عصابة واختطفت مجموعته حوالي  160 رأس من الماشية من قبائل بني عامر في عدجهينيت  (أوبل ) . 

وكان هناك قتال آخر في ديسمبر 1943 مع رجال الشرطة ، ولكن بعد حوالي 12 شهرًا تم القبض على جميعهم وتم محاكمتهم ؛ تم العفو على فايد تينغا وعُيّن كزعيم  لعشيرة غولو. بدأ التعاون مع سلطة الشرطة البريطانية داخل حدود منطقة كوناما . بعد المعركة الدامية بين كوناما وبني عامر50 - 1949 ، هاجمت عصابة  قريتي غولو ودنكا في 24/12/1950. وتم قتل 3 أشخاص وخطف  89 شخص . وحرق قرية توكول وحوالي 800 7 طن من الحبوب والبقوليات والبذور الزيتية و 700 رأس من الأبقار والأغنام والخيول والجمال ، بالإضافة إلى تدمير  أو نهب 1800 شلن.
عاد فايد تينغا مرة أخرى إلى الأدغال مع حوالي ثلاثين من رفاقه ، وبناء على طلب السلطات من خلال الناظر محمد بدومي كاسو ، استسلم في  25/03 / 1951  في بارنتو.

-        شاويش : في حملة 35/  1936 –45 / 1940
-         بشاى: 1936 حصل على مسدس شرف .
-        اقتراح للميدالية البرونزية والفضية .
-          ممثل منتخب في الجمعية الإريترية 26.03.1952 ممثل سكان كوناما ألومو وكويتا وغيغا وأوجانا وفود وإيماسا.
-          خلف ٣ بنات وعشرة اولاد من ٥ زوجات، واحد بناته الفنانة دهب وقد استشهد ٤ من اولاده في حرب التحرير
The Kunama are a minority in Eritrea that have a unique culture that they have maintained despite the hardships. They have lived in co-existence with their immediate neighbours the Baria (Nara) and the Beni Amer. Both the ELF and the EPLF had not been able to respect their culture and choices. Under the PFDJ, even their existence is under threat. Their region has become a no-mans land. They have been marginalized in their own land. The Late Dr. Alexander Naty, a prominent Kunama scholar has written articles about their plight.  One of his articles, ‘Environment,society and the state in southwestern Eritrea’ examines this issue in detail.

The Kunama have the right to have their own administration under a constitutionally federal arrangement in Eritrea. I not only support that, but I even defend their right to self-determination, including and up to secession.  We need to make unity attractive to all Eritrean components, to make it work. Badume and Fayotingun Longhi  were some of the prominent leaders of the Kunama. This not is about Fait Tinga Longhi.


According to Jordan Gebre-Medhin, Fait Tinga Longhi, was one of the most highly decorated men from the Kunama. He was born in Gulu, Suzenu in the Kunama area , in the late 1910s. Though Christian to begin with, he converted to Islam, in the 1940s. At that time, according to Trevaskis Kunama had about 22,000 people of whom 3000 were Christians, 12000 Muslims and 7000 who believed in traditional beliefs. According to western sources then, the Kunama region was sparsely populated partially because the Kunama had been virtually wiped out by the Abyssinian and Beni Amer attacks. After 1860, the Egyptians made a concerted effort to convert them to Islam while Swedish missionaries worked to convert them to Christianity.

Between 1952 and 1962, Fait Tinga Longhi was elected enthusiastically to represent the Kunama people of his district to the Eritrean Parliament as an Anti-Unionist. At the end of the Federal arrangement he was imprisoned several times by the Ethiopian Government for his pro-Eritrean work. He was a political prisoner when the military regime came to power and he was freed by the EPLF in 1974 when they stormed the prison in Asmara.


According to Alexander Naty, “In the past ethnic groups such as the Kunama, Nara and Beni-Amer have predominantly inhabited the area.  The Kunama and Nara belong to Nilo-Saharan language family. The Beni-Amer is a Cushitic-speaking people.  In recent times members of other Eritrean ethnic groups such as the Saho and Tigrinnya have settled in the region.  These communities have been mainly attracted by the availability and fertility of the land and other economic opportunities. Each of the indigenous groups (i.e. the Kunama, Nara and the BeniAmer) had a specific territory that is recognised by tradition.  The Kunama people refer to the land they inhabit as Kunamalaga, which means Kunamaland.  Reflecting their matrilineal societal organisation, they also refer to it as afa laga, which means the land of the maternal grandmother.  Territories that are located adjacent to river Gash and Setit belong to the Kunama traditionally.  The Beni-Amer often grazed their livestock in these localities.  Their intermingling with the Kunama of Sokodas has facilitated the settlement of the Beni-Amer in some Kunama villages in the region."

"The Kunama society is organised along matriclan and matrilineage line.  The different lineages constituting a clan own land.  Individuals who do not belong to the lineage or clan also can use the land on usufractory basis.  The land cannot be sold or purchased. There are many clans in the Kunama society.  These clans include kara, nataka, serma, jula, sogona, lakka, akartakara, alaka and shila, among others.  The number of clans differs from one region to another.  Some regions probably because of the extent of population intermixing have more clans than others.  Each clan owns land that is collectively used by clan members.  This ownership of land has been misunderstood by outsiders who often conceive the Kunama as lacking a concept of ownership of land. " 

"The Kunama believe that from the very beginning, each clan had its own land.  Historically, clan members probably claimed land on “first-comer” basis.  There was also a tradition that allowed clan members to acquire land that belonged to another clan.  For example, if a lion or other animals kill a person, the kinsmen of the deceased individual would claim the area where the person was killed. Lands that are acquired in this way are referred to as kokoba laga, which means “blood land.” End of quote.

According to Jordan, at about the age of 22, Longhi joined the Italian army and by 1939 he became a native expert on the Shifta attacks on the Italians in Ethiopia. In 1939, the Italians gave Longhi a bronze medal for his services and promoted him to Shumbash, the highest ranking order, awarded to Eritreans during that period. A few months later, for reasons that are not known, he was dismissed from his colonial post and he went to his home village. When the Italian army fighting against the British was facing defeat, the Italians enlisted him again in their army as the head of a regiment of ‘native battalions’.

On the memories of the Kunama towards Italian colonialism, Alexander Naty states that the Kunama give the Italians credit for bringing peace to the area. In fact they remember Italian colonial rule with some nostalgia. The Italian image of the Kunama somehow resonates that of the Kunama about themselves; they portrayed the Kunama as victims of slave raids by the Abyssinians. The positive attitude of the Kunama towards Italian rule is also related to the Italian policy of territorial and administrative delimitation, which took into consideration factors such as history and ethnicity. As a result, all Kunama were incorporated within the Gash-Setit administrative unit and indigenous customs were left intact.  

When the Italians were defeated he went back to his home village again. The state of anarchy that ensued in 1942 forced him to form a military band  of 58 to defend his community against the raids of the Beni Amer and the Abyssinians. By 1943 the British established a truce and Longhi and his men surrendered. When the provocations of the Unionist Shifta activities increased in the region, he established one again a peoples’ armed militia.

The immediate cause of the war between the Kunama and the Beni Amer, prior to this new alliance was the breakdown of the migration and settlement rule that had guided certain tribes of the Kunama and a section of the Beni Amer. For some centuries, a section of the Beni Amer had migrated via established routes to and from a dry weather encampment along the banks og the Gash River. Because of population growth and social development, certain Beni Amer began to settle permanently along the Gash River site. The Kunama angered by this began to wage war and a civil war broke out. According to Jordan, this explanation given by the British Military Administration (BMA) and the US Consul in Asmara, defies logic and is not plausible.

According to Jordan, when the attacks of the Unionists Shifta intensified both Hamid Idris Awate and Longhi formed militias to protect their people and attacked BMA police garrisons, ambushed police forces and attacked the Ethiopian supported Shifta.  Though Jordan claims they joined forces, various sources indicate that they were bitter enemies.  In the 1950 the BMA put a price on Longhi’s head, but it was only after the British declaration of amnesty that he surrendered. He again returned to his native village and was popularly elected to the Eritrean Parliament in 1952. He voted on all issues with the Muslim League in the Parliament. He joined the ELF in the late 70s but later switched to the EPLF. According to Jordan Gebre Medhin, Fayotingun Longhi’s and Hamid Idris Awate’s peoples’ militias acted as prelude to the modern armed struggle in 1961.

Source: Jordan Gebre Medhin’s book, Peasants and Nationalism in Eritrea pp. 158 – 160 and Alexander Naty’s article mentioned above
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More on the Kunama: http://kwekudee-tripdownmemorylane.blogspot.com/2013/01/kunama-people-eritreas-indigenous.html



2 comments:

  1. Hi,

    Your site looks to be very helpful for subjects that are quite obscure on the internet. I've been looking for information about this man. Through my searching I've discovered he's referred to by multiple names, including Fayid Tinga Longhi, Fait Tinga Longhi and Fayotingun Longhi. Most books refer to him as 'Fayotingun'. As I'd like to create a Wikipedia article about him, I'd like to get the correct name. Is there a reason why he is overwhelmingly referred to as Fayotingun, and is there a notable source for his alleged birth name 'Fait Tinga'? Also, is there a source referring to the exact dates of his birth and death?

    I would also like to know where I can find images of Longhi.

    Thanks and much appreciation,

    Mel.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Not really sure this was all what I can find about him, regards

    ReplyDelete