Friday, 30 June 2017

A confidential letter written to Haile Sellasie by a senior Ethiopian army official in 1974

A confidential letter written to Haile Sellasie by a senior Ethiopian army official, Let. General Kebede Gebre in 1974 explaining among other things that that Ethiopian army was losing the fight in Eritrea. Let. General Kebede Gebre, who occupied among other positions the Commander-in-Chief of the UN Forces in the Congo from 1960 – 1964. He was among the 60 senior officials killed by the Dergue on 23rd November 1974. He refers to his verbal note given to Haile Sellasie and Aklilu Habtewold in 1974 (1966 E.C). He stated in his letter that the Ethiopian army has sustained big losses in its war in Eritrea and advises the Emperor to reinstate the Federation between Eritrea and Ethiopia

ሓደ ፍሉጥ ኢትዩጵያዊ ጀነራል ከበደ ገብሬ ናብ ንጉስ ሃይለስላስየ  1974 ዝተጻሕፈት ምስጢራዊት ደብዳቤ ሰራዊት ኢትዩጵያ ኣብ ኤርትራ ቡዙሕ ኪሳራ ይወርዶ ሰለ ዘሎ ፈደረሽን ክምለስ ትሓትት

رسالة سرية مكتوبة إلى الامبراطور هايلي سيلاسي من قبل مسؤول كبير في الجيش الإثيوبي، يدعى الجنرال كبدى قبرى في عام 1974، موضحا من بين أمور أخرى أن الجيش الإثيوبي يفقد المعركة في إريتريا، ويقترح فيها إعادة الفيدرالية

Thanks to Jelal Yassin for sharing

Monday, 26 June 2017

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

The Eritrean Peoples' Peaceful Struggle in 1950s

The Eritrean Peoples' Peaceful Struggle in 1950s

The Eritrean people resorted to armed struggle, not by choice, but after exhausting all possible peaceful protests. This ELF document lists the names of persons who wrote protest messages to the UN and the Emperor complaining that the Ethiopian Government was undermining the Federal Arrangement between Eritrea and Ethiopia

 لجأ الشعب الإريتري إلى الكفاح المسلح، ليس عن طريق الاختيار، ولكن بعد استنفاد جميع الاحتجاجات السلمية الممكنة. تسرد هذه الوثيقة أسماء الأشخاص الذين كتبوا رسائل احتجاجية إلى الأمم المتحدة واشتكوالى الإمبراطور من أن الحكومة الإثيوبية تقوض الترتيب الاتحادي بين إريتريا وإثيوبيا

Sunday, 18 June 2017

EPRP's Evaluation of the TPLF 1980

EPRP's Evaluation of the TPLF 1980

In the mid seventies, while the ELF and EPLF competed in Eritrea for space, influence and power; the Ethiopian Peoples' Revolutionary Party (EPRP), TLF (Tigray Liberation Front), Ethiopian Democratic Union (EDU) and TPLF did the same in Tigray. This is how the EPRP evaluated the TPLF

Thanks to Prof. Kjetil Tronvoll for sharing

More on EPRP:

Friday, 16 June 2017

Press Conference by the Secretary General of the Provisional Government of Eritrea, 1991

Press Conference by the Secretary General of the Provisional Government of Eritrea, 1991:
- On economic policies
- On development of Communications
- On repatriation of of Ethiopian Prisoners of war
- If there were 'Amhara civilians expelled
- If political parties will be allowed before the referendum
- You referred to enemies in your September 1st, could you tell us on those enemies and he replies they are the French, Egyptians and Saudis
- On role of NGOs
- On involvement of ELF in the Government
- On option of association with Ethiopia
- On the size of the army
Thanks to Prof. Kjetil Tronvoll for sharing

Saturday, 10 June 2017

1967: The circumstances under which ELF fighters started to surrender to Ethiopia in groups

1967: The circumstances under which ELF fighters started to surrender to Ethiopia in groups 

1967: الظروف التي بدأ فيها مقاتلو الجبهة في الاستسلام لأثيوبيا في مجموعات

وكان من بينهم هيلى ولد تنسائ دروع  وموسي تيسفاميكائل 

The Arabic version:

المصدر: كتاب عثمان دندن، معركة آرتريا
شكرا لمحمود لوبينت لتوفيره الكتاب

Picture of the 19 fighters that surrendered to Ethiopia on 28/08/1967, among whom were 
  Musie Tefamichael (11) and Haile Durue (14 )

With the increased operations of the ELF and expanding those operations to the highlands, the Ethiopian Government took several measures to try to wipe out the ELF. In February 1967, the Ethiopian Government, under Asrate Kassa, employing the regular army and the Israeli trained Commandos, waged a scorched earth policy in the Lowlands and the Muslim villages in the highlands. More than 69 villages were burned and hundreds of civilians killed were killed and about 30,000 Eritreans took refuge in the Sudan. Large numbers of livestock were bombed, wells were poisoned.

 In June 6 , 1967 (the start of the 6th Days Arab-Israeli war) Asrate Kassa issued an amnesty, to the ELF fighters which were referred to as Shifta, written in both Tigrinya and Arabic, and widely circulated to surrunder themselves and arms to the Ethiopian Government. The Amnesty was to last until 23 July the same year. Wide meetings were held in the highlands and people were encouraged to form militias against the ELF. The ELF was portrayed as Muslim and Arab. They also waged a diplomatic effort to isolate the ELF in Sudan. Asrate Kassa even formed a ‘peace Committee’ to negotiate with the rebels on their surrender. They even sent agents to the ELF who would later surrender with their weapons and were rewarded for that. During those trying times every fighter and every rifle was very important to the ELF. The main target of all those attempts were Christian highlanders.

That year the ELF was in a political and economic crisis, it had not enough arms. it was unable to defend the people. There was also a leadership crisis, there was no clear political program, the leadership was previously based outside Eritrea and were not able to manage the secondary contradictions that arose among various competing factions. Between those who wanted to reform the movement and those who wanted to maintain the status coup. The ELF then was predominantly lowland, thus the majority of whom were Muslims. Most of the contradictions was among them, thus it was never Muslim-Christian. It must have been more difficult for the few Christians highlanders who joined the ELF, under such circumstances.

Under those conditions, Isaias Afworki and his colleagues had formed a small cell in Asmara with the aim of joining the ELF as a clandestine organization and those in the leadership were Isaias, Haile Derue and Tesfai Gebre Sellasie. As we knew later, when Isaias split from the ELF in 1968, according to Tesfamichael Giorgo he had contacts with the Kagnew Station and Asrate Kassa who supplied the Isaias group with Arms. Testimonies given by Ethiopian General, Daniel Mengistu, who was Haile Sellasie’s foreign security chief, indicated in 2000 that Isaias was in the payroll of the Ethiopian Security services. Asrate Kassa’s son, who lives in London, recalled (personal communication) that Isaias and Hurui were among the visitors who came to see his father, Asrate Kassa, when he was in White Chapel Hospital , there. All those issues, may indicate that Isaias aim from the outset was to dismantle the ELF and how his close colleagues like Haile Derue, believed in him to the last.

Haile Durue narrated in detail in his conversations with Dan Connell, see the link below, how the group felt disappointed by the ELF and how he later recruited Musie Tesfamichael to the group. He also discussed how they decided to work clandestinely in the ELF, that they discouraged highlanders to join the ELF, until they establish their own organization. They also encouraged those who were in the ELF to leave it and pursue their studies, until further notice. Derue also stated that he was opposed to the leader of the 5th military region established in October 1966. He actually indicated he exploited the contradictions between the Revolutionary leadership in Kassala and the 5th Military Zone, to the advantage of their group. Derue also stated he was against all Christians being in one Zone (5th zone), but later they established ‘Selfi Nasent’ with Isaias whose members were solely Christian highlanders at the beginning. It was under those circumstances that some Christian highlanders started to surrender to Ethiopia in big groups.

On 29/8/1967, The Tigrinya and Arabic newspapers, ‘Hiberet and ‘Al Wihda’ published that 19 ELF fighters have surrendered to Ethiopia making advantage of the amnesty given by the Government. It was stated that most of them were students who were cheated by the ELF propaganda. They surrendered to the Ethiopian Consul in Kassala and were later transferred to Ethiopia and they were:
1 Abraha Habteley, 24 years joined the ELF 4 years ago, was 9th grade in Keren
2  Negussie Hizbay 22 years, spent 2 ½ years, student at Teachers Training Institute (TTI), Asmara
3  Woldai Tefai Yohannes, 22 years, spent 14 months
4 Yemane Tesfay, 20 years, spent 1 year, merchant
5 Andeberhan Andemariam, 23 years, spent 2 years
6 Yohannes Liban, 24 years, 2 ½ years
7 Zere Senai Tekle, 22 years, spent 13 months, 12th grade student at General Wingate
8 Haile Woldemichael, 25 years, spent 1 year, was 11th year student at Prince Mekonen Secondary School in Asmara (PMSC)
9 Tesfay Asfaha, 25 years, spent 5 months, 9th grade PMSC
10 Debessay Asfaha, 26 years, spent 3 months, student PMSC
11 Musie Tesfamichael, 20 years spent 7 months and was 2nd year at Haile Sellasie University in Addis Ababa (HSIU)
  2 Habtu Tecle, 19 years, student at 12th grade at PMSC
13 Solomon Gebrehiwet, two years, was a farmer
14 Haile Wolde Tensae, 21 years, spent 7 months, was Student at HSIU
15 Yihdego Berhe, 19 years, spent 2 months, student at Hibret School in Asmara
16 Yohannes Mebrahtu, 21 years, 18 months, was 1st year student at HSIU
17 Teklemariam Gebreyesus, 18 years, spent about a year, was student at TTI
18 Wolde Araya, 19 years, spent 19 months, was student at TTI
19 Zeray Tikabo, student at PMSC

The arms surrendered included, A mortar, 2 Bazooka, 3 machine guns, 15 thousand ammunition for machine guns, One binocular for a Bazooka and one binocular for Mortar

In another development, the Arabic Ethiopian Weekly, ‘Al Alem’ published on November 8, 1967 that Woldai Kahsai (who was the leader of the 5th Military Zone of the ELF) and 19 of his follwers arrived from Khartoum by air. Directly upon their arrival, they met with Tesfayohannes Berhe , the Deputy of Asrate Kassa. The meeting was also attended by other Government officials: Ali Radaai, Hamid Ferej, Haregot Abbay, Gebre Yohannes Tesfamariam, General Teshome Ergetu, Zere Mariam Azazi and others.

In yet another development, 3 of the 2nd batch of the 21 military trainees in China, upon completion of the training in mid August 1968, refused to return to Eritrea and travelled to Damascus instead. Those were Germichael Woldegebriel, Tesfay Gebremariam and Berekhet Iyob. They letters to Osman Saleh Sabbe that they feared for their safety if they returned to Eritrea. But among the trainees were Mesfin Hagos Bidu, Arefaine Sebhat and Fesseha Abraha Fikak who returned to the field with the others.

Source of the names: Osman Denden Book, 'Maareket Eritrea', in Arabic,
Conversation of Haile Durue with Dan Connell, 2000:

Sunday, 4 June 2017

محضر الاجتماع المشترك الثاني لقادة المناطق العسكرية والقيادة الثورية لجبهة التحريرالارترية ٩ اكتوبر ١٩٦٦ ELF minutes 9th October 1966

The detailed minutes of the second joint meeting of the leaders of the various military regions, the Revolutionary leadership and members of the Supreme Council of the ELF 09 - 12.10.1966

ዝርዝር መዝገብ አኼባ እቲ ኣብ ከሰላ ካብ ዕለት 9-12/10/1966 ኣብ መንጎ ላዕለዋይ ባይቶን ሰውራዊ መሪሕነትን መራሕቲ ክፍልታትን ዝተኻየደ ካልኣይ አኼባ ኢዩ።

ኣጀንዳ አኼባ

-       አብ ውሽጥን ወጻእን ዘሎ ሐፈሻዊ ፖሎቲካዊ ኩነታት
-       ሰውራዊ መሪሕነት ብኡኡ ኣቢሉ ላዕለዋይ ባይቶ ንሰውራ ኤርትራ ዘመሓድረሉ ኣካል ኢዩ
-       አብ ወታሃደራዊ ክፍልታትን ክፍሊ ታዕሊምን ዘጋጥሙ ሓፈሻዊ ሽግራት ፡ ወታሀደራዊ ቀቢላዊ ሀይማኖታዊ  ሕጋዊ ፊናንስያዊ
-       አብ መጻኢ ውተሃደርራዊ ስርሒታት አብ ፍዳኢይን አብ ከተማታት ከተኩርን ኢትዮጵያ ኣብ ነፈርቲ ምጥቃማ ምዝታይን
-       ክፍልታት ክጥቆዖኦ ዘለወን እስትራተጃዊ ዝኾነ ቦታታት ምጽናዕ
-       አገባብ ርክብ መሪሕነትን ክፍልታትን ምዝታይ
-       ምውዳብ ተሳትፎ ህዝቢ አብ ዉሽጥን ርክቦም ምስ ክፍልታት
-       ናይ ፖሎቲካዊ ኮሚሸነር ርክብ ምስቶ ካልኦት ሓለፍቲ ክፍሊ ምንጻር
-       ገሌ ሓለፍቲ ክፍልታት ምፍራስ ክፍልታትን ብሓባር ኮንካ ን ከበሳ ምስጏም ዘቅረብዎ ጠለብ

ኣብዚ ጉብኤ ብወገን ላዕለዎይ ባይቶ እድሪስ ዑስማን ገላውዴዎስን እቶም ጸኒሖም ኣባላት ላዕለዎይ ባይቶ ዝኾኑ ጣሃ ሙሓመድ ኑርን ሳይድ ኣሕመድ ሙሓመድ ሃሽምን ተስቲፎም። ኩሎም ኣባላት ሰውራዊ መሪሕነት 1.. ሙሓመድ ስዓድ ኣደም ኣቦ መንበር ሰውራዊ መሪሕነት 2. ሙሓመድ እስማዒል ዓብዱ ጻሓፊ ሰውራዊ መሪሕነት 3. ጃዕፈር ሙሓመድ ተስፋ ተድሮስ ሓላፊ ስንቂን ዕጥቂን 4. ዑመር ኣልሓጅ እድሪስ ሓላፊ ፋይናንስ 5. ኣዜን ያሲን ሼኽ ኣዲን ሓላፊ ዜና (ዓረብ) 6. ኣሕመድ ሙሓመድ ዓሊ ዒሳ ሓላፊ ሰለያ 7. ወልዳይ ግደ ሓላፊ ዜና (ትግርኛ) 8. ማሕሙድ ሙሓመድ ሳልሕ ሓላፊ ስርዓታዊ ጉዳይ 9. ዓብዱ ዑስማን ሓላፊ ጥዕና 10. ሳልሕ ሕዱግ ሓላፊ ሓፈሻዊ ጉዳይ 11. ሳልሕ ኣሕመድ ኣያይ ሓላፊ ጨንፈር መሪሕነት ኣብ ፖርት ሱዳን። ተሳቲፎም ካብ መራሕቲ ክፍልታት፣ 1. ማሕሙድ ዲናይ መራሒ ቐዳመይቲ ክፍሊ 2. ዑመር ሓምድ እዛዝ መራሒ ካልኣይቲ ክፍሊ 3. ሓምድ ሳልሕ ምክትል መራሒ ሳልሰይቲ ክፍሊ 4. ዓሊ ማዕቱቅ ምክትል መራሒ ራብዓይቲ ክፍሊ ተስቲፎም።

ካብ  ብዑስማን ሳልሕ ደንደን ብዓረብ ዝተደርሰኵናት ኤርትራ

المصدر: كتاب عثمان دندن، معركة آرتريا

شكرا لمحمود لوبينت لتوفيره الكتاب

The ELF Regional Military Structure 1965/1966 الهيكل العسكري للجبهة

الهيكل العسكري للجبهة 1965/1966

وفي 20  يوليو 1965، قرر المجلس الأعلى للجبهة في جلسته المعقودة في الفترة من 8 إلى 20 يوليو إنشاء 4 مناطق عسكرية، وتسمية المسؤولين عن تلك المناطق. ودخل القرار حيز التنفيذ في 28 يوليو 1965. تأسست المنطقة الخامسة في 20/10/1966

The ELF Regional Military Structure 1965/1966

On 20 July 1965, the ELF Supreme Council decided in its session held 8 - 20 July to establish 4 military zones and named those responsible for the zones. The decision came into effect on the 28th July 1965. The 5th Zone was established on 20/10/ 1966

المصدر: كتاب عثمان دندن، معركة آرتريا

شكرا لمحمود لوبينت لتوفيره الكتاب

Saturday, 3 June 2017

The original opinion of Ethiopian Nationalities on the Jeberti 1987 in Amharic

The original opinion of the Institute for the study of Ethiopian Nationalities on the Jeberti 1987, in Amharic 

When the Jeberti, in Eritrea requested that they be recognized as a separate nationality, The ruling party then, The Workers Party of Ethiopia (WPE) , did not arrest them or kill them, but sent a team of experts from the  Institute for the study of Ethiopian Nationalities to study their case. This is the original opinion of the team.

Thanks to Mahmoud Lobinet for sharing

Friday, 2 June 2017

Baduri on the formation of the EPLF clandestine party

 تكوين الحزب السري للجبهة الشعبية
بقلم أحمد طاهر بادوري
Baduri on  the formation of the EPLF clandestine party. 'Eritrean People's Revolutionary Party'

The founding meeting of the Eritrean People's Revolutionary Party (the clandestine party of the EPLF)

Ahmed Tahir Badouri, in his book, ‘Eritrea: Down the memory lane’,  in Arabic recalls;

The founding meeting was held at Mount Gedem. We met secretly there at night accompanied by Abubaker Mohamed Hassen. The other colleagues came in the morning. We took breakfast and tea. Later we were called to what is now known as a conference hall. The opening ceremony was on 04.04.1971. The meeting was opened by martyr Abubaker who presented the agenda and items for discussion that was approved without any additions. There was a humble participation due to the need for secrecy. This was done in agreement with the ‘Revolutionary Nucleus’ that was formed in Southern Dankalia by PLF1. The Meeting was attended by the democratic elements in both groups (he means PLF1 that was formed in Dankalia and by the Isaias or Ala group as it was known). Those who attended according to their responsibilities were: Mohamed Ali Omero, Isaias Afeworki, Ramadan Mohamed Nur, martyr Abubaker Mohamed Hassen Gadi, Mahmoud Ahmed Sherifo, Mesfin Hagos, Ibrahim Ali Affa, Ali Seid Abdella, Maasho Embaye, Ahmed Mohamed Nur Hilal. Ahmed Saleh al Gaisi, and Ahmed Tahir Badouri.

Romadan Mohamed Nur chaired the meeting and presented the elaborate founding documents of the Party, analysis of the current situation in relation to the formation of the party and the front in general. The draft and the bylaws of the party, its objectives, and the organizational framework, and a leadership concept based on democratic centralism were presented. The papers were thoroughly discussed, and were amended or additions were included and were later approved unanimously. The organizational structure of the party and its name were discussed in detail. It was agreed to change the name from ‘The Eritrean Communist Party’ which I think was taken from the Sudanese Communist Party, to the “Eritrean Peoples’ Revolutionary Party” named after the ‘Vietnamese Peoples’ Revolutionary Party’. Consideration was also taken that people may be sensitive to the use of the word, communist. A temporary leadership of three persons were chosen, who were Romodan Mohamed Nur, Isaias Afeworki and Abubaker Mohamed Hassen

The secrecy of the party required very rigid discipline.

Source: Ahmed Tahir Badouri’s book, ‘Journey through the memory’, Pages 144 – 146

Thanks to Ibrahim Abubaker for giving me the book

Thursday, 1 June 2017

لائحة تنظيمية خاصة بأسر المقاتلين والشهداء ألمتواجدين في مقر القيادة الثورية A 1967 ELF regulation concerning the families of the fighters and the martyrs

لائحة تنظيمية خاصة بأسر المقاتلين والشهداء ألمتواجدين في مقر القيادة الثورية
A 1967 regulation concerning the families of the fighters and the martyrs in the headquarters of the revolutionary leadership of the ELF in Kassala 

Among the regulations we find:

- It is not allowed to recruit any person whatever his military importance is, if he supports a family
- It is not allowed for the fighters to bring their families to headquarters to be taken care of by the ELF
- If any fighter's situation changes in such a way that he has to take care of his family, he should be relieved to fulfill his duties to the family
- For the families of the revolutionary leadership that the ELF takes care of, the following rules apply: A one person family excluding the wife gets 3 Sudanese pounds (SP) /month; if the family consists of only a wife or a family of three, gets 6 SP, a family with 4 or 5 dependents gets 7.5 SD, A family above 5 gets 10 SD


المصدر: كتاب عثمان دندن، معركة آرتريا
شكرا لمحمود لوبينت لتوفيره الكتاب