Years back,1977-1978 to be precise,Eritrea had missed an absolute golden opportunity from becoming a free nation of its own due to the lack of trust between the two armed groups Eritrean Liberation Front (ELF) and the Eritrean People’s Liberation Front (EPLF)
Just so you know,both organizations knew at the end of the day there will only be one throne for grab, so each group mischievously had to come up with a straight up twisted systematic devious plan to destroy one other clandestinely.
To ensure such a favourable outcome, each organization campaigned relentlessly to eliminate one another by utilizing senseless blame games, unsubstantiated accusations and spreading cheap political propaganda against one another.
With all due respect,although willful blindness is quite common occurrence in Eritrean politics, this time around,however,Eritreans,in all walk of life have shown a grave concerns, and they unanimously have called for both parties to exercise restrain themselves from heading to unwanted confrontations that might resulted in a bloodshed between the two brothers,and it was also for the very same reason why the Eritrean people were repeatedly calling for unity, promoting reconciliation and asking the two freedom fighter organizations to follow and exercise democratic practice principles to resolve their differences instead.
With that being said, the two freedom fighters also knew really well, in order to survive, possibly
win, the unprecedented hostile long term competition, they need the public’s support, therefore both rebel groups were absolutely conscious,friendly and at their best behaviour with the public to sell their mysterious hidden agendas.
Of course, these unsettling tricky tactics used by both of the rebel organizations mainly to advance their own agenda has soon resulted in dividing the Eritrean people who were once known to be the unbiased peace makers and the strongest advocate for lasting true peace, unity and reconciliation among Eritreans with one voice.
Nevertheless, at this point in time, regrettably Eritreans ended up divided into two rebel camps.
Some disillusioned members of the Eritrean army forces started switching sides.Families dividend and started spying on each other.Marriages broke apart in alarming rates.Young Eritrean lost hope and started to flee the country to neighboring countries in tens of thousands. Individuals especially those who voiced loudly for the voiceless routinely got kidnapped and disappeared under the covers of darkness.
To make things even worse,the general public were officially given ultimatum to make a hard choice. A brutal hard choice from both organizations that was basically to draw a line in the sand which literally says,”either you are with us or against us.” As a result,innocent Eritreans were caught in the middle of the merciless storms from their own armed fighters on one side.Daily bombardment and indiscriminate killing from the brutal colonizing power of Ethiopia on the other.
Make no mistake Eritrean folks, the prospect of one military group probably is more patriotic or cares more about the Eritrean future than the other is completely false.Both were absolutely dedicated and readily made themselves available to sacrifice their lives to free Eritrea from the foreign occupying power, and there were never any fundamental differences between the two organizations in which what the future of Eritrea should look like in their micro politics teaching to the public at large.Besically,both organizations were absolutely dedicated,eager and hopeful to make a country that will be a shining example for other African countries to emulate.
As time goes by, however, the whole gimmicks slowly but surely became obvious that the real intention behind all of the shenanigans were power struggle.
It was a bit awkward to see a renewed hostility between the two organizations, but it was not really surprising because both groups had a very ugly violent reputations towards each another in their past history, so that it appears the old grudge that has been lingering for so long now has activated in a full swing once again.
It started off by trashing, insulting and uttering threats to one another.Then it quickly escalated to targeted killing on prominent figures on both sides of the organizations.
While the serious confrontation between the two organizations was going on, one of the two organizations, the Eritrean liberation front (ELF),has been experiencing a major setbacks from within itself.A huge number of it’s soldier staged a mutiny demanding a reform in the military, and the ELF leadership for the organization refused to meet their unrealistic demands and decided to disarm them.Some of them,of course,surrendered peacefully, but many of them fled the organization and joined the long time sworn rival enemy Eritrean People’s Liberation Front (EPLF).Sadly though,the action taken by the Eritrean Liberation Front’s leadership to resolve the problem all of a sudden tips the balance of power in favour of EPLF drastically and ELF organization started to show a serious weakness in it’s military capabilities because it has lost many of its highly skilled warriors to it’s opponent.
For the EPLF organization, however, It was a dream come true to see their rival enemy is imploding from within, so the EPLF saw an opportunity is presenting itself, therefore the EPLF organization immediately formed unprecedented and unholy alliance with one of the Ethiopian strongest rebel groups (TPLF) the Tigrayan people’s liberation front to help them give it a final push against ELF organization with an overwhelming combine forces.
Bear in mind,throughout the Eritrean armed struggle and revolutionary movements history,there were disagreements sometimes even an occasional gun battle between the two armed groups in Eritrea, however, it was a customary practice that they always had resolved their problematic disputed differences among themselves locally without any foreign forces intervention.
Besides,Eritreans are known for being God feared and law abiding citizens.To the same extent, Eritreans have had hundreds of years old local traditional and customary rule of law live and well in practice .This time,however, it was for the first time those traditional rules of laws started to be ignored,undermined and broke altogether,and the unfortunate innocent civilian Eritreans worst fear has just become a real nightmare.
No surprise,extreme tensions among Eritreans set in due to the civil war mainly provoked by the Eritrean people’s Libration Front that caused many Eritreans to become appalled and divided on the actions taken by the Eritrean People’s Liberation Front rebel group’s leadership.
Once again,bear in mind,the main reason why Eritrean civilians outrageously and bitterly divided in the first place was over the direct involvement of foreign forces in the Eritrean civil war.
Accordingly, the vast majority of Eritreans questioned whether this (EPLF) rebel groups could be trusted anymore because the feeling of betrayal and secrecy was creating the credibility gap between the general public of Eritrea and the rebel group in which many Eritreans started to doubt whether or not the Eritrean People’s Liberation Front’s real motive is actually for the benefit of Eritrean people, as they said it is, or for something totally cynical that would only serve and advance their own long term hidden agenda?
Whatever the case might be the fact remains the some that the ill conceived and recklessly planned civil war cost many Eritrean their lives.
Yes, the Eritrean People’s Liberation Front with the help of rebel group ally from Ethiopia had finally won the battle against Eritrean Liberation Front but not by a long shot did they be able to win the heart and minds of Eritrean people.
Consequently, most of the defeated Eritrean Liberation Front’s army fled to the neighboring country Sudan where they had to stay in makeshift camps at the border until they regroup and reorganize themselves.
Coincidentally though,it was at a time when the Cold War was ending and western countries were ganging up against Soviet allies and Soviet ideologies in general tactically campaigning relentlessly to dismantle and disperse any organized group that is perceived as an ally to the Soviet Union’s ideology. I am not sure what was the label given to the Eritreans, but some European Countries as well as Australia, United States of America and Canada open their immigration offices in many cities and towns in Sudan and took young Eritrean in like never before, so the prospect of regrouping and reorganizing to go back to Eritrea and fight back was gone right out of the window.
At this point in time, the Eritrean People’s Liberation Front has secured a full control over all of the Eritrean territory for the first time.
Now that the Eritrean people’s Liberation Front is the only rebel group in charge of liberating the entire Eritrea, it was about time for the leadership to introduce their true colour to the public free of checks and balances and free of fears of accountability.The best way to start implementing law and order,of course, was introducing the importance of the rule of law, individual rights and obligations because it seemingly checks abuse of power by authorities.It empowers individual’s rights which can not be easily taken away.It treats everyone equally without discrimination so on and so forth absolutely sweet and inspiring words.
As time goes by,however, it was obvious for the public to notice that their leaders actually are dishonest and nothing matches with what they say and do.As a result, friction between the public and the rebel group became a common occurrences.
Looking back to the Eritrean People’s Liberation Front’s history, this rebel group was notoriously brutal since it’s inception when it comes to resolving conflicts.All they know how to resolve problems is through the use of disproportionate and inhuman use of excessive force, utilizing secret revolutionary guards that can only report directly to the general secretary of (EPLF) were some of the heinous tactics they use to collect individual information, including systematic weeding out of unwanted prominent members of their own.
It is sad, but (EPLF) organization leadership actually made a reputation out of secrecy and fear mongering, and they are unfortunately proud of it.
As there is a familiar saying, “everything has an end to it,”after years of bitter struggle and loss of tens of thousands of lives,Eritrea finally has liberated at a price no amount of money in the world can buy.
Before concluding,however,let me give the credit where the credit is due because I agree wholeheartedly with the first person who said,”the birth of the Eritrean state,of course,resulted entirely from the tenacity, resilience, and keen organizational skills of the Eritrean People’s Liberation Front (EPLF)” Congratulations to all Eritreans.Now,we have a new country,a new member of the international community just born on May 24,1991.
Peace be with you all.