Fact and Evidence Part IIX:

Leadership rivalry among leaders of the oppostion groups from 1981 to 2010

Accusation and counter- accusation among the Eritrean opposition leaders is not a new phenomenon has a history that goes back to the 1960s. As has been mentioned in this document, there was an allegation against Haraka during the formation of the ELF by Idris M.Adem; in the 1970s there was an allegation against the ELF by the EPLF; in the early 1980s there was an allegation against the ELF-RC by Abdela Idris. After the EPLF defeated the ELF in 1981, there were a number of rival groups within the ELF to mention but a few : Abdella Idris group, Ahmed Nassir group, Ibrahim Totil group and a number of others, all rivals at one time or another. Consequently, the ELF broke into three major factions and gradually fragmented into several groups over the years. This section gives a brief overview of the oppostion leaders' role which none of those leaders worked in practice.


Abdella Idris organized a coup against Revolutionary Council (RC) leadership Ahmed Nassir and his secular colleague in 1982.Barole(2003) ";Rasai is the notorious place in ELF history in the border of Sudan where Abdella Idris took the law on his own hands and did military coup d’etat in 1982. Keshi(2003) adds that Abdella Idris succeeded in snatching power and eliminating his political opponents, and it was a bloody seizure of power, which resulted in the death of Melake Tecle and others. This illegal seizure of power by Abdella Idris created a massive anger and hopelessness within the Eritrean Liberation Army. The splitting of organisation was more exacerabated  after the coup of 1982

Ahmed Nassir the leader of Eritrean Liberation Front-Revolutionary Council (ELF-RC) from 1982-2002.

After the ELF split into three factions, the EPLF leaders designed another intrigue to divided the ELF forces through announcing the proposal of national unity which was adpted on 6/1982 at the meeting of Politbureau which caused for the split of Eritrean Liberation Front-Central Command (ELF-CC/Sagim) into 2 functions in 1982. One by Zemhret Yohannes and Ibrahim Totil joined EPLF in 1987, and the other ed by Tewelde Gebresslasie Another group led. This group which led by Tewelde Gebreslassie split again into two, mainly over self-determination policy and Tewelde's leadership style:One led by Tewelde Gebreslassie (retains the name Sagim), now known as Eritrean Peoples Democratic Liberation Front (EPDLF). Another one led by Abdella Mahmoud, now known as Eritrean Revolutionary Democratic Front (ERDF).
When the EPLF and TPLF relation detorarted in late 1982. One the ELF faction started to improve its relation with the TPLF to attack the EPLF. Based on the principle "The enemy of my enemy is my friend".
TESFAMEHRET ተስፋምህረት ጀብሃ ንሱዳን ክትኣቱ ኸላ ምስ ውሑዳት ሰዓብቱ ኣብ ጋሽ Eዩ ተሪፉ። በዓል ዓብደላ Eድሪስ ነዚ ምስርኣዩ ክልተ ጋንታ ዝኸውን ሰራዊት ኣዋጺOም፣ ንጋሽ ከEትው ፈቲኖም ነይሮም። “ቱምሳሕ ዝመርሖ ናይ ደባይ ኣሃዱታት ክንምስርት Iና” Eዮም Iሎም። ቱምሳሕ ናብU ምስ ከደ ግን፣ በዓል ተስፋምህረት ቀቲሎሞ። ንጠንቂ ናይቲ ቕትለት ብዝምልከት ብልክE ዝፈልጦ Eኳ Eንተዘይብለይ፣ ከም ግምተይ ሕነ ናይ መልኣከ Eዩ ዝመስል። (ኣብቲ ድሓር ዝቐጸለ ምEባለታት ተስፋምህረት ምስ በዓል ዓብደላ ርክብ ዘይብሉ፣ ኣብ ከባቢ ጋሽ ከምዞም ናይ ውግE ጎይቶት (ዎርሎርድ) ኮይኑ በይኑ Eዩ ተሪፉ። መርገጺU ዝያዳ ናብ ጉጅለ ትያር ዝዛዘወ Eዩ ነይሩ። ድሓር ግን ምስ ትያር Eውን ተባቲኹ፣ ምስ ሳበ ኮይኑ። ካብ ሳበ ተፈልዩ Eውን መሊሱ ምስ ጃስር ኮይኑ። ነዊሕ ጸኒሑ ድማ ምስ ሻEብያ ርክብ ጀሚሩ። ፈለማ ሻEብያ ኣይነጸግዎን። ከምዝዝከር ኣብ 2ይ ጉባኤ ህ.ግ. ጉጅለ ጃስር ወኪል ሰዲዶም ነይሮም Eዮም። ጸኒሑ ግን ተስፋምህረት መገዱ ስለዘይቕንA ምስ ሻEብያ ተገራጭዩ። ስጉምቲ ተወሲዱሉ። መዓስከሩ ተደምሲሱ። ኣብቲ መዓስከር ኣሲሩዎም ዝጸንሐ ናይ Eንዳ ትያር ኣባላት ተፈቲሖም። ተስፋምህረት ከኣ ኣብ ከባቢ ተከዘ ኮይኑ ክቃወም ኣብ ዝፈተነሉ ተቐቲሉ።)

Sheik Abu Sihel

Sheik Abu Sihel left the ELF in 1975, and he founded the Eritrean Islamic Jihad Movement (EIJM) when a group of Islamist-minded guerillas split off from the Eritrean Liberation Front (ELF) that had been fighting since the beginning of the Eritrean independence movement. In the 1980s, the Jabhat Tahrir al-Iritriyya al-Islamiyya al-Wataniyya (The National Eritrean Islamic Liberation Front), the Munzamat al-Ruwwad al-Muslimin al-Iritria (The Organization of Eritrean Pioneer Muslims), al-Intifada al-Islamiyya (Islamic Awakening) and others were founded, some in Sudan. De,Waal (Human Rights Watch :1991:252) adds that the Eritrean Islamic Liberation Front ("Mujuhideen") headed by Ibrahim Ali, Islamic fundamentalist in orientation, and supported by the International Muslem Brothers and the Sudanese National Islamic Front. After  the 1991, the ELF, ELF the National Council , ELF the United Organization, the Eritrean Islamic Jihad Movement issued a memorandum of political declaration for national reconcillation, but ELF- the Revolutionary Council boycotted the meetings of the four organizations that had issued the memo opposing the participation of the Eritrean Islamic Jihad Movement in the meeting.
The EDM which was founded by Hiury in 1977 split into three groups: in 1982:1.Democratic Movement for the Liberation of Eritrea (DMLE), led by Gerebrhan Zeriewas, 2.Eritrean Peoples Democratic Movement (EPDM), led by senior ex-EDM members and 3.EDM (Retained the original name), led by Hiruy Tedla Bairu
In March 1982 Abdalla Idris faction represented an increase sectarian muslim element that received substatial support from Saudi Arabia (Killon 194). In the 1980s, the Jabhat Tahrir al-Iritriyya al-Islamiyya al-Wataniyya (The National Eritrean Islamic Liberation Front), the Munzamat al-Ruwwad al-Muslimin al-Iritria (The Organization of Eritrean Pioneer Muslims), al-Intifada al-Islamiyya (Islamic Awakening) and others were founded, some in Sudan. During 1982-83, Abdalla toured Arab capitals claiming to represent the main stream ELF and using Islamist rhetoric to gain support.
There was a dialogues among the Eritrean Liberation Front; the Eritrean Popular Liberation Front, Eritrean Liberation Front- Revolutionary Committee and the Eritrean Liberation Front – Popular Liberation Forces. These dialogues brought about an agreement known as Tunisia Accord. Following the failure of the Tunisia Accord; the ELF factions under the leadership of Abdullah Idris, ELF the Revolutionary Committee under the leadership of Abdulgadir Jailani and ELF the Popular Liberation Forces under the leadership of Osman Saleh Sabe engaged in dialogues under the sponsorship of Saudi Arabia and Sudan. These dialogues led to the emergence of what was known as the Eritrean Liberation Front - the United Organization. However, that experience relapsed because of differences led to its split into two parties under the Eritrean Liberation Front - the National Council under the leadership of Abdullah Idris and the Eritrean Liberation Front - the United Organization under the leadership of Osman Saleh Sabe. And then the Eritrean Liberation Front of Abdullah Idris divided into two parts; the one under the leadership of Abdullah Idris and the other under the leadership of Abdulgadir Jailani, while the United Organization remained united under the leadership of Osman Saleh Sabe. Source Abdulrazig Karar
There are still fresh in the memory of every  Eritrean the events of May, 1988 when the Ethiopian forces crushed to death  400 people, mostly women and children when their tanks rolled into the village of She'eb. Despite this atrocity was committed by the Mengistu government, from late 1986 until about 1989 the ELF leader Abdella Idris was involved in negotiating with the Mengistu government (De, Waal 1991:252) As the progress of this could be the Mengistu regime in late 1988 met with five former ELF members (who claimed to represent 750,000 Eritreans) to accept their proposal for the creation of an autonomous Eritrean region in the predominantly Muslim lowlands.
Killon (194) The finall disintegration of the old ELF, followed by the death of Osman Saleh Sabe in 1987, and the rise of a strong movement towards Islamism among Abdella faction, the newly formed Islamic Jihad and another ELF-UO faction led by Omer Burj.According Awate. com Eritrean Islamic Islah Movement (Islah) & Eritrean Islamic Party for Justice & Development (Alkhalas):  One of the by products of the collapse of the ELF, which had largely managed to subdue Islamist tendencies, these two Islamist groups owe their origins to the late 1980s when the EPLF, following the collapse of the ELF, took control of the Western lowlands regions. Alkhalas was originally called the Eritrean Islamic Jihad Movement but changed its name to Alkhalas in 1998. Over the years, like most of Eritrea's organizations, the group now has other splinter groups including Eritrean Islamic Congress led by Hassen Salman (aka Abu-Bara’e) and other smaller groups. Alkhalas is led by Amir Mohammed Aamr and AlIslah is led by Mohammed Ahmed Saleh (aka Abu Suhail.) Websites: Islah – islaher.org ;  AlKhalas: alkhalas.org. The two organizations were at their peak in the late 1980s and 1990s when the environment, particularly the prevailing environment between Eritrea and Sudan, provided them with safe sanctuary and moral/financial assistance. Despite aggressive campaigns by the Eritrean regime to list these two organizations as "terrorists", they are classified as a pressure groups because they have no cross-national aims and they do not target civilians. [Source Proliferation Of Armed Resistance In Eritrea-http://www.awate.com/portal/content/view/4660/9/
After  the 1991 the Eritrean President announced his refusal to recognize others and asked the leadership of the organizations to enter individually to the country (Abdulrazig Karar). Based on this most of the former leadership returned to Eritrea to accept positions in the government one of them was EDM, led by Hiruy Tedla Bairu who also member of Eritrea National Assemble . However after Hiury was disapponted from the Eritrea government , he returned from Eritrea and formed the Eritrean Cooperative Party (ECP) which allowed him to joined the Alliance at the end of 2002.Other oppostion leaders continued to oppose the government from outside the country.
In 1993 the IJM split into two once again: one faction was led by the hardliners under Mohammed Ahmed (Abu Suhail) who reportedly fought in Afghanistan against the Soviets and the other faction was led by Arefa Ahmed, an ex-teacher in a PLF founded school in the refugee camps. The Arefa faction was accused of becoming lenient and starting a secret dialogue with the EPLF under the auspices of Dr. Turabi and his party, the NIF.
In April 1996, Ibrahim Malek announced the formation of a third faction called, Al Mejlis AlIslamy Leddaewa WeIslah Fi Ertrya(The Islamic Council of Endowment and Reformation in Eritrea). The new faction issued its first communiqu� and accused Abu Suhail�s faction of extremism including tribalism, unfair imprisonment and torture of people, and corruption. [Source awate.com].
In 1997 there was a report that both theIslamic Jihad and ELF-Abdullah Idris were operated in Eritrea from bases in Sudan. But later after the Sudan government accused Eritrea of supporting Sudanese opposition forces in counter reaction to this, the Khartoum government began to give support for the Eritrean oppostion to overthrow Isaiyas Aferworki from the governmen, this created a new environment for the formation of the Alliance of Eritrean National Force in March 1999. The Alliance of Eritrean National Force formed with the representatives of ten Eritrean opposition under the leadership of Abdullah Idriss who  was accused of snatching power through a bloody coup in 1982.
In 2001 Mesfin Hagos one of the EPLF veternal leader left the Eritrea government and joined to the oppostion camp. In 2002 he formed EPLF-DP with Adhanom Gebremariam and others.
In 2002 the assembly developed and was named the Eritrean National Alliance. The Democratic Organization of Red Sea Afar and the Eritrean Cooperation Parties joined the Alliance.In October 2002, thirteen groups formed the ENA, and the name of the Alliance of Eritrean National Force was changed to the Eritrean National Alliance (ENA) ENA, based in Ethiopia and Heruy Tedla Biru became its leader. The Alliance was made up of quite a number of groups, their precise goals, are highly uncertain. Some are believed to be mutually hostile, and tend not to cooperate. Eritrean Islamic Salvation/Eritrean Islamic Jihad. seeks an Islamist state in Eritrea. Led by Sheikh Khalil Mohammed Amir. The ENA also admitted receiving finances from the Sudanese, Ethiopian and Yemen government (Plaut, 2005:638 )

There was conflict on chairman issue within the Executive Committee of the ELF-RC during the 5th National Congress in Gonder, 2001. Before the congress, there was attempted to resolve the problem however the conflict was widened [This story was mentioned by Dr Habte in his interview with awate.com
After the end of the congress the conflict of leadership was continued until Seyoum Ogbamichael replaced Ahmed Nassir at the second regular meeting of the ELF-RC in 2002. This was through using religion as a cover story by Woldeyesus Amar and others. Dr Habte in his interview(no.9) with awate.com also states that it was the plots, maneuvers and secrecy that were carried out to effect the election of Seyoum [Ogbamichael] as Chairman to replace Ahmed Nasser. Find more detail information from this article ንስልጣኑ ክጣበቕ ጉዳይ ሃገርን መሰረታቱን ዝዘንግዔ መሪሕነት.

Sami Mehari in his article on disunity of Sept. 30, 2002 wrote "Eritreans today are not that enthusiastic for the rebirth of the old Jebha and Shaebia, as they existed. This trend would have to be broken. Although no one would be against today’s unity efforts in order to strengthen the opposition and assist in removing the dictatorship, yet the great expectation for the post-Isayas era is to see a new breed of parties emerging with members from the entire Eritrean diversity and unaffected by the Jebha and Shaebia barricades of the old. The Eritrean people want all unity moves to succeed in order to build strength for the forces opposed to the militarist regime. The civic societies are also expected to tighten up their networking so that they may help in the struggle to build a new democratic system over the ruins of PFDJ. And may the current attempts for unity between the ranks of the opposition succeed!!

However the hope of unity of Mehari and other ranks were pershed when the rift which was emerged between Herui and Seyoum in 1975, reappeared in October 2002, this was when the ELF-RC Chairman's, Seyoum Ogbamichael withdrawn from the meeting in.objecting to Herui T. Bairou'snomination for the leadership of the Alliance of Eritrean National Forces (AENF Many mediators attempted to get Seyoum O/Michael to reconsider his decision, all to no avail. Seyoum argued that stated that Herui T Bairou, who joined the Alliance less than a month ago, is too recent of a member to effectively lead the Alliance.Thiswas not the main reason for his withdrawn from the ENA meeting but his competition for the leadership with Herui and other member of ENA likeAbdella Idris, Dr Beyne etc. The fact of this can be seen clearly from Woldeyesus Ama's article.

Amanuel Hidrat also states that, the ELF-RC walkout from the ENA congress rejecting Hiruy as General Secretary of ENA. In the following months the internal contradiction of ELF-rc reached to a no return point and it split vertically and horizontally into two organizations (ELF-RC and ELF-NC). The rejection of Hiruy by ELF-rc had a historical background that goes to the 2nd National congress of ELF in 1975 from which they carried their enmity to the congress of ENA. By all accounts Hiruy is more competent than all the participants except, Hiruy doesn’t know the use of ladders to ascending to power. Again the split of ELF-rc has nothing to do with regionalism as Dr. Gaim depicted in his book. It was the entire power struggle between the two lines within the organizations. The splinters can give their own versions to ostracize each other but the fact will remain on the ground as a "normal feud for power struggle.”I hope EPDP is not repeating history knowing from far, that someone from their arc-enemies will grab the seat which they themselves were looking for. I remember ELF-rc in 2002 when they went to the ENA congress which they took for granted that one of the two upper seats (the chairmanship or the General Secretary) will be in their grab. As a matter of fact, when one of their senior leader (name withheld) was asked why they chose to walkout from the meeting, his answer was, “why didn’t they  listen to us this time when all these years they were open to heed our advice?

Adhanom left EPLF-DP in Feburary 2004 because of argument he had with Mesfin Hagos leadership. After Adhanome left Mesfin Hagos changed the name of its party to EDP. According to some sourceMesfin Hagos admitted the mistake that he made during he was a leader of theEPLF-DP.Regarding this, Berhan Hagos(2005) in his article mentioned that Mesfin Hagos , did extend all the necessary apologies to Mr. Adhanom and was given assurances that such mistakes would not be repeated during the founding meeting of EDP. This was a good initative, but Mesfin Hagos one  the members of the military court who responsible for the death of the Menka ringleaders in 1975, and othes when he was in the PFL2 ledership [1970-1977],has still refused to acknowledge all the crimes he collaboarated with Issayas in the 1970s.
After one year on the 6th session of ENA which was held its 6th session from 28 October to 8 November, 2003. At this meesting the ENA formed a committee under the chairmanship of Mr Ahmed Nasser to fulfil the understanding of the Kassel Manifesto and to start dialogue with all Eritrean oppositions, civic societies and national figures who seeks to get rid of the Dictator in Eritrea. Ibrahim Nur Ahmed (2003) states that when the grassroot member of the ELF-RC called upon the leadership to re-examine what happened at the meeting and come with plausible explanation, but the ELF-RC leaders blamed the �meseretat� for been misguided, sub-nationalists, followers of Ahmed etc.
As a consequent of the above there was accusations and counter accusations between Ahmed Nassirand and Seyoum Ogbamichae . For example, Ahmed Nassir is being accused of longing for power, being inconsistent. The Nassir side accused Seyoum of being dogmatic, haughty, and controlling. In addition, they accused Suim of positioning himself permanently to hold tight onto power by appointing his political buddies to high profile positions. In the end, those of Nassir group didn't trust Suim's stand to be the best course for ELF-RC and decided to split.
The accusations and counter accusations between Ahmed Nassir, and Suim Ogbamichae became the main caused for splitting theELF -RC. in 2002 Ahmed Nassir and Dr. Beyene split from ELF RC in 2002 .Eritrean Liberation Front-National Congress (ELF-NC) led by Dr. Beyene KidaneThe two men accuse the chairman of their organization, Mr. Seyoum Ogbamichael  of political cronyism and instigating a purge within the movement for the sole purpose of retaining his powe. Suim Ogbamichae Retained the original name ELF-RC
.In February 2004 , Adhanom founded Eritrean People's Movement (EPM) togther with Abdella Adem and Mr. Mohammed Ibrahim. However in the late 2005 the EPM was split because of the rift between Adhanom Gebremariam and Abdella Adem . who were both member of the same organisation EPLF during the armed struggle and then member of the PFDJ until the left the PFDJ in the early 2000s.
Toward the end of 2004, the ENA, ELF-RC, EDP and  EPM agreed to form a front that unites all the Eritrean opposition organizations. The agreement  was signed  on 12-28-04 by  Hiruy Tedla, ENA General Secretary, Seyoum Ogbamicael, Chairman of ELF-RC, Mesfin Hagos Chairman of EDP and Adhanom Gebremariam, Chairman of EPM. They also agreed  that all the Eritrean opposition  organizations will meet in Khartoum on January 12, 2005 to start the process/dialogue.
In 2005 the Eritrean National Alliance (ENA) elected Herui T. Bairu (replacing Abdella Idris as chairman and Hussein Khalifa (replacing Herui) as the Secretary General of the ENA. Both Herui and Hussein won 22 votes each. The maximum number of votes for each office is 26. Hussein Khalifa is vice-chair of the Eritrean Liberation Front (ELF) and Herui T Bairou is the chairman of the Eritrean Cooperative Party (ECP.) However in 2006 there was accussation and between Herui and Hussein this was after Herui left the EDA . Since then he started to critise the EDA more after 2007
In the early 2007 a new crisis was emereged at the EDA conference due to member of the EDA failed to reach a decision on who should lead its executive office. because of the rival leaders manily of the ELF.RC. At the conference, Hussen Kelifay said that his organization was not ready to accept the candidature of ELF-RC for the Executive Office.On the other hand Woldeyesus argued that his organization committed no crime to be barred from asking EDA leadership post and refused to withdraw his candidate.This led to the spilt of EDA in 2007

In January 22, 2008  — Eleven Eritrean opposition organizations which have been politically divided for nearly a year long have pushed a new agreement to form a full coalition, the Eritrean democratic alliance (EDA), after 5days meeting in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa last week[ read more ] http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article25679. According Amanuel Hidrat the   2008 EDA congress held in Addis Ababa. They agreed on their charters but failed on how to share the political power. They were divided into two blocks. Again it has nothing to do with sectarianism or regionalism as the Christian elites have the audacity to characterize it. It is all damn power struggle. The fact that they agreed on the drafted charter in itself does show that there was no ideological differences that pulled them apart. I supported the blocks provided the process led them into two distinctly united organizations to minimize the wilderness of cleavages similar to that of mitosis of a living cell

in 2008 there was another reunion meeting among the Eritrean National Salvation Front, the Eritrean Democratic Party (now known as: The Eritrean Progressive Party), and Eritrean Peoples Party which they announced the establishment of the Eritrean National United Front (ENUF). Background information :In 2006, the Eritrean Liberation Front-National Congress (ELF-NC) led by Dr. Beyene Kidane; the Eritrean People�s Movement (EPM) led by Mr. Abdella Adem and the Eritrean Revolutionary Democratic Front (Sedeg�e), led by Mr. Berhane Yemane (Hanjema)--held its unity congress in Addis Abeba from August 15 to August 23, and formed the The Eritrean National Salvation Front.
Wolde Yesus Ammar the leader of the ELF-RC who is the main rival of Hussein Khalifa at the EDA meeting in 2007 succeeded to secure the power of his organisation by becoming the chairman of the new Eritrean People´s Democratic Party which was formed in the early 2010 through the merging of the Eritrean People´s Party (EPP), the Eritrean Democratic Party (EDP) and the Eritrean People´s Movement (EPM).
On June 18 -19, 2009, the Red Sea Afar Democratic Organization (RSADO) and the Democratic Movement for the Liberation of Eritrean Kunama (DMLEK) have announced that they have created the Democratic Front of Eritrean Nationalities (DFEN)  ዲሞክራሲያዊ ግንባር ብሄራት ኤርትራ (ዲግብኤ)
Four Eritrean opposition organizations: the Eritrean liberation Front led by Hussien Khalifa , Eritrean Islamic Rectification Movement led by Adem Ismeal, Eritrean Islamic Party for Justice and Development led by Khalil Amer and Eritrean Federal Democratic Movement led by Bashir formed an entity called The Eritrean Solidarity Front (ESF) in 2009.In a press conference called by the ESF on Saturday evening, where the media cadres and representatives of opposition political organizations as well as the independent media centers were present, the election of SheikhAbu Suhail Mohammed Ahmed Saleh , the Secretary-General of the Islah movement, as Chairman of the first session was announced.
Since 2008 members of the EDA instead of making an effort to resolve their difference which caused the 2007 split in the EDA, keep competition through merging or forming factions one with the other to ensure their domination within EDA. Regarding this Goitom Emam states that, it is no secret that Tadamun or ESFwas created in reaction to what they call the fear and domination of EPDP The EPDP was also formed because of fearing domination from the ELF led by Hussei Khalifa who is the main rival of Wolde Yesus Ammar.Beshir Ishtaq chairman of a preparatory committee of the July conference   is also another rival of Wolde Yesus Ammar.
It would be worthwhile to look the cause rather the result of the EPDPwithdrawal from the July conference 2010. At the election of EDA leadership in 2007, Beshir Ishtaq nomination for a chairmanwas rejected by block one led by Wolde Yesus Ammar. In 2009 Beshir Ishtaq’s organization  Eritrean Federal Democratic Movement  formed an alliance with the ELF, Eritrean Islamic Party for Justice and  Eritrean Islamic Rectification Movement to secure his leadership. In 2010 Wolde Yesus Ammar the leader of the ELF-RC also formed an alliance with the Eritrean Democratic Party (EDP) and the Eritrean People´s Movement (EPM) to secure the domination of Eritrean People´s Democratic Party (EPDP) in the EDA.
Khalid B Beshir  in his article post to awate com on Nov 10, 2009, gave a good explanation for the cause of rift within the EDA before the announcement of July conference in the following:
It is no secret that EDA is inherently divided into two distinct groups. Those who want to bring drastic change primarily through a peaceful means but don’t rule out any other conventional method and those who want to use peaceful solution and press for implementation of constitution. The former is commonly known as
Tadamun or ESF and the latter which includes EDP, EPM and EPP are in the process of merging (Uniting Parties –UnP) to borrow from Habtom. It is also a public secret that the majority of members of each group predominantly come from lowland and highland part of Eritrea respectively.
The withdrawal of the EPDP from the July conference seems that an extension of the conflict which was erupted at the EDA conference in 2007 b etween Wolde Yesus Ammar leader of ELF.RC and Hussei Khalifa leader of ELF in 2007. It is also as a consequence   of  the Brussels Conference 2009 which was condemned  by the EDA chairman Tewelde Gebresslasie leaders leaders and supporters because of Wolde Yesus Ammar participation.The boycotting of the EPDP alse triggered a new accusations and counter accusations between EPDP and EDA supporter elits over the July conference 2010. Fesseha Nair in his article asked the leaders of the EPDP why they are against the conference. However Fesseha Nair did not ask the EDA leader why Beshir Ishtaq’s was elected for chairman of a preparatory committee which might be caused for the withdrawal of the EPDP from the July conference. Regarding the elected members of the July conference preparatory committee, Falu wrote that “I think the EDA preparatory committee is flawed in its composition, they seem to me like a group that has its own agenda that it wants to push by excluding its potential competition. This is not a healthy approach for reconciliation; people should think beyond their personal agendas and try to bridge the gap of mistrust that has been surfacing for almost a year now”.

EDA chairman Tewelde Gebresslasie leaders

ዘይምትEምማንን ዝደጋገም ቅልውላዋት ኪዳንን፤ [Source ኤርትራዊ ዲሞክራስያዊ ኪዳን ናይ ቀረባ ጊዜ ዓንቃፊ ተረኽቦታት መሓመድ ዓሊ Iብራሂም፤ 18.04.2010]

  • ሕንፍሽፍሽ ኣብ ጨንፈር ኤዲኪ ኣውስትራልያ፡- በሺር ይስሓቕ ንኪዳን ወኪሉ ብግንቦት-ሰነ 2009 ናብ ኣውስትራልያ Uደት ኣብ ዝገበረሉ ጊዜ፡ ነቶም ቀንዲ ተሓባበርቱን ተቀበልቱን ዝነበሩ ኣባላት መሪሕነት ሰልፊ ህዝብን ሰልፊ ዲሞክራስን ኤርትራ ከምU Eውን ኣቦ ወንበር ጨንፈር ኤዲኪ ኣብ ሚልቦርን
    ከም ዓንቀፍቲ ቆጺሩ ናይ ጸለመ ጸብጻብ ብምቕራቡ ኣካታI ጉዳይ ኮይኑ፤ ክሳብ ኣብ ኣኼባ ማEከላይ መሪሕነት ተዘሪቡሉስ፡ ክምርመርን ክጻረን Eውን ውሳነ ተበጺሑ። ፈጻሚ ቤት ጽሕፈት ግን ነዚ ብባይቶ Eተዋህቦ ሓላፍነት፡ ክሳብ
    ሎሚ ፍታሕ ኣይገበረሉን። ጨንፈር መልቦርን ኣብ ክልተ ተመቂሉ ተሪፉ።
  • ብሰልፊ ዲሞክራስን ሰልፊ ህዝብን ንዎርክሾፕ ኪዳን ዝተዳለወ ወረቀት ቅድሚ Eቲ ዎርክሾፕ ምጅማሩ ነቶም ኣንጻር ሰልፍታትና ዝጽሕፉ ተመሓላሊፊስ፡ “ነዚ ወረቐት’ዚ ፎE በልዎ” ዝብል ዓንቀጽ ኣብ Iንተርነት ወጺU። ኣቦ መንበር
    ኣሰናዳዊት ሽማግለ ዎርክሾፕ ዝነበረ በሺር፡ Eቲ ወረቐት ናባኻ’ዩ ተላIኹ፡ መን ናብ Iንተርነት ኣመሓላሊፍዎ ምስ ተባህለ “ኣነ ኣይፈልጥኩን” ብምባል ብኣሉታ
    መሊሹ። ስለምንታይ ትብሃል ኣሎኻ? ዝብሎ ስልጣን ኣይነበረን። Eቶም መጒዳEቲ EተሰምOም ሰልፍታት ዝገብርዎ ጠፊEዎም ስቕ መሪጾም።
  • ኮንፈረንስ ብሩክሰል፡- ኣብ ኮንፈረንስ ብሩክሰል ኤዲኪ ክEደም ብመትከል ኣባላ ፈጻሚ ሽማግለ ዘይንፈላለየሉ ጉዳይ ነይሩ። Eንተኾነ ምስታፍ ኤዲኪ ይኹን ካልOት ውድባት ኣብ Iድና ከም ዘይኮነ Eናተፈልጠ፡ ኣብ ልEሊ ተዓዲመን
    ዝነበራ ውድባትን ሲቪክ ማሕበራትን፡ ኣብ ልEሊ ዓደምትን ተዓደምትን ወጻEተኛታትን፡ ብEላዊ ደብዳቤ ከምU ኸኣ፡ ብሬድዮን ተለቪዥንን ብቃለ-
    መጠይቅን ኣቢሎም መሪሕነት ኪዳን Eዚ ዘይበሃል ውንጀላን ክስታትን ኣካይዶም። ብደረጃ ኪዳን Eሞ መን ዓገብ ክብሎም። ኣብቲ Eተዓደምናሉ ኮንፈረንስ ስለ Eተኻፈልና ጥራይ፡ ብዛEባ ብሩሰልስ ዜናዊ ንጥፈታትና ብናይ ኪዳን መሳርሒታት ዜና ከይቃላሕ ተኣጊዱ። ወኪል ሰልፊ ህዝቢ ብተለቪጅን
    ኪዳን፡ ብዛEባ Eቲ Eዉት ዝኾነ ውጽIታት ኮንፈረንስ ብሩክሰል ከመሓላልፍ ዝሓተቶ Eላዊ ጠለብ ከምዘይፍቀደሉ ብጽሑፍ ተመሊሱሉ። Read more
A question could be raised here, why the leaders of opposition groups are more devoted on holding the National Conference in July 2010  than  resolving their difference to the end the suffering of the Eritrean people in 2007. This was  when the Eritrean people urged them to remove this authoritarian regime without any delaying ? The Eritrean people have a long history of being victim of the ELF and EPLF political leaders. They have no wish to be victims of the EPDP and Tadamun ESF or EDA leaders to the type of rivalry seen in Palestine between Hamas and the Al Fatah leaders
Ibrahim Mohammed Ali article, which reviewed  Eritrean history of the past 60 years, referred many times to the fact that religion and ethnicity have been exploited as artificial factors of disunity, mainly by the enemies of our people, and that even today Eritrea’s future is facing danger “unless the patriotic and democratic forces take up their national responsibilities with wisdom backed by lessons learned from the past and save the nation from slipping into a possible quagmire”.

Furthermore Ibrahim Mohammed Ali (2009 )in his article response to Sheikh Hamid Turki Fomenting Religious Differences for is not What End, for Whose Benefit? states that, the heroic Eritrean people, who paid dearly in the 30-year struggle for national liberation, are today passing very difficult times squeezed in between two harmful conditions created by two actors.The main actor in causing suffering and a sad situation in Eritrea is the oppressive one-man regime that imposed itself on the nation for the last two decades. The dictatorial regime has not only denied the Eritrean people their very basic human rights but also subjected them to the most brutal repression. The other actors and partners of the dictatorial regime in causing and prolonging the suffering of our people and creating unhealthy situation are certain opposition groups bent at disrupting the internal unity and social setup of this diverse but one nation by forging their fragmented groupings and promoting division based on religion, language and ethnicity. Read more

The exploitation of religion, or ethnicity by the leaders of opposition is not new. Groups fuelling tension between Muslim and Christian to gain power has a history going back to the 1940s: 1.In 1946 the leader of unionist Tedla Bairu was accused of fuelling the tension between Muslim and Christian which caused the split of the Mahber Fikre Hager ;2. In the late 50s and early 1960 Idris M.Adam accused the ELM of recruiting Christians; 3. In early 1970s Isayas accused the ELF leaders of persecuting the highlander while he had a secreat meeting with the CIA ; 4.In 1982 Abdella Idris also accused the Christians of cover up inorder to kill his rival Melake Tekele.
Omar also states that the Christian elite misled the grass-roots and mobilized them against the slogan of independence. "Now the Islamist elite are using and abusing religion to recruit supporters claiming that the regime is sectarian" says Omar, adding that
Omar: Since the dictatorial regime is targeting all Eritreans - Christians, Moslems, young and old, male and female - the response should be equally "national"- all sectors and groups , political organizations and civil society groups , intellectuals, religious leaders, journalists and social activists
should join efforts and say NO to the dictatorship - inside and outside--written or verbal
It has been 30 years since the ELF defeated by the EPLF. The underlying causes of this defeat were  mainly due to leadership crisis  which has still left mark on the current opposition leaders. Since 1981 the veteran ELF leaders not only missed opportunities to become an effective opposition group to the EPLF and to seize power after 1991, but also a major hindrance to unity. As far as these oppostion leaders with along history of splitting into factions are in power, there is no hope of removing this autocratic regime.  The removing of this regime can only be achieved through replacing the old generation leadership of the opposition groups with the younger one willing to work genuinely for harmonizing the Eritrea society instead of dividing it. Beshir Abdulkadir also states that old leaders and their old ideas cannot achieve any promotion. Hence, all concerned compatriots and elites should share the pie with them and encourage them to be at least optimistic about the possibility of creating justice in our nation.
Therefore, it is time for all Eritrean Youth who are victims of Issayas and all the opposition group leaders to revitalize the 1950s Youth movement's experience and keep alive the principle of Haraka “Muslims and Christian are brothers, and their unity makes Eritrea one” which will have a great role in speeding up the removing of this fascistic dictator, and ensuring peace, prosperity and democracy for the future generation which you leave a positive legacy for them. Below is an excerpt from what Ato Woldeab wrote when Ibrahim died.
My beloved brother and friend Ibrahim: a man, even if wise and admired, is not in this world permanently; he is not immortal; you have also passed away. I am also going to pass after you. However, we who are going to pass away, are capable of creating something that is eternal, because we are capable of leaving something that will not fade for generations, I know for certain that what you did for the good of your country will serve as an enduring example for your countrymen.
Fact and Evidence Part IIX:[1961-2010 The consequent disunity of political leaders