Re: [DEHAI] Re: September the birth of Eritrean Struggle Part

Ogbai Fesseha (
Wed, 24 Sep 1997 12:39:25 -0700

Selam Debesai
Debesai even though I don't know you personally, I agree and I second
you for your thoughtful and very understandable answer you provide to
dehai members. I myself was there in Corocon. Please keep the good
work and courage. History can't and will not be distorted.

Your brother
Ogbai Fesseha
San Diego, CA

>>> <TS81@AOL.COM> 09/23/97 08:25pm >>>
Selam Paulos, Berahan and Dehai,

Paulos hawei I donnow how to thank you for making me aware of what I
missed in Berahan's posting.

Berhan hawei what you have said about Serawit Harnet is outragious
intolelrable. I always tried to be careful not to write my opinion when I
not very familiar with a certain isssue. On this one, count me in. I can
do it with my eyes closed.

Your statements about Shaabias infiltration into the ranks of ELA is very
familiar to me. I heard it fifteen years ago, when I was 'retained' ( which
in fact was inprisoned) in Abdallah Idris Semien Camps. These were the
accusations Abdellah Idris made about Jebha's (ELA) army. First of all it
a total nonsense, because ELA forces' tenacious believe and trust in
organization Jebha held them firm long time in Korocon and Tahdai with
or no leadership to guide them or support them. They were being
and demeaned to the lowest level of indignity while their tegadelty sisters
were continuously being harassed by the Sudanese army - no guns to
them. Why did they have to suffer like that ? Why didnt they go and join
EPLF rightaway?

If Shaabia had inflitrated ELF, why is it only about 15% of them joined it?
And this 15% joined EPLF based on pure political stand point: not
regionalism or any other biased or croocked purposes. From their point
view, they believed that they could ultimately bring about political justice
and democracy in EPLF through their struggle. Therefore they jioned
regardless for their political views against that organization. There
also others who stayed with Abdellah Idris for the same reason.
Unfortunately, there were also who betraid their own country and joined
Ethiopian army for pure vengence against Shaabia, and ELF leaders.
called them Wedo Gheba. About 25% of the army was scrambled
between the two
groups of ELF-RC and ELF Saghem. The rest (by far the majority,
hawei and unlike your false statements) prefered to quit rather be a
of power hungry and corrupt leaders and were dispersed all over in
It is very sad to see this once best army of loyalty, of principle, and of
unlimited courage, be discredited, humiliated, and spitted upon
time and again. But one day, I assure you that the murderer Abdellah
and his other carbon copies, will have their rightous places in our
and the hero Melaake Tecle and his other carbon copies will have their
rightous places in our history.

I am a living witness to the execution of Melaake. I was there when
mudered him in cold blood. I knew I shouldn't have gone there, but I was
ellected by my unit, I was scared, to tell you the truth, but I didnt have
choice. Melaake Tecle as well, went there when he new what awaited
him. He
had to go, because he said he was responsible for what had happened
Serawit Harnet - you figure it out what he meant by that. As to how I
escaped from there, is another story to be told another time and as it is
irrelevant to the discussion here.

I am not accusing you of siding with Abdellah. I donnow what side you
and I really don't care. But, when you come with such distorted
accounts of
my own history and the history of my comrades, I will respond.

Debesai Solomon.

In a message dated 97-09-23 17:57:48 EDT, Paulos wrote:

<<Selam Berhan,

Writing about the EPLF's rise and its consolidation of power between
upto 1988" you wrote:

"..It [EPLF] applied the "Trojan horse" tactic and infiltrated the ELF from
bottom to head with active loyal 'agent-cell' by 1980 EPLF established a
strong coalition with the TPLF of Ethiopia and opened channels with
circles especially USA."

Never mind that you're mixing two different things but you are making a
serious accusation in the above statement. The coalition between the
and TPLF against the ELF is a well documented fact. I am interested in
first part of your statement which evidently needs a lot of explanation.
Here is the problem: As I remember it, that same allegation (EPLF
infiltration in the rank of the ELF) was Abdella Idris' excuse for
ultimately abandoning the ELA (serawit Harnet) in the final hours in
1981 while the latter was besieged by the Sudanese army and was
forced to
surrender its weapons to the Sudanese authorities inside Sudanese
During the civil war (HadHd QWinat) of July 1980-August 1981, while,
unfortunately, the war raged in all corners of Eritrea, brother killing
brother, Abdella Idris and his cronies incredibly accused the ELA of
retreating unnecessarily and uncharacteristically when it faced the
advancing EPLF/TPLF forces. And he, Abdella Idris, was supposed to
been the commander-in-chief! Their theory was that the ELA didn't want
kill their brothers - which was true to the extent that the ELF fighters
hated the idea of killing their own brothers and sisters, period, not
because any other religious issue that was later raised in some corners
and that there were agents of the EPLF in the ELA. The accusation by
unsavory characters was a fabrication of the truth, which to date lacks
scintilla of evidence supporting it, and an attempt to cover up their dismal
failures as political leaders and/or military commanders.

Note: At the end of the 70s, the majority of the ELA were Christian

Berhan, if there was such a thing as infiltration by "active loyal
'agent-cells,'" as you put it, I, and many others I'm sure, if nothing else
just for historical purposes, would like to know about it; please present
us the evidence. Unless you are prepared to support your statments
facts, you will not convince this reader, and as such the truth suffers,
because you are repeating today in 1997 what Abdella Idris, more or
said in 1981.

I had to say the above because such assaults amount to defaming the
name of
the ELA. And to keep silent is tantamount to accepting the accusations,
since this discussion is supposed to be something "we can offer for our
young generation," as Berhan put it.

Paulos (wedi Mikiel)
(Fairfax, VA, USA)

P.S. This is not meant to exonerate the EPLF or the role of the EPLF
leadership on the civil war, I am merely objecting to Berhan's specific