According to Mengisteab (50, 2005) that Teklay Aden, an EPLF security chief
who defected to the Ethiopian regime in 1981, revealed that three thousand fighters
were physically liquidated by the Front between the start of the internal power
struggle(1973) and the time of his defection(1980). Mengisteab added that one
source said that the number of fighters physically eliminated by the Front between
1973 and the liberation of Eritrea in 1991, could range between three thousand
and five thousand, if those fighters who disappeared under mysterious circumstances
are included. However, Solomon Woldemariam, who was in the EPLF leadership from
1971-1977, suggested that the number was much larger. Solomon added that around
one thousand fighters who participated in the Menka movement were rehabilitated
after undergoing serious political indoctrination and self-criticism( Mengiseab,
49: 2005) Furthermore Sherman(64) mentioned that in 1976 perhaps as many as
200 young EPLF intellectuals were arrested. Many were executed for “radicalism”
for following an alleged Maoist line. This was when Goitom Berhe and his groups
tried to form an underground movement called 'the Eritrean Revolutionary Party'
in 1975/1976. During this period the party translated a number of Marxist works
to Tigrigna (eg Dialectical Materialism, Four Essays of Philosophy, About the
Proletariat Party) . All the literature was then collected and burnt. The suspected
ring-leaders of the anti-Essayas movement of progressives were arrested and,
later executed. Source
An Entire Generation Denied Higher Education? Are we going to stay silent?
To conclude , Tesfamariam Assefaw in his narration in 2000 still remembers what Issays said 36 years ago: " Struggle is honey covering Ire" (sour). (Kidane, Aida 2004)
He did not understand at that time, but one could interpret this to mean the
intrigue and conspiracy that followed Issayas' application of the lessons learnt
in Great Proletrain Cultral Revolution in China and accomplished through
35 years . Some of his victims during those years, listed by Alem Tesfay 2003
List 68-106 should be remembered on this Martyrs’ Day.
According to my personal experience, the sentiments expressed by EPLF leaders have fostered an anti-democratic culture in out liberation struggle and psychologically intimidated and damaged the fighters. Below are phrases used by the EPLF leaders to repress our freedom of expression:
The impact of the above phrase can be seen in our loss of confidence to tell the truth to the public of what we knew or suspected during the liberation struggle .
In conclusion, he author appeals to all former members of the EPLF who survived the war, especially those who were in the Central Committee between 1977-1987 (Abdella Adem, Haile Menkerios and Mesfin Hagos) and other senior post holders, to tell the public the truth about the EPLF leaderships' crimes against fighters who sacrificed themselves for the liberation of our people from colonial oppression
Glory to our Martyrs