The Democratic movement of 1977

In some sense, the movement was a continuation of the previous ones. The Eritrean Liberation Army led the movement and targeted a number of organizational and political shortcomings: such as corruption, malpractice in management, malfunction in the hierarchy of the organization, and other widespread undemocratic practices of the ELF leadership. But this time the Eritrean Liberation Army didn’t pull the thread together. 

The Abdella Idris group, the most powerful and dominant group (also known as the right wing block back then), aborted and branded the reform movement as “anarchy and disorder” or “falul and Keidi Betekh”, and ordered the arrest and disarming of hundreds of Tegadelti. The Labor Party (LP), the main organ of ELF, also gave its green light to squash the movement. This is the era where anti-democratic forces took upper hand and teamed up against the forces of change in ELF. This is the era where the right wing snitchers and betrayers flourished in ELF. This is the era where ELF began to become terminally ill.    

In retrospect, the failure of 1977 movement can also be attributed partly to the lack of leadership, organization, and coordination within the parties involved to lead the movement. However, the overall message here is that the movement was a grass-root one aimed at reforming ELF. Even though it failed and never recovered, yet the undemocratic approach employed by ELF leaders to address the issue left ELF ideals badly shaken and bruised up to this very moment.  

Unlike Abdella Idris’ historical uprising, all the reforms/democratic movements which evolved in ELF at different stages prior to 1981 represented a distinctive characteristic of the Eritrean Liberation Army: reflection, deliberation, engagement, national endeavor, and collective participation. 

Now, having said that let me revisit Abdella Idris’ ‘historical uprising of 1981 in Hame Shkoreb’ (Sudanese territory at the border) and tie this up together for you. One has to start with the following questions: What ‘uprising’, what ‘continuity’, and what ‘mishandling’ is Mr. Abdella Idris referring to? There was neither ‘uprising’, nor even an incident of that sort in any form or shape

Source:Abdella Idris: The Architect of Violence and Beneficiary of Undemocratic Uprising By Nebari Keshi July 19, 2002 (Posted on 21 July 2002)