The mysterious death of Petros Yohannes 1978

Researched and compiled by Resoum Kidane 22-5-2019

During the liberation struggle many innocent and nationalist Eritreans who joined the EPLF and ELF were eliminated by the Fronts,   Petros Yohanes was one of them. He joined the EPLF and died under mysterious circumstances during the rift exacerbated between EFLNA and EPLF in 1978.

According to his relative Pteros Yohannes was born in Asmara. When he was 2 years old moved to Mekele with his parents, then to UK and back again to Asmara where he went to Comboni School. In the mid- 1960s he moved with his sister Azeb to Addis Ababa and continued his secondary education in Addis Ababa.  After Petros passed the E.S.L.C.E he pursed his higher education at Haile Selassie I University  studying political science in 1968

ስውእ ጴጥሮስ ዮውሃንስ አቦ መንበር ናይ ኤሪትራዊያን ኤ ና ስ አ አብ አሜሪካ ዝነበረ ::
እዚ ስእሊዚ አብ አሥመራ ብ 1960 አቢሉዩ courtesy Michael Abatregh

When Petro’s joined the Haile Selassie I University, there was already the University Students Union of Addis Ababa (USUAA) which was founded in 1967.  In the late 1960s   Ethiopian students at   Haile Selassie I University were strongly influenced by revolutionary internationalist ideology as well as by African student who were on scholarship at the university college of Addis Ababa.  According to Balsvik, in 1958 Emperor Haile Selassie had offered, at the Conference of Independent African countries in Ghana. 200 students to join higher education in Ethiopia. Those scholarship students from different parts of Africa, helped the Ethiopian students to free themselves of their traditional fear of participating in politics (Hailemichael, 2007:37)

By and large, between 1967 and 1974 many Eritrean students who joined the university from Eritrea and inside Ethiopia like Petros played a key role a key role in developing a strong solidarity between Eritrean and Ethiopian progressive students on the campus. According to Petros Tesfa Giorgis the Eritrean progressive students came to realize that if the oppressive feudal system was replaced by a socialist Government the problem in Eritrea could be solved peacefully based on the right of people to self-determination. The Eritrean university students saw a light at the end of the tunnel and became very active in the Ethiopian students’ movement. Thus the Addis Ababa University became the melting pot of revolutionaries. It brought together students from different nationalities. ( Tesfa Giorgis (2007))
According to his close relative Petros  was a radical and hunted by police several times and even beaten and shot at while he was active member of the USUAA.  Aida Kidane recalled “My aunt used to hide him at stable and in chest trunk. He was our childhood hero”.

Despite this fact, in 1967 the USUAA passed a resolution condemning the Eritrean movement as “a reactionary and sectarian. Furthermore at the 17th Congress of ESUNA, ESUNA is firmly opposed to any and all separatist movement that attempt to sabotage the unity of the oppressed masses of Ethiopia. In 1969.132

In reaction to  above and other factors in 1970a clandestine Eritrean Marxist Group (Teihsha)   in the campus was formed Temsegen Haile who was at one time president of USUAA was among the founders of Teihsha) which affiliated to the EPLF. Petros Yohanes was one of those intellectual left wings active member of the USUAA and Teihsha in late 1960s and early 1970s. Petros was also  co-editor of the journal struggle (Teihsha) with Temsegen Haile.

In early 1970s he moved to Canada to pursue his studies where he joined the EFLNA which was formed by Eritrean students in the North America in 1970.   In August 1973 Petros attended the Fourth Annual Congress of the EFLNA which was held in Pavia (Milan).  The congress issued a joint declaration of EFLNA and the General Union of Eritrean Students (GUES-Cairo) known as the Pavia Declaration to support EPLF.

A year later of the Pavia Declaration the Menka ring leaders were imprisoned and executed .When Petros heard this tragic news, he  started inquiring into injustice of the Menka group's arrest.  Why were fighters imprisoned? The educated ones asked only for democracy.  And what other things had the ELF done? So what was the reason Shaba split from ELF?

Petros wrote a book in defence of the Eritrean Revolution in response to the issued of the National Question in Ethiopia in general and the Eritrean National Question in particular was published in   ESUNA’S combat VOL. No. 2 October 1976.

The book in defence of the Eritrean Revolution was published by AESNA, Feb 1978 against Ethiopian social chauvinists when the ESUNA insisted that the Eritrea question is not a colonial question. Petros Yohanese was the author of this book.. At the time Petros was a Ph.D candidate. However, he decided to terminate his doctoral studies to join the liberation struggle between March and April 1978.  Petros along with Yemane Monkey and Girma Asmerom from the USA . He probably came to the field to work with Andebrehan who was the head of the English editorial board at the EPLF's Department of information in the field. 

Shortly after Petros Yohannes arrived to the field, he went for tour with Yemane Monkey and Grima Asmerom, I saw them briefly when they visited the EPLF School of cadre. Later I heard tragic news that   Petros had been killed in a road accident somewhere between Ginda and Decemhara while he was on their journey with Yemane Meonkey and Girma Asmerom. This was the EPLF’s version.  Suspicion remain over how if such a serious accident had occurred Yemane and Girma survived unharmed?  Regarding his mysterious death Beyan Negash (2007) also states that he heard that a man called Petros Yohannes had entered Meda (field) from the US and was killed

To conclude in 1970s any fighters who joined the EPLF and asked about Menkae killings, were also met with suspicion and some disappeared, Petros Yohanesone became a target of the EPLF who probably caused to his mysterious death in 1978. This was a common phenomenon within the EPLF in 1970s and 1980s.    

[ጴጥሮስ ምዕባሌታት ክረኢ ደልዩ ኣብ ሜዳ (ብኤነ ተሬ) (N3) ዓበይቲ ናይ ጽዕነት ማኪና እናተጓዕዘ እንከሎ ድቃስ ወሲድዎ ስለዝነበረ ጨዓ ሲሒቡ ኣውዲቅዎ መይቱ፡፡ዝብል ወሬ ኣብ ሜዳ ተነዝሐ፡፡ ኣብ ሜዳ‘ኳ ዝኣምኖም ሰብ ኣይረከቡን፣ ጨዓስ ኣሽንኳይዶ ሰብሲ ነጸለ‘ውን ሲሒባ ክተውድቅ ተራእዩ ስለዘይፈልጥ read more

ፈልጥ read more

ጴጥሮስ ዮሃንስ ከ መን ኢዩ ነይሩ ስለምንታከ ተቐቲሉ
ጴጥሮስ  ዮሃንስ ቐቅድሚቲ ቐዳማይ ውድባዊ ጉባኤ ካብ ኣሜሪካ ንሜዳ ከምዝኣቱ ተገይሩ ኣብ ሜዳ ዝተቀትለ ካልእ ስውእ ኤርትራዊ ኢዩ፡፡ ጴጥሮሰ ዮሃንስ  ናይ ሙሴ ተስፋሚካኤል (ናይ 73 ምንቅስቃስ) ዓርኩን መማህርቱን ምንባሩን ፖለቲካዊ ብስለቱ ድማ ክብ ዝበለ ምንበሩን ይሕበር፣ ይኹን‘ምበር ኣባል ናይቲ ማእከላይ  ሽማግለ ናይ ኤ ና ስ ኣ ኣይነበረን፡፡
 ጴጥሮስ ናይ 73 ምንቅስቃስ ሕሉፍ ጸጋማዊ ምንቅስቃስ ኢዩ ክብሃል ዝክእል እምበር ፣ አዕናዊ ወይ ዘይሰውራዊ ምንቅስቃስ ኣይኰነን ፣ ስለዚ ድማ ብዘተ ኢዩ ክፍታሕ ዝግብኦ ዝብል እምነት ሰለዝነበሮ፣ ነዚ ዕግበቱ‘ዚ ዓው ኢሉ ይጣበቀሉ ምንባሩ ይዝከር፡፡ ካብዚ ሓሊፉ‘ውን ኤ ና ስ ና ብዝኮነ ይኩን መንገዲ ኣካል ናይ ህ.ሓ.ሓ.ኤ ከይከውን ኣትሪሩ ይካታዕ ነበረ፡፡ ኤ ና ስ ኣ ነጻ ማሕበር ኰይኑ ነብሱ ኪኢሉ ከሰርሕ ክንቀሳቀስን ከምዘለዎ ይኣምን ነበረ፡፡ እዚ መርገጺ‘ዚ ድማ ንውለቀ መላኪ ኢሳያስ ፈጺሙ ኣይመቀሮን ፣ ስለዝኮነ ድማ ንጴጥሮስ ንምጥፍኡ ክበላሓት ጀመረ፡፡ ኢሳያስ ንተንኮልን ክፍኣት ግብርን ዘርክቦ የብሉን፣ ተንኰል 10 ዓመታት ቅድሚ ሰብ ኢዩ ዝሓስብ ፣ ተንኰል ግን ኩል ጊዜ ኣይኰነን ንቅድሚት ዘሰጉመካ፡፡ ብዝኰነ ንጴጥሮስ ንሜዳ መታን ክመጽእ ኣብቲ ናይ ሓፋሽ ውድባት ኣሰራርዕኡ ናብ „ውፍይ“ ከምዝድይብ ብምግባር ናይ ኤ ና ስ ኣ ናይ ፖለቲካ ኰሚሽነር ከምዝከውን ገበሮ፡፡ ከም ሓደ ፖሊቲካል ኰሚሽነር ድማ ውፉይ ስለዝኰንካ እቲ ውድብ ዝሃበካ ስራሕ ክትሰርሕን ኣብ ዝመደበካ ቦታ ክትከይድን ትግደድ ኢኻ ማለት ኢዩ፡፡ እዚ ድሕሪ ምግባሩ ድማ ኢሳያስ ንሜዳ ንቁርብ ግዜ ተድልዩና ኣለኹም ኢሉ ሰለስት ተማሃሮ ካብ ኣሜርካ ንሜዳ ክኣትው አዘዘ፡፡  በዚ መሰረት ድማ ጴጥሮስ ዮሃንስን ግርማ ኣስመሮምን ሕጂ ኣምባሳደር ዘሎ ሓደ ሳልሳዮምን ንሜዳ  ኣተዉ፡፡
ጴጥሮስ ግን ሜዳ ምስ ኣተወ ብዙሕ ከይጸንሔ ሽዑ ንሽዑ ኢዩ ተቀቲሉ፣ ብሓደጋ ከምዝሞተ ንምምሳል ድማ ከምዚ ዝስዕብ ጽውጽዋይ መሃዙ፡፡ ጴጥሮስ ምዕባሌታት ክረኢ ደልዩ ኣብ ሜዳ (ብኤነ ተሬ) (N3) ዓበይቲ ናይ ጽዕነት ማኪና እናተጓዕዘ እንከሎ ድቃስ ወሲድዎ ስለዝነበረ ጨዓ ሲሒቡ ኣውዲቅዎ መይቱ፡፡ዝብል ወሬ ኣብ ሜዳ ተነዝሐ፡፡ ኣብ ሜዳ‘ኳ ዝኣምኖም ሰብ ኣይረከቡን፣ ጨዓስ ኣሽንኳይዶ ሰብሲ ነጸለ‘ውን ሲሒባ ክተውድቅ ተራእዩ ስለዘይፈልጥ፡፡ እዚኣ ፍልይ ዝበለት ጽውጽዋይ ኢያ ነይራ፡፡ እንታይ ድኣሞ‘ዮም ክብሉ ? ኣብ ሜዳ ፓላሶታት ኣይነበረን፡፡ ተ ጸሊሉ ኢዩ ነይሩ ክብሉ‘ውን ዝጥዕም ኣይነበረን፡፡
ናብ ኤ ና ስ ኣ ዝተላእከ ወግዓዊ መግለጺ አይነበረን፡፡ ግርማ ኣስመሮም (ኣምባሳደር) ግን ብእዋኑ ሓንቲ ደብዳቤ ጺሒፉ ብጻይና ጴጥሮስ ዮሃንስ ብሓደጋ ሞይቱ ክብል ሓቢሩ ምንባሩ ይዝከር፡፡
እግረ መንገደይ ድማ በዚ ኣጋጣሚ ካልእ ካብዚ ፍልይ ዝበለ ብዛዕባ ግርማ ኣስመሮም ከሕብር ይደሊ፡፡ እዚ ድማ ኣስቴር ዮሃንስ፣ ባዓልቲ ቤቱ ንጴጥሮስ ሰለሙን ሰብኣያ ምስ ተኣስረ ተገብሮ ጨነቑዋ ናብ ኣምባሳደር ግረማ ኣስመሮም ከያዳ ብዛዕባ ስክፍትኣ ምስ ኣማኸረቶ ፣ ግርማ ኣስመሮም ኢዩ ንኣስቴር ንኤርትራ ክትኣቱ ዘተባብዓ፡፡ „ ዋላ ሓንቲ ኣይትኰንን ኢኺ „  „ዓድኺ ኣቲኺ ድሃይ ሰብኣይኪ ጌርኪ ክትምለሲ ትኽእሊ ኢኺ“ „ ኣነ ዋሕስኪ ኢዬ፣ ንኣይ እመኒኒ“ ኢሉ ንኤርትራ ከምዘፋነዋ ይፍለጥ ፡፡ ኢሳያስ እምበኣር ከምዚኦቶም ዓይነት ከዳዓት ጥራይ ኢዩ ሒዙ ዝጓዓዝ ዘሎ፡፡
ኣብ ህ.ግ ድሕሪ ምስላፍካን ሓዲሽ እንኰሎካን እቲ ብናይ ጸላኢ ጥይት ይቅተል ይከውን ኢየ ዝብል ፍርሒ ቀልጢፉ ኢዩ ዝብህንን፣ ነዚ ድማ ኩላትና ተዳሊናሉ ሓሲብናሉን ዝመጻእና ዓይነት መስዋእቲ ስለዝኰነ  ኢዩ፡፡ ድሕሪ ናብ ህ. ግ. ምስላፍካ እቲ ቀንዲ ዘሰክፈካን ዘፍርሃካን ነገር ግን ብናይ ህ. ግ. ጥይት ከይትጠፍእን ወይ ድማ ኣብቲ ሓለዋ ሰውራ መሽሚሽካ ከይትተርፍን ኢዩ፡፡ ኢዚ ድማ ህይወትካ ጥራይ ዘይኰነስ ሽምካ‘ውን ንዘላኣለም ከምዝድምሰስ ስለዝርድኣካ ኢዩ፡፡ ከም ከዳዕ፣ ሲ.አይ. ኤ (C.I.A.) ፣ ኣድሓርሓሪ ወዘተ…ዝብል ሽም ንዘለኣለም ከምዝልጠፈካ ስለትፈልጥ ድማ ኢካ ትፈርህን ትስከፍን ፡፡
ኣብ  ህ.ግ.ሓ. ኤ ዘይተነግረ እምበር ዘይተገብረስ የሎን፡፡
ኣብ መወዳእታ ድማ ነቶም ሓበሬታ ብምስናቕን ስእሊ ናይ መንግስትኣብ ኢሳቅ ብምልኣክን ከምኡ‘ውን ሞራላዊ ደገፍ  ብምሃብ ዝተሓባበሩኒ ኣዕሩኽተይን ሃገራውያንን  ምስጋናይ የቅርብ፡፡
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