Prisoners death records  







Mysterious death of Ibrahim Afa
Mysterious death of Abraham Tewelde

Liquidation in the ELF
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Any political group whose members belonged to the era of the liberation struggle would most likely turn dictatorial

During the liberation struggle many innocent liberation fighters and civilians became victims of the former revolutionary leaders who are currently serving in the Eritrean government or in the Opposition. The opposition leaders of the EDA and EPDP are not innocent of crime. They like the PFDJ leaders whom they are accusing of committing crimes against the Eritrean people since 1991 are also guilty.
Veteran fighter and Chairman of the Eritrean National Congress, Hiruy Tedla Bairu, said he believed any political group whose members belonged to the era of the liberation struggle would most likely turn dictatorial. Looking to the future, Hiruy says there is the need for a new mass movement to lead the people. Source Michael Abraha


Tewelde Gebreselasse leader of Sagem who himself  has been a leader  for almost 30 years.
Tewelde Gebreselasse (the Chairman of EDA) in an interview with Walta, Ethiopia’s state media described Eritrea in the last 20 years as a “one party dictatorship…with no freedom of press, no rule of law, no election, no freedom of expression. These oppostion leaders want to seize power for themselves by liberating the Eritrean people from the repression of the PFDJ. The evidence of this could been read from what he said on 30/10/2011 Sunday’s preparatory meeting which was hosted by the Eritrean National Commission for Democratic Change - ENCDCO. At this meeting the Eritrean Democratic Alliance Chairman Tewelde Ghebreselassie said the exiled opposition groupings did not represent the Eritrean people. “We only speak for ourselves and our parties”, he said, adding, “Our main job is to create a strong mechanism so as to enhance our democratic struggle” Source Michael Abraha.]

How can the Eritrean people trust these oppostion leaders of EDA, EPDP and ENCDC [Tewelde Gebresslasie , Beshir Ishtaq, Heruy T. Bairou's , Hussein Kelifay, Yemane (Hanjema), Woldeyesus Ammar, Mesfin Hagos, Hamed Drar, Abdella Adem, etc ] who have been engaged in power struggles while many horrible crimes were committed against the Eritrean people by the PFDJ between 1991-2011.

Compiled by Resoum Kidane 05/2011


Leaders of the Tripartite Union elected at the Ansaba Meeting were : 1968

1.  Mohammed Ahmed Abdu, chairman

2.  Abdalla Idris Mohammed

3.    Mohammed Ali Omaro

4.   Ramadan Mohammed Nur

5.  Abraham Tewolde

6.   Isayas Afeworki

7.    Mohammed Omar Abdalla (Abu Tiyara)

8.     Ahmed Ibrahim

9.     Mohammed Abdalla Taha (al-Safi)

10.  Omar Damer

11.   Abdalla Yusuf

12.   Hamid Saleh Read more


ኣቃውማ መሪሕነት ሰልፊ ነጻነት 1970 

  1. መስፍን ሓጎስ
  2. ተወልደ ኢዮብ
  3. ኣስመሮም ገረዝጊሄር
  4. ሰለሙን ወልደማሪያም
  5. ኢሳያስ Source ወፊሮም ገዘኦም ዘይተመልሱ መስፍን ሓጎስ መን እዩ?

Source :At  33rd Anniversary  of The 1971 Congress, ELF-RC Described as ‘Dynamic Democracy’ Nharnet Team, 14 October 2004

Members of the 1st Revolutionary Council Democratically Elected at the 1971 Congress:
Idris Mohammed Adem, president
Herui Tedla Bairu, first vice president
Abdalla Idris Mohammed, second vice president
Saleh Ahmed Eyay, head foreign office
Mohammed Ismail Abdu, head of coordination
Ibrahim Mohammed Ali
Mohammed Osman Izaz
Ahmed Ibrahim Nafi’e (Halib Sete)
Mohammed Berhan Abdurahman
Ahmed Mohammed Nasser
Tesfai Tekle
Mohammed Saleh Humed
Shihem Ibrahim Shihem (later deserted to the enemy).

Members of the ‘other’ 19-person Executive Committee  Elected by 1st ELF Congress:
Ibrahim Idris Toteel, secretary of the ‘other’ Ex. Committee
Abdulkadir Ramadan
Mahmoud Ibrahim Chekini
Mahmoud Hasab
Ibrahim Abdalla
Saed Saleh
Idris Ali
Adem Moh. Hamid (Gindifil)
Omar Haj Idris
Suleiman Mussa Haj
Humed Moh. Saed Kulu
Fitsum Ghebresilassie
Mohammed Idris Humedai
Azien Yassin
Mohammed Nur Ahmed
Ibrahim Mahmoud Mohammed
Afa Mohammed Hamid
Ibrahim Ali Nur
Omar Mohammed Ahmed

1975 ELFThe 41 Revolutionary Council Members Elected at the  2nd ELF Congress:
Ahmed Mohammed Nasser, chairman
Ibrahim Toteel, deputy chairman and head of political office
Abdalla Idris, head of the military office
Tesfai Woldemichael (Degiga), secretary of the EC
Ibrahim Mohammed Ali, head of social affairs

Hamid Adem Suleiman, head of economic office
Melake Tekle, head of security
Azien Yassin, head of foreign relations (later replaced by Abdalla Suleiman)
Tesfamariam Woldemariam, head of information office
Mahmoud Hasab,
Hussein Khalifa
Abdukadir Ramadan
Saleh Eyay
Mohammed Hamid Osman (Tumsah)
Hamid Mohammed Mahmoud
Yohannes Zeremariam
Abdalla Suleiman
Yusuf Suleiman
Habte Tesfamariam
Mohammed Ismail Abdu
Fisehaye Ghebresilassie
Tesfai Tekle
Ali Mohammed Ishaq
Tareke Beraki
Ibrahim Idris Mohammed Adem
Haileab Andu
Khalifa Osman
Ibrahim Ghedem
Amna Melekin
Idris Ramadan
Ali Mohammed Ibrahim
Abraham Tekle
Saed Hussein
Beshir Abdulkadir
Yusuf Berhanu
Mahmoud Beshir
Suleiman Mussa Haj
Andeab Ghebremeskel
Ghirmai Ghebreselassie (Keshi)
Mohammed Ahmed Abdu
Ghebrai Tewelde


In April 1982, political and military leadership cadres of the two factions opposed to the military action at Rasai (i.e. before complete breakdown of the Teyar and Saghem wings in two on 30 September 1982) selected a 23-member Provisional Committee (Giziyawit Shimagele Serawit Harnet) to run the affairs of the front in coordination with the remaining RC members. Listed below are the names of the elected members of the  Provisional ELA Committee and its Standing Body: (of whom the majority supported the General Trend/Teyar al-Am  and a minority of 7 took side with Saghem):

Abdalla Hassen, chairman
Tekle Ogbazghi/Dini, secretary
 Mengisteab Misghina and
 Zemehret Yohannes, political/information office
 Mohammed Ali Ibrahim and
 Rezene Leulekal, military office
 Dr. Ghergis Tesfamariam and
 Ramadan Saleh, economy and social affairs office
 Misghina Bahta
 Osman Abdulkader
 Ahferom Tewelde
 Berhane Haile
 Abrehaley Kifle
Amanuel Habte (Mengistu)
 Neguse Tseggai
Siraj Mussa Abdu
Woldemariam Bahlibi
 Mengisteab Asmerom
 Ahmed Baraad
 Mussie Abraham
 Beyene Kidane
 Issa Mohammed (for ELA units in the Gash)
Mohammed Nur Kelbai (for ELA units in the Gash)


The full list of the  Revolutionary Council members elected at the 3rd Congress at Togan:1989
Ahmed Nasser, chairman
Ibrahim Mohammed Ali, political/organizational office
Tesfai Woldemichael (Degiga), secretary of the EC

Woldemariam Bahlbi, military
Yusuf Berhanu, foreign office
Teklebrahan Ghebrezadiq (Wodi Bashai) security
Khalifa Osman, economy and information
Gherezgheher Tewolde
Haileab Andu
Mohammed Omar Yahya
Hassan Iman
Beyene Kidane
Abdu Abdalla
Omar Mohammed
Michael Ghereselassie
Mohammed Adem Artaa
Issa Mohammed
Ghebrekidan Halefe
Mengisteab Asmerom
Mohammed Idris Humedai
Desbele Ghebrehiwet
Negusse Tseggai
Mohammed Nur Ahmed
Gimie Ahmed
Idris Ismail
Haile Ghebru
Mehari Tesfamariam
Woldesus Ammar
Abdu Saiq
Mohammed Berhan Blata
Mohammed Ali Ismail


The following RC members were elected at the 4th ELF-RC congress: 1995
Ibrahim Mohammed Ali, chairman
Mengisteab Asmerom, organizational office
Seyoum Oqbamichael, foreign office

Khalifa Osman, information
Beyene Kidane, economy
Mohammed Ali Ibrahim, EC secretary and in charge of military affairs
Ahmed Nasser
Ismail Dini
Mohammed Omar Yahya
Dr. Habte Tesfamariam
Idris Ismail
Tesfai Woldemichael (Degiga)
Tekle Melekin
Yusuf Berhanu
Hassen Iman
Michael Ghebreselassie (Keshi)
Mohammed Adem Arta’a
Woldesus Ammar
Negusse Tseggai
Desbele Ghebrehiwet
Ghebrekidan Halefe


The 33 Revolutionary Council Members Elected at the 5th Congress Were: 2003
Ahmed Nasser, chairman
Mengisteab Asmerom, organizational affairs

Khalifa Osman, information
Yusuf Berhanu, economy
Seyoum Oqbamichael, foreign
Mohammed Ali Ibrahim, military

Sahle Tesfai, social affairs
Negash Osman
Samuel Daniel
Ibrahim Ghedem
Amanuel Habte
Tesfai Woldemicahel (Degiga)
Gherezgheher Tewelde
Eyob Beserat
Abdalla Hassan
Berhane Kidane
Woldesus Ammar
Haile Ghebru
Habte Tesfamariam
Ismail Dini
Habtemariam Kifle
Mohammed Adem Artaa
Beyene Kidane
Mohammed Omar Yahya
Tesfai Teklezghi
Mohammed Aselo
Hassen Iman
Idris Ismail
Asefaw Berhe
Berhane Tesfagaber
Gimie Ahmed
Tekle Melekin
Osman Mohammed

Reserve RC members

  1. Mehari Tesfamariam (replaced Ibrahim Ghedem who resigned at the spot)

  2. Ibrahim Mohammed Ali (replaced Haile Ghebru in 2002)

  3. Mohammed Jaber

  4. Osman Shum/Mahmoud Hamid – obtained tie-vote.

 Like the 2nd RC, the 5th RC was affected by split. The mainstream ELF-RC was supported not only by two-thirds majority of the RC (i.e 19), but it also had the support of over 90 percent of the total membership of the organization worldwide. The splinter group was supported by 13 members of the leadership. One ELF-RC veteran and long-time active member of the RC,  Khalifa Osman, resigned from the post and froze his activities with the organization

RC & Its Spinning Bottle Print E-mail
By Awate Team - Aug 07, 2003   

***image1:left***On July 11, 2003, Mr. Ahmed Mohammed Naser and Dr. Beyene Kidane, both senior leaders of the Eritrean Liberation Front Revolutionary Council (ELF-RC) published a paper entitled ìWhere To, Nowî where they accuse the chairman of their organization, Mr. Seyoum O/Michael, of political cronyism, of choosing power over safeguarding the unity of the organization and presenting ever-changing pretexts for not joining the Eritrean National Alliance, an umbrella group for the opposition.  They conclude their piece by calling on the grassroots members to ìorganize themselves, to join the ENA and resume the struggle.î

On July 15, 2003, Mr. Seyoum O/Michael categorized their call as a ìcoup díetat against the Executive Committee as well as the Revolutionary Councilî and went on to respond that he couldnít possibly be packing the organization with his people because the organizational rules about nominating candidates are transparent and the decisions collective; further, he stated that the forum to bring these issues to the fore is at the RC and executive committee sessions and that with their call for the grassroots to join the ENA, they have ìcalled for the hour of judgment and you will get it.î

The leadership may be known to ELF-RC members but, to the public at large, they are mysterious.  Where do the rest of the ELF-RC leadership stand with respect to the two camps?  And, by the way, who are they?  How many of them are there?  If history is a guide, over the next weeks and months, readers will be subjected to claims, counterclaims, accusations and attempts by each group to establish itself as the true bona-fide continuation of the ELF-RC that existed prior to the issuance of ìWhere To, Now.î 

The RC Spinning Bottle is our effort to provide our readers with a brief introduction to the ìRCî, which is the legislative/executive arm of the ELF-RC, and their likely stands. Now with two wings, we would have identified them as ELF-RC 1 & 2 but we donít want them to fight over who would be identified as RC1  - the number 1 being associated with Primo. We also think it would be a disservice to the grassroots to identify them as "Ganta Seyoum" and "Ganta Ahmed/Beyene" since the issues are bigger than the individuals.  To avoid confusion,  and until they choose a name for themselves, we will identify the two wings as RC Kassel and RC Frankfurt.

The RC has a total of 33 members + 3 who are supplementary, for a total of 36.  Hereís our reading of how things standÖ Like PFDJís ìMusical Chairî, RCís ìSpinning Bottleî will be updated periodically as developments dictate.


Name (Alphabetical by first name)



Abdella Hassen


Was a clandestine urban organizer in the sixties. Jailed during Haile Sellasieís regime, he dug a tunnel and engineered a daring escape from Asmara main prison. Fled to field and became a well-known commander in the Eritrean Liberation Army (ELA) and is now strong supporter of joining and working with the alliance.  He believes that the military arm of the ENA should be united. (The ELF-RC, unlike the other members of the Alliance, has no functioning army.)  Supports joining the ENA. (Update: 8/11: elected head of military affairs in ELF-RC/Kessel Interim Leadership.)


Ahmed Mohammed Nasser


Has held the position of the highest office in the ELF and the ELF-RC from 1975 to 1981 on the strength of his ability to position himself as a moderate and a ìcompromise candidate.î This is one interpretation. Another interpretation is that the different power centres in the ELFóthe Labor party, the military office, the political office--found in him a Muslim and a highlander and a likeable personality with long experience in combat. On the current crisis, he has offered to resign and called for electionóbut his opponents donít believe he will do so.  Ironically, the current ELF-RC environment may create yet another fractured organization with different power centres who may reach out to him as a ìcompromise candidate.î Ahmed is part of the crisis in the RC. Supports rejoining the ENA. (Update, 8/11: elected Head of Foreign Affairs in ELF-RC/Kessel's interim leadership.) 



Amanuel Habte (Mengistu)


A graduate of the ELF cadre school. Former member of the ELA. Brigade political cadre. He resides in the United States and became a member of the RC leadership in August 2001 (the ìGonder meeting.î) Opposes rejoining the ENA.


Assefaw Berhe


A soft-spoken graduate of the ELF cadre school. An ex-political cadre of the ELA. Was jailed by PLF (ìSabbe Groupî). When the EPLF attacked the PLF, he transferred to an EPLF prison. Was freed (the only senior cadre among many to be released from the EPLF prison) before the independence of Eritrea. Rejoined the ELF and went to become the ELF-RC representative in Addis Abeba before the TPLF, at the request of PFDJ, closed the office in 1995.  Deported from Addis Abeba, he was resettled in Holland by the UNHCR.  Elected to leadership position in the Gonder meeting. Opposes rejoining the ENA.


Berhane Kidane


Fluent speaker of Tigrgna, Tigre and Arabic, he was in the isolated archives department of the ELF. He is considered close to Ibrahim Mohammed Ali and, thus,  a supporter of Seyoum Ogbamichael in the current power struggle. Oppose rejoining the ENA


Berhane Tesfagaber (*)


Like Assefaw Berhe, he was deported by TPLF From Ethiopia and resettled by UNHCR in 1995.  He lives in Denmark and he, too, was elected in the Gonder meeting. A strong supporter of the wing that is led by Seyoum Ogbamichael. Opposes rejoining the ENA.


Eyob Bissrat


A former student of Addis Ababa university. Close to Ahmed Nasser. Worked in the Cairo office, the Khartoum office and the Stockholm office. Though ìhot-temperedî, he has a reputation for being hard working and passionate about unity.  Supports rejoining the ENA. (Update, 8/11: elected Head of Information in ELF-RC/Kessel's new interim leadership.)


(Dr) Beyene Kidane


Co-author of the ìWhere To, Nowî statement, Dr. Beyene was a student activist in the 1960s. Studied in the USA (Philadelphia). Was the head of the Veterinary Department in the ELF. Later, he was the editor of the ELF English paper ëThe Eritrean Newsletterí (previously edited by Weldeyessus Ammar). Elected to the Executive Committee in the 3rd Congress of the ELF-RC. Has strong administrative skills and enjoys a reputation for good intellect.  He supports rejoining the ENA. (Update, 8/11: elected chair of ELF-RC/Kessel's Interim Leadership.)


Dini Ismail


Formerly ELF-RC representative to Sudan, Syria and Yemen, where he played a major role in administering the Yemen-Dahlak supply line. Supports rejoining the ENA.


Gerezgheir Tewelde


Like Seyoum Ogbamichael, Gerezghier Tewelde was serving a lengthy prison term in Sembel and was freed by the ELF Army in its 1975 raid.  Was a teacher in the ELF cadre school. Highly regarded by ELF veterans, he was serving as ELF representative to Sweden and Germany when the ELF was pushed out of the field by joint EPLF/TPLF forces in 1982.  After the civil war, he was the main link to the EPLF, leading the negotiation delegations and even attended EPLFís Second Congress in 1987, when ìSagemî (Totil, Zemehret Yohannes, etc) joined the EPLF.  After independence, he was a member of a team that was heading to Asmara to negotiate with the new Eritrean governmentómidway, in Sudan, the Eritrean government changed its mind and the negotiation was aborted. So far, his position in the current dispute is not clear but many see him as a candidate for the position of a chairman. He represents the ELF RC in Canada, where he lives. (Update: Gere Tewelde has penned an article in Tigirigna that is strongly critical of Ahmed Nasser, Dr. Beyene, Dr Sahle, etc.)


(Dr) Habte Tesfamariam


One of the founders of the Eritrean student union in Europe.  Was elected to the Executive Committee in the Second Congress.  Known for his animal rights advocacy when he pushed a bill in the RC to ban slaughtering turtles for food by the ELF forces. Lives in Abu Dhabi (possibly now moved to Germany.)  A humble and reconciling personality but a tough politician. Has tried to reconcile the two wings of the RC in vain. Visited the Frankfurt festival to try to reconcile the two wings but returned disappointed. Headed a panel discussion in Kassel. Most likely supports rejoining the ENA.


Habtemariam Kifle


A former member of the ELA, he was elected to RC in the Gonder meeting.  Was in charge of organizational affairs in the USA where he lives. Opposes rejoining the ENA.


Hassen Iman


Was a senior commander of the ELA. Long time head of the Kassala office. Regarded as diplomatic and a skilled communicator. Supports rejoining the ENA.


Ibrahim Mohammed Ali


Has been in a leadership position ever since he participated in the Preparatory Committee of the ELF for the first congress (1970). Was popular among the cadres of the ELF who widely regarded him as a ìprogressive ideologueî. In 2000, he was leading the Alliance and ELF-RC. In the Gonder session (8/2001) he lost power for the first time and was not elected to RC. Another elected member, Haile Gebru, is said to have been persuaded by Ibrahimís allies to resign to give way so that Ibrahim could be a member of the RC. Blames his loss to Ahmed Nasser, who was elected chair in Gonder, as a conspiracy and an engineered ìcoupî.  He is one of leaders of the wing led by Seyoum Ogbamichael. Opposes rejoining the ENA.


Idris Ismail


Is considered very close to Ibrahim Mohammed Ali who is bitter about the Gonder meeting. Has not made clear stand on the recent regarding the RC crisis.


Jemeíe Ahmed Bekhit


Very close to Ibrahim Mohammed Ali and very bitter about the ìGonder coupî. Wasappointed by Seyoum to replace Osman Omer Shum, head of the ELF RC office in Addis Ababa. Opposes rejoining the ENA.


Khelifa Osman


Considered ìclean and dedicated hard workerî but seen as a technocrat and a ìcompany man.î  Was member of the committee dispatched to reconcile the ìgrassrootsî in Europe. Was trying hard to keep the unity of the organization. Now lying in hospital and has not aired his stand publicly. He has stated that if the organization splits, he will resign from politics and settle somewhere as a refugee. Likely to support rejoining the ENA.


Mehari Tesfamariam


Now in Holland, Mehari served with Ibrahim Mohammed Ali in the Social Affairs office and had a reputation for being a low-profile combatant in the ELF. An admirer and student of Gerezgheir Tewelde and, more recently, of Mengestab Asmerom.   Mengestab is a strong supporter of the anti ENA wing; thus, it is likely that Mehari will end up supporting the anti ENA wing.


Mengistab Asmerom


A student of Addis Ababa university. An ex-teacher in the ELF cadre school and political cadre in the Eritrean Liberation Army. Was one of ten individuals who were arrested by Sudanís Numeri regime after the Rasai incident (1982.)  Deported by Sudan, he was resettled by UNHCR in Sweden. Pursued education in Uppsala, then moved to Stockholm and resumed leadership position with RC as head of its branch office.  Sent as branch office rep to the Third Congress, he returned as member of the Executive Committee. He is reputed to be a dedicated struggler. Opposes rejoining the ENA.


Mohammed Adem Artea


Shortly before the disintegration of the ELF, he joined the Workerís Union. Considered close to Ibrahim Mohammed Ali and, thus, to Seyoum Ogbamichael.  Likely opposes rejoing the ENA.


Mohammed Ali Ibrahim


Relatively young, Mohammed Ali Ibrahim joined the RC in Karakoon and Tahdai.  Was elected to the Executive Committee position (ìmilitary officeî) in the Gonder meeting and is not considered ìpoliticisedî and lives in Gedaref, Sudan. Wants to build the RCís military wing. Opposes rejoining the ENA.


Mohammed Asoule


A veteran of the ELF. Was a political cadre in the ìmass organizationî. Elected to the RC position in the Gonder meeting. Has not made a public statement regarding the RC crisis.


Mohammed Jaber Ahmed
(Supplementary member)


Served with Seyoum Ogbamichael in ELFís ìPeasant Union.î No love lost between him and Ibrahim Mohammed Ali since the Gonder meeting. He has signed a letter in support of Ahmed Nasser and Dr. Beyene. Supports rejoining the ENA.


Mohammed Mahmoud
(Supplementary member)


A student living in Syria, he has been in Germany for hospitalisation (kidney problems) for a long time.  Has signed a letter in support of Ahmed Nasser and Dr. Beyene.  Supports rejoining the ENA.


Mohammed Omer Yahiya


Mohammed Omer Yahia is an ELF veteran who has been through almost all the ups and downs of the ELF and is generally accepted as the ìelderî of the RC. A former teacher, Mohammed Omer Yahia was in charge of the Sudan branch office in the 1960-70s; Kuwait office in the mid 70s and Iran, after the overthrow of Pahlavi.  Before the Rasai incident, he was the middleman trying to reconcile Ahmed Nasser with Abdella Idris.  The ìdealî was meant to reconcile between the two wings of the ELF; it fell apart when Abdella Idris engineered the coup ìto save the organization.î  A book authored by Alamin Mohammed Said (PFDJ Secretary) cites Mohammed Omer Yahia as the leader of the ELF-RC wing that is closest to Abdella Idris.   Mohammed Omer is considered by many to be a staunch opponent of the anti ENA movement. He wants the ELF-RC to join the Alliance expeditiously. Supports rejoing the ENA.


Negash Osman


Graduated from Syria. An excellent communicator with   superb command of Arabic and Tigrigna. He is among the few young leaders of the RC. Lives in Sweden where he is very active politically.  Has signed a letter in support of Ahmed Nasser and Dr. Beyene. Supports rejoining the ENA.


Osman Mohammed


A veteran combatant since the sixties, he is respected for his courage. He was a brigade commander. His position in the current dispute is still unknown.


Osman Omer Shum
(Supplementary member)


Was heading ELF-RCís Addis branch.  When Seyoum Ogbamichael was elected chair, he directed his removal.  Osman Shum refused to obey the direction and remains in Addis in charge of the branch. Has signed a letter in support of Ahmed Nasser and Dr. Beyene.  Supports rejoining the ENA


(Dr) Sahle Tesfai


The brain behind the annual Kessel festivals, Dr. Sahle Tesfai started his political career in Germany in the Eritrean youth association. For the last 18 years, the Kessel festival has been ELF-RCís main financial source and political activity. Dr. Sahle was elected to  the leadership post for the first time in Gonder, as the organizationís social affairs director. Because he is strongly supportive of the Alliance, Dr. Sahle has emerged as a strong force against Seyoum. Along with Samuel Daniel, he authored a letter in support of Ahmed Nasser and Dr. Beyene. He is a strong advocate of reformation of the RC. He is very popular and liked among all RC members and has good administrative skills. Supports rejoining the ENA. (Update, 8/11: Elected Head of Social Affairs in ELF-RC/Kessel's Interim Leadership.)


Samuel Daniel


A veteran revolutionary whose credentials go all the way back to the ìHarekaî movement where he was an activist in Asmara and, later, at Alighider. Samuel Daniel has recently come up in support of Ahmed Nasser and Dr. Beyene.  He was one of the founders of the Eritrean Workers Union in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia and, later, the chair of the union in Germany.  He is very close to Dr. Sahle and is instrumental in the annual Kessel festivals.   Samuel Daniel is considered as the leader of the ìempower the grassrootsî campaign in Europe.   Signed a letter in support of Ahmed Nasser and Dr. Beyene. Supports rejoining the ENA. (Update, 8/11: Elected Head of Organizational Affairs in ELF-RC/Kessel's Interim Leadership.)


Seyoum Ogbamichael

Sentenced to ten years for his ìstudent agitationî activities of the 1960s, Seyoum was freed by the ELA in 1975.  Best known for his staunch stand against the ìFaloulî (anarchists) movement within the ELF in the second half of the seventies. Shortly after that, he was appointed as the leader of the Eritrean Peasant Association, where he earned his moniker of ìHarestay.î  Strength: Has strong mobilization skills and can think quickly on his feet.  Weakness:  Tends to use high-pitched language. His crisis resolution ability is not admired and his political leadership untested.


* Tekle Melekin


A short time teacher in the ELF cadre school. A soft spoken veteran member of the ELF. Was jailed in the Sudan and resettled in Sweden by UNHCR. Close to the wing led by Seyoum who appointed him to become the ELF-RC representative in Sweden after the Addis Abeba meeting. He was appointed to replace Eyob Bissrat, who is close to Ahmed Nasser. Tekle opposes rejoining the ENA.


Tesfai Teklezghi

Ex administrator of the political office of the ELF. Has a reputation for being a reformist. He is the RC representative in France where he lives. He is an advocate of changing the old guard and transforming the front into a political party. He is a persuasive speaker with excellent communication skillsófluent in Tigrigna and Arabic. Thought to be a strong supporter of the wing led by Seyoum Ogbamichael, he hasnít made public statement.


Tesfai Weldemichael (Degiga)


The youngest member in the Executive Committee of the RC after the 2nd. National congress where he held the position of Secretary. Lives in the USA and is technically the ENA representative to North America. His name was floated as a compromise to become the RC leader in the last meeting. Though he is close to both wings of the RC, he has not made any clear public stand so far. Though apprehensive of the steps Ahmed Nasser and Dr. Beyene Kidane took, his position in relation to the ENA is not yet clear.


Weldeyesus Amar

A prolific writer, journalist and historian (and a contributing writer to, Weldeyesus Amar surprised many ELF-RC veterans by his ìGonder speechî (2001) where he was said to have expressed his support for the chairmanship of Ahmed Nasser grudgingly.  The speech was harmless enough but in the ìdemocratic centralismî culture of the ELF-RC, it was never publicized and (of course) was allowed to be spun. When he emerged as a strong supporter of Seyoum Ogbamicael (his old classmate of the 1960s) in the 2002 elections, those with suspicious tendencies saw it as confirmation of their fears. IfWeldeyesus Amarís objections to Ahmed Nasserís candidacy was because he was an ìold guardî, why is he so supportive of another ìold guardî member, Seyoum Ogbamichael? The whispers started then and they havenít stopped. Ammar strongly opposes rejoining the ENA.


(Dr) Yousef Berhanu


An ELF veteran, Dr. Yousif Berhanu was the chair of the Red Cross/Red Crescent.  He is considered a hard working technocrat with no political ambitions.  Was one of the earliest opponents of Seyoum Ogbamichael: when Seyoum was named Chairman, Dr. Yousef refused the post of the Foreign office under Seyoumís leadership.  He is one of eight RC members who have signed a letter supporting Ahmed Nasser and Dr. Beyene. Supports rejoining the ENA. (Update, 8/11: Elected Head of Economic Affairs in ELF-RC/Kessel's Interim Leadership.)

*  Editor (8/10/03): In response to this report, Mr. Tekle Melekin has written an article where he states that our 'Spinning Bottle' includes information that is 'very far from the truth' and then protests Awate's purported characterization of him as against unity and against the ENA.   We look forward to his (and others) correction of information that may be not just very but even a little far from the truth and if we are mistaken, we will stand corrected.  As to Mr. Tekle Melekin's protests and declaration that he is for unity, the Spinning Bottle report does not make any claims about whether people are for or against unity.  It reports that some people are in support of immediate return of the ELF-RC to the Alliance; others, including Mr. Tekle Melekin, support the idea of having the Alliance meet some pre-conditions before the ELF-RC joins the Alliance.   The former support Mr. Ahmed Nasser and Dr. Beyene and the latter support Mr. Seyoum Ogbamichael.   Those are the two wings of the ELF-RC and it is no use pretending that ELF-RC has a unified view; it has two diametrically opposed and apparently irreconcilable views and the readers are entitled to know that instead of pinning their hopes on confusing and mixed messages.

*  *  Editor (8/13/03) If you want to know why ELF-RC is in the mess it is in, it is partly because it is so quick to accuse and so willing to indulge in paranoid hysterics.  For evidence, please read Mr. Berhane Tesfagaber's article (in Tigrigna), where he accuses the Awate Team of taking sides against his group (because, he claims, we are charitable in our description of the other group but not his group) and then goes on to explain that the Awate Team's effort to mediate the ENA/ELF-RC conflict of October 2002 was designed to hasten the current RC disintegration.  For the benefit of Mr. Berhane Tesfagaber and others, we'd like to state that just because we suspected for a long time that the RC was going to split, it does not mean we caused the split.  Just because we report events, it does not mean we caused them.  And just because many in the RC were clueless that the split was coming, it does not mean they are absolved of their responsibility: the ELF-RC split because the RC, collectively, failed. 

*  * * Editor (8/14/03) A Press Release allegedly issued by ELF-RC's Information & Culture Office accuses the Awate Team of writing "council members personal profiles without their consent," and demands that the team "formally apologizes for the damages it incurred."  We were going to be alarmed that people who don't know the difference between what is private (phone number, private photo, family life, blood type, shoes size) and what is public (positions held while in the service of the nation); people who don't know that reporters don't need permission of politicians; people who give every indication that if they had real power, they too would be banning press and arresting journalists were occupying high office within the ELF-RC.  But then we remembered that with the ELF-RC split, everyone has a copy of the ELF-RC letterhead and we dismissed this latest press release as a practical joke by someone who is trying to make the Chairman look bad.  We think the chairman is owed an apology by whoever it was who issued that press release. We thank all our readers for their kind words. PS: We are still waiting for the corrections to the supposedly "erroneous" information we provided.

In 2006 reported

In June, that the Government of Sudan had denied meeting venues to several Eritrean opposition organizations who had scheduled their  congresses in Khartoum, Sudan; that the Eritrean Democratic Party, which had scheduled its congress in Italy, was unaffected by Sudan's decision and that the fate of the Eritrean Islamist congress, scheduled to be held in Sudan, was unknown.  This is a follow-up report on all the opposition groups.

Eritrean Islamic Reform (Islah)

Islah held its 4th congress in Sudan, between August 9 and August 12th, 2006.  Islah elected a 65-member Shura, a consultative body, and re-elected Mr. Mohammed Ahmed Saleh (better known as Abu-Suheil) as its Secretary General.   At the congress, Islah announced that the Islamic Wefaq Party, an organization chaired by Mr. Adem Mujaurai, has joined Islah.   The Wefaq Party was briefly part of a short-lived coalition of 7-parties allied with Mr. Herui T Bairou�s Co-operative Party.

The Eritrean National Salvation Front

 The Eritrean National Salvation Front (ENSF), which is a grouping of 3 organiations--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.  

 The congress elected (by consensus instead of secret ballot) a legislative body composed of 41 regular and 4 reserve members. The legislative branch also elected (by consensus) an executive branch headed by Dr. Beyene Kidane, with Berhane Yemane (Hanjema) heading the department of organizational affairs, and Abdella Adem in charge of the department of foreign relations. The list of the executive is:

Dr. Beyene Kidane, Chairman
Berhane Hanjema, Organizational Affairs

Abdella Adem, Foreign Affairs
Uqbai Tekle, Economy & Finance
Ahmed Ibrahim (Secretaire), Social Affairs
Netsereab Asmelash, Secretary
GebreMichael Askale, Information
Abdella Hassen, Security
Jabir Ahmed, Military

 The Eritrean Democratic Party

 The Eritrean Democratic Party (EDP) held its 2nd national congress in Milan, Italy from 25th through the 29th of July, 2006 and elected a 25-member legislative body (with 3 reserves). The legislative body subsequently elected a 7-member executive committee, headed by Mr. Mesfin Hagos.  The executive committee is:

 Mesfin Hagos

Mehret Gebreyesus

Tesfamichael Yohannes

Dr. Assefaw Tekeste

Hamed Derar

Hajj Abdelnour

Semere Kesete

 EDP has not announced the offices that its executive officers are assigned to, but Mr. Mesfin Hagos is still the chairman.

 The Eritrean Liberation Front � Revolutionary Council 

 The Eritrean Liberation Front-Revolutionary council (ELF-RC) held its 6th Congress in Addis Ababa between July 23rd and July 27th.  It elected a legislative leadership composed of 33 regular and 3 reserve members. Subsequently, the revolutionary council elected a 9-person executive committee with Mr. Woldeyesus Ammar as its chairman; Mr. Assefaw Berhe as director of organizational affairs and Mr. Tecle Melekin in international affairs.  The list of the executive committee is as follows:

 Woldeyesus Ammar, Chairman

Tesfai Woldemichael (Degiga), Vice-chairman

Tecle Melekin, Foreign Affairs

Mengisteab Asmerom, Director Information & Culture

Assefaw Berhe, Director Organizational Affairs

Mohammed Adem Artaa, Director Youth/Women's Affairs

Berhane Tesfagaber, Director Financial Affairs

Gime Ahmed, Director Social Affairs

Mohammed Ali Ibrahim, Director Military Affairs

 Eritrean Liberation Front (ELF)

 The ELF, chaired by Abdella Idris, (where Hussein Khelifa still serves as vice-chair) became the first opposition organization to take a firm stand on the new developments in Somalia.  In a joint memorandum with the Transition Federal Government (TFG) of Somalia, Dr. Yohannes Zeremariam, the ELF�s director of international affairs, firmly aligned his organization with the TFG and supported the �coordination between the democratic forces in the different countries of the Horn" which is "an urgent obligation.�

 Opposition Groups Outside the EDA

 The Eritrean opposition organizations mentioned above are all members of the umbrella association, the Eritrean Democratic Alliance (EDA.)  But there are Eritrean opposition organizations which have either chosen not to be part of the EDA, have had their application for membership suspended until they meet membership requirements or are in the process of joining the EDA.   These include:  

 EDF (led by Dr. Osman Abubeker); United Front (led by Mr. Ali Berhatu); Gash Setit Liberation Front (led by Mr. Ismael Nada), Qaza'if Alhaq (led by Mr. Idris Qaisem and Mr. Adem Mujaurai), EAIM faction (led by Mr. Yacob Indrias), and the Eritrean Cooperative Party (led by Mr. Herui Bairou.) 

 It is difficult to know the size of these organization since most of them  haven't had their organizational congresses.  

 The aforementioned groups used to be members of a short-lived �new alliance� known as Congress Party (CP) and described by Herui T Bairou as a challenge to the EDA.  But the Congress Party has fallen apart: Adem Mujaurai has now joined Islah and the other groups have gone their separate ways. The CP now includes part of EAIM, part of  Qaza'if Alhaq and Herui's Cooperative Party. 

 Meanwhile, another faction of the Eritrean Peoplar Movement (EPM), led by Mr. Adhanom Gebremariam, continues to operate independently of the EDA with members in Ethiopia and the West. 

 Source State of the Eritrean Opposition &  Eritrean Government
By Gedab News Aug 28, 2006


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