Siriyet Addis 1969

Background information: for research

Kidane Kiflu was killed shortly after 39 members of the new leadership (Kiada al Ama leadership) were elected at the Adobha Conference because of his dissenting opinion   (Read how he was brutally murdered in Kassala)Paice (1994, 34) adds that Wolday Giday and Kidane Kiflu, two prominent ELF members were also killed in Kassala by comrades.  The splitting of the ELF was also caused by religious prejudice which was used by ELF leaders in a similar way to how the  Unionist leaders used it in the 1940s. As a result of this, there was a report that a group of university students known as Siriyat Addis was executed on mere suspicion of being Ethiopian agentsThis persecution caused for running away of the Ala group from the ELF probably in September 1969. In March 1970 Mesfin Hagos defected from the PLF and joined the Ala group. Later in April Issayas also defected from the ELF and joined the Ala group.

Wolday Giday & Kidane Kiflu,

Ibrahim Berhan (2001) also states that Kidane is one of those gallant and brilliant fighters,TeGaDeLTi,who was assasinated in Kassala,Sudan in the late 60s.He was not only a heroic fighter who relentlessly opposed the sectarian and backwarded political outlooks of the then Jebha,he was a decent person with exceedingly pleasant personality.Those who were incarcerated with him in Sudan's jail in the late 60s attest to those facts.Once he was released the butchers of the then Jebha killed him and put his body in a trunk of a taxi.So was the barbaric acts of QiYaDa ALaMa that left no options for the true and patriotic fighters that they have to emabark upon seeking a different path of pursuing the nationalist agendas.

Ane Yelekun Kemkedemey

I'm more than 35 years in Kassala. Many people in Kassala were killed at that time. These two were killed out of the six of the RC in Kassala. Mesfin Hagos was supposed to be killed with them. He was here in Kassala when they called him, he told them he has a job right now. After this Time, Mehari was in Khartoum. After they were killed, he came and took their belongings to send them to their families. They were the ones to make contact with the Sudanese government. If any fighter was wounded or in need of some help these people were trying to solve the problem of the fighters in Kassala. Any Eritrean, who had an interest in the revolution, they were helping if any problems or difficulties were happening to him. lf people were kidnapped by the organization these people appealed to the Sudanese police.
Ali Berhatu came from an Arab nation. He was responsible for refugees passing through the ELF. When he arrived, Wolday and Kidane took him to the hotel. They suspected "if he sleeps without any guard the opponents may kidnap him and take him to the field." They went to the police station and they requested to give one police to guard him in the hotel. They gave them the police. Then the opposers knew he was sleeping in the hotel and they came the next day by taxi to the hotel and told the police this guy is wanted by the Sheikh of Hilla. They took him to this place. When they dropped him there he was taken by other opponents waiting there by force to the field.
Kidane and Wolday came to the hotel to find him. They asked the police and the police told them, a member of your organization came and took him by taxi to the Sheikh of Hilla. They were angry with the police, but they immediately went to the police station and appealed that this man has disappeared from the town. Then the administration of
Kassala sends a letter to Khartoum that this man had disappeared from Kassala by kidnapping. Then the administration of Khartoum sends a letter to this office to ask the ELF office and force them to bring the man from the field. The police arrested some of the ELF to force them to bring him back. They asked for two months and assured that he is alive. And after 2 months they brought him. His life was saved because of these two individuals Wolday and Kidane. When he came back, they were already killed. Tesfay and Ibrahim were living with these two. They were in the field, they came to Kassala. Ibrahim was in China for training and educated. Tesfay was an ordinary fighter.
Kassala: the city where the life of our gallant freedom fighters, Kidane Kiflu and Wolday Ghidey ended
They were newcomers and started simply discussing, talking with other members of the ELF, because they did not know what things were happening in Kassala. Wolday and Kidane advised them not to go with the other members and not to separate from them and after some time the opponents understood that the idea of Tesfay and Ibrahim is the same as those of Wolday and Kidane.
They kidnapped them immediately and took them to Sowake, a garden near Kassala. They killed Ibrahim there, but took Tesfay back to the field. When the two, Wolday and Kidane, appealed to the police station that Ibrahim and Tesfay had disappeared, then the police arrested some members of ELF and investigated. Then among the members of ELF it was believed that Ibrahim had been killed, but they did not find the body. The people who had done it, told actually the police that they had killed him in the garden then. They promised to the police to bring Tesfay back to Kassala. Before they brought Tesfay back Wolday and Kidane were assassinated.
ELF got behind Welday Feqaq, one of their members, to bring his wife from Ali Giddir and then to make a feast and to invite Wolday and Kidane as otherwise they would not have a chance to touch them. They gave Welday Feqaq money to get these people into his house. He hid 8 persons from the opponents in his house and when these two came to his home, immediately these 8 persons caught them. Wolday started to fight and trying to escape. Immediately they killed him by knife in his side. Kidane was gagged and trussed up and tied, then they attend a taxi and they took them away. Kidane was covered by sacks from head to toe. 4 sacks. When they went around Haffera, Wolday's dead body dropped from the taxi and the taxi is soiled with blood. A villager who sells milk passed the car and saw this. The taxi driver and the other people tried to escape from that place and they succeeded.
Illustrative picture of a taxi in Kassala
The villager went to the police station and told there are some dead bodies there. Then the taxi driver started washing his car. When the police investigated, they found him washing his car. When they asked him, he said, people were fighting and I took them to their house. Then the villager, police and the taxi-driver went to the area there and found
the dead bodies. They were taken to the police station for investigation. The police asked the taxi driver how it happened, they beat him to tell the truth. When the police asked the taxi driver, he explained that when someone gave me money to take people that way, I do it, and all police, you know this, that many taxi drivers do that. The police declared then that he is mad. Then the taxi-driver informed the police that many taxi drivers are working like that and many were arrested.
When the other taxi-drivers were questioned, they were released again as there was no evidence against them. Wolday Feqaq, the traitor, and two others were arrested at that time by the police. The taxi-driver said, he was called by a fighter called Shinkahay to carry a sick person to the hospital and I came. Shinkahay and one other were arrested. The other six escaped. The taxi-driver claimed to have been forced by Shinkahay by knife to carry the dead bodies. He received 25 Sudanese Pounds and was promised another 25 Pounds. At last, Welday Fekak, his wife, Shinkahay and his friend and the taxi-driver were imprisoned.
Shinkahay was sentenced to death, but the ELF office appealed and he was released after some years. The second man was sentenced to 14 years, after 7-8 years in Port Sudan they were released. Wolday Fekak and the taxi driver stayed only one year in prison. The wife was imprisoned for one year only. Kidane was killed when Wolday's body fell out of the car. Originally it was planned to take them alive inside for interrogation. From the Harakat many people were killed in Kassala and in the field by the ELF. There were no clubs here for the Christian Eritreans especially because the Sudanese Government would pick them up and return them to Tesseney. Tukue, Mehari, Mesfin, Wolday and Kidane were secretly working in the house of Leterfiel. Tukue Yehdego, later killed by ELF, had a child in Sahel. He was killed about 3-4 years after the death of Kidane and Wolday.”
Words of Brig. General Ghirmay: “Kidane Kiflu was killed along with Wolday Ghidey. They were killed after the end of the Adobha Conference. The main aim of the conference was to unite the various divisions. Kidane and Wolday were working hard and believed that the struggle or the revolution should be united. Both of them were invited for lunch at Wolday Fekhak’s home. Once there, they were butchered by the “fedeyeen” Germ who were hiding under a bed.”47

Source kab riqe -hefeneti Tekie Beyne (2009: p.123)

source Kab_Mezgeb_Tarich_2004.pdf Alem Tesfay (2003) listed some names of victim of the 1970s and 1980s     

Here is a piece of information on the 1967-1968 of the ELF from Tekae Byne's book kab Reiq p.123

source Tekae Byne's book kab Reiq p.123


The Death of Welday and Kidane

From 1963-68 800/5000 Eritrean Students were in Kedemawi HaileSillasie Nowday AAU Universty and some of them were
1,Dr Siuom Hargot,Prof Leggese Asmerom and Haile Monkorios were fm Harvard 2,Huruiye Tedle was also fm Oxford On the other way Dr Biement Mahamed,Dr Weldeab Issack,Alemseged Tesfia,Tekie Tesfia,Beyne Tekie,Kidane Adgay,Weldeyesu Aammar,Semere Ressom,Arefaine Berhe,Prfo Daniel Haile,Martha Mebrahtu,Amaniel Yohannes Radio,Temsgen Haile Tihsha,Michial Gaber,Teclia Aden,Petros Solomon,Melaeke Tekle,Gen Sibhat Efpriam,Mengisteab Asmerom Ferro,Iyob Beamnet and ofourse my Father:-) the list …long….. Haftina [Source from Responses to Srryet Addis: Blatant Lie? Lameak a says: March 26, 2012 at 11:26 am. Erlich (1983) who was lecturer at the University of Addis Ababa also observed that the proportion of Eritreans at this University was higher than for Ethiopians in the early 1970s.   A lecturer, who had worked in Ethiopia  in the early 1970s claimed  that  there were more Eritrean students  than Ethiopians at Haile Selassie I University during the period that he taught there.

Siriyet Addis 1969

In the mid 1960s clandestine group of Eritrean students at the University of Addis Ababa were formed probably by Kidane Kiflu.  Since its  formation there were a growing number of Eritrean university students from Ethiopia joined in the ELF, this was possibly after they were recruited by Kidane Kiflu. These students who joined the ELF in the 1960s were not welcomed by the Kiada Al Ama, and hundrend of them who were at the time referred to as " Sriya Addis" were executed on mere suspicion of being Ethiopian agents. According various sources these fighters were made to endure unbearable torture at the hands of ELF interrogators; a large number of them were also summarily executed, this was mentioned by several writers(Paice 1994: 34; Human Rights Wartch 1991: 47; Mengesteab 2005: 43).
Issayas was among the members of Kiada al Ama leadership who is responsible for the massacre of those students. read more

ከምቲ ልሙድ ናብ ሰውራ ዝስለፉ ብመንገዲ ኣስመራ ስለዝነበረ ኣብቲ ሰዓት እቲ ብቑጽሪ 150  ዝኾኑ ካብ ኣዲስ ኣበባ ተመሃሮ ዩኒቨርሲቲ፡ ሰራሕተኛታትን ክጋደሉ ምስ ወጹ ኢሳያስ ዓቕሉ ጸቢቡዎ ክንድዚ ዝኣክል ምሁር ወዲ ከበሳ እንተ ተሰሊፉ ቦታ ኣይክረክብን እዩ፡ ስለዚ ነዚኦም ከሕቅቖም መሪጹ ብኸመይ? ብሽም ደቂ መታሕት ሓሪደሞም ኢሉ። ስለዚ ሰውራ ማዕቢሉ ኣብዚ ደረጃ ኣብ ዝበጽሓሉ ጸላኢ ብዙሓት ሰለይቲ እዩ ዝሰድድ እንዳበለ ነቶም ገዳይም ደቂ መታሕት ግን ትምህርቲ ዘይነበሮም ተዛሪቦም ዘስምዑ ስጉምቲ ክወስዱ ደጋጊሙ ይደፋፍኦም ኔሩ። ከም ዝፍለጥ ስዉ/  ስዒድ ሳልሕን ስዉ / ዓብደልቃድር ሮሞዳንን ካልኦትን ኣጥቢቖም ይቃወምዎ ኔሮም። እዚ ሰብዚ ምስ ኣሕዋትና ደቂ ከበሳ ከባእሰና እዩ፡ ጃሱስ እዩ ይብሉ ኔሮም ግን ተሰማዕነት ኣይረኸቡን። ኢሳያስ ቀንዲ ተሰማዕነት ክረክብ ዝገበሮ እግሩ ሜዳ ምስ ረገጸ ካብዚ ኹሉ ወዲ ከበሳ ተቐዳዲሙ ትግረን ዓረብን እዩ ተማሂሩ

 ገዲም ተጋዳላይ ስዉ/  ዓፋ ኣሕመድ ( ኩናማ )  ከም ዝሓበረኒ ኢሳያስ ነቶም ደብዳቤ ሒዞም ዝኸዱ ተጋደልቲ ደቂ መታሕት ኣብ ሓደ ጽላል ንበይኖም ንነዊሕ ከዛርቦም ከሎ ኣማዕድየ ይርእዮ ኔረ፡ ብዛዕባ እንታይ ይዛረቦም ኔሩ ግን ኣይፈለጥኩን ይብለኒ ታሪኽ ሰለሙን ወልደማርያም እምበኣር ካብዚ እያ ትጅምር። ስርያ ኣዲስ ኩሎም 186  ተጋደልቲ እዮም ኔሮ እምበኣር
እቶም 36  ተጋደልቲ ብወገን ጋሽ ባርካ ኣብ ሓይልታት እንዳ ተዓለሙ ዝተመደቡ እዮም ኔሮም። ካብ ሓይልታቶም ተሳሒቦ ናብ ኣዶብሓ እንዳ መጹ እቲ ዝነበረ ሃዋሁደስ ስለዘይብሎም ኣብ ከቢድ ጥርጣረ ተሸሚሞም ሓደ ስጉምቲ ክወስዱ ዝተገደዱ እዮም ኣብዚውን ኢሳያስ ዓቢ ኢድ ከይነበሮ ኣይተርፍን ዝብል ጥርጣረ ኣለኒ። ምኽንያቱ ኣብቲ ሓይልታት ከለዉ ከም ተጋዳላይ ነጻ ኮይኖ ክንቀሳቐሱ ጸኒሖም ንታዕሊም ምስ ተባህሉ ግን ከም ጀዋስስ ብሓለዋ ክኹኾቡ ጀሚሮም በዚ ዝመጸ ጥርጠራ ምስቶም ሓለውቶም ብለይቲ ብደናጉላ ገጢሞም 11 ጥራይ ናብ ጸላኢ ኢዶም ሂቦም። ካልእ ኩሎም ኣብቲ ዝተፈጥረ ዕግርግር ተረሺኖም። ገለ ካብቶም ናብ ጸላኢ ኢዶዝሃቡ ውን 1975 ዓም ናብ ጀብሃ ክሲ ኣለና ኢሎም ነቲ ዝረኸቦም ጸገም ክሕብሩ መጺኦም ሓደ ካብኦም ብርሃነ ይበሃል ምሳይ ዝጋደል ዝነበረ ግን ብድፍኑ ሽለል ተባሂሉ ምሳናይቃለሱ ኔሮም። ይቕጽል ካብመኮነን
ካናዳ source [read more]

  02/19/10 at 09:37 PM Reply with quote #8


I thought ELF killed Solomon Woldemariam...i guess he escaped?


Then Selomon was promoted to leader of Fadeyeens. I was very glad that my leader was promoted. But Selomon refused to this promotion. He insisted to
be given the new batch of trainees from Addis who were in Barka now, to be given to him. He proposed that the fadeeyens already there were useless in
cities and towns, good only inside the fields or rural areas. He wanted the Addis batch to be trained to him. But this made them suspicious since
Issayas had already fled. Perhaps some persons had leaked out information. Selomon and Berakhi were taken prisoners and hands tied right in front of
us. They took away my gun and gave me a stick and put me with the Addis batch. We were not aware the Addis batch were held as hostages. All were
Christians, 108 in number, in three fesila of 35 each and I was added to them. Selomon was tortured tied on a rope and thrown down to roll as a ball,
pull him up and throw him again. They thought we were in league with Issayas. They may have got information that Selomon had met Issayas. And
Selomon's asking to be given the Christians must have added their suspicions, one can add it up later.

They missed the 108 victims from Addis Abeba that came to fight that were all killed except for 3 by ELF...according to Tesfa michael.

also forgot to add the killing of Two of Isaiais buddies by ELF  in broad daylight in stabbed 30 times and 1 shot in the head.

i am sure there is alot that needs updating on this list. [source]


Responses to Srryet Addis: Blatant Lie? published by

Lameak says:

Read the books:-
Alamin Mohammed Said 1994 Red Sea press “Swra Ertra:Msgamn Mnqlqaln: Page 22
Antonio Tesfia 1995 Stockholm “Menqel :Ertrawi Hagerawinet ” page 71

Khuro Tseba says:
March 25, 2012 at 10:36 am

What you are doing is interesting and might give an insight into this complex history of ELF and EPLF. It would broaden our understanding of the whole issue.

There are two things though that don’t seem right. You seem to downplay the killing of those two most important heros and seem to say ‘it is ok’ for ELF to kill those two. If they were the leaders and purged, do you think their subordinates would be spared by the killer, who ever they were? Is this a prelude to clear ELF from its tarnished history of killings? I hope that your next similar article would not tell us that martyrs like Melaake Tekle were not killed by ELF leaders. How sinister Isayas might be, irrespective of the number, highlanders from Addis universities were purged. Now you can rationalize on thier killings of those victims as you have interestingly enough done with killing of Fallol- the mish-mash…anarchists….insubordinate…. to borrow your words. This also begs another question ofcourse. From whose point of stand were the fallol mish-mash mutineers….anarchists….insubordinate…and whatever name you are using to call them? So it is ok for you for the ELF to kill these ‘mish-mash mutineers’ who so happen to question the leadership as if the ELF leadership itself was not full of intrigues and conspiracies to allow itself to stay in power? It is a fact that the few ELF leaders, just like thier EPLF counterparts, stayed in power for that long through conspiracies, coercion, and purgation. And when ‘mish-mash mutineers’ have a demand, you don’t simply purge them like that summarily.

The second interesting things is your strong conviction in using Ghebremedihn zegergish’s article or book as the most compelling evidence to disproof the claimed calamity that befell on srryet addis. What he has written is just one person’s outlook. You beat the drum as if a conclusive evidence has been excavated. I say lets just wait and many more people will eventually come forward and share their experiece. It just a matter of time. Then we will most probably be closer to the truth. As much as it is mindboggling for you on why the ELPF leaders have not brought forward some of the list of names the alleged victims, it is also so for most of us on why the ELF leaders has not done enough to teach and inform the public that sryet addis insident was an orchestrated bogus claim.

Lets hope that digging the past does not pull us back to ugly scene of the 50 and 60.
Wedahanka read more

Dear Awate team, has proclaimed its slogan: “inform, inspire, embolden, reconcile.” The team has given a judgmental conclusion to the history that start to open its book but yet has a lot of undiscovered truth to the complex Eritrean revolution. If I am not wrong, the team as an editorial board of an institution of the budding Eritrean news industry, should strictly stay with informing the public in order to make an informed and conscious judgment.

I have seen many unforced errors in your judgment in your investigative report, at time giving many negative political connotations derived from limited individual perspectives. Some of the negative connotations in your remarks are “mish- mash,insubordinate,troublemakers,anarchist…etc.” Instead of trying to influence the public by your judgement, as an investigative reporters, you should have left to the public to make themselves an informed judgment. In fact you should make aware the public also, that the info in itself is incomplete, because (a) due to the obstacles that time and space has created (b) due to the insufficient sources of information we have at hand. When history revealed fully the important layers of truth to the public in due time, you will be judged for your miss-judgement. Now your judgment fits snugly within the pattern of the divided society.

As much as you are the main source of information, the public would like you to restrain from unnecessary historical judgment, which I am afraid by the way, not to be detrimental to the reputations, you have harvested so far. Stick with your slogan. The public will determine whether they have enough info to make their own judgment.

Hameed says:

First of all I thank and primarily Gebremehim for his witness about our struggle in its critical period. The people of Eritrea expects all who have information to come out of their hide and give their witness.

I think no sane person will confine our history in the experience of one or two persons. The actors were thousands of Eritreans and each and everyone has a different experience from the other, therefore instead of underrating the witness we get, they should encourage others to do the same. The people of Eritrea wants to get the reality and curb the liars from feeding on historical events. Jabha is neither negative nor positive hundred percent and the same with Shabia. Divulging of the reality will protect the people of Eritrea from those who employ it for their menial agendas.

Some of the Srriyat Addis members may be alive, I hope to come out and witness what happened to them and even some of the leaders of ELF also may be alive, therefore we call them to inform the people what had happened before four decades and beyond. Anyhow, after the collapse of the regime the Eritrean media outlets will be congested with information that we will not get time to read or listen to. The lucky ones who will get more attention will be those who witness today.

shetet aynibel says:

Dear awate team,
Quote ” Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence”
I was expecting the study would start, by the two already named, martyrs. what was the reason of their killing? If they were organizing the highlanders, to have a new wudib, ( which I assume) what was the reason behind, which made them to do so? Was there any reason, that made an innocent highlander, to trust the so called Nihnan Elamanan? ( Blatant lie doesn’t have roots, and the stems never grows)
As a young and disillusioned Eritrean( I consider my self young, because my elder never wanted to be old and transfer a true history to me, though I am approaching 40′s) I didnt get the study document fair. The only thing I can understand from the whole story is, that Jebha was still a killer to any body and anybody, who had a different idea, by branding them different names.
Moreover, what I dont really get it is, that, if this study was trying to defend ELF, Jebha was not killing christians only, but many moslem brothers were killed by the leadership. So, it is like, please highlanders, understand that we were not targeting you guys, just because of your religion and ethnicity. But we were targeting any body, no matter its ethnic or religion. Hence, not progressive. No wonder it eventually failed.
I would better say, ( painfully that it was authored by the killer by himself) Nihnan Elamanan, was a document that exposed part of ELF’s bad deeds.
Another, that really amazed me is that, the awate team never tried( at least to my knowledge) to contact the members of quiada al ama, being many of them in the opposition camps. But still complains, about the junta in Asmara, for refusing to give the list of the rest 298 people. The whole general command was in Hishferay to meet Siryet addiss, Imagine, how much weight, the Siryet addis had, but no body gave any attention to what happened later, at least for curiosity sake.
Please save me for next article.

Wediere says:

Awate Team,

I also would like to thank you for all the hard work and time spent to prepare the three documents, as readers we have the easier task of spending few minutes on your presentation, but your task requires considerable time and effort and that service is much appreciated.


NB. For awatista, some links from google on the time/context discussed for your perusal

Habtegiorgis Abraha says:

Dear Saleh,

I appreciate the initiative of the team to open into the past to help writers with pieces of factual documents, and the young to gain clearer picture of the past in building their own dreams.

Did your informant, Gebremedhin Zerezghi, give you the names of those ‘crushed’ and ‘killed’? Are you convinced as well, ‘others crushed’, ‘others killed’, and ‘…’ had always happened as in the day light crime as in Rasai, the Sudan? My clue for the researcher, your team, would be – kaliAy Kebri zigheberu weledin biTsimona Hazenom ziATsewwun mihtat! I hope you get the resources. By the way, if I may ask, are you commissioned by any body ‘ELF’ to do this research?



Responses to He And His Objectives published by

He And His Objectives February 13, 2012 by []

  • Mahmud Mohammed says
    Thanks Awate! the darkest side of our struggle history must be revealed regardless of who committed what but it is very crucial to teach our kids about their history. History should not be distorted or inclined but the truth must be said on heaven's fall. Esyas is not the only criminal we have had however there are many hidden criminals who slept on Eritrean blood. Some have committed mistakes without knowing or forced to do by their superiors, some have joined the struggle for personal interest and as servants of the foreigners, some were deeply mislead by their bigoted commanders who were motivated by regional and religious points of view. However, there must be a balance between the incidents happened and the golden age lost in serving Eritrea and Eritreans. We have to look on the positive sides too!
  • Wedimerhay says:

    I always enjoy’s articles from long time, but this article seems to me a bit favouring the ELF. The ELF was responsible for as much evil as Issayas did. The number of people slaughtered by the ELF and thrown in the fox hole (Gudgad wekaria) are too many not to mention how much our mothers have suffered under their liberated eara, the amount of confiscated properties (land and live stock).
    We all hate the current governmnet as it denied us the basic human rights and destroying our country economically, socially and politically. We have a purpose to attain ” A free Eritea were Eritreans live freely as long as they are Eritreans”. As much as we want this, we cannot distort history to suite us now for the current situation.
    It is now a dream that ELF was killing people using a knife. It is a reality that we have experienced in our neighbourhood. It is real that ELF has confiscated belongings. It is true that ELF depended on our mothers to live from day to day and they used force. It is true that ELF created many conflits in a previously peacefully coexisting communities.
    No dought the Nhanan Elamanan document is a destructive document, this article is also hurting as it try to justify the evils of the ELF that has affected many families lives permanently.

    I think let us not change history the exact the same way the Isaya regime did because it can weaken our struggle for democracy.
    With the short time that I have my emphasis is that the evils of both ELF and EPLF are beyond excusable and in an unreasonable magnitued.
    My advice to the Awate team is that, during struggle, many Moslim and Christian families were affected. The memory is not faded as it was hurtfull at family and country levels. If you are not sure about something rather display the message that is you are sure about.