Mr. Sunabera Debena, an Eritrean national with distinguished record of
support for Eritrea’s armed struggle, died on Saturday 9/20/2008.
He was in his 80s.
Sunabera was one of about a half-a-dozen of elderly Eritreans who were
arrested in October 2001 shortly after they attempted to mediate the conflict
between two sides of the ruling party, PFDJ. Like his fellow prisoners,
he was neither charged, nor found guilty, of any crimes.
He was held at the Karsheli prison in Asmara, until his release in March
10, 2004. Due to his confinement, and his advanced age, he never recovered
his health and friends and family spoke of a man who was permanently damaged
by his incarceration.
An entrepreneur and socialite, Mr. Sunabera Mohammed Debenna was perhaps
best known for his success in building the SATEO Transportation company,
one of Eritrea’s first publicly-held companies.
In the 1970s, he joined hundreds of thousands of Eritreans and moved to
Sudan, where he was known as a friend of the revolution for his generous
He returned to Eritrea shortly after the country gained its independence