Tuku'e Yehadego

Tuku'e Yehadego was born in Asmara around 1942. He attended high school at Haile Selassie I secondary school, where he was a leading figure in the 1957 student strike. A famous football player, he hit a police capitain with his head and was arrested.

After graduation he played with the Adulis Footbal Club and in December 1959 was recruited into the ELM when the team was playing in Port-Sudan He became a key ELM orgainzer in Asmara where he worked for Civil Aviation Authority, and in late 1962 helped organize a protest against Eritrea ANNEXATION for which he was arrested but later released by Police General Tedla Ogbit.

He fled to Sudan where he worked with the ELM until its demise, and then joined the ELF. Disillusioned by the assassination of his colleague Wolde Ghidey and Kidane Kiflu. in 1970 he joined Osman Saleh Sabbe’s organization, working in Aden and Sudan. He was killed in an ELF ambush in 1971 while bringing supplies from Port-Sudan to ELF-PLF fighers in Sahel( Killion 413).

According to a reliable source Tuku'e did not die in the civil war but there was a story that he mysteriously disappeared while he was with Girmai Mehari. The only person who knows the secret of this is Girmai Mehari (the commander of both Sembel and Tsetserat Prison Administration and Rehabilitation Services). According to the source, Girmai Mehari reported that they lost each other somewhere around Mahemet on their way from Port-Sudan to Sahel because of fog.

The death of Tuku’e was a victory for Idris M.Adem who hated the ELM and its members because of their secular views. Idris was the founder of the ELF in competition with the in 1960 and the chairman of the ELF when Tuku was killed by the EPLF in 1971. His death was also a victory for Issays who was one of the founders and leaders of the EPLF in 1970.

As history proves Issays has never hesitated to eliminate any one who is more famous than he such as Abraham Twelde 1970, Tuku’e 1971, Mussie & Yohannes 1973,Woldenkile Haile 1977, Mengesteab Yisak 1978, Ibrahim Afa 1985, Petros Solomon & Haile Duru 2001 etc.

Tuku’e was one of the great young personalities of the post-Italian colonial generation who spent his youth in struggling to preserve the federal constitution by leading student demonstrations and actively participating in spreading the ELM networking, and continuing his struggle against the annexation of Eritrea in 1962.

Eventually he joined the ELF in 1965 and the EPLF in 1970 but he was killed while he was on duty by his colleague as they thought that he was a threat to their power because of his fame in the 1950s among students and workers who joined the ELF in 1965, and the EPLF in 1970 (Welden kel Gebremariam, Welden kel Abrah, Mehari Debessai, Teklay Haraka etc) .

A brave nationalist man like Tuku’s should be remembered as a hero by all Eritrean youth and they should follow his traces to revitalize the spirit of the 1950s youth movement which will be have a great outcome in creating unity among the youth to speed up their victory over the present autocratic government and other leaders within the opposition group who refuse to acknology their crimes or collaboration during the armed struggle.

Resoum Kidane 28/08/2008

The ELF Leaders’ crimes against the Hadaka fighters in 1965
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