• Do Not Let Anyone Enslave Your Mind.


_____________________________ The below-printed information was not included in the articles published on Asmarino.com in 2002. April 2023 > _______________________________   When Eritreans talk about civil wars that happened during the Armed Struggle,  they only remember the first war declared by the ELF on the EPLF (Eritrean People’s Liberation Forces), which ended in November 1974, when Mr. Herui Tedla Bairu, who was then ELF’s vice chairman, signed a peace treaty with the EPLF, and the 1981 civil war, which Issayas declared to evict the ELF from all over Eritrea.   There were two other civil wars: In January 1978, Issayas declared an all-out war on the ELF and evicted it from parts of eastern and all parts of western Akelguzai. The second war was when in September 1980, Issayas’s army, in conjunction with the TPLF, attacked the ELF and briefly controlled Badme and its environs. In retrospect, it is easy to see now that in 1980, Issayas could have been testing the waters for the final war he had been preparing to evict the ELF from all parts of Eritrea. During the January 1978 war, the ELF’s army had encircled Adi Kaih, Senafe, and Merara, preventing the Dergue’s soldiers from advancing anywhere, including the towns like Degssa, Segenaiti,  and Dekamare, all under his (EPLF) control. Let’s also examine the condition that existed during the January 1978 all-out war by Isaias. During that time, the Dergue controlled Asmara with large parts of its surroundings, plus the towns of Barentu, Assab, Massawa, and large parts of the Asmara-Massawa road. During the 1978 war, many Tegadelit from the ELF and EPLF died. Nonetheless, during the January 1978 war, the ELF chose not to fight back but focused on Dergue’s army, letting Issayas control all of Akeleguzai. At that time, one would think that Issaias would focus on collaborating with the ELF to liberate the towns still under  Dergue. But the fact was, Issayas did not want the Fronts to defeat the Dergue militarily while the ELF was around. So, his main priority was sacrificing as many soldiers from his Front as possible to eliminate the ELF and its army, and only after him remaining without competition, to focus on the Dergue. Anyway, his calculation was wrong because five months later, in May 1978, after defeating the Said Barre of Somalia’s army with the supply of large quantities and modern armaments from the USSR and the help of tens of thousands of Fidel Castro’s soldiers, the Dergue redirected its focus on Eritrea and defeated both fronts very quickly and took control including of the towns of Degssa, Seganaiti, and Dekamare.   The Degue launched its army and entered Eritrea from Hemora, Sheraro, Adwa, and Adi Gerat, and only the ELF  fought the Dergue on those fronts. Issayas refused to help.   But then again, the Dergue advanced toward Keren, a town still under EPLF’s control, from Asmara and the town of Agurdet. This time Issayas ordered his army to fight until the last bullet. He even bragged loudly, saying, “It is easier to extract water by pounding on a rock than for the Dergue’s soldiers to enter the town of Keren.” After many months of day and night battles, and after both the Dergue and EPLF paid the heavy human toll, the Dergue entered the town of Keren and continued advancing north to Afahabet, Nakafa, and other areas under the EPLF, and the war between the two continued for many years.   When Issayas and his commanders engaged in battles, they were always negligent about the lives of the Tegadelti, did not “economize”, or did not care how many lives they sacrificed. For them, it was always the end justifies the means, which in that regard, the lives of thousands of  Tegadelti were the means.   That is why, of the 65000 lives of Tegadelti Eritrea lost during the Armed Struggle,  over 60000 are from the EPLF alone, and fewer than 5000 are from the ELF.