The Military Conference of Adobaha, August 1969

The Military Conference of Adobha met between 10 and 25 August 1969 with 162 participants and took decisions as follows:

- Dissolved the system of the ethno-regional autonomous 5 Regional Commands (Menatiq/Kiflitat) and agreed to name a 38-man Provisional General Command (Kiyad Ama muaqat giziyawit Teklalit Merihnet) of a unified army. After heated discussions, the conference agreed to give 10 seats each to the 1st and 2nd Divisions and 18 seats to the Tripartite Union (consisting of 3rd, 4th and 5th Divisions).

- Formed a preparatory committee for a national congress.

- Formed an 18-member committee to investigate mistakes committed in the struggle for the period up to August 1969.

- Formed a third committee tasked of taking care of the property of the organization.

- Froze the authority of the five field Commanders and of the Kassala-based Revolutionary Command until their cases are investigated and cleared at a national congress of the ELF.

- The Supreme Council in Cairo was authorized to continue as before till a national congress is convened a year later.

(The Adobaha Conference was convened without the blessing from Supreme Council.)

Members of the General Command (Kiyada Ama) named at Adobaha were: 1. Mohammed Ahmed Abdu, chairman, 2. Ramadan Mohammed Nur, 3. Ahmed Mohammed Ibrahim, 4. Tesfai Tecle, 5. Saed Saleh, 6. Abdulkader Ramadan, 7. Abdalla Idris Mohammed, 8. Isayas Afeworki, 9. Birhan
Bilata, 10. Saleh Omar Kekiya, 11. Osman Ajib, 12. Saleh Ibrahim Mohammed (Jimjam), 13. Adem Saleh Al Haj (Shedeli), 14. Saleh Hayoti, 15. Ahmed Adem Omar, 16. Ahmed Ibrahim Mohammed, 17. Ibrahim Abdalla Mohammed, 18. Yassin Al Haj, 19. Amir Tahir Shihabi, 20. Abdulraqib Mussa, 21. Mohammed Osman Izaz, 22. Mohammed Ahmed Idris, 23. Jaffer Jabir Omar, 24. Abdalla Mahmoud, 25. Ibrahim Jamil, 26. Hamid Mahmoud; 27. Ibrahim Mohammed, 28. Ahmed Hayten, 29. Mussa Mohammed Hashim, 30. Hamid Ahmed Osman, 31. Saleh Faraj Ali, 32. Mohammed Saed Shineti, 33. Abraha Mekonnen, 34. Mohammed Osman Omar Shaeban, 35. Abdulkadir Hamdan, 36. Mahmoud Chekini, alias, Mahmoud Ibrahim Mohammed Saed, 38. Saleh Mohammed Fikak, and 38. Afa Mohammed Hamid.

The differences, mistrust and conflicts that were created during the 1965-1969 period of the Regional Commands (zemene-kiflitat or ayam-menatiq) were not to be healed easily. Understandably, the conference was heavily affected by the legacies of the ethno-regional divisions of the preceding five years. Even in the aftermath of Adobha, allegiances to personalities in the Supreme Council continued as before. The former members of the Tripartite Union were still supported by some elements in the Supreme Council and the rest by others.

By all measures, Adobaha was an end of one era and a beginning of another whose story will be told later in this series. The upcoming Part V will focus on the major battles that the ELA fought during that period of ethno-regionalist rivalries between August 1965 till Adobaha in August 1969.

source:From the Experiences of the Eritrean Liberation Army (ELA) Part VIII and Final By Nharnet Team (Jan 13, 2005)