The Democratic movement of 1977
In some sense, the movement was a continuation of the previous ones. The
Eritrean Liberation Army led the movement and targeted a number of
organizational and political shortcomings: such as corruption, malpractice in
management, malfunction in the hierarchy of the organization, and other
widespread undemocratic practices of the ELF leadership. But this time the
Eritrean Liberation Army didn’t pull the thread together.
The Abdella Idris
group, the most powerful and dominant group (also known as the right wing block
back then), aborted and branded the reform movement as “anarchy and disorder”
or “falul and Keidi Betekh”, and ordered the arrest and disarming of hundreds
of Tegadelti. The Labor
Party (LP), the main organ of ELF, also gave its green light to squash the
movement. This is the era where anti-democratic forces took upper hand and
teamed up against the forces of change in ELF. This is the era where the right
wing snitchers and betrayers flourished in ELF. This is the era where ELF began
to become terminally ill.
In retrospect, the failure of 1977 movement can also be attributed
partly to the lack of leadership, organization, and coordination within the
parties involved to lead the movement. However, the
overall message here is that the movement was a grass-root one aimed at
reforming ELF. Even though it failed and never recovered, yet the undemocratic
approach employed by ELF leaders to address the issue left ELF ideals badly
shaken and bruised up to this very moment.
Unlike Abdella Idris’
historical uprising, all the reforms/democratic movements which evolved in ELF
at different stages prior to 1981 represented a distinctive characteristic of
the Eritrean Liberation Army: reflection, deliberation, engagement, national endeavor, and collective participation.
Now, having said that let me revisit Abdella Idris’ ‘historical uprising of 1981 in Hame Shkoreb’ (Sudanese territory at the border) and tie this up together for you. One has to start with the following questions: What ‘uprising’, what ‘continuity’, and what ‘mishandling’ is Mr. Abdella Idris referring to? There was neither ‘uprising’, nor even an incident of that sort in any form or shapeSource:Abdella Idris: The Architect of Violence and Beneficiary of Undemocratic Uprising By Nebari Keshi July 19, 2002 (Posted on 21 July 2002)