Eritrea: Even the Stones are Burning, by Roy Pateman, 1990

Personal Note: The Eritrean patriot Adey (Mother) Zeinab was born in Afabet in 1918, joined the Eritrean armed struggle for independence in 1977 and passed away in 2005, at the age of 87, leaving behind a name with a great legacy. The words used for the title of the book, Eritrea: Even the Stones are Burning, were spoken by Adey Zeinab, as quoted by the author.
Quotes from the book:
“You've seen our country. Now you know why we want to be free. The Ethiopians came, they bombed our villages, they slaughtered our cattle and burned our children. Everything is burning now. Even the stones are burning.” Eritrean Patriot Adey (Mother) Zeinab
“Until 1980, the EPLF and ELF waged a bitter civil war, a war which reflected badly on both parties; such fighting also seriously affected the chances of success for the war of national liberation. In the view of some writers the impact was permanent. The major reason, however, for the inability of the revolutionary forces to achieve independence in the late 1970s was the intervention of the Soviet Union on the Ethiopian side. The United States had also remained a backer of Ethiopia; in 1953, the two countries signed a twenty-five-year defense treaty, a major feature of which allowed the United States to lease the Kagnew Communications Base in Asmara, a facility which at its height employed 3,000 United States personnel. After a group of army “
“Since the strategic retreat of 1978, the EPLF has not only been able to mount a classic guerrilla campaign throughout occupied Eritrea, but has also used the highly coordinated and disciplined forces which form the Eritrean People's Liberation Army (EPLA) to wage a prolonged conventional war.
In spite of such bitter conflict which has cost the lives of so many men and women, the destruction of hundreds of villages and thousands of acres of crops, the decimation of livestock and the continual risks of MIG and sporadic ground and artillery attacks, the EPLF can be said to be in effective control of eighty-five percent of the country.”
“Although the EPLF could not have survived without a broad base of support among the mainly rural population or without a deep-seated resentment against Ethiopian domination, many writers have been content to repeat well-worn cliches about the essential unity of Ethiopia and Eritrea, a unity broken by the Turks in the sixteenth century, to remedied by the United Nations in 1950. For a brief period in its long history, Abyssinia did hold some of Eritrea. But such talk of "unity" is illusory; Ethiopia is a colonial occupying power -- an empire, akin to the British, French, German and Italian empires, all of which have crumbled. Indeed, Abyssinia was an observer at the Berlin Conference of Emperors, held during 1884-1885, which resulted in the imperial curve up of Africa; Ethiopia arose from a division of the spoils of imperialism. During a fifty-year period from 1885 until 1935, the ancient Solomonic Kingdom of Abyssinia, assisted and abetted by a number of the European powers, expanded over three-fold to become the Ethiopian empire.”

Amanuel Biedemariam



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