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Researched and compiled by Resoum Kidane 28/10/2020
Goitom Berhe (bitsay) a law graduate of Addis Ababa University who led new democratization movements, known as bitsayinet, in the late 1975, then became target for “radicalism” The purpose of this compilation is to remember one of these forgotton innocent freedom fighters who was excuted by the EPLF security force in the 1970s.
Goitom was born in 1942 in a village called Adi Goda, Hazome vicinity Mai Aini sub region in the Debub region of Eritrea, he was one of the first generation of students from the post Italian colonisation who received his education during the Federation era in the 1950s. He went to elementary school in the village called Amadir distric of Tislema in the early 1950s. According to Dr Berhane who was his childhood friend at Amadir described Goitom as a genius and gift student
Berhane recalled when Goitom missed many lessons in third grade because of the hardship despite his mother faced after the death of her husband, Goitom’s father in law. Goitom did not attend school for about three months that year and yet he passes his final exam with distinction by borrowing or copying all missed lessons from his classmates This shows that his intellegence and dedication. After passed his exam Goitom didn’t continue his study at Amader, he had to move to Asmara to seek help from relatives there
After Goitom moved to Asmara, his friend Berhane lost contact with him for a few years until an opportunity arose when Berhane too went to Asmara to attend 9th grade at Haile Selassie I Secondary School in 1959. Dr Berhane in his memories of Goitom briefly mentions that Goitom would have faced further hardships as he found him attending 8th grade when he should be at 9th grade like his friend Berhane
After Goitom completed his 8th grade, in 1959, he didn’t purse his study in the secondary school like his friend Berhane but joined the Teacher Training Institute (TTI) in Asmara to qualify for elementary teaching, this was in 1960.
After two years training and he gained his qualification. Goitom spent his first few professional years probably in Asmara. While Goitom was working as a teacher, he sat for the Ethiopian School Leaving Certificate Examination (ESLCE) which he passed with distinction. Thereafter he attended the Haile Selassie I University to study Law probably in 1967.
When he joined the University to study law Goitom was a mature student with high political consciousness. The political and civil rights violations committed by the Ethiopian government in Eritrea during the Federation period involved, for example, the removal of Eritrean flag from public places, the institutionalization of Amharic as the official language the dissolution of the Ethiopia-Eritrea Federation, the annexation of Eritrea. In response, there were sporadic student strikes in 1956, 1958, 1962 and a three-day trade union general strike in Asmara, in 1958. These all contributed significantly to Goitom, becoming, while he was a student and a teacher, more politicised and more nationalistic.
The above facts could be the reason why Goitom decided to pursue his study of law at Haile Selassie I University in 1967. During his studies he also became internationalist in his outlook and devoted himself to the Socialist movement...
Regarding the assassination of Tilahun Gizaw, Ghelawdews who was a freshman student in 1969 recalls when the body of Tilahun was laying on a stretcher and all his body was covered by a blanket except his feet, he saw Goitom Berhe bitterly crying at the loss of his Marxist friend. cried. http://www.ehrea.org/astu.php. Professor Gaim's the author of Critical Reflections in his book also describes Goitom for his kindness and generosity
While Goitam was a student at the university, the Students Union of Addis Ababa (USUAA) he was one of those progressive Eritrean university students who played a key role in developing strong solidarity between Eritrean and Ethiopian progressive students in the campus.
Regarding the role of progressive Eritreans at Haile Selassie I University (Petros Tesfa Giorgis (2007)states the Eritrean progressive students came to realize that if the oppressive feudal system was replaced by a socialist Government the problem in Eritrea could be solved peacefully based on the right of people to self-determination.
Petros recalls that in one of the demonstrations there were many Eritreans in the front 6 or 7 rows and among them were Amanuel Yohannes, Mesfun Araya, Tesfazione Medhane, Tesfu Kidane, Meles Gebremariam, Amanuel Geresus,
According to an anonymous source, during the student demonstrations those who would bear the brunt of any attacks were Eritreans. Ethiopian security agents were trying to appeal to the Ethiopian students that they were being used by the Eritrean “secessionists”. Then the Eritreans decided at a secret meeting to support the student union but not be at its forefront. The right to self-determination continued to be discussed by Ethiopian students. An Ethiopian student leader Walleligne discussed it openly in front of 2,000 students. Members of the EPRP were sent to the Sahel (Eritrea) to get training. Walleligne and some others including an EPLF cadre tried to hijack a plane, but they were caught and murdered by security men. Martha Mebratu was one of the martyrs of the Eritrean struggle
Many other Eritrean university students also played a key role in the student movement, including Temesgen Haile and Petros Yohannes Adgoi, Yohannes Sebhatu, Amanuel Yohannes, Goitom Berhe etc.
Temesgen Haile was one of the coordinators of the underground Eritrean group inside the Haile Selassie University campus under the name, TihiSha (his father’s nickname) . Temesgen died when the Derg tried to capture him. He committed suicide by jumping from a high-rise building in Addis Ababa
Martha wrote “We, women of Ethiopia and Eritrea, have made ourselves ready to participate in a struggle, and we would like to explain the nature of our struggle to our sisters and brothers all over the world.”
Amanuel Yohannes was always described by his friends as one of the progressive students and took his place in the ranks of the student union, by fighting in an internationalist spirit against oppression. He wanted to achieve his revolutionary socialist vision and the victory of the Eritrean and Ethiopian oppressed peoples against the feudal autocracy.
According to people who knew Goitom at the campus, he was one of the most active students in the movement. This is recalled by Gaim Kibrab who was a second year student at the Law School in Addis when Goitom was a senior student.
Dr. Ghelawdewos Araia, who entered the University as freshman in 1969 also described Goitom as one of the militant students from Law School who moderated the presidential debate at Arat Kilo Science Campus. Goitom also spent one year in Harar teaching as part of the Ethiopian University Service in 1971 .
Goitom who had been an activist at the University Students Union of Addis Ababa when he graduated in 1973 decided to join the EPLF to realize his revolutionary socialist vision.
ጎይትኦም ምስ ኣቡኡን ሓብቱ ምስ ደቃን። እዛ ሓብቱ ብርትዕቲ ተቓላሲት ከምዝነበረት ብደርጊ ከምተቐትለት ክኣ ሰሚዐ። ብርቱዓት ገዛ ኢዮም ነይሮም
"Goitom with his father and his sister and her two children. His sister,was an activist and a member of the underground movement that supported the Eritrean Liberation Struggle. She was killed by Ethiopian security forces when they found out of her underground activities."
Goitom joined the EPLF (PLF 2) during the civil war, a critical period for the survival of the EPLF. The civil war broke out after the ELF passed a resolution that ‘the Eritrean field cannot bear more than one organization and one leadership' at its First National Congress, in 1971. The ELF leader passed this resolution in response to the EPLF splitting from the ELF in 1970.
As a result of the civil war, 3000 fighters from the two Fronts lost their lives between 1972 and 1974. Throughout the civil war, Goitom fought in various battles from Gerger Sudan to Gerger Asmara. He also fought against the Ethiopian forces in Shale region as well as in the highland plateau between 1973 and early 1974.
The one civil war battle in which Goitom fought was at Gerger Sudan, a fierce week long battle (17-25/3/73). The fighting was stopped by the intervention of the Sudanese army. Kidane, Aida (2005) in her paper mentions that at the Gerger Sudan battle 12 were killed and 17 wounded from EPLF (PLF1 and PLF2) and the attacking force (ELF) left 101 dead and over 130 wounded.
Tewdros Gebrezghier (Aligaz from EPLF (PLF 2) who participated in the fighting, described it as a dirty and inhuman war. Tewdros adds that” the hyenas after eating the dead fighters started eating the wounded. Some from our side started shooting at the hyenas that Issayas slapped the shooting men telling them to stop. The men wailed for help saying they were our brothers but were told to burn like fire”. (Kidane, Aida 2005)
Welde Mariam Abraham who was member of the EPLF (PLF 2) also described the battle of Greeter as cruel where brothers killed each other. Hyenas ate the dead.’ Our defence area was about 2-3 kms in diameter, after the battle had ended and the Sudanese intervened and buried the bodies.’ (Kidane, Aida 2005)
The two years fratricidal war broke out because of power competition between the EPLF and ELF leaders; but it was not the result of an ideological conflict between those leaders. The rank and file fighters from both side were always eager to work together to fight the common enemy for the sake of the Eritrean people rather that fighting each other. The unwillingness was from their leaders which has still left a legacy among the current opposition leaders in exile.
Goitom and other progressive fighters from EPLF (PLF2) knew that the civil war was caused by a power struggle between the ELF and EPLF leaders. Regarding this Tewdros Gebrezghier states that progressive fighters from EPLF (PLF2) like Mussie, Yohannes Sebhatu and Tesfu Kidane (a brilliant university student from Addis) questioned why the fratricidal civil war against the ELF was continuing instead of focusing on organizational issues such as having an elected democratic leadership.
According to veteran Tesfamicahel shortly after Goitom joined the Front he participated at the symposium with Mussie, Yohannes Sebhatu, Tesfu Kidane and other educated fighter to draft a constitution and programme for the EPLF (PLF2). This was not implemented until the First Congress of the EPLF held in 1977. It is beyond the scope of this compilation to look at why it had not been implemented in 1973.
As mentioned above, in the early 1970s the EPLF (PLF2) didn’t have a constitution, a programme or elected leaders. Therefore the progressive educated fighters and particularly Musie and Yohannes started to raise fundament questions, challenging the EPLF (PLF2) leadership over the undemocratic nature of the leadership style particularly and particularly Afeworki’s style of leadership.
Connell(2001) also states that Haile Menkerios who had worked in the information and propaganda department of information recalled this period as one of increasing political tensions from both ends of the political spectrum. Mussie Tesfamichael became frustrated with the slow pace of political development and pushed for a rapid transformation of these groups into a revolutionary political formation, challenging Isayas’s leadership in the process Mussie’s and other progressive fighters’ criticism became one of the contributing factors for the conflict that erupted in autumn of 1973. As a consequence of conflict between supporters of Menka movement led by Mussie and supporters of Issayas leadership a couple of meetings were held to resolve the conflict but all those efforts ended without success. Finally other EPLF (PLF2) combatants who were in the highland plateau were recalled to Gereger Asmara in the early 1974 to resolve the conflict and a committee led by Goitom was formed to look into the case.
Although the leaders of Menka (progressive fighters) like Mussie, Yohannes and others were arrested before the committee was formed, the EPLF(PLF2) leaders allowed the members of the committee to visit those progressive fighters in prison and listen their complains. After the committee gathered first-hand information from both sides and investigated the cause of the conflict which had erupted in Autumn 1973. It concluded that the complaint of the progressive fighters led by Mussie had not been wrong. Regarding this Meharena Hadgu() in his memory of Menka states Goitom Bisay said that Menka(progressive fighters) were correct.
Issayas and his group became disappointed with the committee’s verdict, and Issayas became suspicious of Goitom. Thereafter Goitom was made to step down from his responsibility (political commissioner of platoon which was the highest rank at that time) and was assigned to work with civilians in the Sahel region, under close surveillance
Adhanom Fitwi( ) also that Goitom was sent to Nakfa area, a Tigre speaking area with only one rank (mesRie) of 8 members and actually he did not speak Tigre language at that time. Then he was confined there for some time. Similarly Woldenkel Haile, head of the security department who said that the imprisoned Menka leaders had not committed any crime except to break military discipline with which Issayas was unhappy. In reaction to this Woldenkel Haile was sent to the Hailitat (front line sometime in 1974.
After Goitom stepped down from his responsibility (political commissioner of his platoon), he was sent to the Rora Hababa Tigre speaking area as a mass organizer. Although Goitom did not speak Tigre language at that time, he learned it quickly and got on well with the Rora Hababa people. Amanuel Hidrai who was a mass organizer from the ELF at Rora Hababa recalled that Goitom had been considered a beloved cadre by the inhabitants of that area.
Goitom met Amanuel Hidrai after the ELF and EPLF reached an agreement to end their hostility. Goitom was one of the EPLF fighters who showed initiative in developing good relations with the ELF fighters in 1975. Amanuel Hidrat recalls his short acquaintance with Bitsay Goitom in Rora Hababa.
According to Amanuel he knew Goitom in December 1975 when a team of 5 tegadelties (fighters) were going for a short assignment from Barka to Sahel. Amanuel said that they had discussed the need for unity between the ELF and the ELF-PF (Hizbawihailetat). Goitom was pessimistic about the prospects of a peace agreement, because the leadership in the field led by Issayas rejected the negotiating committee that was formed by Sabe1976. (see note).
Goitom told Amanuel that there were two leaderships within the organization that operated independently of one another. The foreign diplomacy lead by Sabe and the field command lead by Issayas. There was therefore no centralized leadership in the organization. Actually, he was right. Issayas has formed his own negotiating committee in their meeting at “Ein” to counter to the negotiating committee that was formed by Sabe which led to their split. Goitom hinted to Amanuel that there would not be unity between the two organizations. Goitom was withdrawn, by the leadership, from Rora Hababa where he had been working as mass a organizer
Goitom was pessimist about the prospect of peace agreement because the agreement that reached between the ELF and EPLF leaders for unification of the two fronts was a tactical not strategic plan. What Goitom mentioned to Ammanuel about the process of unification of the ELF and EPLF was true. Goitom always had a different view on from the EPLF leaders on the unification of the two fronts .
As a consequence, he again became the target of the EPLF leaders and was transferred from Rora Hababa. Twelde Kidane another ELF fighter who had met Goitom briefly while he had been working with civilians, that after Goitom was replaced by Salah Sebba, the relations between the EPLF and ELF fighters deteriorated. Here is Kidane memory of Goitom originally written in Tigriyn:
ተዘክሮ ብጻይ ጎይትኦም በርሀ ብተወልደ ኪዳነ ካብ አውስትራሊያ ምስ ብፃይ ጎይትኦም ኣብ ሮራ ሓባብ ባቅላ ዝብሃል ቦታ ኢና ንፋለጥ ሮራ ባቅላ ናይ ክልቴና ማሌት ህግ ከምኡ ተሓ ኤ እየንኔረን ኣብቲ ግዜቲ ስምረት ክግበር እዩ ዝብሃለሉ ወይ ምቅርራብ ዝርኣየሉ ግዜ ኔሩ አብ መጨረሻ 1976 ኣቢሉ እዩ . ብፃይ ጎይትኦም ዝኮነ ኣባል ህዝባዊ ሓይልታት ዘይደፈሮ ቀል እዩ ተዛሪቡ እቲ ንቅመጠሉ ቦታ ጥቃጥቃ ቁረባ እዩ ኔሩ ንበፃፃሕ ጉዳይ ስምረት ንዕልል ፅቡቅ ሃዋህው ተፈጢሩ ኔሩ . ሓንቲ መዓልቲ ስምዑ ንሕና ሓደ ፀላኢ ኣለና ንሱ ክኣ እዚ ቅድሜና ኣብ ናቅፋ ዘሎ እዩ ስለዚ ፍልልያት ግብራውን ስነሓብንዶ ገለዶ ዝብሃል ደርቢና ኣንፃር ፀላኢ ንመክት ስንቂ እንተሲኢና ካባኩም ንወስድ ንስኩም እንተስኢንኩም ካባና ትወስዱ ምስ በለ ብሓቂ ኣሚናዮ እቲ መዓስከር ሰላም ወሪድዎ ተስፋ ረኪብና እዚ ነዊሕ ከይከደ ገለ ምቅይያር ተረኪቡ ብፃይ ጎይትኦም ተሳሒቡ ኣብ ቦትኡ ሳልሕ ዝብሃል ብሳበ ሳጋ ዝፍለጥ ተኪእዎ ካብኡ ሓሊማ ሓለት ገዲማ ኮይኑ ኣብ ምትፍናን ኣቲና ድሕሪ ገለ ኣዋርሕ ገለ ኣባላት ህዝባዊ ሓይልታት ኢዶም ዝሃቡ ብፃይ ጎይትኦም ከም ዝትኣስረ ኣርዲኦምና ብሕቂ ሓዚና ከምዚኦም ዝኣመሰሉ ብሉፃት ደቂ ህዝቢ ኣጥፊእና ሓተላ ሒዝና ኣቲና .
“While Goitom was working as a mass organizer in Rora Hababa, he formed a clandestine party called 'the Eritrean Revolutionary Party to challenge the EPLF leadership. Among the founder of the party were Tekey Aden and Memhair Tekle.”
Meharena Hadgu in his Menkae memoirs mentioned that as a continuation of Goitom democratic movement, he tried to form an underground movement called 'the Eritrean Revolutionary Party' in 1975/1976 and translated a number of Marxist works into Tigrigna.
Dr.Alazar Gebre-Yesus also states that Goitom contributed a lot to the development of the EPLF by translating foreign texts in political philosophy into the Tigrigna language. One of his translations was 'Zente Mogot (Dialetic materialism) ' from which Sheabia learned a lot. Further he introduced and taught the Philosophy of Comradeship: Who is a comrade? (Men Eyu Betszai? Men Eyu Sewrawi? Goitom got his nick name Bitsay from the title Who is a comrade? Bistsay means comrade.
To challenge the translation work of Goitom, Haile Menkorias was instructed by Issayas to translate a number of Marxist works into Tigrigna in late 1975. Haile was head of the Tigrigna Section of the EPLF's Department of Information and Propaganda from 1973 to mid of 1975. According to Connel (2001: 12) he also joined the secret party EPRP in 1975. The writer of this document who was a member of the Information Department at Belekat and Zero in 1975/1976 recalls that "Haile Menkorias translated a number of Marxist works to Tigringna (eg, The State and Revolution, The Communist Manifesto, What is to be done? Two step back and one step forward and some of Mao’s works), the titles of which I cannot remember. We (member Information Department at Belekat and Zero in 1975/1976) were in charge of the carried out the process of printing and packaging of the publications but we were not allowed to read them because we were ordinary members if someone tried to read Marx works they could be targeted in those days"
Meharena Hadgu also recalls that anyone seen reading Marx, Lenin or Mao etc. was suspected of becoming a Menkae. Many stopped reading out of fear or pretended to be uneducated because they were demoralized by what happened to those who read.
Unfortunately in late 1976 the clandestine party which was formed by Goitom was exposed when Tekley Aden defected to the secret party of the EPLF called EPRP and revealed the existence of the clandestine party. After Goitom’s transfer from Rora Hababa his relations with the EPLF leaders deteriorated further. When his clandestine party was exposed, he was accused of being Menka . Consequently Goitom Berhe, Memhair Tekley and other member of the clandestine party were arrested in late 1976. Thereafter all literature either translated or written by Goitom was forbidden.According Adhanom Fitwi “Who is the revolutionary?” Men Eyu Sewrawi?' handwritten in 30 pages, Goitom’s article was forbidden reading. Adhanom Fitwi and Alem Abraha read it at night with by kerosene lamp. Alem Abraha was seized and killed. He was one of the veteran fighters, with Sebhat Efrem etc, a leader of our squad (fesli). I had heard that Alem Abraha was from or around Dekhmare city.
Adhanom Fitwi () who met Goitom Berhe (Bitsay) two weeks before he was arrested said that he was taken away and never seen again.
Goitom had frequently visited the Central library of the Information Department to borrow books. The librarian there, Kidane (surname not known), a former a student from Asmara University was subsequently arrested, accused of being connected Goitom. He was one of the 3, 000 victims executed between 1975-1980
After Goitom was arrested a large number of the recruits who had joined the EPLF from high school and university, like Kidane, was targeted by the EPLF’s security force. Sherman (1980:64) also states that, in 1976, perhaps as many as 200 young EPLF intellectuals were arrested.
Solomon Woldemariam, who was head of the EPLF prison centre has also suggested that around one thousand fighters who participated in the Menka movement were rehabilitated after undergoing serious political indoctrination and self-criticism (Mengiseab, 49:2005). In 1976 Goitom was one of the victims of Solomon Woldemariam and his Deputy Chief of Security. Regarding this, Dr Bereket mentioned briefly in his book that Goitom had been tortured by Haile Jebha (Solomon’s Deputy Chief of Security)
Here is an excerpt from Dr. Bereket’s The Crown and the Pen book, page 317:
“While I was walking toward a place where I habitually went to answer nature’s call, I heard cries of agony from the bush. Curious to find out, I approached the bush where the cries came from. And there, to my horror I saw Haile Jebha (Solomon’s Deputy Chief of Security), beating another man repeatedly on the head with a thin stick. The victim, whose hand and feet were tied and who apparently knew me, called me by name and begged to be rescued. Without a moment’s hesitation, I rushed to his rescue, whereupon Haile angrily warned me not to interfere in*the business of the Hafash*(masses). But he at lease stopped the beating and took the prisoner Goitom Berhe (BitSai) back to the headquarters. Later on, at the headquarters where I stayed, I was surprised to hear Haile asking Goitom (his erstwhile victim) if there was enough sugar in his tea, to which Goitom answered quietly by nodding his head. I made it my business to find out what crime he had committed and began to chat with him in Haile’s absence, but was rebuked by a young tegadalai, a teenager named Mekonnen, who seriously advised me never to talk to guguyat (wrong doers) When I asked him why not, he said that it would give them a sense of support and harden them in the process of interrogation. I went away wondering whether we were creating monsters. I must also note that I was informed years later that Haile too was purged and executed along with Solomon. Here, I will say, in parenthesis, that it is time that someone armed with all the facts write about this dark side of armed struggle” Habte Selalse, Bereket, 2007:p317)
The illustration of the EPLF prison (Halewa Sewra) below shows clearly how prisoner like Goitom was interrogated in 1970s
ደም ንጹሃት ተጋደልቲ
ኣብሓለዋ ሰውራ ንተጋደልቲ ዘሳቕዩን ዝቕጥቕጡንካብዝነበሩ አባላት ሓለዋ ሰውራ;
በረከት (ወ ዺ ረቢ)
According Adhnome’s interview, when in 1977, Naizghi was assigned to be Ali Said’s deputy in the Revolutionary Guard (Halewa Sewra), he found out that the department eerily resembled a Hitler-like and Stalinist agency and refused to take the post and courageously challenged the institution. Naizghi was the first and last, in the EPLF’s history who rejected and challenged such an institution. Habtemariam, Semere T (2012)
After Naizghi turned down the position offer, Teklay Aden accepted it and became Ali Said’s deputy in the Revolutionary Guard ‘Halewa Sewra’ . Teklay Aden had been one of the founders of the clandestine party which was formed by Goitom in1975, but later Takely betrayed Goitom and joined the secret party led by Issayas. Thereafter in the late 1970s, Goitom became one of the victims of Teklay Aden when he was an EPLF security chief, a post he held from 1977 until his defection to the Ethiopian regime in 1980.
TeklayAden in his statement to Ethiopian journalists in Addis Ababa on December 23 1980 described Halewa Sewra in the following terms:
‘The most criminal and notorious organ within the EPLF is known as Halewa Sewra or the security department. This is the Gestapo section in the EPLF assigned with the task of arresting, torturing and killing elements who oppose the leadership clique. It is a brigade of terror and death led by two members of the central committee. ('I was one', according to the March issue 81) The department which has no clear-cut guidelines save for the carte blanche to kill, is divided into three sections
A.The Surveillance Section: This body is responsible for covering the whole EPLF with a network of agents reporting on each other. EPLF is an organization in which every member takes the other for an agent and therefore has to keep his mouth shut. I can only say that the situation inside the group defies any description in words. The majority of the security agents are somehow attached to the leadership clique.
B.The Interrogation Section of 'Halewa Sewra' is a place where all types of untold brutalities are committed against suspects. Any person accused of opposing the leadership or the EPLF in general is scaled with boiling oil; refused food or water for a long period and forced to sleep over his/her refuse. The fascistic crimes perpetrated against the innocent victims do really drive one mad.; The majority of the suspects die while undergoing 'questioning'.
C.The Prison Section: This is the section which physically liquidates 'enemies' of the EPLF or demoralizes the victims. The prison inmates are not only refused the basic food and medical needs, but are daily subjected to terrorization and self-defacement. Practically none of the survivors of the continued mental and physical torture in the prison can be described as 'survivors'. The firing squads are also stationed in the prison; their assignment is to kill by firing bullets Teclai Ghebre-Mariam (Teclai Aden) (1980)
Abed Tesfai who joined the EPLF in 1971 also described the Revolutionary Guard (Halewa Sewra) was a place where the barbarous cruelty and prison horrors were carried out . The text below was original posted in his facebook
Abede Tesfay 29 July 2019
ብብጊሓቱ ጨካን መራሒ፡
እቲ ገና ካብቲ ኣረሜናዊ ባሀርያቱ ዘይተናገፈ ሰብ ብሰባት ጥራይ ዘይኮነ ባዕሉ ቢኢዱ ግፍዒ torture ይሰርሕ ከም ዝነበረ ሓንቲ ኣብነት ክቅርብ ክፍትንየ። ኣብ 1973 ኣብቲ ምንቅስቓስ መንካዕ ዝነበረሉ ግዜ፡ሓሚመ ሕክምና ኣብ ገረግር ኣስመራ ይኸደልኩም፡ ኣብቲ ሕክምና 7 ተጋደልቲ ለይቲ ሃይ ክብሉ ክቕንዘዉ ክራገሙ ይሰምዕ፡ንጽባሒቱ ኣእጋሮም ምሕኩልቶም ተሃስዮም ተጀኒኖም ራኣኹዎም፡እቲ ዝነኣሰ ካብኦም ተኽለ ማንጁስ ክቐርቦ ምስ ጀመርኩ ጭራ መዓኮረይ ሰይሮሙኒ ክብል የዕልለኒ ነበረ፡ ብርሃነ ደበሳይ-ኣፍሮ፡ኣማኔኤል -ወዲ ብጆኒ፡ተኽላይ ተስፋክርስቶስ፡ጎይትኦም ነጋሽ፡ተኽልማርያም ራሻይዳ ወዲ ቀሺ ፡ ተኽለ ማንጁስ ፡ሚኪኤል ወዲ ዓቀይታይ፡ብዘይካ ሚኬኤል ኩሎም ኣእጋሮም ኣብራኾም ተሃስዮም ፡ኣእጋሮም ተጀኒኖም ይሕንክሱ ነበሩ፡እዚኣቶም ብሓደ ሱሌማን ብርሃኑ ዝተባህለ ወዲ ገዛውቶም ኣኽርያ ብስለያ ተጠርጢርም ኣብ መርመራ ሰብ ኣባትር ዛኣተዉ እዮም፡ሱሌማን ብኩቱር ምቕጥቃጥ እወ ሰለይቲ እዮም ኢሉ፡ ካብ ምቕጥቃጥ ዕረፍቲ ንክረክብ እንተዘይኮይኑ ብሰለይቲ ኣይፈልጦምን እዩ፡ ናይ መወዳእታ ምስ ተሓተተ እውን ብሰለይቲ ኣይፈልጦምንየ ከዕርፍ ዝገበርኩዎ እዩ ስለ ዝበለ ካብ ምርሻን ድሒኖም።ሱሌማን ሰንኪሉ ኣትዩ፡ሕጂ እውን ህሉው እዩ።
ካብ ኩሎም ህሱይ ድማ ሚኬኤል ወዲ ዓቀይታይ ነበረ፡ለይቲ ብቓንዛ ድቃስ ዝብሃል ኣይነበሮን፡ናይዞም 7 ብጾት መጋባይ ገረዝጊሄር ውጩ ነበረ፡መርማራይ ድማ ኢስያስ ኣፈወርቂ ምዃኑ እዩ፡ሓደ ካብኦም ከዕልለኒ ከሎ ክሳዕ ዝደክም ይቕጥቅጠና ነይሩ፡ተኽለ ኣጽፋረይ ብጉጥየት ከይተረፈ ኣውጺኡወን እዩ ይብል።ሓደ መዓልቲ ውጩ ኣብ ገረወኛ ማይ የፍልሕ ስለ ዝነበረ ሎሚ ምሳሕ ግዓት'ያ ኢልና ተሓጎስና፡ እንተኾነ እቲ ማይ ውዑይ ኣብ ርእስን ገጽን ክሳድን ምኬኤል ወዲ ዓቀይታይ ዝኸስከሶ ኢሰያስ ኣፈወርቂ ነበረ፡ወዲ ኡይ ኢሉ መን ክረድኦ፡ኩሉ ገጹን ርእሱን ካልእ ኣካላቱን ተመሽሊጡ፡ሕቑኡ ከም ስርዓት ጎቢጡ ዳርጋ መሬት ክጥዕም ዝተረፎ ኣይነበረን፡ምሉእ ልይቲ ክቑንዞን ኢሰያስ ፋሽሽቲ ክብል ይሓደር ነበረ። ኢሰያስ ኣረሜን ባኣካል ካብ ዝገበሮ ግፍዒ እየ ዝዛረብ ዘለኹ።እዞም ተጋደልቲ ክጋደሉ ኢሎም ወጺኦም እዚ ድማ ጎነፎም።
ካብዚኣቶም ሓውዮም ናብ ሰራዊት ተሰዲዶም ዝተስዉኡ ብርሃነ ኣፍሮን ኣማኒኤል ወዲ ብጆንን ክኾኑ ከለዉ፡ሚኪኤል ናብ ክፍልታት መዲቦሞ ድሕሪ ሓጺር ግዜ ካብኡ ስሒቦም ቀንጺሎሞ፡ተኽላይ ካብ ዩኒቨርስቲ ዝተሰለፈ ኮይኑ፡ነዚ እውን ስሒቦም ቀንጺሎሞ፡ተኽልማርያም ወዲ ቀሺ ነብሱ ቀቲሉ ክብሉ ሰሚዕና ሓቂ ድዩ ኣይኮነን ዝፈልጡ ይዛረቡ፡ወዲ ነጋሽ ክሳዕ ናጽነት ኣትዩ ኣብ ኤርትራ ገዲፈዮ፡ተኽለ ማንጁስ ካብ ሓይልታት ሃዲሙ ናብ ጀብሃ ካብኡ ናብ ስደት ኣብ ካናዳ ከተማ ተረንቶ ይነብር ኣሎ፡ ብዓዲ እንተሪኢናዮም፡ተኽልማርያም ራሻይዳ ኰዓቲት፡ጎይትኦም ነጋሽ፡ዓደውሒ ከባቢ፡ብርሃነ ኣፍሮ ኣምባደርሆ፡ተኽላይ ንተጋዳላይ ኣቦይ ዞንጎፎ ወዲ ሓዉ እዩ ኣምባደርሆ፡ተኽለ እውን ኣምባደርሆ፡ሚኪኤል ዓቀይታይ ሕምብርቲ፡ኣማኒኤል ጌጋ ይኽልኣለይ እምበር ጽልማ ሰራየ ይመስለኒ፡ዳርጋ ኩሎም ደቀስመራ እዮም።
እምበኣር እቲ ገና ህዝቢ ኤርትራ ዘጽንት ዘሎ ጉርጉር ቡዳ ኢሰያስ ተግባሩ ካብ መጀመርያ እዚ ይመስል። ነዚ ፍጻመ እዚ ዘይኣምን ወይ ዝጠራጠር ንተኽለ ሓቲቱ ከረጋግጽ ይኽእል እዩ። ነዚ ቅድሚ 8 ዓመት ኣቢሉ ይገብር ዘርጊሐዮ ነይረ።ኢሰያስ እምበኣር ሓጥያት ህዝቢ ኤርትራ ግዲ ኮይኑ እምበር ኣሽንኳይ ሃገር ህዝቢ ክመርሕ ጥቓ ምምራሕ እውን ክቐርብ ዘይግብኦ በኣካሉ ኣሬሜን እዩ፡ደገፍቲ ነዚ ኣረሜን ዘሕፍርን ዝተነወረ መራሒ ምምላኽ ብዓይኒ ዝፈጠረና ኣምላኽ እውን ከቢድ ሓጥያት እዩ ደገፍኩም ንጥፍኣት ህዝቢ ስለ ዝኾነ ስሓቡ ናይ ሕልና ስራሕ ስርሑ ጥራሕ'የ ዝብለኩም።
ሞት ነቲ ጨካን ኣራዊት
ዓወት ንህዝቢ ኤርትራ
ኣበድ ተስፋይ::Source from facebook
Goitom was also described by Tecleberhan, Meharen, Alazer and Adhanom and other former members of the EPLF who knew him as very humble, knowledgeable, gallant fighter, scholar, lawyer, devoted Marxist and charismatic
Below is a veteran EPLF fighter’s memory of Goitom written in Tigrinya:
ተዘክሮታተይ ብዛዕባ ስዉእ ተጋዳላይ ጎይትኦም በርሀ (ብጻይ)
መጀመርያ ከም ተጋዳላይ ንብ/ጎይትኦም ዝፈልጦ ኣብ ሳሕል (ከባቢ ብሊቓት/ፋሕ) ኣብ 1975-76 ኢዩ።
ንሱ ኣብዚ ግዜ’ዚ መራሕ መስርዕ ናይተን ኣብ ሳሕልን ገለ ክፋል ሰንሒትን ዚነበራ፡ መሳዕ ህዝባዊ ምምሕዳር (ጀማሂር) ነይሩ። ጠርናፊ ናይተ 4 መሳርዕ መሓመድ ዓሊ ጆን ዝበሃል ተጋዳላይ ነበረ። ንብ/ጎይትኦም ኣቐዲመ ብወረ ይፈልጦ ነይረ። ጸኒሐ ድማ ብኣካል 1-2 ግዜ ርእየዮ።
ኣብ መስርዑ ካብ ዝነበሩ ሓያሎ ተጋደልቲ፡ ብዕድመን ተመኩሮን መዘናታተይ ዝኾኑ እፈልጥ ነይረ። ብፍላይ 4-5 ሰባት። ብ/ጎይትኦም ፍቱው፡ ውፉይ ሓያልን ብሱልን መራሒ ምንባሩ፡ ኣባላቱን ካልኦትን ብልዑል ኣድናቖት ይገልጽዎ። ንኣባላቱ ብቐጻሊ ዝምህር፡ ዝኹስኩንስ ዘንቅሕን ምንባሩ። ብተወሳኺ፡ ምስ ተራ ኣባላቱ ተወፊዩ ኣብ ኩሉ ንጥፈታት፡ እንተላይ ምግብናን ካልእን ዚሳተፍ ምንባሩ ይዝንተወሉ። ካልእ ሕጽር-ሕጽር ዝበሉ ሰውራዊ ናይ ማርክስመትን ካልኦት ሰውራታት ተመኩሮ ዝሓዙ ዝሑፋት፡ ካብ እንግሊዝኛ ናብ ትግርኛ ተርጒሙ የዳሉ ነበረ። እዘን ጽሑፋት፡ ብዘይወግዓዊ መገዲ ብናይ ኢድ-ጽሑፍ እናተባዝሓ ይዝርግሓ ነበራ። ኣነ’ውን ገለ ካብአን ርእየ ወይ ኣንቢበ ኢየ። ገለ ካብአን፡ “መን’ዩ ሰውራዊ (መንዩ ብጻይ?)፡” “ብዛዕባ ግብሪ፡” ወዘተ። ገለ ካብአን ጸኒሐን ብወግዓዊ ኣገባብ ብክፍሊ ዜና/ምንቕቓሕ ዝተተርጎማ ይርከብአን። (ብዛዕባ ግብሪ፡)
ኣብ 1976 ብ/ጎይትኦም ተኣሲሩ ዝብል ወረ ሰሚዐ። ጸኒሖም’ውን ሓያሎ ካብ ኣባላቱ፡ ገለ ካብኦም እቶም ኣቐዲመ ዝጠቐስኩዎምን ዝፈልጦምን፡ ዝበዝሑ መንእሰያት ኣባላት መስርዑ፡ ኣብ ሳሕል (ሳሕል ጠዊል ዝበሃል፡ ኣብ መንጎ ብሊቓትን ፋሕን ዝነበረ) ቤት-ማእሰርቲ ወይ ኣካል ጸጥታ (ብናይ ሽዑ ኣጸዋውዓ “ክፍሊ ሓለዋ-ሰውራ”) ተኣሲሮም። ሎሚ እዚኣቶም መብዛሕትኦም ስዉኣት እዮም። ገለ ካብኦም ብድሕሪ ናጽነት ብህወይት ዝኣተዉ ኮይኖም፡ ጸኒሖም ብሕማም ወይ ካልእ ምኽንያት ዝተሰውኡ ወይ ዝዓረፉ፡ ገለ’ውን ብህይወት ዘለዉ ኣለዉዎም። ሽዑ ዝተኣስሩሉ ወይ ዝተኸሰሱሉ ምኽንያት ብጽልዋ ወይ ጎስጓስ ብ/ጎይትኦም ደገፍቲ ናይቲ ብህ.ሓ/ህ.ግ ከም ናይ “1973 ኣዕናዊ ምንቅስቓስ (መንካዕ)” ዝፍለጥ፡ ደሞክራስያዊ ናይ ምሁራት ምንቅስቓስ ስለዝኣተዉ ኢዩ። ንገለ ኣዋርሕ ተኣሲሮም፡ ብድሕሪኡ ተፈቲሖም ናብ ቦታኦም ተመሊሶም፡ ገለ ድማ ናብ ካልኦት ኣሃዱታት ተቐይሮም፡ ቃልሶም ቀጺሎም።
ካብ ኣባላት ሓ/ሰውራ (ብፍላይ ከኣ ናይቲ ሓላፊኡ ዝነበረ፡ ደሓር ከም ኣካል “የሚን” ተባሂሉ ዝተኣስረን ኣብኡ ተቐቲሉ ዝበሃልን፡ ሃይለ ጀብሃ፡) ካልኦትን ዝስማዕ ዚነበረ፡ ንብ/ጎይትኦም፡ ምስቶም ዝተኣስሩ ኣባላቱ ዝተተሓሓዘ፡ ኣብ ልዕሊኡ ዝስዕብ ይግለጽ ነበረ። ብ/ጎይትኦም፡ ዋላኳ ኣብ ፈለማ ኣብ ምጅማር ናይቲ ምንቅስቓስ ኣብ ሳሕል እንተዘይነበረን፡ ከም ኣባሎም ወይ ደጋፊኦም ኮይኑ እንተዘይነጠፈን፡ ኣብ ዝቐጸለ እዋናት፡ ቀንዲ ደጋፊ ናይቶም መራሕቲን ተንቀሳቐስቲን ነይሩ። ኣብ መስርዑ፡ ከምቲ ኣብ ካልኦት ኣሃዱታት ህ/ሓ ዝግበር ተባሂሉ ዝሕመ ወይ ዝጥርጠር፡ ብሕብእብእ ዘኮነስ፡ ኣግሂዱ ኢዩ ደጋፊ ተንቀሳቐስቲ ኮይኑ፡ ብዛዕባ ጉዳዮም ዝጉስጉስን ዝምህርን ነይሩ ኢሎም ይጠቕሱ።
እቶም ንብ/ጎይትኦም ብቐረባ ብኣካል ዝፈልጥዎ ግን፡ ውፉይን ብሱልን ተጋዳላይ ምንባሩ፡ ንብጾቱ ንቐንቅሕ ለይትን መዓልትን ህርድግ ዝብል ውጹእ ሰውራዊ ምንባሩ እርዳእ። ካልእ ብወረ ዝሰምዖ ግን ካልኦት ብኣካል ወይ ብቐረባ ፍልጥዎ ሓበሬታ፡
ንሱ ኣባል ናይታ ኢሳያስ ዝመርሓን ዘማእዝናን ዝነበረ ምስጢራዊት “ማሕበርነታዊት” ሰልፊ፡ ኣይነበረን። ግን ብናቱ ተበግሶ፡ ኣብ ሜዳ ኣብ ቃልሲ ምህላዉ ሰውራዊ ሰልፊ ኣድላዪ ኢዩ ኢሉ ስለዝኣመነ፡ ናቱ ሰልፊ ኣቚሙ፡ ወይ ከቕውም ብምስጢር ይንቀሳቐስ ምንባሩ ይስማዕ።
ካልእ ብዛዕባ ብ/ጎይትኦም ዝዝክሮ፡ ኣብ 1971-2 ካብቲ ኣብ ዩኒቨርሲቲ ዝመሃረሉ ዚነበረ ከተማ ኣዲስ ኣበባ ከም ዝተሰለፈ ኢዩ። ምሁር፡ ብሱልን ትሑትን ምንባሩ፡ ወዘተ፡ ኣብ ግዜ ምጅማር ምንቅስቓስ 1973፡ ንሱ ምስተን ኣብ ከበሳ ዚነበራ 2 ሓይልታ ናይ ውድብ ህ/ሓ ነይሩ። ንገለ ጉዳያት ኣብ ምንቅስቓስ 1973 ዝተላዕሉ ነጥብታት ከተጻሪ፡ ብ5 ኣባላት ዝቖመት ሽማግለ ምንባሩ ይጥቀስ።
ኣብዚ ዝተጠቐሰ እዋን ድሕሪ ምእሳር ብድሕሪኡ ኣይተፈትሐን ወይ ኣይተራእየን፡ ኣብ ውሽጢ ሓ/ሰውራ ከም ዝተቐትለ ይፍለጥ።
ንምጥቕላል፡ ብ/ጎይትኦም ኣዝዩ ውፉይ፡ በሊሕ፡ ተቓላሳይ ምንባሩን፡ ብዘይፈጸሞ በድል ብግፍዒ ከም ዝተቐትለን ዝፍለጥ ስዉእ ተቓላሳይ ኢዩ። ታሪኹ ዝያዳ ተፈቲሹ፡ ካብቶም ብቐረባ ዝፈልጥዎምን ምስኡ ዚነበረኡን ተኣኪቡ፡ ተመጻርዩን ተኣሪሙን ክጸሓፍ፡ ተርኡን ኣበርክቶኡን ኣብ ቃልሲ ድማ ክግለጽን ግቡእ ይመስለኒ።
ዘልኣለማዊ ዝኽሪ ንሰማእታትና!
To conclude in the 60s and 70s it was a great honour for a family when their child graduated from the university. It was a big celebration with relatives and friends invited. The future was bright for the graduated and became respected members in their areas. Despite this fact many of them went to field (meda) after they graduated like Goitom or little time left to graduate, similar to Dehab, Aberash etc .
Dehab Tesfatsion and Aberash Melke who were in their final year studied Social Worker and Geology respectively were executed in 1979
courtesy Solomon Yohannes
When those progressive students like Goitom Berhe went to field ( meda) they knew how much they were sacrificing in their personal lives. They preferred to live in constant fighting, no beds or good food and their lives at stake anytime to be lost. Their sole aim was the liberation of their country Eritrea, which had suffered much and most were acutely aware of the situation. However they were killed by their comrades
According to Gaim Kibreab, BitSai (Goitom) was a senior law school student who left to fight for Eritrea's independence. I was and we all looked upon him would be lost not in battle against an enemy, but in a battle for democracy and change in an organisation that purported to fight for freedom. [Gaim 290]
It was so sad that Bitsay Goitom and other democratic fighters who became victims of the EPLF leaders were not only even honoured as martyrs but hushed away and their files close.
Goitom and his commrades who became victims of the EPLF in 1970s were not only forgotten by most their comrades in diaspora but also by all members of Eritrean justice seekers, civil and political rights movement, Human Rights groups, opposition groups, Eritreans media channel who are currently in exile .
In the history of Eritrean people struggle for independent, the crimes against innocent citizens did not begin in 2001 or 1991 by the PFDJ or EPLF but has roots going back to the 1960s by the ELF when Kidane Kflue a Law Student, Humble and charismatic brutally was murder in Kessela by his organisation the ELF, and other democratic seekers fighters in 1960s. Under the EPLF and ELF there were disappearances, conspiracies of killing and executing of innocent fighters and civilians throughout the liberation struggle. The killing and disappearing of innocent citizens have not stopped after the liberation by the EPLF/PFDJ , in fact it get worst since 2001.
Goitom wrote mostof the educational manual of the book sewrawi temhirt ntegadelti. I met him when I was on training in Bilekat . Then in Aden Yemen.. He was active . He was a student at Addis Ababa Universiry , dedicated revolutionary agitating for the right of self determination in Eritrea.
ሰላም፡ሩዙን ሓቅኻ እወ ።
ብጻይ ጎይቶኦም ይብሃል ብዙሕ ግዜ እዩ ኣብ ታሪኽ ዝጥቀስ ገለ መጽሓፍቲ ናይ ህግ እንተ ኣንቢብካ ኣዉኡ ትረኽቦ ኢኻ።
እንብኣር እዚ ብጻይ ጎይቶኦም በርሀ
ሓደ ካብቶም ኣብ መጀመርታ 70ታት ናብ ሰልፊ ናጽነት ዝተሰለፈ ኮይኑ ናይ ሕጊ ምሁር እዩ።
ምንቅስቓስ 73 ምስ ኣጋጠመ ዉን ሓደ ካብቶም ነቲ ጉዳይ ክምርምር ዝተመዘ እዩ።
ኮይኑ ምንቅስቓስ 73 ናጻ እዩ ኢሉ ፍርዱ ዝሃበ እዩ እንተ ኾነ መሪሕነት ኣይተቐበለቶን ነቲ ንሱ ዝበጽሖ ሓቂ ድሕሪ እዚ ባዕላ ፍሪዳቶም ።
ድሕሪ እዚ ንሱ ቀስ ብቐ ኣብቲ ዉድብ ሕብእቲ ሰልፊ ከም ዘላ ምስ ፈለጠ።
እንባኣር ነዚ መሪሕነት ክትኣሊ እንተ ደሊኻ ካልእ ናቱ ሕብእቲ ሰልፊ መስሪቱ ንዓል ኢሰያስ ክቃለሶም ተበጊሱ።
እንተ ኾነ ብዓል ተኽለ ዓደን ዝብሃሉ ዳሓር ዝሃደመ ናብ ደርግ ነታ ናይ ብጻይ ጎይቶኦም ሰልፊ ፍሊጦማስ ሽዑ ካይደንጎዩ ንጎይቶኦም ኢስያስ ሓቤረሞ ።
በዚኣ ተታሒዞ ኣብ ሓለዋ ሰዉራ ኣእትዮም ኣሕቒቖሞ።
ሓጺር ምስሊ ክህበካ እንበር ሰፊሕ እዩ እቲ ጉዳይ።
ሓፍቱ ዉን ናይ ደርግ ወታሃደራት ተመሲሎም፡ ንዓዲ ጎዶ ከይዶም
ከም ዝቐተልዋ ይዕለል።
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