A meeting of the Executive Committee of the ELF-RC ended in the resignation of Ahmed Nasser, Chief of the Unity Affairs office.
The ELF-RC has been marred with internal crisis since its delegation walked out in the final stages of the Eritrean opposition organizations� meeting in Addis Ababa in October 2002, protesting the nomination of Herui Tella Bairu to the top position. Since then, the whole energy of the ELF-RC was consumed in sometimes bitter exchange of debates among its members; one part supporting the leadership to stay away from the Eritrean National Forces (ENA) and the other pressuring it to mend fences and return to the ENA. Several Eritrean entities and foreigners, including the Ethiopian and Sudanese governments, had offered to mediate between the ELF-RC and the ENA but were not successful.
Last month, the elected regional leadership of the ELF-RC in Germany was disbanded in the presence of Seyoum Oqbamichael, the Chairman of the organization, and Mengisteab Asmerom, head of the organizational affairs office. Some members had questioned the decision. A longtime member of the ELF-RC said, �regional leadership can only be elected in a regional congress; you can�t call a public meeting and disband an elected leadership by executive order and elect a regional leadership�. Another said that, �the regional leadership was involved in activities that damaged the organizational structure of the ELF-RC and it was necessary to replace it�.
The following members of the executive office attended the ELF-RC leadership meeting that was held in Khartoum, Sudan, from 15 to 18 March 2003.
1- Seyoum Oqbamichael, Chairman of the organization
2- Ahmed Nasser, Unity Affairs
3- Mengisteab Asmerom, Organizational Affairs
4- Khelifa Osman, Finance
5- Dr. Beyene Kidane, Information
6- Dr. Sahle Tesfay, Social Affairs
7- Mohammed Ali Ibrahim, Military Affairs
8- Ibrahim Mohammed Ali, Spokesperson (Non executive office member)
9- Berhane Kidane, secretary, spokesperson�s office (Non executive office member)
The leadership of the ELF-RC could not agree on a resolution regarding the impasse between the ENA and the ELF-RC and there was a clear division between those who wanted to rejoin the Alliance and those who wanted to remain alone.
On March 18, 2003, the spokesperson�s office had issued a statement stating that it had discussed �aspects of the outcome of the dialogue and after considering its reflections on the arena, the joint meeting established the fact that the talks have reached a dead end, marking the negative turn that would rule out all possibilities of reviving ELF-RC membership in the ENA, due to unwarranted and unacceptable preconditions put forth by the ENA...� The spokesperson�s statement didn�t mention that Ahmed Nasser, the head of the �dialogue committee� and unity affairs office, had resigned his executive position.
Reached by phone in Khartoum, a sympathizer of the ELF-RC commented that �the diverse background of its members is the main strength of the ELF-RC and risking it will throw the organization into irrelevance�. Gedab News has learned that there is enough call and pressure from the members of the ELF-RC to hold an immediate meeting of the �Revolutionary Council� to solve the crisis that has weakened the organization.
Meanwhile, unconfirmed news indicated that the ENA has lifted the suspension of the ELF-RC from the membership of the ENA and that the news will be formalized in the ENA�s meeting currently underway.
Read related story on what triggered the above here.