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Eritrea: origins of an oppressive regime


Overlooking Asmara, capital of Eritrea.


By Chris Slee


Eritrea, a small country in the horn of Africa, generally receives little attention in the international media. But in recent years there have been occasional reports of mass drownings of Eritrean refugees in the Mediterranean.


Discussion: Ethiopia’s struggle for dignity

Battle of Adwa, an oil painting probably done by a monk near Addis Ababa (ca. 1970). Led by Emperor Menelik II, Ethiopian forces defeated the Italian army of General Oreste Baratieri at Adwa on March 1, 1896. Considered to be one of the most important events in Ethiopian history, this battle is seen by some as the first great step in the African journey toward freedom from colonial rule. Ethiopians celebrate "Adwa" day as a national holiday.

For more discussion on Ethiopia and Eritrea, click HERE.

By Degeufe Hailu

April 22, 2014 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- In 1935 Ethiopia became the first and only country in Africa to defeat a European colonial power during the “scramble for Africa”, making it the only independent nation in Africa that has never been colonised.

On March 1, 2014, we Ethiopians celebrated 118 years since the Battle of Adwa, one of the most defining and significant battles in history. It became an inspiring symbol of anti-colonial struggle and helped pave the way for other anti-colonial movements.

Eritrean referendum on independence

Wednesday, March 31, 1993

By Peter Boyle

Green Left Weekly -- On May 24, 1991, the Eritrean Peoples Liberation Front (EPLF) won its long armed struggle against the Ethiopian government. In April the Eritrean people will freely express their right to self-determination in a referendum on the future of their war and drought-ravaged country. They will have three choices: independence, regional autonomy within Ethiopia or federation with Ethiopia.

While there will be thousands of international observers, the United Nations refused a request by the provisional government/EPLF to administer the referendum because it did not want to pick up the costs, according to Elias Habte-Selassie, a former official of the Commission for Eritrean Refugee Affairs and a member of the EPLF.

Habte-Selassie spoke to Green Left Weekly when in Australia recently to lecture at the Diplomacy Training Program at the University of NSW.

Like many of his compatriots, Habte-Selassie has spent a long time in exile. He had to leave Eritrea when he was 13 to continue his studies in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa. In 1975 he fled to Kenya and then to Sudan, where he joined the EPLF.

Eritrea: out of the ashes

Wednesday, June 12, 1991

By Tony Iltis

The collapse of the Ethiopian military regime, following the flight of Haile Mariam Mengistu to Zimbabwe, ends 14 years of brutal dictatorship and raises hope for an escape from the oppression, war and starvation that have made Ethiopia and Eritrea synonymous with suffering.

On May 28, Meles Zenawi, leader of the Ethiopian Peoples Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), announced that the front would form a temporary administration pending the establishment of a transitional government within a month. Internationally supervised elections will be held within a year.

The Eritrean Peoples Liberation Front (EPLF), which has liberated the whole of Eritrea, will not take part in the transitional government but will form a provisional administration in Eritrea until a referendum is held on independence.

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