The solidarity between the struggle of the Eritrean and Palestine people, when seen from the perspective of the relations between the organizations of the two people, had declined. When the Dergue allied itself with the Soviet Union, many Palestine organizations maligned the Eritrean revolution, which they had been supporting, as a “tool of imperialism”. Consequently relations were broken. Furthermore, PLO solidarity with the Eritrean revolution cooled, when the Dergue allowed it to open an office in Addis Ababa. The EPLF had tried to preserve it relation with the PLO and other Palestine organization, but it did not receive a positive response.
The solidarity of the Somali people and government with the Eritrean struggle goes back decades. Given its limited resources, Somalia’s aid to the Eritrean revolution is significant. It also maintains a close relationship and all sided cooperation with EPLF. The EPLF strive to strength and further develop its relation with Somalia, because it supports the stand of the Somali people and government on the right to self determination of the Somali people in the Ogaden, condemns the Dergue’s invasion of Somali territory, and cooperatives in Somali’s efforts for freedom and stability in the Horn of Africa.
What deserves special praise is the political consciousness and maturity, the generosity as well as the firm support to the Eritrean struggle of the Sudanese people. Before 1961, the Sudanese people sheltered Eritrean patriots and assisted in the start of the armed struggle. And throughout, when the Eritrean people become victims of colonial atrocities and natural calamities, the Sudanese people gave refuge and succor to the Eritrean brothers. The Eritrean revolution could remain active despite changes in regimes in the face of the inconsistent policies of the Numeiri regime and continuous pressure, only because it had the solidarity of the Sudanese people. The increased support and sympathy that were evident in a democratic atmosphere were a continuation and proofs of the longstanding stand of the Sudanese people.
After the Addis Ababa agreement, Numeiri put pressure on the Eritrean revolution to please the Haile Selassie government. But after the downfall of Haile Selassie and Soviet penetration of Ethiopia, he openly supported the Eritrean struggle. Confident of its military strength, the Dergue did not at first, seek the help of the Sudan in the Eritrean revolution. Moreover ,it launched an intensive propaganda campaign aginst the Numeiri regime in its effort at presenting the Eritrean revolution as “foreign instigated”. However , after the strategic withdrawal and failure of its numerous offensives, the Dergue reversed its policy, improved its relation with the Sudan, prodded the Numeiri regime to put pressure on the Eritrean revolution, and during the sixth offensive, it even used Sudanise territory to attack the EPLF. After the failure of the sixth offensive as Sudan’s internal crisis, in particular the problem in the south intensified, the Dergue started to support the southern opposition forces in an effort at further weaking the Numeiri regime so as to extract more concessions from it at a latter date. In response, the Numeiri regime eased the restrictions it had placed on the Eritrean revolution. But with Saudi Arabia’s growing influence in the Sudan- and Saudis were interested in strengthening malleable Eritrean groups at the expense of the EPLF the shift in the policy of the Numeiri regime did not benefit but harmed the Eritrean struggle.
Next comes the question of coalition among other Ethiopian organizations, there were numerous national and multi-national organizations in Ethiopia each with its own and preferred forms of struggle. Their primary objective was to overthrow the Dergue. And what after the downfall of the Dergue? If these organizations fail to resolve the question before hand conflict and armed clashes were inevitable. The only solution was the establishment of a common front that would create a forum for trashing out differences and enable them to unite their forces and coordinate their efforts. If the alliance was only tactical, conflict was inevitable.
One of the multi-national organizations the EPLF tried to establish relations with was MEISON (The All Ethiopian Socialist Movement) . Meeting between the two organizations were held in 1984 and subsequently. Although there where differences in the assessment of MEISON’s role when it was a partner with the Dergue, an agreement to cooperate was reached, when MEISON affirmed recognition of the Eritrean peoples right to self determination. However, in its later publications raise a number of questions and since no steps have been taken to seek clarification, the question of what shape EPLF-MESION relation was pending.
The Ethiopian People Democratic Movement (EPDM) is an organization that came out of the EPRP. Ever since the EPDM adopted a clear-cut stand on the Eritrean people’s right to self-determination, the EPLF, has worked to consolidate its relation and cooperation between the two organizations has been growing. But reservations have arisen because the EPDM stated that it does not consider the EPLF “a strategic ally”. Unperturbed, the EPLF delegation to the areas the EPDM worked to further clarify the relationship and explore new fields of cooperation.