Both within the fighters in the field and the leadership in Sudan, initiatives were taken to correct the Eritrean Liberation Movement. In addition to the removal of the fifth region from the former Hamassien district during the 1967 attack of the Ethiopian regime where upon the region moved to the areas controlled by the second and fourth regions.
Members of the fifth region became victimized by the competition among the leaders and the discrimination by the higher leadership committee in Sudan. As a result, the fifth region members were the major initiators for the movement that was working to remedy the policies of the Liberation Front. The correctional movement also got support from the educated and young members of the third region, undercover members in the cities and from those in Sudan. Later the correctional movement began gaining support from all members of the regions as well as the public, as a result of which various efforts began to be taken to reform the Liberation Movement.
To mention some of these efforts, after the 1967 attack of the Ethiopian Regime both the fifth and the third region were having trouble functioning in their respective areas and to solve the problem a meeting was held on May 16, 1968 among the leaders of all regions in Aredayeb.During this meeting the fighters that were working for the correctional movement suggested the following points: –
• To dissolve all the different regions and establish a unified Liberation Movement.
• To establish a leadership that directs both the fighters and administrates the movement from within the field.
• To defend and protect the public, which would also boost the public participation in the struggle.
After a long discussion, the meeting ended, scheduling another appointment again for July 21, 1968 for further decisions. The success of the second meeting would have a huge impact on the reformation of the Liberation Movement and threatened by the idea of reformation, leaders of the first and second regions began creating obstacles.
Representatives of the first and second regions did not appear in the second meeting, they didn’t even respond to the message sent for a third meeting. While this was going on, the leader of the second region, Omer Ezaz, attacked the camp in Halhal which lead to the death of many fighters including himself. After several attempts to conduct a meeting and the attack, the refusal of the two regions became obvious. A fourth meeting was held on September 19, 1968 in Anseba where the third, fourth and fifth regions united in the absence of the first and second regions.
The formation of a united front was the major step taken in reforming the Liberation Movement. Despite the various initiatives, the unification was facing many hindrances from both the Ethiopian regime and the former leadership, the higher committee. The first attempt to break the unity by the Ethiopian regime was an attack in Ayet in 1969, where the Ethiopian forces were defeated by the already unified front. This victory raised the awareness of the public and consequently fighters from the first and second region began joining the unified front.
Later, the members of the higher committee and few individuals from the first and second region started to realize that the new developments are better for the struggle and opposing such unity wouldn’t enable them to succeed as a result many joined the united front including Osman Saleh Sabe.
There were also others that claimed to support the unity under one condition: the united force shouldn’t interfere with the power of the higher committee. There were many from the two regions that reinforced this condition but the ploy was to control the leadership of the united force and replace the newly elected leadership by the members of the previous leadership.
The united force was a unit that implemented the desires of the public and represented majority of the fighters and this unity become a proof for the previous ideology that division by regions would not enable the struggle to succeed. Although the united force assured the fighters aiming to liberate the country, it didn’t have the strength to overcome all the obstacles and this was due to the presence of few individuals like Abu Teyara, Omer Damer, Mohamed Ahmed Abdu, Abdella Edris in the leadership who still had the intention of securing their power within the united force. Consequently, the active and educated fighters that established the correctional movement could not get the opportunity to reform the front. Besides the various obstacles and hindrances in the united force, all were working to establish a better-united liberation front.
Source: ” Tarik Beretawi qalsi hzbi Eritra”