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The Adobha Congress And Its Outcomes

Having accepted the unification, the leaders of the first and second regions began working on gaining supporters in order to secure dominance within the united force. As mentioned before there were still some power hungry and divisive elements within the new united force. Thus, leaders from the first and second regions with ethnic and religious sentiments came to the congress with their own agendas in mind. The Adobha Congress was held from August 10-25, 1969 and had more than one coordinating committee. Members of the united force that participated in the congress included leaders of the two regions, their supporters in the military ranks and other regular fighters. Overall, there were 160 participants, and before the beginning of the congress, the leaders of the two regions proposed the following pre-conditions: 
1. Members of the leadership committee should be composed of 20 individuals from the two regions and 18 from the united forces.
2. All participants (the first and second regions, as well as the united force) should have their own representatives in the newly formed leadership.

These conditions were undemocratic and completely against the spirit of unity, the leadership should have been elected from the participants of the congress without any quota allocated to any group. Although some members of the united force opposed these conditions, they were outnumbered by the divisive elements in the force already recruited by the leaders of the two regions. Thus, the pre-conditions were accepted in the congress with majority votes and the freedom fighters who were against these undemocratic conditions were compelled to accept them, wishing not to compromise the new and fragile unity. Confident in having the upper hand in the new leadership, the power hungry members of the regions did not hesitate to accept several democratic suggestions forwarded by the freedom fighters.  Following are some of the resolutions adopted in the Adobha Congress aimed at strengthening the revolutionary struggle:

1.  To hold a national congress within a year.
2. Establish a coordinating committee that organizes the congress
3. Form an investigation committee that inspects the crimes committed against fighters and the public.
4.   Leaders of the former higher committee would maintain their position till the next congress and the leadership in Kessala was dissolved.
5.  All leaders and vice leaders of the regions should be removed from power and forbidden from participating in the new leadership.

Additional resolutions that protect the democratic rights of the public and reinforce their participations and support to the struggle were adopted in this congress. However, not long after the congress, the integrated leadership-the “Qeyada Al-Ama”- began violating all the resolutions and introduced an even worse divisive sentiments among the members of the united force. 

Some of the crimes committed by the “Qeyada Al-Ama” include:

•    After Qeyada  Al-Ama secured complete command of the military, it removed the leadership committee that was supposed to stay in position until further notice, effectively monopolizing all power.  Qeyada  Al-Ama also imprisoned five of its members who opposed these measures.
•     400 of the fighters that were working to reform the liberation struggle were deported to Sudan and other 300 from various units were assassinated based on religious differences.
•     Two freedom fighters, Kidane Kifle and Welday Gidey, who continued to oppose its ruthless measures, were also assassinated.
•    The leadership also begun creating religious and ethnic differences among the people, which led to isolation of various groups of the society from participating in the liberations struggle.
•     The Qeyada Al-Ama dissolved the investigative and coordinating committees and disregarded making any preparations for the second congress, focusing only in expanding its power control. 
•    Members of the previous leadership who were removed from their position and forbidden from participating in the leadership, were given key positions by the Qeyda Al-Ama.
•     The efforts of the earnest fighters for establishing a united front free from religious and ethnic differences was obstructed from making progressing by the leaders elected in the Adobha Congress. All doors were closed for the fighters who sought to reform the struggle from within this suppressive leadership. Any one who tried to oppose the leadership was imprisoned, deported or assassinated. The fighters that were working in establishing a well-organized front were left with only one option, to separate from this power-hungry and oppressive leadership.

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