It was 21 years ago that historical annals recorded the astounding military exploits of February 1990: Operation Fenkil. Deemed to be one of the world’s military feats for its remarkability of military strategy, scale and thunderbolt tactics, Operation Fenkil is a great event of which Eritrean generations should forever take due pride and commemorate. As such, the day has become an integral part of the Eritrean people’s culture where thousands would make the pilgrimage to the port city of Massawa every year. This great national occasion is being commemorated under the banner theme “Fenkil: Apiary of Eritrean Independence!” In the wake of ultimate liberation, Operation Fenkil served as a springboard spurring the stage towards full independence. The operation, further than uprooting the vital lifeline of colonization, spawned the country’s full independence while at the same time heralding the inevitable demise of enemy forces.
Fenkil was an operation born out of years of standoff with the enemy as the large-scale military assault was a very significant and strategic one for which Eritrean freedom fighters had already sacrificed a great deal of perseverance and time. Thus, Operation Fenkil was a cumulative result of ten years long standoff of Eritrean fighters in Nakfa, the northeastern Sahel front, Barka and elsewhere in the nation, to which colonial Ethiopia and the superpowers behind ultimately succumbed.
The Eritrean people, who wrested independence through such heroic feats, is once again engaged with redoubled endeavors in the national development drive so as to heal the scars inflicted during the struggle for independence. Equal to the heroic exploits of war, the Eritrean people is performing miracles and exemplary feats of development, thereby winning broader acclaim. Massawa is a city that stands witness to both facts stated above. Hence, the city that indisputably became the catalyst for full independence will also prove to be the spur of speedy economic growth. Happy 21st Liberation Day Anniversary of our port city. Congratulations to the Eritrean people, whose history of heroism and valor is beyond measure. Glory to the gallant patriots who performed the historic exploits. Glory to the martyrs of Operation Fenkil.