March is a month of striking heroic feats in Eritrea’s glorious struggle for independence.
It was 23 years ago, on March 17 to 19, 1988, that the EPLF forces dealt once and for all a blowing defeat through a 72-hour military operation to a special enemy command–otherwise known as the Nadew Command–which had constituted a significant portion of the Ethiopian Derg army. Obliteration of the 100 km long well fortified frontline of colonial Ethiopia’s army at Nakfa ushered in the EPLF’s transition from years of revolutionary standoff tostrategic military offensive, thereby penetrating 70 km deep into the enemy-held territory–from Hday to Meshalit.
The month of March does not only chronicle in Eritrean history the demise of the Nadew Command of 1988. The operation by Eritrean combatants that culminated in conclusive liberation of the town of Nakfa was also recorded on March 23, 1977. Besides, the Eritrean youth that succeeded to freedom fighters, who brought forth national independence, once more gained command of Egri Mekel with unmatched heroic exploits in the battle waged on March 14 through 16, 1999, in a bid to safeguarding Eritrea’s sovereignty against the TPLF invasion. The Battle of Egri Mekel, where more than ten infantry divisions and hundreds of tanks took part, demonstrated TPLF’s World War I-like uncivilized military tactic in which enemy troops were driven into the narrow combat zone as cannon fodder. Appalling to the entire world, the end result that came to light when all divisions were crushed and the heavy firepower came to a halt was the calamity of the TPLF’s human wave and combat arms.
It is well evident that the Eritrean people was time and again doomed to a dreadful fate. However, successive regimes which preordained the fate of the Eritrean people to utter ruin were to the contrary doomed one after the other, whereas the Eritrean people and its glorious history has been shining over and over. What makes Eritrean history distinctly impressive is that the people small in number and of the tiny nation emerged victorious on its own against the successive colonial regimes that had counted upon boundless provision of the superpowers. These major military exploits all performed in March shall stand out glorious to posterity. Glory to the miracle performer Eritrean youth and the entire people!