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Political Development Within ELF And EPLF

The newly elected leadership in the 1975 congressional meeting of the front started to exercise various attempts to wipe out the previous leadership of Hiruy Tedla. In the contrary, he was working on having dominant power with the support he was gaining from the newly recruited fighters but his attempts ended in utter failure.

After Hiruy was removed from power, power competition between the members of the front at large and the leadership particularly continued. ELF was also working on having dominance over EPLF: as a result, fighters within the front that take the initiatives to correct and change the leadership were treated severe punishment.

The power competition for dominance within the leadership of ELF left the front divided. Members of the front were governed by the dominant group in the leadership. One of the dominating groups was led by Abdela Idris, and majority of the time decisions are made in his favor.

During those time majority of the fighters joining the front were from the highlands and Abdela view those fighters as supporters of his opponents. Despite this fact, the new force supports the unity of the two fronts in addition to undermining the decisions made and policies made by the leadership. As a result, clashes start to appear between the members of the front.

In the year 1976, refusing the proposals of EPLF the leadership united with the envoy of foreign affairs, and as their first joint resolution, they condemned all forces that oppose the leadership. After this many members of the ELF refuse to participate in the struggle. Taking this in to his advantage the group led by Abdela Idris launched attacks to destroy this force. In the attack large numbers of fighters were killed, others return to their homeland and around 1,200 joined EPLF.

Later, the leadership shift to wipe out another opposition front.  And in 1977,  to get the support of the former Soviet Union the front begun to propagate that the Derg regime has introduced development changes in the country. Here again, the groups that has religious affiliation begun to oppose this latter stance of the leadership and separate from the front with the support of some Arab countries and the envoy of foreign affairs group led by Osman Saleh Saba. Threatened by those developments, the leadership imprisoned and killed large number of those fighters.

These were the strategies ELF followed to dominate power both within the front and over EPLF.


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