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Military Developments between the Strategic Withdrawal and Second Congress of EPLF (Part III)

The dismantlement of the ELF was a huge lose to the armed struggle, and was a great disappointment to many Eritreans and other sympathizers of the Eritrean people struggle for independence. The incident happening at the times where enemy forces were doing their level best to destroy the struggle for liberation makes the situation worse. Despite this fact the dismantlement of the ELF was a blessing in disguise, since it was the ELF leadership that causes most of the problem and hindrances in the struggle the dismantlement was a solution to many of the problems.  It also played vital role in diverting the attention of the struggle be concentrated on the struggle for liberation only. As a result, the sixth offensive launched by the Derg regime was completed with the victory of the EPLF forces.

This latter victory has huge impact on the moral and determination of the people of the country and the fighters, in addition to determining the existence of the struggle, and assurance that no force will defeat the struggle for liberation easily.

The Derg regime that is unable to accept the huge defeat on the sixth offensive begun to prepare for another huge offensive in secret. Meanwhile it also continues to maneuver ploys among the people of the country where they would fight each other. Many Eritrean youth were forced to join the regime where they would fight their own brothers, and as a consequence of those latter actions, EPLF announced a national rebuff campaign, this enable the youth of the country join the struggle for liberation and make their due contribution to the country and the people.

After the Derg finished all the necessary preparation for another attack secretly, it launched an attack on March 1983 believing that the EPLF forces are weaken from the sixth offensive. Unlike previous attacks, this latest attack was done without any campaigns or any media propaganda, it continued till the mid of August 1983 again ended in utter failure. The Derg lost around 25 thousand soldiers in this offensive only, the huge human and material lose the regime faced in this offensive added to previous loses weakened the power of the regime.

After those continues attacks and the victories achieved, EPLF was transformed to stage where it can launch attacks against the Derg, and this stage was begun with the  attacks that liberated of the towns of Aligider and Tessenei in January 1984. Later in February the front launched another attack in the Northern Sahel Frontier, the soldiers of the Derg regime has been deployed in the area for about five years. The attack also known as “Wekaw Eze” continued until March, and in the war from March 19-21, the front defeated the force in the area once and for all. Here there were around 7 thousand soldiers of the regime dead, and 4/5 of the armament and weaponry surrendered.

Two months after this successful attack, the operation that burned 33 Derg airplanes in the capital took place.

To be continued ……

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