The outcomes of October 20th Agreement
The EPLF stance on the issue of national unity is one and firm stance, and as a result it was doing its level best for the success of the October 20,1977 Agreement on the issue of the national unity. Although the intervention of Soviet Union and its partners were a challenge to the front, the main issue at that period of time is the cooperation and unity of all the fronts struggling for the liberation of the country.
After the October 20th Agreement, there were a number of ploys maneuvered by the ELF leadership hindering the implementation of the agreement. On April, 1978 initiatives begun to be taken to implement the Agreement between ELF and EPLF along with establishing another agreement between the third front of Osman Saleh Sabe and ELF. But long before the implementation of those agreements, the vast invasion launched by the Derg regime and the withdrawal of ELF to Barka from the fronts led to further conflicts between the fronts. The third force deployed in Barka has almost all the support of the inhabitants of Barka, and this didn’t make ELF happy. As a result, instead of trying to resolve the situation, the leaders of ELF decided to be engaged in a conflict with the third force, and removed the force from the country.
Although, agreements are reached to elect mutual leadership and committee of elders, the ELF leadership was making various hindrances in the implementation of October 20. Starting from the beginning the force accepted the October 20th Agreement simply due to the pressure from parties that supports the front. In July, 1980 ELF depart its fighters deployed in the Northern Sahle frontier, and announced that the front are not going to be governed by the October 20 Agreement.
The main reason for the fighters of ELF to withdraw from the front was due to the conflict EPLF was engaged in with the Derg, and its withdrawal from the frontiers of the Northern Sahle: thinking that the time was appropriate to overthrow EPLF. The front launched a number of attacks on the forces of EPLF in Denkelia and continued to attack the force in South. There were also conflicts on Halhal, here again the civil war between the two fronts erupted once again. Despite the efforts of ELF to overthrow EPLF, all the ploys of the front’s leadership ended in utter failure.