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The demolishing of Nadew Iz and its aftermath (Part I)

The big accomplishment that had been witnessed after the Second and Unity Congress was the demolishing of the Nadew Iz that had stationed at Nakfa. The enemy army had ben stationed there for nine years and was considering itself as an indomitable army. However, with the lightening offensive of the EPLF from 17 to 19 March the enemy was annihilated within 48 hours. Its main base Afabet was liberated and 18 thousand from the 20 thousand of the enemy soldiers had been killed and, wounded and taken prisoners. And for the first time three Soviet officers, two Colonels and one Lieutenant, were taken prisoners. The military hardware of the enemy including BM 21 rocket launchers and 130 mm canons became the property of the EPLF.

The victory was as the result of the nine years continuous resistance and military confrontation. The enemy trenches that were seemingly un-penetrable until 1988 were demolished within two days. The enemy was unable to defend its position that had been its strong hold for nine years. Its inability to defend its stronghold revealed its diminishing power. To the contrary the EPLF emerged more powerful and increased its capacity with the weaponry it snatched from the enemy. After Nadew the Halhal front was demolished. The new trenches of the EPLF combatants were built on the doors of Keren, in Meshalit.  The enemy was forced to retreat from Akordet, Barentu and Tesenei towns. It also brought soldiers from all over Ethiopia and tried, until it gets exhausted, to penetrate the Meshalit, Rora-Mensae, and Reisi-Adi trenches. And it was to no avail except to loose 60 thousand of its forces. The number includes to that of Nadew Iz.

In addition to that the EPLF also established a new front on the Red Sea coastline. In the surprise attack conducted on 19 April in Assab the EPLF inflicted heavy damage on the Assab refinery and on a war ship of the Ethiopian Navy. More over, in the attack it conducted on 31 May with rapid boats on the Massawa peninsula two enemy warships that were there were destroyed and in the attack it conducted on 6 September in the port of Massawa three big warships, warehouses and other small boats were totally and partially destroyed.

The Eritrean people did not miss the essence of that victory. It understood that independence is next door. And it rose up in unison to strengthen the revolution and contribute its capacity. And it increased its participation to the level unseen before. Resistance committees were established in the cities of Sudan, the Middle East, Europe, as well as the US and Canada. Youths from inside the country and the Sudan joined the armed struggle in thousands. Eritreans living abroad contributed every thing in their disposal to struggle through the resistance committees.

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