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“Demise Of Nadew Command, A Turning Point Feat!”

Silver jubilee of the demise of Nadew Command will be commemorated March 17 through 19 in Afábet under the banner theme”  “Demise of Nadew Command, a Turning Point Feat!” It  was  25  years  ago,  on March 17 to 19, 1988, that our freedom fighters accomplished a turning point feat in the history of Eritrea’s liberation struggle that dealt once and for all a blowing defeat by laying a siege to a formidable  enemy command– otherwise  known  as  the  Nadew  Command–which  had  constituted  a significant portion of the Ethiopian Derg army around the Nakfa Front.

Deemed to be one of the world’s military feats for its remarkability in  military  strategy,  scale  and  thunderbolt  tactics,  obliteration  of  the  165 km long well-fortified frontline of colonial Ethiopia at Nakfa through a  72-hour  military  operation  enabled  70  km  penetration  deep  into  the enemy-held territory by ushering in the EPLF’s transition from years of revolutionary standoff to strategic military offensive.

This  special  operation  against  the  Nadew  Command  was  born  out of  years  of  standoff  with  the  enemy  as  the  large-scale  military  assault was a very significant and strategic one for which Eritrean freedom fighters had already sacrificed a great deal of perseverance and time.

Thus, this military Operation was a cumulative result of almost 10 years long standoff of Eritrean fighters in the mountain chains of Nakfa, the northeastern Sahel front, Barka, as well as guerrilla warfare and hit-and-run attacks elsewhere in the country, to which colonial Ethiopia and the superpowers behind ultimately succumbed.

The demise of the Nadew Command did not only give way to the end of colonial era, but also added impetus to Eritrea’s liberation struggle, thereby heightening the morale of freedom fighters. Needless to say, Eritrea’s liberation in the wake of the demise of the Nadew Command was inevitable. Colonial Ethiopia, however, opted to carry on a last-ditch attempt to no avail in place of gathering the remainder of its human and material resources following the demise of Nadew. After a short period, the  EPLF  army  liberated  the  entire  nation  and  concluded  the  chapter of  liberation  struggle. This month in Eritrean history does not only chronicle 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.

March  is  also  a  month  of  striking  heroic  feats  in  Eritrea’s  glorious history. 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  three-day  battle waged on March 14 through 16, 1999, in a bid to safeguarding Eritrea’s sovereignty against the TPLF invasion. In the battle, where more than ten  infantry  divisions  and  hundreds  of  tanks  took  part,  enemy  troops were appallingly driven into the narrow combat zone as cannon fodder.

What  makes  Eritrean  history  distinctly  impressive  is  that  the  small people  of  the  tiny  nation  emerged  victorious  on  its  own  over  the  successive colonial regimes that had counted upon boundless provision of the superpowers. All these major military exploits performed in the month of March shall stand out glorious to posterity

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