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Zoba Gash Barka: Land of Palm Trees and Elephants PART IV

Zoba Gash Barka as a place of huge developmental activities in the country is also the place where the spark that led for thirty years of bitter struggle for independence was lit. When the Ethiopian regime, encouraged and backed by some international powers, broke the terms of the UN resolution condemning Eritrea to be forcefully federated with Ethiopia, reducing Eritrea to the status of occupied country, the Eritrean people had to go through concerted diplomatic efforts including by sending delegates to appeal that the UN body condemns the illegal measures being taken by the regime in Ethiopia. All diplomatic efforts, however, received deaf ear by the international community.
The only option that remained for Eritreans was, hence, to snatch by force every thing that belongs to them. They had to rise against the evil act and intention of the regime in Ethiopia who adopted all means and ways of torture, intimidation, imprisonment, and mass killings. Under such circumstances the people of Eritrea had to exercise their right of self-defense. To exercise such rights, however, there was the need of an organization or some body to initiate the resistance. And that is here that the heroic history of Awate and his pioneers come.

On September 1, 1961, Mount Adal witnessed the birth of the long awaited occurrence, the beginning of Eritrean revolution for independence. Ahmed Idris Awate with his thirteen comrades in arms made history in Adal with very poor preparations, in terms of arms, men, equipment and provisions.

What ever their situation was, however, they waged their first battle for independence against the Ethiopian occupation forces in Mount Adal. The struggle that was triggered at Adal took no time to spread to Eritrean activists living in the country and abroad. And those activists took no time to come forward and contribute their parts, some contributing what they had to the liberation struggle and some organizing themselves and search ways and means to accelerate the struggle that was in its infant stage.

The liberation struggle that triggered on September 1, 1961 came to an end on May 24, 1991, after thirty years of struggle, so much sacrifices, and heroic feats of the Eritrean People’s Liberation Front.

Mount Adal a very strategic mountain in Zoba Gash Barka has the potential of becoming one of the places of attraction for visitors, both local and international, researchers, who might be eager to study the beginning of the armed struggle, and for people who appreciate different kinds of landscapes.

Adal a seemingly small hill is surrounded by around six huge mountains and is very strategic for military action, both for defense and offensive.

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