NLF; National Liberation Fronts: 1960/1970

By Robert Shanab Elias Abu; Donald C. Hodges | Go to book overview

CHAPTER NINE
The Armed Struggle* Eritrean Liberation Front (ELF)

The Eritrean people's resort to arms came after long years of efforts, by peaceful means, to secure their legitimate rights at least within the framework of the UN resolution of December 2, 1950, which provided for a federation between Eritrea and Ethiopia under the Ethiopian Crown.

It was clear from the very beginning that the resolution did not reflect the conscience of the world organization but was the result of long-term imperialist conspiracies. Still, the Eritrean people did not lose faith in the world organization but continued to submit memoranda and complaints in the hope that the problem would be solved in a peaceful way. But this could not go on forever; the Eritrean people could not beg for their legitimate rights indefinitely. They soon came to the realization that only force could secure these rights and that a change of means was imperative. Force and a revolutionary course, the Eritrean people came to believe, were the only language their enemies could notice. The logic of justice, they realized, led nowhere when not backed by force.

The UN resolution states that the interest of peace and security in East Africa was the basis of the Federal Resolution. But since the Resolution has been violated, peace and security in the area can be brought about only through the liberation of the Eritrean people. Indeed, the federal experiment was doomed to failure for it rested on no solid grounds and no popular support and no guarantee whatsoever.

It was imposed from above, and did not have even the emotional outburst that sometimes accompanied federal projects.

Moreover, the Eritrean people were not responsible for the Federation with Ethiopia; they simply found themselves in the

____________________
*
From The Struggle for Eritrea, published by the ELF from Damascus, Syria, no date.

-209-

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