History : Heruy Tedla Bairu on Eritrea and Ethiopia [SBS Amharic]

borkena, Ethiopian News
January 31,2017

Audio clip embedded from SBS Radio Amharic YouTube channel.
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Heruy Tedla Bairu was among the founders of Eritrean Liberation Front (ELF) and was active during Ethiopian Students movement before the Ethiopian revolution. He grew up in Addis Ababa, went to Tefari Mekonen school and later studied at what was then University college, now Addis Ababa University. His father,Tedla Bairu, was a top Ethiopian official in Eritrea province under the imperial government of emperor Haile Selassie after Eritrea was united with Ethiopia.

In an interview with SBS Amharic, Heruy talked about ELF, Ethiopia, Eritrea,the genesis of what later became Eritrean People’s Liberation Front, and the mistake that he think the imperial government of Ethiopia did in relation to Eritrea.

On the issue of common history of Ethiopia and Eritrea, “It is difficult to separate Eritrea from Ethiopia historically. What led to Eritrea and Ethiopia to armed struggle was a political question, not a historical question” said Heruy Tedla Bairu. However, he noted that Eritrea was known as Mereb Melash , land of Bahre Negasi. It had its own internal administration and was not governed like the rest of the provinces in Ethiopia.

What were the factors that weakened Eritrean Liberation Front?

Heruy Tedla Bairu says that there was a stiff power struggle within Eritrean Liberation Front (ELF). Contours of power struggle at times took a religious form and at times took regional form. The latter was getting more impetus. Heruy raised the role of Usman Saleh Sabeh in the split of ELF and for the later formation of EPLF, Eritrean people’s Liberation Front.

Current state of Eritrean opposition and Eritrea after Isayas

From what Heruy says, Eritrean opposition is divided. But there is currently an effort to unite it. He sees a possibility of military dictatorship after Isayas. However, he also seem to be optimistic that there could be a possibility for transitional government.

Cover Photo : Screenshot of SBS Amharic Audio

Written by Dimetros Birku. Can be reached on twitter : @dimetros

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