Entertainment Eritrean opponent Adhanom Gebremariam died in exile in New York

18:55  21 february  2021
18:55  21 february  2021 Source:   rfi.fr

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Photo d'archive d'Adhanom Gebremariam. © Capture Youtube / Asmara Show File photo of Adhanom Gebremariam.

A figure in the struggle for the national liberation of Eritrea disappeared this Saturday, February 20. The former commander of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Eritrea and former Ambassador Adhanom Gebremariam died in New York, where he was living in exile. He was one of the few reformists to have escaped the round-up of 15 Eritrean personalities arrested in September 2001 and who have since disappeared.

You could meet this polished old man with a gray mustache in his neighborhood in the Bronx for twenty years. He lived modestly, alone, separated from his wife who remained faithful to the regime led by his former comrades, and whom he had had to flee.

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But Adhanom Gebremariam was not a sad man, he was an activist, says his friend Mussie Ephrem. Engaged in the struggle for independence in 1972, this bearded, broad Afro guerrilla, with a disarming smile, had been one of its most brilliant commanders. After independence, he had been governor, attorney general, and then ambassador of the new Eritrea.

In 2001, he was one of those who denounced the “dictatorial drift” of their former friend Issayas Afewerki at the head of state. The roundup of his comrades on September 18 had left him helpless, stranded in the United States. But he then took all the initiatives to unify the opposition and a casting vote to denounce the “slavery” of young people in the dreaded military service which today leads so many Eritreans on the murderous roads leading to the 'Europe.

Speaking of him, Mussie Ephrem describes a “passionate reader of Rousseau and Machiavelli”. “When we spoke of Eritrea from our exile,” he says, “Adhanom bore the scars of his battles on his face and in his voice”.

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