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Two Prominent Eritreans Die In Exile

The Eritrean opposition has suffered another loss today: Dr. Habte Tesfamariam, one of the most prominent leaders of the Eritrean opposition, has died in Frankfurt, Germany.

Dr. Habte had traveled to Germany in March last year when he fell ill. During the last three-days, he had recuperated and was planning to return to his work in Abu Dhabi where he has been living for many years.

Dr. Habte is a veteran of the Eritrean struggle and he has been an active person since his school days in Europe where he was a student activist. In 1975, he was elected a member of the revolutionary council of the ELF and served the organization in many capacities. He was the chairman of the Eritrean National Salvation Front, one of the major organizations of the Eritrean opposition. Dr. Habte had replaced his longtime friend and colleague, the late Ahmed Nasser who died in March 2014 in Sweden.

Dr. Habte is known for his “humble, yet stern character and had an unwavering and principled belief in the freedom of the Eritrean people.”

Dr. Habte never returned to his homeland, Eritrea, because the ruling party doesn’t allow the return of veterans from other organizations unless they shed off their political views and submit to it. Dissenters from the ruling party are also treated similarly. The remains of many veterans who died in exile are not allowed to be buried in Eritrea.

On the same day, the well-known businessman, Hassen Kekia, died in Khartoum where he lived for many years after he managed to leave Eritrea after he was released from prison. Hassen, an octogenarian, was jailed many times in Eritrea. Neither his limitless support of the Eritrean People’s Liberation Front (EPLF) during the independence struggle, nor his many favors to its chairman, President Isaias, helped him escape prison for objecting to the regime’s policies. In the seventies and eighties, Hassen was known for regularly hosting and helping Isaias during their overseas travels through Sudan. Hassen had started several business ventures that were sabotaged or openly killed by the ruling party’s economic arm.

A witty man, Hassen is known for making fun of his ordeal and that of his old friends, some of whom are still languishing in secret prisons in many parts of Eritrea.

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  • Yonathan Sebhatu

    We must think these days we are losing our veterans without abling to replace them. Condolence to the families and friends! it is a big lose indeed – especially to their beloved families.

  • Michael Tesfamariam

    Hi All
    Somebody entered to my account and removed a couple of lines as part of the the comment I gave below,,Is it Russia or China? ,,I have to figure out OR I must have missed a new sponsorship rule introduced by the moderator. I wonder if such comment was found to be extremely sensitive and inappropriate to be removed form, what kind of free speech and tolerance our media “opposition” is fighting for to bring to our Eritrea.

  • Michael Tesfamariam

    Hi All
    Condolence to the families and friends of these two deceased Eritreans,and it should be a big lose indeed – especially to their beloved families.
    Having said that-there is no such “opposition” to suffer from the deaths of these two gentlemen or others – because it doesn’t simply exist! If so, I wanna know the name of that opposition.

  • G. Gebru

    ንዓአቶም መንግስተ ሰማይ የዋርሶም ንስድራቤትን ፈተውትን ከአ ጽንዓትን አክእሎን ይሃብ።
    ንሕና ጫውጫው ክንበሃል በበሐደ ሰብ ወሐደ ይኾነናሎ። ንሕሰበሉ።

    • Kokhob Selam

      Yes G. Gebru ,

      ንሕና ጫውጫው ክንበሃል በበሐደ ሰብ ወሐደ ይኾነናሎ። ንሕሰበሉ።

  • disqus_baEbaEmu3

    To the families, friends mourning:

    tSinAt yhab, Amlakh yrHamu Dr, Habte Tesfamariam, Mr, Hassan Kekia and AbdulraHman.

    ……………. lllllllllll ………….

    Ike turner abused and beat his wife Tina Turner. She left him for good and learned to chant Nam myyoho Renge renge keyo. She returned to the stage with the her hit song “Whats Love Got to do Got to do with it?”

    Ashashu Peanut Butter Salvation Front after reorganizing will LIVE on to DICTATE FROM BEYOND FOR the S.E.L.F to take lead by becoming as smooth as CREAMY. There is no such thing as Death for the CREAM of the CROP. Ashashu Peanut Butter Salvation Front ztekhluo lebamat nayneQlo. You are not awoken SELF.
    You have nudged the leadership, so we have made room for two or three. Bring your baEbaE self and your AndeHiQo brother and LEAD. Otherwise, follow or simply get out of the way!

    Saay Eritrea Liberation Front your on deck, guguugguugot yoyoyour ll llluu Louisville Slugger? No corking permitted.

  • Denden

    SAD, RIP Heroes

  • Sarah Ogbay

    Dear all.
    Sad to hear about the passing away of these heroes. Ato Hassan was never the same after he was released. In fact they released him after they made sure his live was destroyed. May their sound rest in peace. Our icons are going one by one and so is our history on which our identity is anchored.
    Yes, as SJ said we should RAGE and the fire that comes from our rage should incinerate PFDJ. If we can’t do this how are we different from the ones we are mourning. At least they did something in their lives.

  • Amanuel Hidrat

    Another sad day, two prominent elderly Eritreans died in exile, and like many before them, they will not get a burial place in the country they gave everything to its birth. May their souls rest in peace and the necessary strength to their families in this difficult time.

  • Paulos

    Selamat Deqi Abeity,

    Time stays, we fly. Atilla the Hun is believed to have said, “Sucrifice is the passion of all great men.” The worst kind of death is when something dies inside you when you are still alive. To be more precise, death becomes those people who have compromised their integrity when they opt to serve tyranny at the expense of their own people-the Eritrean people. Endurance produces character and character inspires a generation-a generation that has come of age when Eritrea traverses through the valley of darkness and when all seem bleak and gloom. It is in time of this we look upon those who stayed put to the end when it was too tempting to give in to dictatorship. Sirs Kekia and Tesfamariam are golden souls who melt like a burning candle so that a generation can have a light in desperate times. May their souls rest in peace.

  • Paulos

    Selamat Awatistas,

    Sorry to hear for the lose. May God give their families all the strength they need in this difficult time.