Biggest of all
Of all the projects I had, the most exciting one that revolutionized the link of the liberated area with the outside world, was the establishment of satellite teletransmission link. Even Professionals had difficulty to believe it could be possible. After installing and commissioning the start up of the satellite telelink, the Secretary General in his first telefax ever from the field praised the achievement of the project. You can see the content of the telefax at Fax from the field.
The link which provided telephone, telefax and telex lines facilitated easy and quick communication with the outside world. It surprised very many among others, col. Mengistu Hailemariam who is believed to have angrily said “…they have even telephone link.” The BBC by itself was surprised when live information was supplied to it from the battle ground during the demise of the Ethiopian army in Afabet. It is also reported that President Carter was surprised at the quick communication between the Eritrean delegation in Atlanta and the leadership in the field. The delegation needed only short breaks to confer/consult with the leadership in the field.
It was surely a great story and a great achievement. Under the project ”telelink with the outside world” you can read the whole dossier which contains the study, the license, the procurement, shipment, Installation and the start-up of the telelink. Even after independence this satellite link was the only link with the outside world for quite a long time until the telecommunication branch of the new government was established and became a member of the International Telecommunication Organization, ITO.
Appreciates and Impeders
It is very important to mention here that there were many who appreciated my work of taking initiatives and my performance when asked to do a work. Among them are the leadership in the field, the EPHP, ERA-UK, RICE-Europe in London, RICE head office in Rome, EPLF Economy Affaires Office in Rome, EPLF’s Bandera Team in Europe, and EPLF European offices in London and Brussels.
However there were individuals in Oslo Mass Organization and Oslo ERA who were uncomfortable with my initiatives and engagements and they were always ready to sabotage when they could. These individuals looked at themselves as the guardian of the struggle and their main focus was on how to block ideas and initiatives from members or non-members of the organizations. I can not recall any significant contribution from their side to the Eritrean struggle for independence except organizing feasts. Instead of encouraging Eritreans in Norway to be active members of the organizations, they were the direct cause for many Eritreans to be inactive. Without the total independence I had from these organizations I can not emagine I could have one successful project undertaken.
I am a strong believer in the combined effort and participation by all Eritreans in diaspora. Based on that belief I tried on some occasions to demonstrate to the organizations that we could work together but unfortunately there were no basis for working together. We lived in different worlds. To back-up my claim I will give one simple example. When the project to procure a KENWOOD HF Transceiver had started I asked all three organizations namely the Mass org., ERA and the Mahbereseb to be involved in the project by covering some of the expenses but the reaction from the organizations was negative. In the meeting an ardent member of the Mass organization unashamedly said the following. “what our people in the field need is food not metals and the like”.
As I have stored carefully all documents of my activities, I have also stored the documents that display the hindrances and sabotages I have experienced. The stars in the list of abstracts show that there was attempted sabotage during my engagement in the project. 0