Eritrea farewells one of its prominent leaders of the liberation and democracy struggle

Khaliefa: Seyum had grown up with nationalism from his childhood

Henjma: Seyum passed away at the time the opposition was in a desperate need of him

Bayenee: Seyum had always been firm in his attitudes

 Nasser: We will keep for Seyum his noble attitudes

Twekel: Seyum was a patriotic and never had retreated from his principles


ADDIS ABABA-KHARTOUM(Dec.18)-The sudden death of the chairman of the Eritrean Liberation Front- RC- yesterday afternoon,Dec.17,2005 in Addis Ababa immediately after a heart attack, following more than four decades of  remarkable struggle for liberation and democracy of Eritrea, has shocked almost all the Eritrean people and its friends as well as democracy and justice lovers and activists. Because the late veteran Mr. Seyum was among the most prominent frontage of the Eritrean opposition bloc who had borne tremendous burden in encountering the regime in Asmara; and had hugely contributed to the establishment of the pillars and general staff of the Eritrean opposition bloc during its years of weaknesses. This has made the comrades of Seyum to say that frustration and depression never know their way onto Seyum’s track. He was optimistic, brave and stubborn in his attitudes and convictions as well as a unique patriotic who had been struggling for his people and its cause. He was among the unique Eritrean political leaders who express their convictions and attitudes in a clear cut way in the national, regional and international context. It is worth mentioning that the late veteran had recorded a very historical stance in February 1999 when he held along with Dr. Beyene a press conference in Addis Ababa in which he had demanded Ethiopia to stop the war. He said that the Ethiopian government had occupied the Eritrea land of “Badme”; and the continuation of the war or proceeding of the Ethiopian forces into the interior of the Eritrean land “is considered an occupation unless Ethiopia stops.” He declared this nationalism originated “statement” in Addis Ababa; and not some where else. This courageous statement demonstrates the extent less courage the late veteran was characterized and known by among his comrades, friends, relations and acquaintances. The pass away of such a unique leader who was relentlessly struggling for democracy, justice and equality is considered a great loss for the Eritrean people and its democratic cause. The refusal of the regime in Asmara even for the burial of the corpse of the late veteran in the soil of its homeland explicitly reflects the magnitude of the crisis the Eritrean people is facing in its day-to-day life. The only honoring of such a great patriotic is realizing of its goal for which he had been struggling for more than four decades.

 Mr. Seyum who had started his education in the Italian school before moving to “Lual Mekonen” where he had completed his secondary school level, was among the Eritrean political leaders who were the result of the Eritrean Students Movement. The late veteran had participated in the famous demonstration of the Eritrean Students Movement against the Ethiopian colonial rule; and joined the ELF in his early age. He was arrested and imprisoned while carrying out a mission of the ELF. Mr.Seyum was a great public speaker who presents his ideas in a very simple, well-organized, clearly structured speech that draws the attention of his audience and turn out.

The GIC has conducted a very quick survey among some of the Eritrean opposition leaders who have struggled with the late veteran Seyum Ogba-Micheal at the ELF-RC- headquarters in Khartoum and Addis Ababa when they came to extend their condolences.

An Obituary from Khartoum:

 A high level Sudanese official said that he had dealt with the late veteran for several years; and found him characterized by firmness in his attitudes. He added that Mr. Seyum had strong belief by the cause of his people. The Sudanese official said that Mr. Seyum was a great charismatic public speaker of clarity in his vision, as well as positive roles in strengthening the opposition. The Sudanese official added that the sudden death of Seyum was a shock for the Sudan and the friendlier Eritrean people. “I was really affected by the bad news as a human being because I had an excellent relationship with him; and I knew him from a nearby,” added the Sudanese official. “I could only say now,’ May God’ offers his family members strength to endure his pass away.”

Husien Khalifa, Chairman of the Executive Office of the EDA

Mr.Seyum was a patriotic who had contributed much in the struggle of his people and had exerted a great deal of efforts in different phases of the struggle course. He had great contributions in strengthening the opposition. He had grown up with nationalism from his childhood and devoted his entire life to the national cause. His contribution had a greater role in unifying the opposition. He had played a role that has enhanced and promoted the coherence of the Eritrean opposition. He was always on the lead of every effort done in the unification work of the Eritrean opposition. His pass away is a great loss for the Eritrean people, opposition and family.

Berhane Kidane(Henjma),head of the  Central Council of the EDA


First of all I extend my condolence to the family of the late, ELF-RC-, Eritrean Democratic Alliance and Eritrean people. His pass away is considered a great loss for the Eritrean people and opposition. However, we have to bear the message of Seyum and realize all the objectives that he had struggled for until death. Seyum was a distinguished leader whose loss has left a big vacancy in the opposition camp and we should fill this vacancy by a collective work in which Seyum had taken part in its formation. We have to take advantage of the things that Seyum had believed in. His death makes us work very hard to realize the hopes of the Eritrean people. Seyum had unique contributions in making true the umbrella of the alliance; and also had an effective role in enriching the Eritrean political arena.


Dr. Beyene Kedane, chairman of the National Congress

 If there were words to be said about the late Seyum, he had been always known by optimism at worst moments and situations. He was among the few who never give up hope because he had an optimistic perspective for future regardless of the differences that he had experienced with others. He was a person of a principle and attitude because he continued in his struggle principles at the time many others had decided to leave the struggle course being frustrated and depressed. All of us would pass away but what is unfortunate is that Seyum had passed away at the time the Eritrean opposition was in a desperate need of his presence. His death is a great loss for the opposition, national struggle and particularly his family. I call upon the opposition powers to continue the struggle which has witnessed quality transformation in the process of reconciliation and progress under the alliance to accomplish democracy and peace in Eritrea. It is very sad to be buried the late Seyum outside his homeland. This is the destiny which will face all opposition powers unless it changes the dictator regime.


Ahmed Mohamed Nasser, head of the external relations of the EDA.

Firstly, the event itself is very sad. We were shocked immediately after we heard the sudden news. The Eritrean people and opposition have lost one of the loud voices which were facing up the dictator regime in Eritrea. It is important to refer to his old history: he joined, in his early age, the Eritrean national struggle. He was characterized by steadfastness and firmness. He was imprisoned for ten years due to his political attitudes and freed in 1975 by the raid of ELF. He was always optimistic. We will keep for him these noble attitudes regardless of the political difference we had experienced. This is because differences in opinion never spoil cordiality for a cause.


Mohamed Taha Tewekel, director of the GIC.

Firstly I extend my condolence to the family of the late, ELF-RC, Eritrean people and opposition. Eritrea has lost a great leader whom I have known from a nearby. He was characterized by a rare courage which is acknowledged by his opponents before friends. I met him ten days ago and we discussed and evaluated past experiences and agreed to work together in the future for the interest of the Eritrean people. I found the late Seyum brave and forgiving as well as responsible and faithful in his discussions with me. He strongly believed that victory is inevitable and it will be achieved by the will of the Eritrean people.  I noticed, during the discussion, the carefulness of Seyum in strengthening the opposition.

His death is a great loss because he was a national rock on the wall of the opposition which had borne the values of the revolution. He had been firm in his attitudes and never had retreated from the line of the ELF since 1964.

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