September 2, 2016

55th Anniversary of the Armed Struggle for Independence Commemorated nationwide

55th Anniversary of the Armed Struggle for Independence Commemorated nationwide

Asmara, 02 September 2016 – The 55th Anniversary of Eritrea’s armed struggle for independence, launched on September 1st, 1961, was observed nationwide on Thursday this week. In a statement issued on this solemn occasion, the People’s Front for Democracy and Justice (PFDJ) underlined that the people of Eritrea were compelled to resort to armed struggle in 1961 to assert their inalienable national rights when all the vigorous legal, peaceful and political endeavours that they conducted in the 1940s and 1950s, in the heydays of Africa’s decolonization, were singularly ignored by the UN and the international community at large.

In this sense, September 1st (1961) symbolizes an extraordinary historical juncture in the annals of Eritrean history when the first freedom fighters imbued militant expression to the unequivocal desire, choice and political will of the Eritrean people for independence. Still, and as it is usually the case with any complex historical process, the heroic and arduous path embarked was characterized by formidable shortcomings particularly in the first decade.

Indeed, at the outset, the armed liberation struggle was not fully equipped in organizational and political terms to accomplish the envisaged objective. With the founding of the EPLF in 1970, however, the liberation struggle was put on the right track and managed to galvanize almost the entire Eritrean people around the lofty goal of national independence firmly rooted on the twin pillars of national cohesion and social justice. In the two decades that followed and despite overwhelming odds, the Eritrean armed struggle for independence thus became one of the prominent liberation movements in the world.

The long decades of armed struggle that the Eritrean people endured under the leadership of the EPLF have in turn nurtured core, indispensable, values of self-less dedication and perseverance. The people of Eritrea are proud of and cherish this heritage. The PFDJ statement further highlighted that the liberation struggle provided a robust platform for all citizens to rally behind a common cause irrespective of religious, ethnic, linguistic and cultural differences and social background. As a result, Eritrea’s armed national liberation struggle ultimately succeeded to vanquish its enemies; not because it enjoyed superior fire-power and men but on the basis of sheer commitment and resoluteness of the Eritrean people who rallied with one voice around the values described above.

The values and norms nurtured during the armed struggle for independence have also become pivotal foundations for the new generation to take up the torch and toil with utmost dedication to develop a civilized and modern nation. The fact is the Eritrean people continue to march, in unison, with exemplary social harmony and cohesion, to accomplish the multi-layered tasks of nation building amid incessant external challenges and adversities.

In this context, the PFDJ statement stressed that the external political, economic and security conspiracies waged against Eritrea in the past years have not been few or insignificant. But these hurdles have and continue to be scaled because of the staunch unity and solid political awareness of the Eritrean people. Preservation and constant enhancement of the critical attributes of national unity, equity and social justice is imperative for continued progress in any society, the PFDJ statement concludes.

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