Eritrean Liberation Movement (E.L.M.) Established

2 Nov, 1958

Azentawievent

Harekat Tahrir Eritrea, Mahber Show'Ate or Eritrean Liberation Movement (ELM) was established in November 1958 by five young Eritrean exiles in Port Sudan.

Founders of E.L.M. Founders of E.L.M.

Harekat Tahrir Eritrea, Mahber Show’Ate or Eritrean Liberation Movement (ELM) was established in November 1958 by five young Moslem Eritrean exiles residing in Port Sudan. The group included Mohamed Said Nawud, Saleh Ahmed Iyay, Yasin el Gade, Mohammed el Hassan and Said Sabr. They were all in their in their twenties and without prior affiliation to the political parties of the earlier decade. They were conscious of the harmful effects of the religious divisions which had pitted Christian against Moslem in the 1940s. Being close to the Eritrean-Sudanese border, Port Sudan was ideally suited for flow of news, arms and people. The principal leader was Mohammed Said Nawud.  He had contacts with the Sudanese Communist Party (SCP) which was well organized for that time.

Influenced by the SCP, the ELM organized clandestine cells through out Eritrea and Ethiopia. Each cell would consist of seven members (and hence Mahber Show’Ate, “fellowship of seven”) and each member was instructed to recruit six others to form a new cell. For this reason, the movement spread in the towns of Eritrea.

The first cell was formed by Yasin el Gade, a tailor from Asmara, after he returned from Port Sudan.

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