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Eritrean Liberation Front


Eritrean Liberation Front

Eritrean Liberation Front
Participant in the Ethiopian Civil War, Eritrean War of Independence and the Eritrean Civil Wars
Flag of the ELF, also UN given Flag of Eritrea (1952-1962)
Active 1961-present
Ideology Eritrean nationalism, Marxism-Leninism (1971-1982), Social conservatism (1982-present)

Idris Mohammed Adem (1961-1975) Ahmed Mohammed Nasser (1975-1982) Abdella Idris (1982-2011)

Hussein Kelifah (2011-present)
Headquarters Khartoum, Sudan
Area of operations Ethiopia (1961-1991), Eritrea(1991-present)
Allies Eritrean People's Liberation Front (1970-1972, 1974-1980), Cuba (until 1975), Syria, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Sudan
Opponents Eritrean People's Liberation Front (1972-1974, 1980-present), Cuba (1975-1989), Derg, Workers' Party of Ethiopia, People's Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, TPLF, Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia
Battles and wars Ethiopian Civil War
Eritrean War of Independence
Eritrean Civil Wars
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of

The Eritrean Liberation Front (ELF) was the main independence movement in Eritrea which sought Eritrea's independence from Ethiopia during the 1960s and 1970s.


  • History 1
  • Today 2
  • Groups that are splinters of the ELF 3
  • Organizations affiliated with the Eritrean Liberation Front 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6


In the late 1950s, unorganized political movement seeking independence was secretly active as small cells. And in July 1960, the ELF was openly established in Cairo by Idris Muhammad Adam and other Eritrean intellectuals and students. In 1961 Eritrean liberation front-Revolutionary Council, led by Ahmed Nasser, the Eritrean liberation front-Central Leadership, which eventually united in 1987 with the Eritrean People's Liberation Front, and the remaining faction led by Abdalla Idriss retained the original name. When Eritrea did gain independence in the early 1990s, the People's Liberation Front changed into the People's Front for Democracy and Justice with the addition of former ELF members while the balance became a small rebel group in the nether reaches of the Sudan.


The contemporary ELF is a member of the umbrella opposition alliance in Eritrea, the Eritrean National Alliance.[1] They are apparently now receiving military support from Ethiopia and from the interim government of Somalia based at Baidoa.[2]

Groups that are splinters of the ELF

The Eritrean People's Liberation Front in 1970. The 1982 Rasai Incident led to a split between the Abdellah Idris faction and Ahmed Mohammed Nasser's Eritrean Liberation Front-Revolutionnary Council. Ahmed's group was then affected by another split with the creation of Eritrean Liberation Front-Central Leadership around Idris Toteel and Zemheret Yohannes.

Organizations affiliated with the Eritrean Liberation Front

  • General Union of Eritrean Students
  • General Union of Eritrean Workers
  • General Union of Eritrean Women
  • General Union of Eritrean Peasants
  • Eritrean Red Cross and Red Crescent Society


  1. ^ "An Interview With Dr. Yohannes Zeremariam". Retrieved 2006-09-15. 
  2. ^ "Ethiopia troops head for Baidoa". BBC News. 20 August 2006. Retrieved 2006-09-15. 

External links

  • List of incidents attributed to the Eritrean Liberation Front on the START database
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