There is a perception among some Eritreans that we are not writing enough about our struggle for Independence, and that this has let the Weyane (TPLF), former Derg and Haile Selassie civilian and military officials and others to rewrite and disseminate a false version of it. Is it true or is it just a perception?
I think that some are not aware of how much the Ministry of Information dedicates its time and energy to the matter. Take for example "Medeb Kebhi Tarikh". This program on Dimtsi Hafash is a narration of the heroic defense and eventual victory of the EPLA against the many offensives launched by the Ethiopian army after the Strategic Withdrawals of the late 1970's. Our history is also told through the documentaries and interviews of those who participated in the various major operations conducted to liberate the country on EriTv, Eritrean newspapers and Dimtsi Hafash regularly . For example, all of these sources discuss about Operation Fenkil and have some programs related to it, come February. I have personally read, heard and watched programs of this kind and others about auxiliary operations and the role of individuals (in the EPLA and hafash), commandos, platoons, battalions, brigades etc. from the same sources. I can mention Mana's programs on the role of women fighters in these operations in her "Saida," and formerly "Norit" programs, to name at least one.
Of course there are so many untold stories worth telling. These will require individual efforts on the parts of the fighters who were in the Struggle and others. These stories are awaiting for someone skillful in writing their own stories, for writing is not as simple as telling one's story verbally. Stories from those who have no desire nor skills of writing stories can be compiled by other individuals. Students and graduates of history and languages might be the obvious candidates for such a task and those interested should consider doing so in order to keep them in books and documentary films for posterity.
Perhaps what compatriots who complain about not telling enough of our stories mean that there are no books directed towards Ethiopians, for they are the ones who have the tendency to revise our history. Here, we have to remember that the writers perhaps have the psychological need to legitimize their role in the colonization of Eritrea and the war waged against keeping Eritrea as part of Ethiopia for, we are told that these are former civilian and military officials. In addition, there is the need to deny one's responsibility and that you have lost the war. For these, as PIA would say, "We are not in the business of curing those who have mental illness!" They will continue what they want to say and it is not up to us to keep them quiet.
As for the Ethiopian masses, it was the peasants of Ethiopia who had to lose their children to the fruitless war against Eritrea. What they knew about Eritrea was almost nothing. Perhaps the present generation knows is a little more about Eritrea (In fact, I even dare say that MORE ETHIOPIANS TODAY ACCEPT ERITREAN INDEPENDENCE THAN EVER BEFORE!). Here too, I have watched some interviews with some high ranking Ethiopian soldiers telling truthful stories. (Even in the 1980's, there was a saying in Ethiopia: "Ke mekina, Ifa; ke wugia, Nakfa"! Translation: Of all trucks/lorries that have ever been made, Ifa is the worst; and of all battles that have ever been waged, there are none worse than those waged to takeover Nakfa! That was the Ethiopian perspective of then.)
No matter what Ethiopians write or say, a true historian or anyone interested in learning the truth will have to investigate both sides of any story. Those who think we should write for Ethiopian audiences as well as for others who might need to learn about Eritrea, should consider writing or translating the existing stories into the major Ethiopian languages and other languages such as English, French, German, Italian, . . . if we have the interest, time, patience and energy that it requires.
While we do what we consider is the best way to keep the truth about the past, we should also keep appreciating and making the best out of the peaceful and friendly conditions reached with Ethiopia, and keep the Weyane at bay!