The 44th anniversary celebration of Nakfa liberation

The national calendar of Eritrea is full of remembrance and observance days that provides a benchmark to look back, look forward and compare. National celebrations help us to reinforce our sense of history, identity and foster collective national memory. Toward that end, the anniversary of Nakfa liberation is celebrated by Eritreans annually on March. This national ritual of observance is an occasion to recall, recognize, and appreciate the patriotic achievement of the freedom fighters of Eritrea. This year for reasons of the pandemic it did not celebrate as usual.

Eritreans have fought for liberation without distinction of religion, sex and ethnicity. Throughout the armed struggle for independence (1961-1991), the life and resources of Eritreans have been channeled for the creation of an independent nation. Under extreme unity and discipline, we fought for thirty years and died for independence during the era of Haileslasie and Mengistu regimes in Ethiopia.

The people of Eritrea paid sixty-five thousand martyrs as a tribute to get independence. When the independence and sovereignty of the country was threatened by the TPLF aggression in 1998, additional twenty-one thousand martyrs were added to the long list of martyrdom to maintain the independence and territorial integrity of the country. To keep and advance the commitment of all the heroes and heroines fallen in Nakfa, Sahil, Halhal, Barka, Semhar and many other places, more heroes and heroines were fallen in Alitiena, Belesa, Badme, Burie, Tsorona, Zalambesa and so many other front line places. Both the old and new fallen heroes have absolute faith on Eritrean compatriots of their age and succeeding generations. Eritreans are aware of and shoulder their responsibility to what the martyrs do to the dignity and sovereignty of the country.

In Eritrea, national celebration and remembrance to historically important events have become a tradition and one way of giving appreciation and recognition to the heroic actions happened in the past. Those occasions, far more than fun time, they have become events of commitment renewal. Our national celebration events have become a means of expression of conviction to strengthen commitment and participation in national development programs. This year on its 44th anniversary of liberation Nakfa did not host a big national celebration due to the corona virus.  

During the last independence years various development projects have accomplished in and around Nakfa to heal the wounds of colonization. Last year the government funded a ten million Nakfa cost worth project to solve the water problem in the town. A well was dug in ‘Wegriet’ and fifteen kilometers of water pipe line was extended. In addition to that, with the collaboration of the Eritrean defense force and the inhabitants of Nakfa a dam designed to make water shortage a history was constructed. PFDJ cadre school, Wina technical school, Tsabra boarding school, a high school and various elementary and junior schools were constructed in Nakfa after independence. Standardized hospital was also present in the heart of Nakfa. Besides that, a study has finalized to undertake massive road construction and rehabilitation.

Nakfa is historically an important town located 1730 meter above sea level, 135 kilometers from Keren to the North. Nakfa is one of the nine sub regional administrative centers of Northern Red Sea region, bordering with Qarora to the north, Adobha to the west, Afabet to the south and Qamchewa to the east. In the past independence years, the government has provided schools, hospital, potable clean water, water reservoirs, electricity and other basic social service infrastructures that impacted deeply to the life of the people.

Simon Weldemichael

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