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Category Archives: Kindersoldaten

I joined the field in 1981 when I was twelve years old. I was born in Asmara, but later I grew up in Tokhombia, Gash Barka. There were ELF fighters around me, but I always wanted to join the EPLF. First because I have two brothers who have joined the EPLF, and my feelings were always going with my brothers … I was a member of the Kayehti Sahel, so I joined them …. My military training was in Arag, it was in 1981, between 1981 and 1982. We had one year military training. Military training was okay with me, because since I have accepted that my country has to be liberated, I had to .. I must accept every hardship that might come with the military training or whatever. The only thing I didn’t like was the picking up of firewood. … There was no academics. We had to do the same (as the adult fighters). Because we were so small (in numbers), there was no different training. So I was doing everything, the Fitoraris [amharisch = ursprünglich amharischer Adelstitel, in der EPLF als Bezeichnung für die minderjährigen Jugendlichen im Trainingscamp benutzt. - d.V.], whatever the fighters were doing, as cleaning weapons, and .. putting the things together, so there was no difference. … After I finished my military training, I was assigned to the 51st batallion at Gumbar Nacfa. At Harima. Because I was very young, I had never attended war. I was just going around with them, gaining experience, knowing what they were doing. But in 1984 [im Alter von 15 Jahren, d.V.] I became a real combatant fighter. I started fighting in 1984, so I came to Tessenei. There was a .. so in Tessenei while I was fighting, I was head injured and backbone injured, and I was disabled. From 1984 to 1991 I stayed with the disabled.”

Dieses Interview führte Quehl am 24.11.1998 mit der weiblichen Person „T.”.

  • Quehl, Hartmut: Kämpferinnen und Kämpfer im eritreischen Unabhängigkeitskrieg 1961-1991 – Faktoren der Diversivität und der Kohärenz – Eine historische Untersuchung zur Alltags- und Sozialgeschichte des Krieges. Band 2, 2.2.3.2. Die Gewöhnung an das Grauen des Krieges. Felsberg, 2005, S. 83.

Farbliche Hervorhebungen stammen vom Autor des Blogs.

“I joined the EPLF in 1986. I was 13 when I was recruited. Before I was recruited, I helped my mother at home. My village is distant from the towns, fighters come and go from my village. I didn’tknow anything…. They (the fighters) found me at Adi Kefelet, my mother’s village. There, they came at night and took us. There were Ethiopian soldiers (army) in that village. In fact, I went there to escape the recruitment. The Ethiopian army saw them (the fighters) but they kept quiet. Maybe they were afraid. On our way to Shelalo, on foot, we met the Ethiopian army. The fighters left us (the recruitees) in a valley and confronted the Ethiopian army. The intention of the Ethiopian army was to take us, the recruitees, but they failed. Some of them were wounded, others died and the rest went away. There were so many of us. We were from the two villages of Adi Kefelet and Adi Gebray. Our journey was on foot up to a village, near the Sudanese border. From there, we travelled on (lorries) trucks. Because it was our first time for such a long journey and there were battles everywhere, we were afraid. There were some who managed to escape. They would bring us food but we had bread (injera) which we had taken from our village. When we gathered outside of our village, our parents came and brought some bread to each of us. Even the fighters gave us biscuits. My parents came and asked them to give me back because I was too young. The fighters said, ‚don’t worry, [s]he will grow up there.”

Dieses Interview führte Quehl im Mai/Juni 1998 mit der männlichen Person „L.H.K.”.

  • Quehl, Hartmut: Kämpferinnen und Kämpfer im eritreischen Unabhängigkeitskrieg 1961-1991 – Faktoren der Diversivität und der Kohärenz – Eine historische Untersuchung zur Alltags- und Sozialgeschichte des Krieges. Band 2, 2.1.8. Formen von Zwang. Felsberg, 2005, S. 52.

Farbliche Hervorhebungen stammen vom Autor des Blogs.

“I learnt until 5th grade in Gezabanda and then in 1977, I joined the field to the EPLF. ….. I also was compelled to join the field for I used to see much oppression or even the genocides of the 1975. All these things compelled me to join the field. I was very young about 13 or 14 years old.

Dieses Interview führte Quehl im Jahr 2000 mit der weiblichen Person „D.F.”.

  • Quehl, Hartmut: Kämpferinnen und Kämpfer im eritreischen Unabhängigkeitskrieg 1961-1991 – Faktoren der Diversivität und der Kohärenz – Eine historische Untersuchung zur Alltags- und Sozialgeschichte des Krieges. Band 2, 2.1.5. Zivile Erfahrungen von Krieg und Gewalt. Felsberg, 2005, S. 33.

Farbliche Hervorhebungen stammen vom Autor des Blogs.

I went to the field while I was 15 years old. … We all (in our whole family) joined the EPLF not the ELF. My brother, the one who is now martyr had taken me to Asmara for school while I was 10 years old. He lived in Asmara. He, however, went to the field in 1977. Then, I also followed him after a while. First, I went to Himbirti to join the EPLF, but then they told me that I was too young to join them. Then, I went to Debarua and joined the ELF in Mendefera. I had one uncle who was the only one in our family to join the ELF …..”

    Dieses Interview führte Quehl im Jahr 1999 mit der weiblichen Person „N.A.”.
  • Quehl, Hartmut: Kämpferinnen und Kämpfer im eritreischen Unabhängigkeitskrieg 1961-1991 – Faktoren der Diversivität und der Kohärenz – Eine historische Untersuchung zur Alltags- und Sozialgeschichte des Krieges. Band 2, 2.1.6. Rekrutierung durch persönliche Beziehungen: religiöse, tribale, blutsverwandtschaftliche Verbindungen und persönliche Bindungen. Felsberg, 2005, S. 40f.

Farbliche Hervorhebungen stammen vom Autor des Blogs.

“In 1974, I joined the ELF. Of course there was national feeling though I was small. I had a brother working underground to the EPLF. I used to read the papers/leaflets he had. Then I began to be affected. The problem was, however, every outlet was closed that we could not join the struggle. Lastly however I joined the ELF when I lacked other alternatives. I didn’t care (whether it was ELF or EPLF), only I knew that the struggle was all about destroying the enemy. … I was 14 years old studying the third grade.

    Dieses Interview führte Quehl im Jahr 1999 mit der männlichen Person „S.I.”.
  • Quehl, Hartmut: Kämpferinnen und Kämpfer im eritreischen Unabhängigkeitskrieg 1961-1991 – Faktoren der Diversivität und der Kohärenz – Eine historische Untersuchung zur Alltags- und Sozialgeschichte des Krieges. Band 2, 2.1.6. Rekrutierung durch persönliche Beziehungen: religiöse, tribale, blutsverwandtschaftliche Verbindungen und persönliche Bindungen. Felsberg, 2005, S. 40.

Farbliche Hervorhebungen stammen vom Autor des Blogs.

“I am Nara [eritreische Volksgruppe, d.V.]. I joined ELF in 1975. (I used to) hear about the struggle and war before (I) joined ELF, … though I was young I was hearing about the outset of the struggle in 1961. Fighters used to come at that time. … They were telling us that the struggle was being waged to free our country and that the people should join the struggle and fight the enemy. … I used to hear that Dngus Arey and the others were making up there around Dieda. But I can’t certainly say what year it was…. At that time (in 1975) many persons were going to the field and I did like that. I was alone when I went to the field. I didn’t tell my parents…. they would have told me to learn, because I was small. That was why I went without telling them. I knew that the fighters were in a place called Girda and I reached there in one day. They were of Dngus Arey. They were saying it was a battalion and it wasn’t clear as it is now. Anyway be it a company or battalion we called it as Dngus Arey’s force. They told me that I would be trained in the unit and later receive my Kalashnikov and fight.”

    Dieses Interview führte Quehl am 15.05.1999 mit der männlichen Person „A.M.A.”.
  • Quehl, Hartmut: Kämpferinnen und Kämpfer im eritreischen Unabhängigkeitskrieg 1961-1991 – Faktoren der Diversivität und der Kohärenz – Eine historische Untersuchung zur Alltags- und Sozialgeschichte des Krieges. Band 2, 2.1.5. Zivile Erfahrungen von Krieg und Gewalt. Felsberg, 2005, S. 37f.

Farbliche Hervorhebungen stammen vom Autor des Blogs.

“Between 1961 and 1963, I used to move between my country and the Sudan. In 03/1964, I came back from the Sudan and joined the revolution. I was deployed to the platoon of Omar Ezaz – Initially they had told me that I should return home because I was young. But then they accepted me when Omar Ezaz came.

    Dieses Interview führte Quehl am 10.03.2000 mit der männlichen Person „M.A.F.”
  • Quehl, Hartmut: Kämpferinnen und Kämpfer im eritreischen Unabhängigkeitskrieg 1961-1991 – Faktoren der Diversivität und der Kohärenz – Eine historische Untersuchung zur Alltags- und Sozialgeschichte des Krieges. Band 2, 2.1.5. Zivile Erfahrungen von Krieg und Gewalt. Felsberg, 2005, S. 37.

Farbliche Hervorhebungen stammen vom Autor des Blogs.

I joined the ELF in 1967, and I was only 13 at that time. […] I started to understand the situation when I was 12, because at that time the enemy was burning villages and killing people. […] So starting from 1965 I started to develop national feelings…. (When I joined) ….I was together with four friends.”

    Dieses Interview führte Hartmut Quehl am 02.06.2000 mit der männlichen Person „I.”
  • Quehl, Hartmut: Kämpferinnen und Kämpfer im eritreischen Unabhängigkeitskrieg 1961-1991 – Faktoren der Diversivität und der Kohärenz – Eine historische Untersuchung zur Alltags- und Sozialgeschichte des Krieges. Band 2, 2.1.5. Zivile Erfahrungen von Krieg und Gewalt. Felsberg, 2005, S. 30.

Farbliche Hervorhebungen stammen vom Autor des Blogs.

„Aus beiden Fronten finden sich Nachrichten, dass Kinder ihren Vätern folgten: sowohl in ELF als auch in der EPLF fanden sich Beispiele von zwei Generationen von Tagadelti aus der gleichen Familie. [Tagadalit = Kämpfer (Sg.) - Tagadelti = Kämpferinnen und Kämpfer (Pl.) - Wort kommt aus der Tigrinya-Sprache, die in Eritrea gesprochen wird. - d.V.] Und schließlich gab es in der Kindergeneration Fälle, in denen Kinder von Tagadelti in den Lagern der Organisation verblieben, dort aufgezogen und zur Schule geschickt wurden, und so Schritt für Schritt in das Tagadelti-Leben [i.e. Kämpfer-Leben, d.V.] hineinwuchsen.”

  • Quehl, Hartmut: Kämpferinnen und Kämpfer im eritreischen Unabhängigkeitskrieg 1961-1991 – Faktoren der Diversivität und der Kohärenz – Eine historische Untersuchung zur Alltags- und Sozialgeschichte des Krieges. Band 2, 2.1.5. Zivile Erfahrungen von Krieg und Gewalt. Felsberg, 2005, S. 41.
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