Radio Erena: 21 Januray 2015
Eritreans for a democratic change and justice throughout the world observe the second anniversary of the mutiny executed by high commanders from the country’s defence force at the country’s Ministry of Information, which is popularly known as Forto, on the 21st of January 2013.
Several Eritreans are marking the anniversary on social media by reflecting on the mission, otherwise called the ‘Forto Mission’ by posting poetry, cartoons, songs or various other arts. Most of the Eritrean opposition websites, on their part, are also seen to have dedicated their today’s programming in reflection of the 2013 ‘Forto Mission’.
The Forto Mission was orchestrated by two top dedicated commanders – Colonel Salih Osman and Colonel Ali Hjay, accompanied by 100 armed members of the defence force armoured with two tanks and put the Ministry of information under siege demanding the implementation of the 1997 ratified constitution and the release of all political prisoners.
Radio Erena had also broadcasted the breaking news live to the world at the time.
Although the government of Eritrea denounced and belittled the mutiny , which had lasted from 10 O’clock in the morning till 9 in the evening local time, it’s cadres were seen to twist the news saying the executers of the coup were motivated by Islamic fundamentalism ideologies.
While Col. Said Ali Hjay heroically died during the operation , Col. Salih Osman was coerced by the government in to asking for a pardon in a public statement in front of several members of the defence force saying he was pressured by some members of the government to execute the mission.
Following the mutiny , the government cracked down on many from its administration who are believed to have played a part in planning and executing the Forto Mission and thus imprisoned the PFDJ campaign manager – Mr. Abdela Jabir, the Minister of Fisheries and later Minister of Mining – Mr. Ahmed Haj Ali, the administrator of the Southern Region – Mr. Mustofa Nurhusien, and many other military officers and leaders of various PFDJ institutions.