Haile “Durue” Woldetensae

Haile “Durue” Woldetensae devoted his life to the Eritrean cause, and was an active veteran of the struggle, responsible for mobilizing and persuading others to join the struggle.

Haile Woldetensae had devoted his life to the Eritrean cause, and was an active veteran of the struggle, who served as the former head of political affairs for the Eritrean People’s Liberation Front and politburo member since 1977, where he was responsible for mobilizing and persuading others to join the Eritrean struggle. After independence, he served the nation as Minister of Foreign Affairs during the 1998-2000 border war with Ethiopia and was the Minister of Trade and Industry until July 2001. In June 2001 he openly defied President Isaias Afwerki and gave a press interview calling for reforms. He was fired from his cabinet position and subsequently arrested for signing the G15 open letter demanding government reforms. The authorities have since refused to acknowledge his detention since 2001 and his fate or whereabouts are unknown, meaning he remains forcibly disappeared.

The African Commission on Human and People’s Rights ruled in November 2003 that G-15 dissenters arrested in September 2001 in Eritrea, which includes Haile Woldetensae, were being held in arbitrary and unlawful detention. It called upon the Eritrean government to release and compensate them. The Government of Eritrea has ignored the ruling and the G-15 members arrested in September 2001 remain in detention.