AIDAN HARTLEY, ANALYST, “These were urban boys who had been raised with some privilege in Addis Ababa and to find themselves living out in the hills of Tigray with no money, no resources, in fear of their lives, relying on the local peasantry to sustain them, and yet to continue the ideological debate because I know that that happened is almost, it’s an extraordinary legend….this handful of students brought their ideas out into the wilderness of northern Tigray and that they relied on the local peasantry to feed them, to sustain them, until they decided that it was time to begin the insurrection and they did this by raiding one police station where they picked up several guns and they were able to begin raiding passing traffic and to recruit people.”
It was in the mountains of Tigray that Aidan Hartley, then a young reporter for the news agency Reuters, got to know the rebels - and Meles.
AIDAN HARTLEY, "I met a very unassuming, quite young man. He looked like a café-ole Lenin. And he was smoking quite heavily, that’s what I remember from my first meeting with him. I had no idea who he was and he said “my name is MelesZenawi and you’re going to go to Tigray, starting tomorrow and good luck”.
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