1. This is his second time as a rebel
In the 1970s, Debretsion abandoned his university studies to join the TPLF’s insurgency against the Derg, a Soviet-backed junta of Communist army officers.
2. Rebel radio
Spotting his technical talents, his commanders sent him to Italy with forged papers. He returned to Tigray to establish the Dimsti Woyane (“Voice of the Revolution”) radio station in around 1980. It broadcast propaganda messages and educational programmes.
To avoid government detection, Debretsion and his teams set up radio antennae on mountainsides at night, using portable gear that they transported on donkeys and stashed in caves.
3. Believer in the power of propaganda and messaging
Debretsion recognised that winning the hearts and minds of local people was key to guerrilla warfare.
In 2008, he told a researcher: “Communication was central to our struggle, it was for us the
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