The Devastating Loss of Berhane Wold Gabriel

Written by: Ali Mohamad Saleh - former Eritrean Diplomat

Through life one meets some people who tirelessly serve their communities and societies.

برهاني ولدي غبرييل

The late Berhane Wold Gabriel, aka, Sudan Now, who passed away on Monday, 26 October 2020 from short illness is one of those few.

The late Berhane is known to so many people in London. I knew him so closely. I found in him all the good traits: a proud Eritrean, a dedicated servant of his nation and people. All his virtuous traits are crowned with immense humbleness and human outreach. I had visited him in his sickbed with Ustaz Ali Hindi two weeks before his untimely death, that was, sadly, the farewell visit.

Berhane W. Gabriel worked for Sudan Now weekly in Khartoum during the seventies, he established remarkable work relations with the Sudanese intellectuals and used his wide relations to introduce Eritrea and its cause to his colleagues. Earlier, he also taught in Port Sudan before leaving for settlement in the UK.

In London he established the Eritrean Enterprise for Publishing and Printing which has become an active partner for Initiative for Change the supporting NGO of this Eritrean association. In the dynamic course of this association many symposia have been hosted and organized, they inter alia, include:-

• A symposium on the Eritrean-Ethiopian relations after the death of Prime Minister Meles Zenawi;

• A symposium on the prospects of change in Eritrea with the active participation of former EPLF members;

• He also hosted many Eritrean and foreign intellectuals to address national and regional issues.

Berhane W. Gabriel had been active in extending humanitarian assistance to Eritrean refugees. He had visited Calais refugee camps several times. He also lent a hand during the tragic Lampedusa Catastrophe which claimed the lives of 360 refugees. He was also present in helping the Eritrean refugees arriving from Libya.

In the Eritrean anti-dictatorship opposition, Berhane W. Gabriel played an indispensable role in bringing together political parties, organizations and individuals his reconciliatory role was publicly hailed. He had participated in the recent Eritrean Council for Democratic Change conference in Sweden to facilitate the dialogue between member organizations and parties.

Needless to say, the devastating loss of Berhane W. Gabriel will leave a vacuum which cannot be filled among the Eritreans in London and elsewhere.

The late Berhane Wold Gabriel is survived by three sons and daughter.


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