Ethio-Eritrean War: The Mission to Bring Back Sultan Alimirah.

In 1997, I was recalled back to Addis Ababa by then Prime Minister Meles Zenawi. At the time, Eritrea had just invaded the Ethiopian region of Badime. On the domestic side, unknown to me, the PM had a falling out with the Executive Committee of his party over the conflict with Eritrea. The PM wanted to resolve it peacefully, while the committee wanted to punish Eritrea. The disagreement boiled up enough for there to be an attempted arrest of Meles at a meeting in Mekele but with the help of his Chief of Security, Kinfe, he escaped. I met with PM Meles shortly after that incident, still unaware of what had happened, and he instructed me to bring The Sultan back to Ethiopia. At the time, the Sultan had quarreled with the administration and had gone to Saudi Arabia. Meles pleaded for the Sultan's return, promising to rectify any grievances he may have had. He promised the same for the now current Sultan, Hanfare. On my way to embark on this mission, I ran into my distant cousin, Mr. Niena Tahiro, and the then Minister of Federal Affairs, Mr. Bitow Belay. I told them about my mission, to which Mr. Bitow showed his strong disapproval. The interaction was actually not positive at all. I told him that I don't answer to him at all and  actually only answer to the Minister of Foreign Affairs. I was under strict orders from the Prime Minister and the Foreign Affairs Ministry. Mr. Bitow shared that they had sent many people to get the Sultan including Minister of Labor Hassan Abdullah, and his sons Osman and Omar and they were all refused. I walked away from Mr. Bitow quite upset, even refusing a drive from him. I eventually went to Saudi Arabia and, after 2 months, I succeeded in my mission to bring back the Sultan to Ethiopia before the official beginning of the Ethio-Eritrean War. The only acknowledgment I received was from Yemani Kidane who simply said, "you delivered." I learned that Mr. Bitow was not alone in his disagreement with bringing back The Sultan.The Foreign Affairs Minister was very much against it as well.   Unknown to me, I had entered his list of enemies. As for my cousin, Niena Tahiro, he warned me about Mr. Bitow that day, telling me that he was a dangerous and powerful man. Later on, Bitow sent Niena on a mission outside of Addis Ababa, where Niena is said to have unfortunately been killed by armed robbers.

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