• Issayas Tesfamariam

From Eritrea's File: 1958


Many people remember two main events in 1958 Eritrea: the labor and students (there were many at various times) strike. There was an other event that passed "quietly".

In a now declassified incoming telegram # 760 (March 8, 1958) from Addis Abeba to Washington (Department of State), the telegram states:

Reported discovery of surface oil deposits: AMCON Asmara reports much excitement

generated Eritrea by discovery of alleged surface oil deposits some 40 miles north

Massawa. Area concerned cordoned off by police and entry restricted to IEG (Imperial

Ethiopian Government) and Eritrean officials. Italian CONGEN is quoted as saying that AGIP

representative from Italy has advanced date his visit as result of discovery. Eritrean and IEG

officials reportedly already arguing question ownership of deposits.

Below is the declassified telegram





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