Information on the Kefean Patriotic Front (KPF), including its leaders, aims, and activities and influential members inside and outside Ethiopia including the United States of America [ETH26118.E]

According to a professor of law at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, who is familiar with Ethiopian politics, the Kefean Patriotic Front (KPF) was formed in the late 1970s and early 1980s (7 Feb. 1997). The KPF is based in the Gondar region near the border with Sudan (ibid.). The source explained that "Kefean" is an Amharic word signifying "I am unhappy or discontented" (ibid.).

The source explained that Gondar region strategically placed because of its proximity to Sudan, which was supporting various opposition groups during the struggle to oust the Mengistu regime (ibid.). The KPF was formed by farmers in the Gondar region who were unhappy that several political movements opposed to the former government of Mengistu Haile Mariam, were operating in their area. Among these groups wre the Tigrayan People's Liberation Front (TPLF) and the Ethiopian Revolutionary Party (EPRP), and the Ethiopian Democratic Union (EDU). The fact that these groups were operating in Gondar made the KPF a target for government harassment. The msource stated that Gondar region was also targeted by Sudan and the TPLF because the KPF was a patriotic group and strongly opposed to secession (ibid.). He added that the KPF initially tried to expel the TPLF, EPRP and EDU from Gondar, but it failed because "it was not a very powerful group" (ibid.).

The current Ethiopean People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) government, the majority of whom are members of the TPLF, have reportedly incorporated the province of Gondar into Tigray, further intensifying the KPF's displeasure (ibid.). Consequently, the KPF has joined other groups and is engaged in armed resitance against the government (ibid.). The present government has imprisoned certain KPF members, and its leader, Kidane Mariam, was killed by the government (ibid.). The source adds that the KPF has members in Sudan, Europe and the United States (ibid.).

According to a 4 January 1997 The Indian Ocean Newsletter article, the KPF is an armed militia based in Gondar (4). A majority faction within the KPF has reportedly joined the Ethiopian Unity Front (EUF), a new opposition movement that proposes to establish " a democratic Ethiopia where human rights would be respected within the framework of a pluralist system" (ibid., 3). Acccording to this source, the KPF faction that joined the EUF includes elements operating in Ethiopia and Sudan, but not those in the United States (ibid.).

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the DIRB within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum.


Professor of law, College of William and Mary Williamsburg, Virginia. 7 February 1997. Telephone interview.

The Indian Ocean Newsletter [Paris]. 4 January 1997. No. 747. Ethiopia: New Armed Opposition Pole."


The Indian Ocean Newsletter [Paris]. 4 January 1997. No. 747. Ethiopia: New Armed Opposition Pole," p. 4.