Mesfin Hagos was born in Quazien, Eritrea. He was a founding member of the Eritrean People's Liberation Front (EPLF) in 1977. Before founding that organization he had joined the Eritrean Liberation Front (ELF) in 1966 as an ordinary member. He eventually would become Deputy Commander of ELF Zone 5. Mesfin Hagos left the ELF in 1970 with Isaias Afewerki. Mesfin Hagos was a part of the founding leadership of the EPLF. Mesfin Hagos briefly served as the Chief of Staff in the EPLF. He was one of the commanders of the battle of Af'abet that destroyed the back bone of the Ethiopian army. In the middle of that battle, he was ordered by Isaias Afwerki to retreat to Nakfa but he turned off the radio message and liberated the town of Afabet. In the election for the Presidency, he lost to Isaias Afewerki by one vote. After Independence he led a mutiny of soldiers but was later appointed and confirmed as Eritrea's first Minister of Defence. In 1995 he stepped down from his post and became the Regional Administrator of the Southern Region. In 2001 he joined the G-15 which among other things suggested the constitution of Eritrea to be implememnted and undertake presidential election.
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