Resolution of Afar Forum
The Afar Forum (AF) conference held in Brussels on 22-24 October 2010, under the theme the current development, challenges of the Afar people in the Horn Africa: Reflections on the past and the way forward attracted a great number of delegates from across the Afar Diaspora in Europe, USA, Canada and NGOs from the Horn Africa countries and opposition groups from Eritrea, Ethiopia and Djibouti.
Governments from these countries were invited, however only representative from Ethiopian Embassy attended. The conference provided a forum for politicians and policy makers, academics, researchers and Afar Diaspora to discuss the issues which have adverse influence on the development of Afar people, and thereafter to make recommendations for the future development work.
The first day of the conference programme was concentrated on academic papers presentations, while the second day focused on Afar political parties, NGOs and on the socio-political situation of Afar people. The last day was focused on the way forward i.e. to enhance building partnerships, to recognise the role and contribution of the Afar Diaspora, to strengthen the Afar forum, and consecutively to be partners in solving the regional challenges. Overall, this year conference was a huge success and unique due to the quality and quantity of the academic papers presented as well as the number of delegates from various organisations.
Taking into consideration the challenges the Afar people is facing, the conference has given priority to strengthen and increase the capacity of the Afar Forum to respond more effectively to these challenges and made the following general recommendations:
- To strengthen the existing Diaspora communities/associations to be more effective, and further to establish a platform through the Afar Forum for all Afar communities to coordinate their efforts to support and become development partners in the region
- To encourage establishment of more Afar NGOs in Diaspora
- The Afar Forum to create and improve the communications among the Afar Diaspora.
The conference discussed the Afar situation in Ethiopia and acknowledged the development efforts the Afar regional state made so far, however highlighted the shortcomings and made the following recommendations:
- Afar Forum calls for respect of the boundary of Afar regional state territory and calls upon the Afar regional state to publish a map. Such undertaking may help to evade current conflicts between Afar and the neighbouring nationalities
- The governments of Ethiopia and the Afar regional state to take decisive actions to alleviate the intra-clan conflict in Afar area particularly around Zone 3 and address the root cause of these conflicts
- Conflicts related to land grabbing and displacement should be properly addressed and its impact on the Afar pastoralists should be assessed accordingly
- The Afar regional state to assume its constitutional right and fully implement the use of the Afar language as an administrative language
- To release all political prisoners languishing in the prisons of Afar region without due process
- Ethiopian Federal army to stop harassment and repression of Afar pastoralists along Djibouti Addis Ababa main road
The conference discusses the situation of Afar in Eritrea and expresses deep concern about the situation and made the following recommendations:
- AF demands the Eritrean regime to stop the systematic mass displacement of Afars from costal area of Eritrea and to stop social engineering and demographic change in the area
- AF denounce the current violation of human right by the Eritrean regime and demand to implement the rule of law in the country
- The Afar Forum commends Eritrean Government for using the Afar language as education medium in primary schools however demand the right to exercise the Afar language as administrative language in Afar area
The conference discussed the situation in Djibouti and acknowledges that in the past the situation in Djibouti was relatively better compared to other states in the region; however the conferences expressed serious concern about deteriorating of human right and the deepening of inequity between the ethnic groups in Djibouti in the recent years. Consequently, the conference made the following recommendations:
- AF demands the Djibouti regime to stop the violation of human right in general and the right of Afar people in particular
- AF demands to stop the ethnic based marginalisation and social injustice projected by the Djibouti regime toward the Afar population in the country
- AF Demands the regime in Djibouti to stop interfering and fuelling the conflict between Issa and Afar in Ethiopia, and instead AF demands the regime to promote peace among these brotherly ethnic groups
Finally, the Afar Forum made the following appeal to the international community, human right organisations and NGOs to support the Afar people struggle for peace, democracy, equality and justices:
- The Afar Forum calls upon the international community to recognise the Afar Refugees in the Horn of African states and provide them with necessary support as refugees in accordance with UN declaration
- AF Calls upon international community to assist Afar refugees in Ethiopia with immediate assistance due the grave situation in the refugee camps
- Afar Forum calls upon the international organisations to help and support grass root Afar NGOs
- Afar Forum calls upon the UN to acknowledge Afar as Indigenous People and to protect their right according to UN Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
___________________ Communiqué N°1 – Objectifs
AF e.V., Sparkasse Stuttgart
Objectives of the Afar Forum.
Objectifs du Forum Afar
1. The Afar Forum should be a free dialog platform for all Afars.
2. Freely discuss the social, economic and political situation of Afar people and make its contribution to promote a better understanding and sustainable development in the region.
3. In emergency cases, it provides aid assistance and works with NGOs and other friends of Afars to reach this goal.
4. In conflict situation within Afars and neighboring nationalities, be instrumental to find a peaceful means to solve the problem. Further the AF will be active in peace building and encourage co-existence and co-operation in the region.
5. Overall Afar Forum works towards a peaceful co-existence and sustainable development in the Horn of Africa that in turn improves the life situation of Afar people.
6. The Afar Forum advances public and awareness creation regarding the plight of Afar people.
7. Promotes Afar cultural heritage and establish network among the Diaspora.
8. The Afar Forum Association is neither denominational nor political; it follows exclusively the goals of its statute.
__________________ 2 – Réunion des membres du comité exécutif,
le 18 juillet 2009 à Stuttgart (De)
The purpose of the meeting was:
To discussion what the AF in Germany reached so far and what the next step forward should be.
At the end of meeting it is determined that:
The registration of the AF as an Association, as advised and proposed in the Brussels meeting, is completed in the month of May 2009. The Objective of the registered AF Association, which the original is written in German language, is translated in English and attached for your information.
The AF account is opened at the Commerzbank Stuttgart, Germany:
Account No 551108400
BLZ 600 400 71
As proposed and decided at the AF association foundation meeting in Stuttgart in December 2008, membership contribution should be Euro 5.- or equivalent in other currencies, a couple of AF members made their yearly contribution and others are to follow. This membership contribution amount could be adjusted or confirmed when the next AF meeting will take place in 2010.
Having determined the above points the AF in Germany
Would like to officially inform all AF friends and members that the AF is registered as an Association in Germany and that the AF account is opened as stated above.
Advice that the AF members in the various countries in Europe and America , organize themselves and elect their executives.
It is Proposed that those elected executives form various countries shall meet, through various means of communication to elect in return the Main AF Executive of AF. This elected Executive body then be the official body that will representative AF in all its official duties; the body will Chairman, Vice Chairman, Secretary, Treasury and Auditors. May also have an extended executive members, like study groups. This executive body will then be replaced or confirmed at the AF meeting which is planned to take place in 2010. When and where the meeting will take place should be coordinated and decided by the Main AF executive to be elected now.
We believe that the Afar Forum should not waste time and wait until another meeting, like the one In Brussels in October 2008, take place and elect its leaders. Due to the fact the Afar Forum member and friends in Diaspora are spread all over the world, it would be very effective if the AF members in each county are organized so that faster communication and action takes place within the various leaders. . The AF Executive may appoint individual in various countries to recruit and facilitate membership.
The Afar Forum in Germany has fulfilled the task which was proposed and advised by the Brussels AF meeting in October 2008.
The Afar Forum Association is officially established in Germany with its office in Stuttgart and also opened an account.
The executives entrusted with registering AF Association in Germany has completed its assignment that is necessary to fulfill the legal requirements, In future, the current executive of the Afar Forum in Germany shall be accountable as all other Afar Forums executives in the various countries are accountable to the Main Afar Forum Executives.
We hope to see and hear from friends, members of the Afar Forum make comments to our proposal or submit a better suggestion for further discussion.
We dont want to stay on the spot!
We want and need a progress forward!
By the way, the current executive members of Afar Forum Germany are as follows:-
Mohammed Ahmed Dini, Chairman
Omer Haish, Vice Chairman
Mohammed Ali Ibrahim, Treasury and
Abdulkadir Taha, Secretary.
Yahya sommade and Hassan Moussa are elected as Auditors.
Dear all as promised we have but together hastily for you leaders of red sea afar people
to give you updates on struggle and will brief you conference and resolution and recommendation , a call for solidarity and way forward to reach our ultimate goal of self determination for red sea afar in Eritrea.
THE ROOM NAME IS « peace justice and prosperity for afar »
time 10am Eastern(north-america), 5pm ethiopia,djibouti & 4pm most of europe
I have also tried to include the urgent Topic( issues) in afar region , Like Sugar cane and Issa conflict And other development in the region , the leaders of afar region are currently in 15 day conference in Debr Zeit. Unfortunately they could not attend this Saturday but showed great interest of meeting you all, will approach them on next convenient date.
First of all make sure you have a paltalk scene. If you don’t have it, you can download it free from www.downloadpaltalk.com
Once you get the paltalk you will have to create a nick name, in this case we prefer your actual name because of the related issues that we r going to discuss.
–once you enter the « paltalk scene »
—– click on the « action » on the top bar
—– then on drop down menu click on « join chat rooms »
—– then scroll down & click on « social issues & politics »….Category
—– then click on « human rights »………………………………….Sub-category
—– scroll down till you locate room « peace justice n prosperity for afar »
then double click
For More Info You can Contact Jamal at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you All.
Ahmed Y Mohamed
kidnapping of eight Ethiopians and five Europeans at the beginning of March
has put spotlight on Afar region and the people who inhabit this remote area.
The five Europeans were released after about two weeks when Afar elders successfully
negotiated with the rebel group that abducted them. The release of the eight
remaining Ethiopians recently has been once again secured as the result of
crucial role played by the Afar elders, and their successful effort has been
recognized by the Ethiopian authorities.
The Afar diaspora right from the beginning has been working unyieldingly to
secure freedom of all hostages. We are very delighted that it is all over
and all hostages are back to their homes and loved ones safe and sound. We
would also like to extend our thanks and express our appreciation for all
who contributed to their release and particularly the Afar elders who successfully
negotiated the peaceful end of the hostage drama.
Meanwhile, both Ethiopian and Eritrean governments continue to keep the Afar
society as hostage in their ancestral homeland and abuse their fundamental
human rights. As have been highlighted in our previous Press Releases of 25
March 2007, the root causes of the Afar dissatisfaction and resentment include:
broken promises by successive Ethiopian rulers in the center that resulted
in ever increasing marginalization of the Afars
and micro management by the ruling party through appointed puppets
monopolization of the Afar salts concessions by Tigray merchants and officials
the sustained military campaign by Somali-Issas against the Afar nomads
in the west
of fertile land around Awash River ( for expansion of Tandaho and Saburre
sugar industries) resulting in forced displacement of hundreds of thousands
Afar Forum reiterates its call
- Upon all human right
organizations, the international community, all the peace loving people
to put pressure both on Ethiopian and Eritrean governments to respect
the basic human rights of the Afar people and stop immediately atrocities
being committed against them
- Upon Ethiopian and
Eritrean governments to release all prisoners of conscience (hostages)
without any preconditions
April 30, 2007
kidnapping in remote Afar region has attracted enormous media attention, and
many things have been said about the Afars as result. Some News Agencies like
Reuters depicted our people as barbaric and we only deplore this kind of misinformation.
The Afars to the contrary are people very known among their neighbours for
their hospitability and for even dying to defend their guests. It is now becoming
clear that the kidnapping was not motivated by ransom or robbery as have been
speculated by some observers, but a politically motivated act aimed at sending
a signal to the Tigrean ruling parties who are in control of state power both
in Ethiopian and Eritrea that marginalize the Afar people and use their natural
resources for their private gain.
The freeing of the five Europeans kidnapped at the beginning of this month
is a relief and good news. The Afar community in Diaspora was suffering with
both kidnapped ones and their relatives during their hard times. Its
why some Afar organizations in Europe appealed for the immediate release of
the hostages. We are now very concerned about the eight Ethiopians who still
remain hostage, and call upon ARDUF to release them without delay.
We would like also to express our appreciation for the Afar elders who successfully
negotiated the release of the kidnapped Europeans, and request them to continue
their engagement until all remaining hostages are released. We would also
like to use this opportunity to call upon Ethiopian and Eritrean governments
to release all prisoners of conscience (hostages) without any preconditions.
Root causes of the problems in Afar areas that cause popular wrath
The marginalization of the Afar people in terms of basic development and services,
while their resources are exploited by Tigrean elites in both Ethiopia and
Repeatedly broken promises by successive Ethiopian rulers, the latest of which
is denial of the self-government granted by the constitution of the Federal
Republic of Ethiopia
The forced upon partition of Afars between Ethiopia and Eritrea which also
resulted in dismantling of Assab Autonomous Region
High-handedness and micro management by the ruling party through appointed
puppets by conducting fake elections hailed at times as progress of democracy
by some Western countries.The current puppet regional government that was
hand picked by TPLF officials has been imposed upon the Afars for more than
a decade (13 years)
Confiscation of thousands of hectors of fertile land along the Awash River
which have tremendous consequence on their livelihood. The Sugar Plantation
and Sugar Factory on 200 000 hectares in the lower Awash Valley, and grabbing
of Afar land in Upper Awash Valley for similar purpose are some examples
Continuous appropriation of fertile Afar land for the benefit of high ranking
TPLF officials and merchants of Tigray origin
Monopolization of the Afar salts concessions in places like Asale and
Afdera mainly by Tigray merchants
The sustained military campaign by Somali-Issas against the Afars to which
the ruling party turns a blind eye or encourage at times
Confiscations of Afar land along the Red Sea coast by Shabia officials and
control of the fishing business by the government officials and their relatives
Arbitrary detention of hundreds of Afar politicians, intellectuals, and merchants
in Eritrea who have now been detained for more than a decade
The Afar Forum which is mad up by Afar Diaspora calls upon all the
human right organizations, the international community, all the peace loving
people and specially upon the countries of origin of the hostages that were
freed by Afar rebel group to put pressure both on Ethiopian and Eritrean governments
to respect the basic human rights of the Afar people in both countries and
stop immediately atrocities against the Afar people.