17/01/03 (B181) Appel du comité exécutif du Forum Afar.(En anglais)

P. O. Box 260141, 50514 Köln, Germany

Ref. 01/03

Stuttgart, January 13,


The Afar people are not
only witnessing another famine but the current one by the account of the different
humanitarian organisations working in the region is one of the hardest and
the severest in memory. The cattle of the Afars have died, now it is the human
beings that are in the row to die in mass. It is ironic to witness when the
leaders of the puppet Afar Regional State are busy for the last two months
with their appraisal (Gimgema) meetings in the regional capital Aysaïta
to plot against the few hard working public service workers who could make
a difference to alleviate the imminent and clear present danger to Afars.
The irresponsible and incapacitated puppet regional state in Aysaïta
which is supported and pampered by EPRDF has not only disappointed the wishes
and aspirations of the Afar people for unity, democracy and development, however
imposing this useless regional government on Afars by EPRDF is proven to be
insulting the intelligence of the Afar.

This humanitarian catastrophe
is being compounded and getting worse every day because of bloody ethnic wars
that the Afars are being forced to fight with the neighbouring nationalities,
specially the war with the Issa-Somalis on the Assab/Djibouti-Addis Ababa
main road. Although this conflict that is taking high toll on both sides is
being fought under the cover of the fight for the meagre water resources in
the region, every day it is becoming more clear that this bloody war is still
part and parcel of the Greater Somalia claim to expand as far as the Awash
river, an attempt that failed in 1977/78 Ogaden War. On the other hand, it
is no more any secret that the Tigrai ruling in Addis Ababa considers those
ethnic wars as their main guarantee to stay in the saddle.

It is very important to
note that it is at this juncture that the central government is trying its
outmost to disarm the Afars from all their traditional weaponry without any
security guarantee from ever increasing killing committed to Afars by Issa-Somalis.
While the dismantling of all armed resistance of the Afar people such as ARDUF
(UGUUGUMO) has reached its final stage, one wonders what prompted people like
Mohammoda Gaas who has clearly demonstrated once again to be opportunist agreed
to the sell-out of the Afars to Woyane with no tangible benefit to the Afars
after all the scarifies and bloodshed paid by the gallant Afar people. It
is high time that the Afars should reject any settlement that does not benefit
the Afar people and the rest of Ethiopia. The Afars should say no to the so-called
opportunistic leaders who do not have a clear and undisputed vision for unity,
democracy and development. If this sell-out and sinister machination of the
EPRDF regime succeeds then the plight of the Afar people will get from bad
to worse both politically as well as humanly.

The Afar Forum denounces
the sinister machination of the EPRDF regime designed to worsen the plight
of the Afar people and further its inability to guarantee the security of
the Afar people from the indiscriminate killings committed by Issa-Somail.
Further, the EPRDF action to impose the so-called Afar regional leader who
is unable to lead and show any tangible progress for the last ten years is
a crime against humanity. Any action against the nation, which compromises
the safety, and its mere existence of its citizens, is considered a crime.
The people should have the right to elect leaders who truly represent their

The political environment
inside the Afar land is very volatile. The Afars are subjugated to unprecedented
suffering under the leadership of EPRDF and its regional puppet leader. Economically
the region and the people have been left to disintegrate bit by bit. Economic
developments are kept in abeyance deliberately. This unexplainable action
surprises even the supporters of EPRDF government. The people of Afarland
should not die of hunger while the Awash River runs through the Afarland.
Before the Military Government Derge, the Afars were able to engage in a very
lucrative agro-business, which the regional and EPRDF government now deny
them. There is no viable economic plan that is geared to increase health and
alleviate the backwardness present in the Afar region. These and other objectives
cannot be achieved when the Afar people are subject to be ruled by a person
who has no experience and the necessary education nor has a vision that can
lead the Afar people to over come its worst enemies such as backwardness,
dependence on hand-outs above all the security of its citizen for mere existence.

" The Afar Forum
denounces gross violations of basic human rights in the Afar Regional State;
" We call upon all democratic and peace loving people to expose the regimes
irresponsible, repressive, anti-democratic and dangerous policies and practices;
" The Afar Forum calls upon United Nations and African Union to directly
intervene before the situation ends up in unnecessary blood shade and loss
of lives;
" We appeal to international community for urgent assistance to the Afar
people facing severe crisis, and distribute food aid directly to famine victims
without the involvement of irresponsible and unreliable EPRDF regime.

Executive Committee of
the Afar Forum