18/01/03 (B181) Communiqué d’Afar Revolutionary Democratic Unity Front (ARDUF) en anglais que nous publions à la demande de cette organisation.

An official Statement of
the Afar Revolutionary Democratic Unity Front on the current issues.


UGUUGUMO had its inception
at the end of 1979 in Afar reaction to TPLF’s aggression in the village of
Barahle in which a number of Afars were killed. Since that date TPLF has left
no stone unturned in trying to destroy and annihilate UGUUGUMO and crush the
legitimate struggle of Afar people. After TPLF came to power in Ethiopia in
1991, the regime declared war on ARDUF and its army, the UGUUGOMO. A sustained
ground and air military offensive coordinated with EPLF (SHABIYYA) forces
was launched to eliminate our fighting forces on several occasions. The infamous
letter of President Issays to Meles Zenawe in 1997 about the allowance given
by the Eritrean government for the hot pursuit of ARDUF fighters in the village
of Badda is one example of the alliance between TPLF and EPLF.

Their coordinated policy
to annihilate UGUUGUMO continued till the rupture between the two sisterly
organizations in May 1998. Because of this development our organization had
not only gained a breathing space but also gathered momentum to accelerate
its activities. UGUUGOMO not only emerged stronger, but also was able to extend
its activities to far away places in the Afar region. We were able to protect
the defenseless Afar civilian in places as far as Awash Valley from the Issa-Somali
intrusion. Our gallant army and the Afar people at large, however, made heavy
sacrifices to score these victories.

When it became clear that
the use of force was not effective, the EPRDF leader adopted a new tactic
to achieve their old objective; to weaken and if possible to dismantle ARDUF
from within. Mr. Mohamooda Ahmed Gass, a member of our central committee and
representative of Europe, volunteered to implement this plan by defecting
to EPRDF regime. It is to be remembered that we announced the defection and
surrender of Mr. Mohamooda in our statement issued on October 21, 2002. At
that time our organization gave a statement that Mr. Mohamooda A. Gass had
been removed from all his positions and responsibilities. Mr. Mohamooda since
his surrender has announced at several meetings in Mekelle his willingness
to accomplish the mission of dismantling ARDUF from within. In a recent statement
in December 11, 2002 in the name of our Central Committee the same renegade
announced that UGUUGUMO had undertaken the "political transformation
of ARDUF from armed struggle to a peaceful and democratic struggle with the
idea of forming a political party that contends democratically for State power
in the Afar Region".

Mr. Mohamooda A. Gass
was able to lure a dozen of our fighters and organized them into a faction
that surrendered to the enemy. His statements are also designed to confuse
our supporters and international community at large by giving the impression
that ARDUF has given up its struggle, and has joined the EPRDF regime. It
is true that Mr. Mohamooda A. Gass has not only given up the struggle, betrayed
ARDUF’s programme and objectives for which many fighters sacrificed their
lives, but also his recent actions have proved that he has sold his soul to
the highest bidder. Mohamooda before his departure to Mekelle was negotiating
with the regime to surrender to SHABIYYA in order to be appointed as the governor
of Assab, a title that he lost when SHABIYYA occupied Assab in 1991. It is
to be remembered that Mohamooda was the first secretary of Derge Essapa in
Assab Autonomous Region before joining UGUUGUMO in 1995.

The TPLF leadership under
Meles has already forced the Red Sea Afar Democratic Organization (RSADO)
to join the ranks of the Eritrean Opposition Alliance. Disarming the UGUUGUMO
fighters is the second step in Meles Zenawi’s plan of disarming all the Afar
resistance forces. The motto "THE RED SEA BELONG TO THE AFARS" under
which these two Afar resistance organizations fought was anathema to the Eritrean

The EPRDF regime is now
preparing to take desperate and barbaric measures to exert pressure on UGUUGUMO
forces that has ignored the defeatist faction’s call for surrender. It is
also planning a major military offensive against Afar civilian in the name
of fighting UGUUGUMO forces.

We would like to take
this opportunity to inform the Afar people in particular, the Ethiopian people
in general and our supporters and the international community that ARDUF is
intact, and reaffirm that our struggle against the dictatorial EPRDF regime
will continue with vigour and determination until democracy and justice prevail.

We promise to our people
and the Ethiopian people that this futile and desperate attempt to divide
ARDUF will fail just as other attempts has failed.

Revolutionary Democratic Unity Front