17/06/09 (B503) Point de vue. Contribution en Anglais d’un témoin (Ahmed Reyale) qui a parcouru les régions entre l’Ethiopie, l’Erythrée et Djibouti et qui a mesuré les difficultés rencontrées par les populations pastorales des deux communautés Afar et Issas // The conditions of the pastoral life and the environment degradation in Afar/Issa area

On 31 03 2009, I have traveled through the Assab-Isfalted road connecting Ethiopia to republic of Djibouti formerly known Afar/issa territory during colonial occupation. I have traveled about 600km from Djibouti ad I was passing through many villages situated along the asphalted road where some of them inhabited by Afar community population and some other inhabited by Issa community both communities are pastoralist and their livelihood dependence on animal and animal products which serves them as a substance economic.

Some Afar areas you can see some traditional forming with very limited agricultural out put but on the side of Issa community its very non-forming land since they are settled pit far from the Awash valley. In the absence of development projects from the stockholders the pastoralist under go a bad time and a good time as they describe it, the bad time is non raining and drought seasons where both human and livestock exposed to natural selection affecting negatively their natural growth in human and in livestock too.

For the villages the basic services like potable water, telephone communications and electric city are recently installed by the central government even though its ill functioning. Some villages who has no water wells the government providing a potable water with acute shortage of supplies using water thank transport.

Regarding the security
Since this road is vital to our export/import, the security was well protected by uniformed garde assisted by the communities every km there were soldiers observing any movement on the road. I have told the people whom I met them that assisting security body is their national obligation so they should be vigilant from any kind of bandits intending to interrupts smooth running road peration.

The trade inter course between the two communities sharing parallelly a long border territory does not exists up to know following existence of historical permetive animosity between the two communities and this is one of the serious challenges negatively contributing peaceful coexistence which could produce socio economics and cultural development if it has been introduced reconciliatory measures by the concerned people.

The process of historical trade exchange among the hetro-homogenous people enhancing their mutual cooperation incase intervened with a proper approaches by a philanthropist devoted for final elimination of traditional primitive war or clashes which became one of the hindering to civilized relations.

Recently some of Afar partners initiated a new peace proposals intended for durable peaceful coexistent between sisterly people, this initiated new proposals is now under consideration by Issa community and a positive outcome is expected in soon future.

Socio-economic situation

The economy occupation of the two communities are very poor and deplorable since their livelihood depends on livestock and livestock products which are not in growth disproportion or unbalanced with the population growth knowing the current environmental degradation the livestock growth and their productive depends on rainfall which diminishing a year after year so both people and their livestock are exposed to natural selection during non rainfall seasons and drought time period.

What is missing is from the areas are postural development projects suitable for them like irrigations, digging water wells and health assistance to both human and animals.

In fact after the inception of this democratic regime there are socio economic improvement on Afar regional state but unfortunately on the part inhabited by the Issa community remained an orphan area its to remember that the government cut off the area from Somali regional state administratively following persistent erritorial claim of the Afar regional state so it was placed under central government and to be administered jointly by some individuals from both two regional states and also being unqualified individuals they could not receive supports either from the two regional states nor from the central government which up to now failed to resolve the problem based on existing constitutional arrangements which provides only to referendum solution on contested areas.

The Afar position is against the constitutional arrangement (referendum) since they are not present in the area instead they their claim is based on history which is out side the constitutional order. The Issaʼs community repeatedly claiming their inalienable constitutional and democratic rights in which they share with the rest of the Ethiopian people. More than ten years we were in a state of deprivation of national rights deserved and obtained by the rest of all Ethiopian people.

They propose a durable solution to Somali regional state where they are belong to or to transfer all Issa zones to Afar regional state which they share with same territory up to Rep of Djiboutian once our constitutional rights seems deprived of by the central government.

The Issa leaving these areas are ready to accept both above options regardless of constitutional legality because simply they want to go out of hard-ship and daunting situations. Presently there are serious droughts and there was no rain for the last two years so the Issa community went deep to Afar territory looking water and pasture, so in certain area Afars reacted and engaged face-to-face clashes with Issa so my mission to the area was to dead down that tension among the people.

The Issa recognize his fault always pushing the Afar deep but we are in a situation of death or alive when droughts forced us from our areas. They told me that they will retreat when their area receive rain, before that our brother Afar must tolerate to us. Finally, it seems that the central government is indifferent to engage reconciliatory policy among the two communities, so the responsibility would lay on concerned people as a matter of fact.

Ahmed Reyale

For the extra information you can  take contact to this bellow contacting
E mail : reyale_71@hotmail.com
Tel : 00 32 (0)489 353 758  in Belgium

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