10/07/09 (B506-B) Communiqué émis par APP – Afar People’s Party et relayé par AF (Afar Forum) avec une note d’accompagnement – (En Anglais) publié au seul titre de l’information.

____________ Note d’accompagnement signé par AF (Afar Forum)

Once again the Afar Forum does not subscribe nor endorse any political organization in and outside of Afar land. However, Afar Forum will inform Afars with news that will affect their lives. Therefore we are distributing the attachment for your review.

We encourage a debate on the formation and declaration of Afar People Party. we except the discussion to be with civility and constructive. Have your say.

Make your voice to be heard.

________________________________ Communiqué

The declaration of Afar People’s Party (APP)

Ethiopia is home of diverse nationalities with different cultural and religious ties, which is an asset rather than a burden, if it was not for the past and present political suppressions and social injustices. Afar people are part of this mosaic and play a significant geopolitical- and economic role in the making of Ethiopia.

Nevertheless, their democratic rights have been abused by successive governments of the country. All governments have had a persistent strategy to control the Afarland as well as its economic resources by systematically excluding the Afars from decision making and participation.

They have been marginalized from getting proper education and healthcare. Consequently, many of government led exclusive policies and investment projects have been counter productive and many of these ended in failure. Among some examples to be mentioned are the previous Awash Valley Authority (AVA) and the present Kesem-Tendaho Sugar cane plantation projects, which proven to have a devastating impact on human, livestock and environment of the Afar Region.

The present socioeconomic and political atmosphere in Ethiopia in general and in Afar region in particular has reached unbearable level, where poverty, corruption, injustice and nepotism prevail. The bogus Afar Regional State ruled by handpicked Woyane loyalists supported by massive military settlement has suffocated the daily life of Afar people.

Thousands of innocent pastoralists have been harassed and their livestock has been killed repeatedly by aggressive military actions.

Yet, no one has been held accountable for these gross human rights violations. All critical voices have been expelled from their jobs, detained or forced to leave the country. Furthermore, all political parties have been forced to merge into a single entity dominated by Woyane loyalists.

The summations of the above disgruntlements resulted in the establishment of Afar People’s Party (APP) with vision to bring about a sustainable democratic system in the Afar region. Beyond, APP is committed to take part in the struggle to bring about a democratic system in Ethiopia. Political principles APP aspires to build an inclusive and a full-fledged Afar regional state within democratic Ethiopia. Hence, APP works towards to provide the framework for a comprehensive and integrated approach to alleviate multiple challenges the Afar people face.

These are based on building strong democratic political system that enhances socio-economic development in Afar region. APP will bring about a political system that fosters the principles of good governance, accountability and transparency. Every individual or group will be protected equally by law, regardless of ethnic- and religious affiliations. Individual and group rights, in terms of freedom speech, freedom of press, and freedom of assembly will be a cornerstone of our party. APP opposes any form of military suppression and harassment of civilians.

The economic principles

APP shall restore the rights of the Afar over their resources, revenues and services. APP will promote free market economy with social responsibility, and shall work hard to improve the situation of the Afar livestock sector. Special focus will be on empowering the economic situation of the Afar women and making them a development partners.

Social Principles

APP will restore positive Afar social and cultural heritage and opposes any assimilation policies. APP will invest on education system that target pastoralists. APP will see to it to invest on primary health care system that support maternal- and child healthcare, vaccination system with preventive public health approach. Additionally, adequate veterinary services will be implemented through mass education.

Environmental policy

The Afar region is the most hardly hit part of Ethiopia by environmental degradation and desertification. Thus, recurrent drought and starvation threatens the livelihood of the pastoralist community. APP will promote sustainable environmental policies that prioritize food security and reforestation in the region.

Promote peace and work for mutual respect APP is committed to develop good relations with opposition groups in Ethiopia, neighboring peoples, and states based on mutual understanding.

APP aspires to act as a bridge for peace on the Horn of Africa.

APP demands:

– A fair and free democratic election in Ethiopia!

– The removal of the hand-picked bungling and corrupt rulers of the Afar region and their Woyane masters!

– The TPLF must stop its unlimited involvement in the Afar region through its stooges in the region!

– Remove all military settlements in the Afar Region which harass on the main highways, along the state farms on the Awash valley and Afdera Salt Lake!

– We call upon all international community to examine the critical situation of the Afar in Ethiopia!

The Executive Committee
July 8, 2009
E-mail: afar.people@yahoo.com