09/06/11 (B607) Communiqué en Anglais de AAA (Afar Alliance Action) pour présenter le compte-rendu de la réunion qui s’est tenue à Whashington à propos de la situation des réfugiés érythréens et à laquelle participait AAA.

Eritrean Human Rights & Refugee Crises,Symposium in Washington DC in May

The Afar Action Alliance { AAA} was invited and participated the May 28, 2011 Symposium held in Washington DC regarding the Eritrean refugee crisis.

On the conference, the Afar Action Alliance delegates made a comprehensive and convincing presentation on the condition of the Afar refuges and provided information on the root cause of the crisis and challenges the Afar refugees are facing in Ethiopia. The conference participants included various organizations whose work is to assist refugees, Eritrean intellectuals and
civic societies.

It is evident that thousand of Afar refugees from Eritrea who are in Ethiopia in the Afar Regional State did not get equally opportunity and treatment like other refugees by UNHCR. The camps that the Afars live in do not have adequate facilities such as clean water, medical facilities, and schooling for the children.

Almost all the refugees live under a shed in an open desert. Furthermore, the UNHCR field representatives and officials failed to make effort to go to the location where these refugees are located and make assessment of the condition and recognize the Afar refugees because they meet the conditions stipulated under the Geneva Conventions. UNCHR must offer full recognition to Afar refugees and treat them equally like all other refugees from Eritrea who settled in Ethiopia, Tigray Region.

In regard to resettling the Afar refugees to third country under the UNHCR mandate did not materialize so far despite appeals to UNHCR HQ in Geneva. No Afar refugees are given the opportunity to resettle in third country like thousands of refugees from other nationalities and regions in Eritrea. Afar refugees from Eritrea who are lingering in the desert must be recognized and UNHCR must offer these refugees equal treatment like other refugees.

The Afar Action Alliance has amplified and expressed the need to support the Afar refugees for recognition as refugees, for better facilities and treatment by UNHCR. All the participant of the conference agreed to advocate for Afar refugees and highlight their predicaments on various forums and media.

Afar Action Alliance is a an advocacy group who is committed to work for the disadvantaged Afars and strength civil society where all the Afar live divided in all the three the countries Eritrea, Ethiopia and Djibouti. We in the Afar Action Alliance believe we have strong moral obligation to those Afar refugees who are suffering under horrible conditions.

We would like to thank CanGo Afar, the Afar Forum and Afar community of Minnesota for their huge participation in the Symposium, and for giving us information on Refugee situation. We would also like to thank the Eritrean Global Solidarity for inviting us to this symposium. More specifically, our heartfelt thanks go to the following participants:

■ Dr. Bereket H. Selassic, a distinguished professor of African Studies and Law at the University of North Carolina
■ Dr. Yonas Mehari
■ Mr. John Stauffer, the American Team for Displaced Eritreans
■ Mr. Michael Andegeorgis, the Law Office of Michael Andegeorgis
■ Dr. Tricia Redeker Hepner, Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of Tennessee
■ Ms. Sigal Rozen, Public Activity Driector for the Migrant Workers Hotline, Israel
■ Dr. Yebio Woldemariam, Professor at York College of the City, University of New York
■ Dr. Yordanos M. Tedla, Physician

And we also would like to thank the following invitees:
• Action against Hunger (AAH)
• Catholic Relief Services (CRS – USCC)
• Doctors without Borders
• Food for the Hungry International (FHI)
• International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)
• International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC)
• International Organization for Migration (IOM)
• Islamic Relief USA
• International Rescue Committee (IRC)
• Overseas Development Institute (ODI)
• Oxfam
• Refugees International