Tension in the Afar Regional State of Ethiopia

The People of Afar condemns the indiscriminate and extra judiciary killings of 12 innocent civilians
The People of Afar condemns the indiscriminate and extra judiciary killings of 12 innocent civilians

By Africa Intelligence,

TENSION is running high between the population of the Afar Regional State and the central government run by the ruling EPRDF following the violent repression of Afar civilians by the federal police. The incident took place in the town of Awash, 160 km from Addis Ababa, on 20 April.

According to some witnesses, there were around twelve victims. Civilians had blocked the road from Addis Ababa to Djibouti for several hours to protest against the frequent bandit raids against their livestock. According to them, corrupt members of the federal police turned a blind eye to these raids. 

An Ethiopian army general came to negotiate with the demonstrators. He promised them that the federal police responsible for the repression would be put on trial and that he would deal with the security problem in the zone. He then had the federal army deployed in Awash and the surrounding area.

However, a meeting on this issue between Afar elders and representatives of the Ethiopian government did not finally take place. For their part, some hundreds of students from the nursing college and the University of Samara, capital of the Afar Regional State, held a demonstration on 23 April to protest against the Awash repression and more generally against the fact that Afar land had been seized in Doubté, near Samara. About a dozen demonstrators were arrested and put in prison.

On 21 April, federal police spokesman Abebe Worku played down the incident and denied that any civilians had been killed. However, eyewitnesses confirmed that the federal police had indeed killed Afar civilians.

Confrontations like this are a frequent occurrence in this region, where Afars oppose being expelled from their ancestral land, being displaced and the shortage of water points for their livestock along the River Awash. So far, all their complaints to the federal authorities have been to no avail.

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Stop Military Aggression Against Civilians in Afar Region of Ethiopia!


Afar People’s Party (Qafar Ummattah Party)

Afar People’s Party (Qafar Ummattah Party)
Afar People’s Party (Qafar Ummattah Party)


THE ongoing atrocities committed by the TPLF/EPRDF regime are reaching the limit in Ethiopia in general and that of the Afar region in particular.  April 20, 2014 the regime instigated conflict flared around Awash killing 12 Afar civilians. This act of state terror was committed by the federal polis. Outraged by this act of terror, the civilians in Awash blocked Addis Ababa-Djibouti road causing stop for all goods coming from Djibouti port demanding the removal of corrupt army from the locality.

Likewise, in March 2014 the militia of the Tigray Region besieged Konnaba district in North West of the Afar Region, which also ended in blocked road to Tigray Region until today. As usual, the Afar regional officials seem to be paralyzed to act on behalf of the Afar civilians. Hence, TPLF/EPRDF regime and its army should be held accountable for the brutal crime against humanity. Since Woyane seized power in Ethiopia, the Afar population is harassed, humiliated and hundreds of them have been killed by the army throughout these years.

In addition, displacement of thousands of Afar pastoralists continues due to land grabbing for Woyane affiliated investors in vicinities Afdera, Dallol, Teru and along the Awash Valley.The pastoralists have been evicted to desert areas without access to water and other facilities.

Afar People’s Party condoms the killing of the civilians, forced displacement, land grabbing, social injustices with strongest possible terms.

Afar People’s Party also shares the concerns of Horn of African analysts who indicate that the situation in the Afar region could lead to a civil war and destabilize Ethiopia. We encourage the civilian to continue their peaceful demonstrations to denounce the state terror in different places for the coming two weeks.

•   We call on the army to immediately end the act of terror on civilian!

•   We call on Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch and Journalists to investigate the situation in Afar regional state.

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3 thoughts on “Tension in the Afar Regional State of Ethiopia

  1. Afar Forum condemns killings of innocent civilians

    April 22, 2014

    Press Release

    The Afar Forum strongly condemns the indiscriminate and extra judiciary killings of innocent civilians on April 19, 2014 near the Awash city. The federal police of EPRDF/TPLF killed 12 innocent civilian indiscriminately including a pregnant woman who was crying on the dead body of child who gunned down by the brutal federal force. This blatant disregard for human life is the hallmark of the ERPRD/TPLF military force trained to kill rather than to protect. It’s indisputable fact that these kind brutal military actions have previously been reported from all regions throughout Ethiopia. Particularly, the victims of the aggression in Ogaden, Oromia, Gambela, Amhara and the 2005 massacre in Addis Ababa and elsewhere in the country are still fresh in our memories.

    The statement from the federal police spokesperson Ato Abebe Worku, who even do not know how to pronounce the name and the location where the incident took place, down played and denied the killing of innocent civilians. However, eyewitnesses confirmed the indiscriminate killings of unarmed civilians by the brutal federal police. As a result, the people who live in the area closed the Djibouti –Addis Ababa road to show their frustration, continued harassment and indiscriminate killings of unarmed Afars by the brutal EPRDF/TPLF forces. The government has threatened the civilians from further demonstration in Afar region and warned, those who demonstrate would be convicted as terrorists.

    Under the rule of EPRDF/TPLF the Afars are subjected to continued killings and detention for opposing eviction from their ancestral land, displacement from water points along the Awash River, for crossing the Djibouti-Addis Ababa road without causing interruption. Since April 1991 the EPRDF/TPLF forces have killed countless innocent Afars without due process. There is an ongoing displacement of the Afars from the fertile Awash River basin to more hostile areas where there is no water and grazing for their cattle. Attempts by Afar elders from all the five Zones to appeal their situation, lack of justice and due process to the so called federal authorities has fail on deaf ears.

    The continued inter ethnic conflict between the Afars and Somali/Issa/Hawiya which is often instigated by the federal forces has claimed hundreds of lives in the last decays and continues to harm both the communities. The EPRDF/TPLF government has totally failed to bring a lasting solution to the conflict and to secure the security and safety to the people of the Afar region.

    We call upon the Ethiopian people, political organizations and the international community to condemn the continued incriminated killings of the Afar by EPRDF/TPLF forces and advocate for the right of indigenous Afar people who are endangered nationality within the areas they live.

    Afar Forum

    Stuttgart, Germany, April 21, 2014

  2. The evil woyane has already colonized Alamata , Humera, and part of Afar Region. In all these areas, the indigenous population are evicted by force and resettled somewhere else. This is irrefutable facts.

    It was with the same intention that the evil woyane attempted to create facts on the ground by illegally issuing cartography that located Badme within tigrai , and thereupon, forcefully evicting our people from the area, ignited border skirmishes.

  3. The Weyane, Killing is not limited to Afar people. Weyane is committing Genocide in Ogaden, Gambela, and even in its region Tigray thanks to its Masters the USA and UK Aid Fund. otherwise Weyane would not survive one day late alone commit those killings.

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