Ethiopia: Disorganization and Obsession in Afar Region

August 2, 2017:

Afar killil’s disorganization and obsession with distracting agendas TPLF/EPRDF thrives and extends its life span by creating distracting agendas, among other things.

In the last few weeks, its attention distracting line-ups included arresting corruption suspects, calling an extraordinary session of the parliament, promulgation of new taxes, controversial of Oromia-Addis Ababa partnership law and ambassadorial assignments, to mention only some. The situation in the Afar Killil (or “Qafar Rakaakay” as it called in the local Afar-af language) has been considerably worsened, if not entirely stymied, for the last two years by the same inactivity, disorganisation and manifold distracting agendas. A sort of crippling paralysis. They imitate the center by giving the public a couple of attention diverting agendas  just the central authorities in the capital city, Addis Ababa do. Now the Afar Killil officials are too busy preparing the Nations and Nationalities, and Peoples Day or Carnival in the region’s capital city of Samara. They have even sent a high delegation to neighboring Djibouti to beg for money for the said event. They have also coerced Afar pastoralists, who are dying of hunger, starvation, economic, social and health related causes, to sell their cattle or goats for event support.

Afar regional map, Ethiopia

So, there is no action taken against bad governance, economic and social injustice, power abuse and corruption occurring in the Afar Region, just as the central government do talk about corruption in the zonal and Woreda structures of the Region. By contrast, after TPLF supervised the 6th Congress of Afar National Democratic Party (ANDP) – (QADE) that took place in Abaala (Abqaala) in 2015, TPLF decided to give power to its QADE led by Suyyum Awal. Since that Congress, it has been stated again and over again that the Afar Killil is directly ruled from Mekele rather than from Addis Ababa as other Regions are. Soon after the 6th Congress of  ANDP, TPLF appointed Suyyum as a new President of the Afar region without election or due process with regard to the Afar people. Suyyum immediately gathers and surrounds himself only with kith and kin blood relatives whom he awards with lucrative positions and concessions upon the advice of TPLF. Suyyum and Ismail Sirro speak Tigrigna more fluently than Afar-af. Both of them served as Manjus and a child soldiers in the TPLF parlance. The similarities end there. Ismael showered favours on his loyal associates. Suyyum adorns his name with the religious title of Hajji while he made his career in the notorious intelligence apparatus of TPLF.

Highlighting that Tigray Regional State Parliament has been empowered to make laws and pass legislation that guarantees accountability of its executives and to check and challenge the work  of the Tigray Regional Government, Conversely, the Afar Regional Parliament  has  been made totally powerless in law-making and toothless in its powers of scrutiny, that check and challenge the work of Regional Council.

Last year, 2016, TPLF appointed educated and experienced persons for ministerial positions both in the Federal and Regional Governments, while no positive changes happen in the Afar region rather TPLF decided to re-appoint the same uneducated and unexperienced errand boys to rule the Afar region in order to control it politically, economically, socially and developmentally. Today, the Afar people live without freedom. They live in fear and insecurity. They are hungry and starving. Those who refuse to comply with the TPLF/EPRDF agenda, or those who are suspected of sympathizing with ARDUF, even allegedly, are arbitrarily arrested, subject to torture, executed unlawfully, and others denied even basic rights because of their political opinions or criticisms of the ruling cliques of the Afar region.

Under Suyyum rule, tribalism has been elevated to dominate state politics and controls how people think, talk, and work and it determines what they oppose or support. Intertribal rivalry fomented by TPLF and spearhead by Suyyum and his blood relatives. It has been reported that Suyyum is now is grooming Ali Gorbaais (GORBAAQIS) succeeding him. Afar Regional State Officials seem to be at war with their people, and deeply engaged in corruption and tribalism. The Afar people have no confidence in them. The regime has become a Police State. The main duty and obligation of Afar Regional State Officials is to spy on their people. In the Afar region, there is no independent judiciary. No oppositions. Not one single referral Hospital. No TV or Radio Stations. No Newspapers. No Cinema. No Post Office. No jobs for educated Afars. The Afar have nothing. Individuals who oppose the ruling officials are at risk of being arrested or face dismissal. They must keep their mouths shut about any questions they may have about the TPLF/EPRDF and ANDP/QADE. The practice of democratic governance, accountability, transparency and rule of law do not have a place in the in the Afar Regional State governing system.

The different opposition organizations in Ethiopia that are trying to build an alternative to the TPLF/EPRDF seem to be far away from bringing an end to the ethnic supremacy of one minority group over the Ethiopian people’s destiny. Of course, they are in the process of changing the balance of power in their favour. Coordinating the scattered upheavals and rising in unison and under one leadership is the forthcoming step that the Ethiopian people expect from them. We in ARDUF are more than ready to do our part in this process. ARDUF will continue its armed struggle against TPLF/EPRDF regime that is deliberately terrorizing, marginalizing, arresting and imprisoning the innocent Afar and non-Afar peoples of Ethiopia until the people of Ethiopia achieve and realise their inalienable right to build a just, democratic federalism that guarantees the self-determination of the Peoples of Ethiopia to  freely choose their destiny and freely plan, decide and manage their local political, economic and social affairs.


Long live the Struggle of Ethiopian people!



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