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Stop the ethnic cleansing of Afar in Eritrea!

Tigrai Online - June 02, 2013

Tigrai Online - Eritrean president cracking
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Advocating for the Rights and Dignity of the Red Sea Afar in the Horn of Africa

Brief History of Red Sea Afar People

The Afar are one of Africa's linguistic and culturally homogenous indigenous people who have lived since ancient times in what is now known as Ethiopia, Eritrea and Djibouti.  Most of the approximate three million Afar continue their traditional way of life as indigenous pastoralist nomadic people engaged in animal husbandry, fishing, trade and salt mining. The northern region of the Afar’s traditional homeland (Dankalia) lies along the coastline of the Red Sea in what is now Eritrea.  The Afar have successfully shielded themselves and protected their land from colonization and occupation by controlling and governing Dankalia for centuries - until recently.

Occupation and Displacement Policy of Eritrean Regime

The current Eritrean regime has been systematically targeting the Red Sea Afar people in order to remove them from their homeland along the Red Sea and colonize the area with others.  This area is known to contain vast potash deposits and other precious metals including gold.  Dankalia's coast is also significant geopolitically and it includes the country's two main port cities of  Assab and Massawa which are economically strategic to the regime’s continuation.

To remove the Afar, the Eritrean regime uses mass murder, terror, intimidation, assimilation and other forms of violence. The regime is destroying the basis of the Afar economy, culture, language and way of life. The Afar are fleeing Eritrea to Ethiopia and Djibouti by the tens of thousands. Nearly three-quarter of the more than 600,000 Afar living in Eritrea prior to independence have left Eritrea since the crackdown began in the early 1999. 

Following its creation in 1991, the Eritrean regime confiscated all land which rendered the Red Sea Afar people landless with no rights to their ancestral and indigenous lands, territories and resources. The Eritrean government is now selling and/or leasing these resource-rich  lands to mining companies such as Nevsun Resources of Canada (gold) and South Boulder Mines Ltd. of Australia (potash) as well as to foreign governments including the Gulf state of Qatar, without the consent, recognition or knowledge of the Afar people.

(Mega Potash Mininig Project in Cullili, Eritrea)

These land transfers are part of an in-place official policy to re-settle 1.5 million highlanders on the Red Sea coast as the highlands are thought to be no longer able to support a large and growing population. The plan includes the creation of a tourism industry in indigenous towns such as Galalu, Tio and Ingle Island (Dassie) after displacing the indigenous Afar.  Behind this crude and catastrophic plan lies the Eritrean regime’s unspoken policy: "The Afar are illiterate. They are backward. They are using old fishing practices. They are not modern. We'll stop them because industry has no hope of modernizing if they control it".  (Multimillion USD hotels and condos Project)

Protecting the Red Sea Afar from Genocide

The United Nations has imposed economic sanctions on Eritrea in recognition of the regime’s use of wanton violence throughout the state. Canada is not only a party to these sanctions but has gone further by expelling the Eritrean Consul General from Canada for collecting a wholly illegal and immoral toll on Eritreans living in Canada; failure to pay the toll frequently led to harassment or worse of family relatives in Eritrea.

Canada and the U.N. must do more to alert the world to the specific plight of the Red Sea Afar.  The Afar Diaspora around the world can only do so much.  It is time for Canada and Australia to stop protecting their mining companies operating in Eritrea on the backs of political prisoners and forced labour.  It is time to stop Eritrea’s regime by removing their economic engine.  It is time for the community of civilized nations to confront this dictatorial police state by setting the stage for a new democracy. It is time for those Eritreans who have committed crimes against humanity to be charged and tried in The Hague.


Help us bring President Isaias Afwerki and the following individuals responsible for ethnic cleansing of the Afar people in Eritrea to justice.

  1. Maj. Gen   Humad Mohammed “Karikare”, Navy
  2. Major General GerezgiherAndemariam” Wutchu”, Army
  3. Maj. Gen   Haile Samuel “china”, Army
  4. Col.  Ahmed  Mohamed Ali (Wadi-Halima), Navy
  5. Tesfamariam Hagos (National security intelligence Head in Dankalia,)

More Information:


RSADO Foreign Mission - PO Box 35051 - 1309 Carling Ave., Westgate Mall, Ottawa, ON K1Z 1A2
Email: info@rsadomission.com - Website: rsadomission.com -Tel: 613-266-0929 - Fax: 613-656-5323

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