Role of Afar Nation- Between Brokering Peace and Protecting its Identity
ERITREAN AFAR NATIONAL CONGRESS(EANC)
Whether facing off against the colonialism of the late 1880’s or the Soviet/USA backed African rebellion, the indigenous people have been traditionally trampled under the feet of the great powers (Elephants) of the time. Even more so for the indigenous Afar, with a prime coastal land, with geostrategic significance and precious resources deposits, the region has been prone to frontline conflict and marginalization. Today as regional powers vie for dominance and control of access to the sea and strategic territories, the indigenous Afar are once again trampled under the feet of these battling elephants. These proud and fierce resistance fighters were the first to confront colonization of their coastal lands and helped bring the end to colonialism in the 1960’s. For generations, the Afar Nations of the Horn of Africa have been systematically oppressed and marginalized by regional powers they once fought to protect. The Afar territory’s geostrategic significance and the wealth of untapped resources have been a curse rather than a blessing.
In Eritrea, the indigenous Afar are in crisis. Eritrea has been in a war footing since its independence. Eritrea initiated conflicts with all its neighbors even those across the red sea. The country has isolated itself internationally and become known as a reclusive state and a repressive regime. Eritrean regime uses the pretext of “no-war, no-peace” to repress domestic policies. The country has kept its people in thrall. In the name of state building, the Eritrean government has established a police state. In Dankalia, the traditional Afar homeland, Eritrea has begun the systematic destruction of the indigenous people and deployed a strategy to expropriate the potential wealth of the region. In any other part of the world, this is called genocide. The UN has recognized the mass graves and the mass exploitation of the Afar people, though these crimes are not limited to the Afar, the indigenous minorities such as the Afar and Kunama have suffered much of the aggression. [Readmore]