Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some answers to most commonly-asked questions about Eritrean Afar State in Exile (EANC), and useful information to offer some additional explanations about the Afar people and their aspirations in future democratic Eritrea.

Q: Who are the Eritrean afar people and where is their Homeland?

Eritrea red sea Afar State
Eritrea red sea Afar State

The Afar People are one of Africa’s linguistic and culturally homogeneous indigenous people who have lived for over 2,000 years 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 is known as Dankalia which lies along the strategic and resource rich coastline of the Red Sea in what is now known as Eritrea.

The people in Dankalia region are known as the Red Sea Afar people. The Red Sea Afar successfully shielded themselves and protected their land from foreign colonization and internal occupation by controlling and governing Dankalia for centuries.

Watch traditional Afar dancing (Asmara Festival)


Q: What are the populations of Afar in Eritrea?

Approximately between 600,000 – 800,000

Q: What are the aspirations of Eritrean Afar?

  • A political recognition for Eritrean Afar to self-rule and self-government
  • Afar federal state within Eritrea
  • Restoration of Dankalia’s traditional borders
  • Restoration of Afar people’s dignity and human rights to ensure their economic, social, language, way of life and cultural continuity and wellbeing. To mention few.

Q: Why call for Afar State now?

  1. For the past three years the Eritrean Afar people have worked hard by engaging and by making known the unprecedented violations of their human rights to the international community, the UN human rights organizations including UN Human rights Council, UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Eritrea by bringing forward serious of allegations of ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity committed by Eritrean regime. UN offices have acknowledged and condemned Eritrea for its treatment of Eritrean Afar by displacing them from their ancestral homeland.Report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Eritrea, Sheila B. Keetharuth 
  2. Eritrean regime more than ever before showing vulnerability, dissent among the military and high level defections.
  3. EANC and Afar people have consolidated their resources and put in place a sound strategy (roadmap) that will protect rights and restore the dignity of Eritrean Afar people in post authoritarian regime in Eritrea. Exiled State of Afar will lead the transitional phase to restore democratic principle and human right. This first step taken by EANC will bring about a real and durable solutions to Afar self-determination , autonomy and self-government in matters relating to our internal and local affairs, and stability for greater region.

Q: What constitutional model does Afar call for?

Ethnic Federalism

Are Eritrean Afar people and EANC a secessionist group?

NO. Eritrean Afar State in Exile (EANC) and Afar People are not a secessionist movement. EANC is committed to Eritrea’s unity and sovereignty.

Q: Why do Afar want international protection?

Afar People are one of Africa’s ancient and unique indigenous minorities in the horn of Africa region. The current Eritrean government and its policies has threatened the continuity of long established and evolved identity of Afar as nation. Eritrean regime is systematically executing demographic change aimed at rewriting the history of the Eritrean Afar. These heinous activities include destroying their language, eliminating Afar people through deportation, forcible displacement and mass murder, threatening them, and expropriating their businesses and economy that deprives them of their way of life. For the reasons mentioned above and other pertaining atrocities which continues to be committed against Afar as people in Eritrea, The international Human Rights groups, various branches of the UN under its mandate must to protect and defend the rights of Eritrean Afar people, especially in accordance to the laws of The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Q: What would Afar self-rule (Federal Afar State in Eritrea) mean to non-Afar residence of Dankalia?

Eritrean Afar State will guarantee individual rights of every Non- Afar Eritreans in the state. Non-Afar residence of Dankalia will freely participate in economic opportunity; the state will guaranty their safety and investments in accordance with State law. (Samara Declaration)

Q: Does EANC have the intention to call for independent state down the road?

No. EANC has no intentions of breaking up Eritrea.

Q: How do I support EANC?

You can donate through PayPal by following this link

Q: How do I become a member?

Contact us by phone: 613 627-EANC (3273) or Email: info@dankalia.org