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ARDUF Condemns the Brutal Attack on Peaceful Youth Protesters in the Region

ARDUF Press Release

ARDUF (UGUUGUMO) is gravely concerned by the recent brutal attack by the security forces on the peaceful Afar Youth protestors known more as Duko-Hina (No to oppression). Appointed by the TPLF and after ruling the Regional State for about a quarter of the century, the Afar National Democratic Party (ANDP) is currently in disarray and has restored to use of ruthless force against the people the party claims to represent. The Afar Regional officials, in very close coordination with their masters who retreated to the Mekelle, on one hand, are preparing to instigate conflict with neighbouring ethnic people following Mr. Abdi Iley’s footsteps. We all know how that adventure ended in the Somali Region. The Regional State President Hajji Suyyum and his cliques, on the other hand, are trying to introduce cosmetic change by reshuffling officials in an attempt to calm down the people and the Afar Youth in particular who are demanding comprehensive reform and change. They are busy these days by organizing a series of the Party (ANDP) meetings designed to ensure the maintenance of the status quo. Replacing Hajji Siyyum himself with Mr. M Ali Gorbaais, who is his close cousin, has been surfaced as part of this cosmetic plan. Yet another means of clinging to power which is becoming dominate is an attempt to suppress any signs of dissent through the deployment of ruthless force as demonstrated frequently. On Wednesday 17th October, thousands of Afar Youth took to the streets in many parts of the Afar Regional State, including in Samara demanding change, democracy, and justice. The regional officials responded by launching the brutal attack on the peaceful youth protesters as a result of which many young people were beaten badly and arrested.

It is to be remembered that hundreds of Afar Youth were badly beaten and arbitrarily arrested for days by the TPLF Intelligence Services coordinated local Security forces as they prepared to receive Dr. Abiy Ahmed during his first visit to the region in June 2018. The Afar Youth continue to demand change, democracy, and justice for their people alongside many other youths in Ethiopia. They are rightly disappointed and frustrated by the fact that the change and transformation enjoyed by others in the country have not yet reached into their region nearly six months after Dr. Abiy Ahmed came to power. The Afar National Democratic Party (ANDP) which is on its last leg and maintains a close relationship with the TPLF official hiding in Mekelle, has ones again proved that it is not interested at all to become part of the current change and transformation.

ARDUF strongly condemns the barbaric and brutal attack by the security forces on Duko-Hina, the Afar Youth group, exercising their democratic rights peacefully. ARDUF demands those responsible for such barbaric acts, crimes and gross violations of human rights to be held accountable and be brought to justice. ARDUF, committed to the realization of democratic rights of the Afar people, strongly supports the Afar Youth in their peaceful, democratic struggle demanding change, democracy, and justice.

ARDUF calls upon the Afar people (Afar elders, Afar women and the Afar Youth), to effectively coordinate together and intensify their efforts to put an end to the era of oppression and injustice orchestrated by TPLF controlled Afar National Democratic Party (ANDP). This Party dependent solely upon the TPLF for its existence. It has no public support and its rule is facing a legitimacy crisis. Now that TPLF’s dominance is becoming history, it is time to get rid of their servants and messengers.

ARDUF urges the Federal Government of Ethiopia to pay a close attention to the alarming developments in the Afar region as failure to address the challenge without delay will pose a serious threat to the current change and security of the country.

ARDUF ones again express its full support to the Prime Minister’s change agenda which has achieved lots in a very short period of time. ARDUF is positive to the invitation for peace talks and reiterates its commitment and readiness to engage in a peace negotiation with the Federal Government of Ethiopia to contribute its share for the success and achievements of the ongoing change and transformation.

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