By Afar Civic Society Organization (ACSO) and the Kunama Civic Society/Kunama Narkaba Tummada (KCS/KNT):


Through this joint statement the representatives of ACSO and KCS/KNT are addressing the leaders of the ethnic organisations in the Eritrean Democratic Alliance (EDA): the Red-Sea Afar Democratic Organisation (RSADO) and the Democratic Movement for the Liberation of the Eritrean Kunama (DMLEK/ERKUKODISU), and to all the leaders of the other Eritrean opposition organisations, within and outside the Eritrean Democratic Alliance.


names of our respective Afar and Kunama ethnic-groups, you have alleged yourselves to struggling for the establishment, promotion, As the leaders of our two organisations, carrying the maintenance and protection of our respective people’s ethnic, socio-cultural, religious, territorial and economic rights. These are the fundamental political identities which has been characterising your entity and your partnership, both within the previous Eritrean National Alliance (ENA) and the present Eritrean Democratic Alliance (EDA).

It was your specifically ethnic-politics which had, not only brought plurality and unity in diversity within the Alliance, but had also helped to establish and enhance the ENA/EDA’s “Article 3 & 4”, regarding those ethnic and religious rights.

Unfortunately and for reasons raising all kinds of speculations, during the last “Congress of the EDA” in Addis Ababa, you let yourselves, not only to be driven by, but also succumbed to the forces, later defined as “Block One” which, having had the only objective of amending or even abrogating those very articles guaranteeing the rights of our people, succeeded in their intents, walked out of the congress and formed their own “EDA I”. Though the official statement released claimed that the split took place because of the disagreement in electing the EDA’s Chairman, that explanation was only a very cosmetic one, covering the fundamental difference of views on the issues of ethnic and religious rights of the Eritrean people. What you- our two ethnic groups – seem to have overlooked is the fact that Neither of you are mandated to trade on our ethnic communities’ inalienable rights to extent of allowing those rights total abrogation from the EDA charter to appease some ill-informed and ill-intentioned sectarian chauvinists.

The so called block one ethnophobia and their marginalization agenda were never hidden. At this crucial moment of Eritrean people’s struggle for justice and unity, these ethnophobes deliberately chose to mislead and deny the rights associated with recognizing and accepting diversity in Eritrea.  Such acts can only be seen within the context of prolonging the marginalization of our ethnic communities, which practically means further alienation from our land, tradition and cultural and political rights.

The psycho-politico of so called block/centralist 1 confirmed their political ill-will and their strong similarity to the EPLF/PFDJ in their denial to our ethnic and religious communities’ inalienable rights.

The universal democracy and universal rule without definition of Eritrea constituency is not only irrelevant but it is totally unacceptable as a political integration charter.  It sounds like Africa Unity without regional, nation’s political freedom.  Unity in diversity in Eritrea means stability, strength and symbolizes genuine integration charter for better Eritreans unity that guarantees durable peace.

The “Block One”, led by the ELF-RC, EDP and ENSF has been showing reluctance to recognise ethnic and religious rights. After their bitter experiences with the PFDJ regime’s dictatorial rule, the Eritrean people, particularly the oppressed ethnic-groups like the Afar and the Kunama, are today very much concerned with their ethnic, socio-cultural, religious and territorial rights, being usurped by such forces.

They are no more there to tolerate those continuous denials of their rights and the injustices being perpetrated upon them. If therefore, you, the present leaders of the RSADO and of the DMLEK/ERKUKODISU, are incapable of and unable to stand for and defend those very rights of your people, we, the two Civic Societies of the Afar and of the Kunama are officially asking you to resign from representing us and drop carrying the names of our respective ethnic-groups. We are in fact convinced that if you are not able to confront those antagonising forces and establish the rights of your people and promote them today, you will be totally incapable of establishing, maintaining and defending them in the future Eritrea too. Your weakness today cannot turn into strength tomorrow and therefore we are earnestly urging you to either change into a formidable force for your people or resign.

Besides, the policies of you, the leaders and the leaderships of the RSADO and of the DMLEK/ERKUKODISU, are creating only divisions rather than unifying the forces struggling for the rights of those same nationalities. This is also the main reason preventing the leaders of the two organisations from travelling outside of Ethiopia, in the likes of the leaders of the other opposition organisations, to meet and agree to work together with the members of their respective ethnic-groups, living in several parts of the world. Your isolationist politics is isolating your own selves and reducing the range of your work.


It has become very clear, to the ACSO and the KCS/KNT, as well to our Afar and Kunama people, that your entire politics in the EDA has always been and is to combat against the Eritrean people’s ethnic, culture-traditional, religious, territorial and property rights, in the same manner the PFDJ’s regime has been and is doing it today. With your latest actions of adamantly arguing against those ENA/EDA’s articles on the ethnic and religious rights of the Eritrean people, reached a forced compromise and claiming to have “won a decisive victory” over them and then left the Congress and formed your own “Block One/EDA I”, you finalised your own political stand of being the forces simply wishing, one day, to replace the PFDJ regime, keep implementing and preserving its legacy of denial of the Eritrean people’s ethnic, social and religious rights and continue oppressing them.

Your latest actions during the “EDA’s 2nd Congress” therefore, were not coincidental, but very conspiratorial ones, designed to undermine those articles explicitly securing the fundamental rights of our nationalities. You are the divisionary forces within our Eritrean society, creating havoc in the opposition, actively siding with the PFDJ’s regime thus prolonging its stay in power.

To all the leaders and leaderships 

of the Eritrean political and civic organisations,

within and outside of the Eritrean Alliance:

As none of you and of us Eritreans, both collectively as well as individually, can deny being a member of or not belonging to any of the Eritrean eight/nine (8/9) ethnic-groups, the attempts not to recognise or to struggle to abrogate the articles guaranteeing those fundamental human and religious rights of our nationalities, means denying our own ethnic identities and cultural roots and values in a world in which “multi-culturalism” is, not only being recognised, but also supported and promoted. We would not be Africans, let alone Eritreans, if we were to keep denying our ethnic identities, cultural and religious diversities and values and combat against their existence and protection. We cannot imagine an Eritrea without its socio-cultural and religious diversities. We cannot believe that there can be and reign peace, stability and security in Eritrea and in the Eritrean society, without constitutionally guaranteeing the rights of our different nationalities. We are disgusted by your failure to stand by the Eritrean people’s ethnic and religious rights. This failure is evident that most of you, if not all, are there practising politics for narrow personal gains rather than for noble causes. The problem facing our country and people are not to be blamed on the sectarian chauvinist forces only. You too are partners in the failure and prolonged suffering of our people for favouring your narrow personal interests at the expense of our people’s legitimate rights.  Even if you still refer to your selves as Block 2 or EDA, you have lost credibility. You have become untrustworthy by your selfish and opportunist stand as well as by your chronic political incompetence.

We therefore call upon all genuine Eritrean democrats to be on the side of our people, secure their fundamental human and religious rights and promote and protect them.

The Representatives of the Afar and Kunama Civic Societies.

City: Cologne

Country: Germany

Date:  July 19, 2007.

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