Fourth Red Sea Afar People’s Conference

Semera, Afar Regional State Capital

August 09-11 2014

Press Release

Since the overthrow of the Military “Dergue” regime in May 1991 and the Eritrean people’s referendum in 1994 it was affirmed Eritrea as one of the new country in the world as well as in Africa. Before the people started to taste the air of independence gained through sacrifice of its people, “Sha’bea”[1] / Popular Front for Democracy and Justice (PFDJ)[2] started to suppress the human and democratic rights of its citizens. Such dictatorial measure surprised the citizens Eritrea since thirty years of popular struggle was initially meant to get rid – off Hailsellasie’s[3] imperial and military “Dergue [4]” regime.

It was from period that the people of Eritrea mainly the Red Sea Afar people started their struggle for existence as well as respect of their humanitarian and democratic rights. This was before 17 years that established the Red Sea Afar Democratic Organization (RSADO). During these almost two decades, RSADO has wedged political, economic and armed struggle against the ethnic cleansing of the Red Sea Afar community as well as other marginalized community members and those opposed the regime in whatever form.


It is these cruel and harsh actions of the “Sha’bea” / PFDJ regime that forced the Red Sea Afar people organized and started to struggle for their national rights as well as the rights of the other nations of Eritrea. This struggle cost human life, materials and financial resources.

In the last 17 years of struggle and hardship faced by the Red Sea Afar people subjected to genocide, mass massacre, and displacement to neighboring countries namely Djibouti, Ethiopia, Middle East Countries, and the Sudan.


Thus, the main and specific objectives of the Fourth Red Sea Afar People’s Conference, like those three previous People’s Conferences. Hence, the main objective is ensure properly and appropriate strategies such that to establish Democratic Federal State of Eritrea, based on the principle of “Self- determination including up to Secession”, that enables and guarantees devolved powers to its people to live and manage their respective resources and ensure peace, respect human and democratic rights, and contribute to the regional and global peace and stability. Some of the specific objectives are:

  • To reaffirm RSADO’s and Red Sea Afar People’s commitment to struggle against “Sha’bea” / PFDJ regime’s ethnic cleansing of its people as well as ensure that the people be empowered to use and manage its resources;
  • To ensure and guarantee the national language, culture, socio-economic benefit from its rich resources (covering 1/3rd of the total area of Eritrea along the Red Sea with more than 1,000km length covering from Massawa port to border of Djibouti comprising Dahlak and Halib islands) that accounts for more than 18 percent of the total population of Eritrea through relentless and coordinated struggle;
  • To aware the Red Sea Afar people as well as other people that relatively suffered from the dictatorial regime, bearing in mind the struggle wedged by the people despite benefits of freedom was not equally shared, that leads to better understanding of the situation and in Eritrea that ensure enhanced coordination of all political parties / organizations
  • To map and design strategies that strengthen the coordinated efforts of struggle of the people of Red Sea Afar, other marginalised people, and those that oppose the “Sha’bea” / PFDJ regime and over throw and ensure peace and stability in the Eritrea and the region
  • To coordinate propaganda works that enables regional countries and the international communities condemn such inhuman acts and allay with the ongoing popular and genuine struggle than ever before;
  • To coordinate the civil associations / leagues in order to solicit technical, financial and material resources such that those displaced people that are currently denied access to basic socio-economic services like education, health, clean water, and other services; and
  • To propose establishment of Red Sea Afar Research Centre that entrusted to undertake socio-cultural and economic aspects that further enrich their identity and benefits thereof.


The members of the Preparatory committee members at the stage welcome the invited guests. Subsequently, the Committee kindly requested to remember those gallant martyrs that sacrificed their precious life to the struggle of Red Sea Afar people to bring structural change in Eritrea by over throwing the undemocratic and repressive regime on its citizens in particular the marginalized people namely Red Sea Afar in particular and the Eritrean people in general.

The Preparatory Committee briefly outlined the purpose of the Red Sea Afar People’s Conference. In the speech, he emphasized the uniqueness of the struggle. The repressive “Sha’bea” / PFDJ regime didn’t take it half a decade to reverse the three decades popular struggle that sacrificed the precious lives of tens of thousands and destruction of basic infrastructure and human displacement. Then, he invited the Ebrahim Harun, General Secretary of the Red Sea Afar Democratic Organization (RSADO) to make brief speech on the historical day that the struggle is undertaking its Fourth People’s Conference, which was unimaginable by enemies of the ongoing struggle.

The Secretary General of RSADO started his speech by hailing where the struggle has reached and wholeheartedly thanks to those that sacrificed their life and livelihoods as well as those they committed to do until the “Sha’bea” / PFDJ regime is overthrown and Federal Democratic State of Eritrea is established, and guarantees the rights of nations in the country, irrespective of its share in the country, to live in peace and dignity.

Moreover, the Secretary General asserted the Red Sea Afar people would fight for the self-determination up to and including secession. This basic right would be achieved through the ongoing struggle of the Red Sea Afar people. Here, therefore, there would not be Federal Democratic State of Eritrea, if rights of its people are not rightly respected and exercised. To realize and affirm Federal Democratic State of Eritrea, all stakeholders have to contribute to the struggle. This calls for the coordination of struggle together with other opposition political organizations.

Although, the various civil associations / leagues and supporting organizations supported the call of the Secretary General of RSADO, the representative of SDLA and Eritrean Liberation Front (“jebha”), Eritrean Democratic Alliance (“Kidan”) and so others accepted that the Red Sea Afar people have faced different challenges throughout the 17th years struggle. Of all important aspects of the speech by the other opposition parties of Eritrea is that they have committed to struggle with RSADO and the people Red Sea Afar.

The respect of human and democratic rights and the right of natural resource use and management is respected of the Red Sea Afar people would not be attained independently in the presence of “Sha’bea” / PFDJ regime.

Finally, it is confidence of RSADO, various leagues, civil associations, other opposition organizations, etc.; would comfortably agree and produce common stand on devised strategies and draw detailed plan of action that enable to establish Democratic Federal Republic State of Eritrea that ensure and guarantee the human and democratic rights of its people and guaranteeing regional peace and stability.


Thank you!!

Oppressed People of Eritrea win!!

Peace for the Martyrs!!





[1] Arabic word meaning popular

[2] Popular Front for Democracy and Justice that is framed in 1994 by Eritrea Popular Liberation Front (EPLF) after overthrowing the Military “Dergue” regime

[3] Imperial Government of Ethiopia ruled by Emperor Hailesellassie

[4] Amharic word meaning group / team

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