Afar pastoralists face a humanitarian crisis

Afar Human Rights Organisation Press release (April 20, 2000)


Afar pastoralists inhabit the most arid landscape in the Horn African states, Ethiopia, Djibouti and Eritrea. Environmental degradation and desertification has made the livelihood of the pastoralist society more fragile and insecure. Additionally, the border conflicts between the Horn states discriminate the mobility of the pastoralists in search of water, pasture, and access to market places. This signifies that the pastoralists are facing the double burden and challenges of existence both in terms of regional instability and the climate changes.


Currently, the entire Afar pastoralists in Djibouti, Eritrea and Ethiopia are facing a humanitarian crisis due to the above mentioned factors. They have lost their livestock which are the main income generating commodity and the remaining few and weakened has lost the market value. Moreover, the flow of the displaced pastoralists across borders is blocked by the government forces referring to security issues. Therefore, many are trapped in desert landscape facing a mass starvation. Meantime, the Horn regimes lack a plan to handle the looming humanitarian crisis and famine prevention strategies near border areas, which are highly militarized. The media coverage regarding the crisis seems to be purposely ignored by the respective regime.


NGOs in the region continue to report on the crisis and the impact of displacement, and dramatic impoverishment of the pastoralists. So far their call has not resulted in any significant responses both from the international community and from the regional governments.


Afar Human Rights Organisation therefore appeals to:

         International community to investigate and act accordingly to the crisis.

         Regional governments to ease the blockade and actively help the needy.

         All Afars both in Diaspora and in the Horn of Africa to lend support to the Afar NGOs in the region


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Published in: on April 21, 2008 at 9:08 pm  Leave a Comment  

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