Tigrian Community in Afar Boycott Local Election

The Tigrian community in Aleba Woreda, Afar boycott the local election held on April 14, 2013. A community representative confirmed boycott to the VOA Amharic correspondent, Girmaye Gebru in the area, April 18. The community spokesman stated that the community members declined to cast ballot. He, said, boycott was in response to lack of progress on the community’s quest for self-administration and local education in Tigrian language. He described the community lodged its appeal to the Woreda and then Afar Regional Government for the constitutional rights, but no answer from the regional government either. Subsequently, the community decided to boycott the election. The commentator didn’t specify the number of the Tigrians live in Aleba Woreda, but he said that 290 the community members who registered for election didn’t vote. He complained also harassment from the woreda government following boycott. He said, the local government administrator warned on the next step including job dismissal and deportation. He added the community’s request for self-rule and local lesson appealed to House of Federation. The house responded it is not entitled to look into the issue at this point; the regional government has constitutional mandate to give reply in two years; the House of Federation can see the issue after that.
On April 19, the reporter, Girmaye talked to Zonal Administrator, Mr. Ibrahem Mahar on the issue. The administrator responded to the reporter’s requests on various matters. Regard to self-rule, the administrator stated the zone has no authority to deal with the issue. He said, however, there are about forty thousand different nations and nationalities members staying in Afar; practically no need to create special woreda for everyone. On the local language use, he said every nation/nationality is entitled to exercise the constitutional rights. Girmaye also raised question over the allegation of food assistant denial in retaliation to the election boycott and Mr. Mahar’s answer was no.
After the above report was aired, wlka (this site) made efforts to find more views from Afar side on the issue. Thus, it contacted one of Afar parliamentarians in Addis Ababa. The statement below is the brief interview conversation between wlka’s informant and the parliamentarian whom wanted to remain in anonymous due to the sensitivity of the issue. The point of conversation was of course, the Tigrian community grievance as described below:
INFORMANT: The Afar people are direct beneficiaries of the fruits of the Tigrian nationalist revolution, indeed, once they were oppressed; now in contrary the Afar is oppressing the minority living its region? What is wrong with respecting the Tigrian community’s constitutional rights for self rule and education?
PARLIAMENTARIAN: I believe the Tigrian living in Aleba Woreda are numbered less than quarter of one kebele population. That makes difficult to create exclusive administrative area unless special treatment is provided for being the former TAGAYIS. Otherwise, there is no intention to deny the indigenous minority’s rights in our region. In terms of lesson, the community’s kids receive education in both languages. You can go and see in your eyes whether the children can read and write in Tigrigna.
INFORMANT: If that is the case, why the local government was reluctant to react immediately to the media’s request?
PARLIAMENTARIAN: Well, the media, VOA’s coverage was political gambling I mean politically motivated rather than the relevance of the issue. Its intention is seemingly to create rift between the two friendly regional governments. You see if the broadcast was related to the issue and journalism, VOA could cover millions of Agaws’ quest for self-determination in Amhara Region. I’m talking about presumably one-million Kemants of Gondar particular whom struggling for self-rule and language rehabilitation for the past nine-years. The VOA has never reported the plight of the Agaw people since it is not in its political favor. If I’m mistaken correct me.
INFORMANT: Does your comment represent the position the Afar Regional Government?
PARLIAMENTARIAN: I don’t know whether my opinion represent the Afar Government or not. Actually, I was not delegated by the government or any entity; I was speaking on behalf of myself.
INFORMANT: Thank you for cooperation for the interview! PARLIAMENTARIAN: No problem!

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2 Responses to Tigrian Community in Afar Boycott Local Election

  1. GOVERNMENT. When Texas was annexed by the United States in 1845, Texas government had been shaped largely within the Anglo-American tradition. The Constitution of the Republic of Texas (1836) clearly rested on Anglo-American principles, as did the proposed constitution drafted in 1833 for a separate state within the Mexican Federal Republic. Spanish and Mexican influences were apparent also, however. Major legacies reflected in Texas constitutions were the merger of law and equity, community property, and protection of certain personal property from forced seizure for debt. An extension from the latter was similar protection for the homestead, an innovation claimed by Texas.

  2. Mizigena says:

    the haves will have more.

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