What the Eritrean leader said in response to Afar's considering secession from Eritrea-a while back.

''Eritrean rebel leader and president Isayas Afeworki says that the Afars in Eritrea cannot secede from Eritrea to join an autonomous Afar region in Ethiopia. Mr. Afeworki strongly opposes the loss of any land hard-won in the Eritrean struggle for self-determination to Ethiopia. Afars can unite within Eritrean borders, he says. But at a political conference in Addis Ababa, Sultan Alimirah, the soft-spoken, dark-skinned sultan, whose short, white beard matches the color of the long robe and Muslim skull cap he usually wears in public, took the floor. He insisted on the right of his people in both Eritrea and Ethiopia to vote on uniting within Ethiopia. Monitored interviews with top Afar leaders in Addis Ababa and during the sultan's four-day ride home in a convoy of land rovers guarded by Afar fighters in Toyota pickups, indicate they do not want trouble with Eritrea. But they absolutely insist on the right of their people to decide their own future.
''We are not against Eritrean self-determination,'' says Ahmed Alimirah, a son of the sultan and head of the military wing of the ALF-Afar Liberation Front. ''We'd also like the Afars to have the right to self determination. We're going to govern our affairs, rule our area, and we'll have an autonomous Afar region in the Afar area. The Afar people in Eritrea will decide whether they would like to join the Afars in the rest of Ethiopia or to remain within Eritrea.''

[Life History of Sultan Alimirah, pg.11]
 
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