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The Kunama is a minority ethnic-group living in the western part of Eritrea.This page exposes the unjust and discriminatory activities of the Eritrean government. It also participates in the political dialogues in Eritrea.



























The 7th Conference of the Network of the Eritrean Civic Societies in Europe (NECS) held in “Darmstadt (Germany), from 24-26 July 2009”; the Kunama Civic Society/Kunama Narkaba Tummada (KCS/KNT) invited to attend the conference and join the organisation: The KCS/KNT: (August 4, 2009).

This year's “Conference of the NECS-Europe, was held in “ Darmstadt ( Germany ”, for us members of the Kunama Civic Society/Kunama Narkaba Tummada (KCS/KNT), in an atmosphere of great friendship, brotherhood and openness. Attending such conference for the first time and being welcomed in such a warm brotherly manner, very positively surprised us and went beyond all our expectations. Regarding this, we very cordially thank all and each member of the NECS-Europe and its leadership for, primarily accepting our request for the KCS/KNT to join it and for inviting it to attend and officially introducing its representatives, in the conference. With the prospect of having its application ratified and becoming its full member, in due time, the KCS/KNT is expressing its readiness to actively work and co-operate, with NECS-Europe, in tackling the basic problems hindering the establishment of “DEMOCRACY” in Eritrea . The KCS/KNT's activity is at the grass-root and at the ethnic level which, joined and sustained by other similar organisations can bring its output.

During those three days of intensive and detailed exchanges of information, of ideas, of open discussions, the KCS/KNT could experience that there are a lot of able and capable fellow-Eritreans who are intellectually well prepared and democratically mature who could really bring, Eritrea and its people, the lacking principles and practical interpretation of democracy in its genuine meaning. It was the sincerity with which the participants to the conference, approached the issues, that impressed us most and this is what we believe to be fundamental in building and binding forces in their networking and co-operative activities. We do sincerely hope that the NECS-E (Europe), of today will be the NECS-E ( Eritrea ) of the future, actively involved, at the grass-root and at the national levels of the future Eritrean social, cultural and economic affairs. The common aim of the network is and should be to care for the welfare and well-being of the Eritrean society in its entirety.

The only issue in which the KCS/KNT, as an ethnic-based organisation, did express its reservation, noticing the names of the NECS-Europe's various organisations and of their aims, was in the field of the Eritrean ethnic, culturo-linguistic and social diversity. To our view, though all names of the organisations include and carry the adjective “Eritrean”, there is only the diversity of “principles”, of “ideologies” and of “aims”, but not that of the ethnic, of the culturo-linguistic and of the social diversity which, fundamentally characterises the Eritrean nation, the Eritrean people and the Eritrean society.

This is the reason the KCS/KNT has very deliberately limited its name and its range of action only within the Kunama context, though, with the firm desire and hope that other Eritrean ethnic-and-folk-groups too would come up with their own folk/ethnic-based civic societies and join us, so that the very meaning of the word “network” is actually and commonly interpreted and practised by the active participations of all the communities forming the diversity of the Eritrean society. The ideological diversity only could and can be also a subtle way of retaining exclusion which is the major means of division.

Specifically confronting the recent decisions of the PFDJ's regime to relocate, in what is known as the Gash-Barka region”, and in an unprecedented manner, families and populations from the Eritrean highland regions, particularly the members of the Eritrean-Tigrian ethnic-component, the NECS-Europe's members came to the conclusion that such uncalled and unnecessary program is and will be very detrimental to the victims of the “forcibly” relocated families and populations and to the populations whose native homelands and native and ancestral lands are being invaded, expropriated and distributed to the new settlers. The phenomenon is seen as generally affecting.

Though the KCS/KNT's members reminded that the fates of the “victims”, (the relocated families and populations), and that of the “victimised”, (those populations whose native homelands have been chosen for relocations), are different and the equation of relocation and of its damages, to the native homelands chosen, (the homeland of the Kunama and of other populations), should be seen differently and given its due weight and significance, the majority of the NECS-Europe's members were of the opinion that, basically, the “relocation” itself “has an ethnic-cleansing aim and significance, equally affecting every homeland and its native populations” and therefore it has to be taken, considered, condemned and declared as an evil phenomenon, equally damaging all, and that was the final point agreed on.

The KCS/KNT's members explained that there is a background history which has created misconceptions and misunderstandings, concerning the present “Gash-Barka region” and that lies solely on the names themselves of “Gash” and “Barka”, which, with the time, from the names of two rivers have been turned into those of two native homelands and of two regions.

 “GASH” is the river the Eritrean-Tigrians call “Mereb”, in their regions;

the Kunama call it “Sona” in their homeland and

the Sudanese call it “Gash”, in their country.

 “BARKA” is the name of the river flowing through the Beni-Amer populations' homeland.

The question therefore, is:

how come the two regions had been given the combined names of two rivers and joined together geographically and administratively?

It is widely proven that the Italian colonial authority had been the one which had conjured out and imposed those two names and the following authorities and rulers in Eritrea , just inherited them. The Italian colonial authorities had deliberately given neutral names to the two regions, in order to introduce, justify and establish their principle of “Terreno Demaniale”, translated by the British into “ State Land ” and by the present PFDJ's regime into “Meriet Mengsti”. To our view, this long chain of cunningly distorting the native populations' traditional names of their rivers and of their native homelands, degenerated into the present predicament where the relocated populations, as well as some of the native populations of those regions, are being confused and succumbing to the regime's newly drawn geographical and administrative borders and names of the Eritrean regions. The “Gash-Barka region”, to many non-native and uninformed populations, is the “Terreno Demaniale, the State Land and Meriet Mengsti”, uninhabited and open for every Eritrean and non-Eritrean citizen to rush in, occupy, buy and settle in.

Similarly, the river the Ethiopians call “Setit/Takaze” in their country, is called by the Kunama “Tika-Suba/Bahara”, when flowing along their borders. Today, very falsely, for some populations and forces, “Gash-Setit”, stand for the Kunama Land . They stand only for the names of two rivers which locally, are not even known and called as such. This is the root-cause of the misconception and misunderstanding that have been lingering in many minds.

The “relocation” program and policy is only a step further in the regime's attempts to neutralise Eritrea 's ethnic and culturo-linguistic identities and diversities, by forcefully pursuing to homogenise the Eritrean regions, the Eritrean populations, the Eritrean nation and the Eritrean society. In practical terms however, what is now known as “Gash”, is the native homelands of the Kunama and of the Nara populations; and “Barka” is the native homelands of the Beni-Amer and of the Baria populations. There is no unpopulated land, in the Eritrean western lowlands, as there is no unpopulated land in the highland regions, with their proper ethnic-names of Akele-Guzai, Hamasien and Serae.

We do believe and hope that such analysis of the geographical and of the demographic constellation of the Eritrean western lowlands would help to understand and perceive the risks the forced (or even voluntary) relocations of non-native families and populations will entail. Those highland families and populations have to be informed and know that they are being relocated in the native homelands of the Baria, of the Beni-Amer, of the Kunama and of the Nara populations; that their permanence is only temporary.

The itinerary we, at KCS/KNT perceive to be the best and the most effective to take and pursue, in order to learn and understand each other's homelands, populations, histories and cultures, is only if and when other ethnic-based Eritrean civic societies too join the “Network” and together, we strive for the unity, security and stability of our Eritrean nation and for the peaceful and harmonious cohabitation of our Eritrean populations and societies in our diversities. We are and should be the forces “networking” among ourselves and among our different social entities in order to build and sustain our nation.

In view of such common aim, the KCS/KNT is very cordially inviting all our fellow-Eritrean ethnic-groups and their members to join us to join the NECS-Europe in building a strong civic society organisation today, in order to be a balancing force in democratising and in the democratic Eritrea of the future.

Let us not be discouraged by the present PFDJ regime's dictatorship, which, just as many other dictatorships, will face its final days and crumble.

To the leadership and to the NECS-Europe's member-organisations, a heartfelt thanks for giving the KCS/KNT a window of opportunity to join the “Network” and for keeping the door open for any civic organisation, whether ethnic or ideologically-based, wishing to join it. A cordial wish of success for all of us!

The KCS/KNT: (August 4, 2009).


To: the Eritrean Civilian Organisations and  to their leaders and leaderships, From: the Kunama Civic Society/Kunama Narkaba Tummada (KCS/KNT) :- The KCS/KNT: (April 26, 2009).

Part 20JL08 .:- There are and there have always been very hidden and systematic ethnic-cleansing activities, conducted, against the Kunama people, by the PFDJ’s regime  of Ato Isaias Afwerki’s and by his and its supporters: The VKP/KAM and the KCS/KNT: (March 18, 2008.)

Part 19JL08 .- The PFDJ’s regime of Ato Isaias Afwerki  and its regional authorities in the Kunama land  are very indiscriminately detaining, jailing and torturing the Kunama mothers, fathers and even young single mothers:  The KCS/KNT and the VKP/KAM: (July 16, 2008.)

Part 19

The PFDJ’s regime of Ato Isaias Afwerki  and its regional authorities in the Kunama land  are very indiscriminately detaining, jailing and torturing the Kunama mothers, fathers and even young single mothers:

By the Kunama Civic Society/Kunama Narkaba Tummada  (KCS/KNT) and by the Voice of the KunamaPeople/Kunama Agara Mena (VKP/KAM)

In has long been in the air the expectation that the PFDJ regime’s authorities in the Kunama land: the administrators of the various districts, the generals of the army and of the police, the city authorities and their civil servants, would be secretly planning to detain and jail the Kunama mothers and fathers, including young single mothers, allegedly accusing them of having let their sons and daughters, flee the country.

This has taken place in the past few days with a lot of those Kunama now in custody for none of their own faults. The basic argument of the regional authorities is reported to be that the “fled” children of those Kunama mothers and fathers are now sending money to their parents and therefore those parents have to be detained and jailed, until they or their children, paid the authorities, 50,000.00 Nakfa, as ransom. The reality is that, as those Kunama sons and daughters are of age and therefore independently leading their own lives, their Kunama parents do not even know the whereabouts of their children, let alone getting money from them. Up to now, many Kunama parents were even convinced that, as usual, their children had been rounded up by the regime’s authorities and sent to SAWA or to some other places, to do their military services. For many Kunama therefore, the news itself of their children having fled the country was sad and surprising enough, but still more surprising and troubling to them is the decision of the regime’s authorities to detain, jail and ask them to pay the 50,00.00 Nakfa to get freed.

Many of those Kunama mothers, particularly the young single mothers are said to have breast-fed babies and infants who are reported to have been abandoned, with no one to take care of them. This we consider to be a very inhuman and a very cruel act of criminality being committed against innocent Kunama people. We interpret this to be a further sign and part of the PFDJ’s regime “ethnic-cleansing” activities against the Kunama people.

The KCS/KAM and the VKP/KNT are therefore very urgently and officially appealing to Ato Isaias Afwerki himself, to his regime and to his regime’s authorities in the Kunama land, to immediately release those Kunama and leave them suffer the disappearances of their own sons and daughters, without themselves becoming innocent victims. As a matter of fact, neither those allegedly “fled” Kunama sons and daughters, nor the relatives of those Kunama mothers and fathers, will ever be able to provide so much money to ransom them. Their fate will therefore be either to remain in jail and suffer, with the children of those young single mothers left to their own devices, or be released by the regime’s authorities, considering their innocence. We are also appealing to the Amnesty International and to the other International Human Rights Organisations to intervene and approach the PFDJ’s authorities on behalf of those innocent Kunama detained. Their health conditions are said to be very bad and likely to worsen by the day. They are reported to being kept, all together, in sheepfold-like encamps and being provide with basic necessities, by their relatives. This is the most cruel kind of treatment those Kunama, though very innocent, are being subjected to. Here, we, the members of the two Kunama organisations would very much like to point out and clarify that we are only appealing to, but not petitioning Ato isaias Afwerki, his regime and his regime’s authorities in the Kunama land, to release those Kunama mothers, fathers and the young Kunama single mothers, as we firmly believe that their detention is very groundless, unjustified, unjust and inexcusable.

We take the whole rationale of the regime to release its own anger and frustration by revenging itself on those innocent Kunama individuals, for the actions of their adult children, to prove once more the hatred it nurtures and it has always nurtured against the Kunama people. If this were not the case, the regime should have first asked itself why, those Kunama as well as many other Eritrean citizens are fleeing the country, en-masse, and solve the problem. By simply detaining the Eritrean mothers, father and relatives of those fleeing Eritreans and charging them 50,000.00 Nakfa ransom money, the PFDJ regime’s authorities are obviously proving that their main purpose is to gather as much money, and not for caring either for the return of those fled or for the health of those detained citizens. Furthermore, even those Eritrean citizens who do return home, either voluntarily or compulsively, are being equally detained by the regime and punished by being detained and kept in labour camps around the country.

The PFDJ’s regime of Ato isaias Afwerki therefore, does not care about the Eritrean citizens, whether fled or living in the country, but it is only struggling for its own political survival, for which it badly needs money. Very crudely put, the PFDJ’s regime would not care less, even if the entire Eritrean population were to flee the country, as long as it can gather 50,000.00 Nakfa from or for each one of them. We urge the international community to intervene.

Reiterating therefore, our stand, we Kunama are appealing to the regime’s authorities in the Kunama land, to immediately release those detained Kunama mothers, fathers and the young Kunama single mothers.

The KCS/KNT and the VKP/KAM: (July 16, 2008.)







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