An Ethiopian Afar rebel group, ARDUF, on its January 21 Military Communique squarely blames the killings of five European tourists on the Woyane troops and says Eritrea has nothing to do with it.
On Monday (16.01.2012) our forces killed 16 Ethiopian soldiers and wounded a dozen of them in a battle when the Ethiopian forces opened fire on our patrolling unit near the Arta-Ale Volcano in a place called Xoxom.
It was in this battle that the 5 European nationals were killed. We regret the death of those innocent civilians. ARDUF would like to convey its sincere condolence and sympathy to the families and relatives of dead peaceful tourists. We can similarly confirm that those German Nationals who were taken together with the Ethiopian soldiers are safe and good health. We can ensure that their peaceful release will be granted through peaceful negotiation with concerned part through the Afar elders in the region. But, we warn both the Regional Afar authorities as well as the Ethiopian Federal authorities not to engage in another adventure that can endanger the lives of the captured.
We can also confirm that European Nationals were absolutely killed by the Ethiopian forces who were accompanying them. TPLF -State-ETV showing only European Nationals on TV, while they kept their dead soldiers and injured secret in order to criminalize us first, illegalize our legitimate political demand second; and to terrorize Afar people in the region further in the name of fighting terrorism .
We assert that the Government of Eritrea has nothing to do with incident. The fighting occurred between ARDUF and TPLF led Ethiopian forces. Both European Nationals and Ethiopian soldiers were killed in battle with ARDUF. Therefore, Ethiopian accusation of Eritrea of arming and training Afar Rebel (ARDUF) is baseless and unfounded.
We are Ethiopian Afar organization fighting for liberating our people from political marginalization, economic deprivation, social exclusion, illiteracy and poverty for the last 29 years. For many decades, in the region, the Afar people have been suffering immeasurable loss and untold sufferings both economically, socially, politically and environmentally.
We, ARDUF, have history of a good record of protecting, respecting and helping Foreign Nationals and civilians. Previously, ARDUF had captured foreign Nationals who entered its territories illegally, more than seven times. The fact is that all those captured by ARDUF were safely released. We are principally against killings and torturing of innocent civilians whatever nationality they are.
We, ARDUF advise foreign nationals, commercial investors and companies to avoid entering into areas controlled by ARDUF forces without ARDUF permission. Any person who violates or ignore this advice can endanger their lives in a any engagements between our forces and the TPLFEthiopian forces.
Military Command Centre (MCC)
Afar Revolutionary Democratic Unity Front (ARDUF)
ORIGINAL COMMUNIQUE CAN BE FOUND HERE