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“April 6, 2009

The only road leading to Elidar woreda in Isseylu district of the Afar region is filled with large potholes. Past the salt flats it takes us in our four wheel drive 2 flat tires (which we soon get fixed in a military base minutes away from the Eritrean border) and two and a half hours offroad driving to get past the volcanic mountain region. A mere 40 kilometers away from Logia, unreachable without a trip over semi-active volcanic territory, lies the northeastern portion of the Afar region in Ethiopia. 

The land looks uninhabitable. Nothing but rocks, no grazing ground for a herd, a few kutus spread out here and there, scattered human existence. Here on the outer elevations of the Danakil depression, live one of the most robust group of people. However with the inevitable climate change, longer dry seasons each year, even the native inhabitants of this land, nomadic pastoralists since the dawn of mankind, the Afars are having a hard time putting up with the demands of the terrain they call home…”

I had written this comparison on the lives of the nomadic pastoralists: the Afar in Ethiopia and the Darfuris in Sudan, in 2006. The full article is still online.

Today, not much has changed..

(if you have problems viewing the article on African Arguments’ website, you may also find it on issuu and academia)

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