Sunday, March 04, 2007


Lac Assal, Djibouti, originally uploaded by CharlesFred.

This is a photo of Lac Assal in Djibouti (formerly French Somaliland or Territoire des Afars et Issas), home of the, now infamous Afar people. The Afar people live in some of the most inhospitable land in the world, based around the Danakil Depression, an area of salt lakes, geysers, volcanoes, black rock, rock pipes and almost no vegetation. It is very bleak, very hot but stunningly beautiful in its own way and holds a fascination for the more adventurous travellers, like ourselves.

Their land is split between three countries, namely Djibouti, Ethiopia and Eritrea, where in each they are a minority. Despite that, borders in such an area do not mean too much to their daily way of lifewhich is centred on the extraction of salt and transporting that by camel caravan to neighbouring markets. Of course, geo-politically there are border disputes, particularly between Ethiopia and Eritrea.

Of course, the area is in the news because of the kidnap of some British and French tourists who were travelling in the region despite warnings that the area is dangerous. It is dangerous not only because of the natural conditions, but also because the Afar people are known to be aggressive and war-like with a reputation for castrating their victims. The incredibly tough and difficult terrein breeds a tough outlook on life where one has to fight for ones access to water sources or grasses or salt mines. Their socety seeems to be a bit similar to the traditional Somali society of nomads divided into clans, sub-clans and families and so on.

Who knows what will happen to the people who have been kidnapped, but to put things into perspective, it should be noted that the stories we heard from Yemen (just a short journey across the Red Sea), where the kidnapping of tourists is much more common is that usually the tourists are very well looked after, they have a fascinating insight to local customs and traditions and pay tribute to the tremendous hospitality they received.

I am a little disappointed in the BBC in its willingness to blare out on national TV, a claim by a probably very biased, and crucially unnamed, official of the Ethiopian Government, that the tourists have been abducted by Eritrean security forces. They should know better and even the Ethiopian ambassador to the UK did not want to repeat this claim. Ethiopia will, in general, not stop at anything to bait and denigrate Eritrea and it is a pity that the BBC is giving the oxygen of publicity to unattributed claims.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I visited the area several times and I am sceptical that the local people (afar) are behind the situation.
The area is a border area between Ethiopia and Eritrea and there are many armed soldier.
You are right about BBC repeating the baseless ethiopian claim , they should know better

04 March, 2007 14:35  
Blogger Unknown said...

ninest123 08.14
longchamp outlet, replica watches, tiffany jewelry, coach purses, tory burch outlet, coach outlet, christian louboutin, ray ban sunglasses, michael kors handbags, prada handbags, louboutin shoes, oakley sunglasses, christian louboutin, prada outlet, nike free, tiffany jewelry, michael kors outlet store, ralph lauren polo, burberry outlet, nike air max, coach outlet, gucci handbags, longchamp outlet, chanel handbags, michael kors, longchamp bags, coach outlet store online, kate spade outlet, michael kors outlet, burberry factory outlet, ralph lauren outlet, michael kors outlet online, nike air max, ray ban sunglasses, michael kors outlet online, cheap jordans, true religion outlet, oakley sunglasses, louboutin uk, nike outlet, oakley sunglasses, kate spade

14 August, 2015 06:02  
Blogger Unknown said...

jordan pas cher, michael kors, nike free pas cher, hollister uk, nike roshe run pas cher, true religion outlet, lululemon outlet, mulberry uk, ralph lauren pas cher, sac guess pas cher, true religion jeans, michael kors outlet online, converse, new balance, longchamp pas cher, ray ban uk, burberry pas cher, abercrombie and fitch UK, longchamp soldes, polo ralph lauren uk, nike air max, north face pas cher, michael kors uk, polo lacoste pas cher, vans pas cher, nike blazer pas cher, north face uk, nike tn pas cher, nike air max pas cher, hermes pas cher, hogan sito ufficiale, true religion outlet, nike air force, nike air max uk, nike air max uk, lunette oakley pas cher, lunette ray ban pas cher, abercrombie and fitch, vanessa bruno pas cher, nike free, timberland pas cher, louboutin pas cher

14 August, 2015 06:02  
Blogger Unknown said...

longchamp uk, hermes handbags, chi flat iron, insanity workout, instyler ionic styler, abercrombie and fitch, jimmy choo outlet, p90x workout, nike air max, mont blanc, wedding dresses, mcm handbags, celine handbags, timberland boots, herve leger, valentino shoes, nike trainers uk, iphone cases, giuseppe zanotti, bottega veneta, soccer jerseys, north face outlet, north face outlet, nfl jerseys, beats by dre, softball bats, mac cosmetics, salvatore ferragamo, oakley, babyliss pro, vans outlet, nike air huarache, new balance shoes, hollister clothing, abercrombie, asics running shoes, nike roshe uk, soccer shoes, reebok outlet, lululemon outlet, ghd hair, nike roshe run

14 August, 2015 06:03  
Blogger Unknown said...

wedding dresses uk, vans scarpe, hollister, gucci, ugg uk, uggs on sale, karen millen uk, juicy couture outlet, uggs on sale, lancel, juicy couture outlet, marc jacobs, ugg,uggs,uggs canada, uggs outlet, coach outlet, replica watches, pandora charms, pandora jewelry, swarovski uk, nike air max, thomas sabo uk, polo ralph lauren, uggs outlet, bottes ugg pas cher, swarovski jewelry, converse, converse shoes outlet, ugg,ugg australia,ugg italia, links of london uk, uggs on sale, montre pas cher, supra shoes, ray ban, hollister, pandora uk, louboutin, toms shoes, ugg pas cher
ninest123 08.14

14 August, 2015 06:04  

Post a Comment

<< Home

Locations of visitors to this page