By Tesfa-Alem Tekle
January 3, 2011 (ADDIS ABABA) - An Eritrean rebel group, Red Sea Afar Democratic Organization (RSADO), has vowed to step up military attacks this year to overthrow the east African nation’s government led by president Issayas Afeworki.
In an interview with Sudan Tribune, RSADO Chairman Ibrahim Haron said that the military measures will undertaken jointly with other rebel forces.
“Some eight political groups have built a joint military front to depose the tyrannical Eritrean government” said Ethiopia-based Ibrahim.
He said the coalition “will collectively launch massive military attacks in 2011 and we expect major victories along the year”.
The rebel official said 2010 was a year where the Eritrean government has intensified ethnic persecution to Eritreans especially against the ethnic Afar minority
“In 2010 hundreds of innocent Eritrean Afars were thrown to jail many were also victims of mass slaying by the rule’’ Ibrahim Haron said further calling on the international community to watch closely watch and for immediate action to stop what he said was an “ethnic cleansing” against Afar nationals and also Kunama minorities.
RSADO is one of the many opposition movements based in neighboring Ethiopia. The rebel group is a member of the Eritrean Democratic Alliance (EDA), a coalition of 11 Eritrean political groups.
The Eritrean alliance says the Eritrean government is a growing threat to regional security.
“The Eritrean government should be considered as a terrorist group and is being main reason for regional instability” another rebel official Yasin Mohamed Abedella told Sudan Tribune
“Taking this into consideration, the international community should back our movement,” he added.
According to RSADO officials, the alliance will hold a national congress this year where it is expected to pass major decisions concerning the future of the Red Sea nation.
Eritrea allows no opposition groups inside the country and rights groups say thousands of political prisoners remain detained in secret underground jails without charge.
Eritrean president, Issayas Afeworki, says his country has no opposition and has labeled political groups in Ethiopia as traitors of the countries 30-year long independence struggle.
Last year, RSADO told Sudan Tribune that Eritrean government has killed at least 300 innocent Afars over the previous two years.
RSADO is considered as militarily the strongest among the exiled rebel forces. The group says it has killed and wounded hundreds of government soldiers in attacks inside Eritrea since early 2009.
The Afar ethnic group reside mainly in northern Ethiopia but also in neighboring Eritrea and Djibouti.