Eritrean authorities force the closure of the only Islamic school for Afar – discussion today


المؤتمر الوطني لعفر ارتريا

Restoring the Self Determination of the Eritrean Afar Nation

Eretriyah  Qafar Isim Isih Madqittaamih Cakki Daabisenno


May 24, 2021: Assab-Eritrea, the Eritrean authorities forced the closure of the only Islamic school for Afar.

On May 11, 2021, two days before Eid-ul-Fitr, the Eritrean security agents (Hagerawi Dehinent) told the administration of the Mahad A-dini Al- Islami (Islamic School) in Assab to close the doors. The school staffs were told to go home without any further explanation.

The Islamic school in Assab was built in 1970 by the local traditional Afar leaders including Sheikh Mohamed Omar Akito. Historically, the school has been financed privately by Afar Salt business owners from Makaka, in the Assab region. Since the local Afar Salt mining and businesses were destroyed by the Eritrean authorities in the late 1990s, the school has been struggling to maintain its service to the Afar community.

Dankalia Media TV (DMT) which reported the School closure had said there have been previous attempts to pressure the school to close its doors. And that the school was told to stop teaching primarily Islamic classes and it should integrate its curriculum to provide other subjects such as Tigrigna among others. Since then, the school had complied with government orders and have been offering other courses to the

community.                                                                                           Mahad Al-Dini Al Islami/Photo DMT TV


In 2017, the Eritrean government’s interference in the privately-owned Al Diaa Islamic School has led to a massive protest by the Akhriya community and the arrest and imprisonment of the school’s Chairman, a 90-year-old Hajj Musa Mohammed Nur, who was a fierce critic of religious intolerance, he later died in prison.

In the past, the United Nations investigations found Eritrea guilty of ethnic persecution and crimes against humanity against the Afar people in Eritrea, but this latest violation is the first on religious grounds against the Afar in several years.

The Eritrean Afar National Congress (EANC) condemns the Eritrean government for this reprehensible act of religious persecution and any persecution against the population of Eritrea.

We call upon everyone to stand in solidarity to fight against any form of violence including religious and ethnic violence in Eritrea.

A link to short film on Mahad Al Dini School here:


Media and Communication (EANC)

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Eritrean Afar National Congress (EANC) is an exiled Afar political organization dedicated to self-determination and self-rule of Eritrean Afar people in their coastal homeland of Dankalia, Eritrea, where the indigenous Afar are subjected to marginalization, persecution and ethnic cleansing at the hands of the current Eritrean government. EANC is the voice of the Eritrean Afar people. EANC draws its mandate from the political and traditional Afar leaders, the leadership of Afar women and youth groups, the Eritrea n Afar Diaspora and Eritrean-Afar refugees.



  1. I oppose the forcefully closure of the only Islamic school in Assab. I demand the Eritrean government to lift its hands from private and non private educational institutions in the country. Because the role played by private education centers or institutions in the development of poor countries is enormous. Therefore, we Eritrean must stand together against the closure of private schools in Eritrea and we should express our solidarity to children and parents that are afflicted by the wrong decision of the ruthless tyrannical rule in our country.

    We stand together, victory over the tyrant will be closer !!

    1. @Amanuel Mehari,

      don’t at least 50% of Eritreans support the Isaias regime, the “ruthless tyrannical ruler in your country” that you complain about?   and the other half of Eritreans seems to be OK w/ him for past 30 years since there have been no revolts, uprisings, regime change attempts, etc. Compare that to ruthless dictatorships like Miamar or even sri lanka, where the oppressed people actually protest and fight back, even if it cost them their lives. No such thing ever since Isaias took power. So, I tend to conclude, on balance, Eritrean people support and/or are OK w/ the Isaias regime for the past 30 years, esp. given the atrocities and depraved acts that the common conscripted Eritreans commit against innocent Tigrayan civilians, women, children, and mass destruction/looting of Tigray, all in the name, benefit, and glory of their king Isaias. Of course, I’m looking from the outside, so if you know better… let me know why/how my above is not obviously the most likely truth about Eritreans.

      1. Concerning Tigray, I share the pain with you. There are credible sources that have reported on crimes committed by Eritrean forces in Tigray. As an Eritrean, I demand the Eritrean government to pull out its troops from Tigray. I oppose the interference of the Eritrean government in the Ethiopian domestic affairs. I stand with the war victims in Tigray. We need to demand for an investigation by an Independent body and bringing the perpetrator to justice.

        Well, your view on Eritrea is apparently different and you conclusion appears to be wrong. I do not know where your statistics and figures are brought and I doubt if Isaias has so many supporters in Eritrea or abroad. Because people are silence, it does not mean that they are supporting the tyrant in Eritrea; it can be also interpreted the opposite. Issaias has no significant number of supporters neither in Eritrea nor elsewhere. The Eritreans are silent because they are ruled by fear, not by the rule of law. Therefore, blaming the Eritrean people for not protesting against the tyrannical rule is not faire. In a country where the state machineries are used to silence the people and crack down the opposition, mass protests and civil obedience are rare. Moreover, we should not forget the impact of the colonial rule syndrome in the past. Eritrea was ruled by fear for centuries and comparing the country with other nations of different culture and ruled under different political systems is not correct.

        Nevertheless, we have currently witnessed mass protests in Eritrea regardless what has happened to the people in the past and present. This is the light we see in the tunnel and believe me the struggle for the democratic rule in Eritrea will continue and its goal will be achieved.

        The silence you see among Eritreans today is a hidden explosive that is going to explode soon. For me, the silence of Eritreans is another form and stage of act of protest that leads us to victory over the tyrant. So, the people’s silence should not be interpreted as a support to the tyrannical rule in Eritrea.

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