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Asayita | አሳእታ

Asaitais a town in northeastern Ethiopia, and before 2007 was the capital of the Afar Region of Ethiopia. Located in the Afambo woreda, part of the Region's Administrative Zone 1, this town has a latitude and longitude of 11°34′N 41°26′E / 11.567°N 41.433°E / 11.567; 41.433

Asaita was the seat of the Aussa Sultanate, the chief Afar monarchy, but is 50 kilometers south by unpaved road from Awash - Asseb highway. A telephone line from Kombolcha to Asaita was in operation in 1964.[1] The town of Semera, a planned settlement situated squarely on this highway, at some point before 2007 became the new Regional capital.

To the southeast of Asaita, located at the southern edge of the Danakil Desert, are a group of twenty salt lakes which cover the territory to the border with neighboring Djibouti. These lakes include Lake Gummare, known for its flamingos, and Lake Abbe, the final destination of the Awash River.

Based on figures from the Central Statistical Agency in 2005, this town has an estimated total population of 22,718, of whom 12,722 were males and were 9,996 females.[2] According to the 1994 national census, this town had a population of 15,475.
History

Asaita was flooded by the Awash River in August 1954, and again in September, 1998.[1]

In late June 1971 a fight during the market between the Afar and highland people left 16 workers dead and 34 wounded. Of more than 1,000 small farmers who had moved from the highlands to Awsa there were only 250-300 still living in Asaita after the violence.[1]

In March 1975 the Derg nationalized all rural lands, including those of Ras Bitwoded Alimirah Hanfadhe, Sultan of the Afar. When they offered to fly him to Addis Ababa to negotiate the transfer of his lands, he refused the offer. That June, the Derg dispatched a battalion of troops to capture the sultan. Although the Ottaways note their sources agree that the ensuing two-day battle was a "massacre", they differ in the details:

The sultan claimed that the army killed as many as 1,000 Afar in the attack and alleged that airplanes and armoured cars had been used. The government said that the massacre was carried out by the sultan's forces which incited the Afar to turn against non-Afar highland plantation workers at Dit Bahari, killing 221 persons. Probably the death toll lay somewhere between the two figures and the victims included both Afar and highlanders.[3]

Jon Kalb, who was working in the Afar region at the time, provides a narrative which reconciles the two accounts. According to Kalb, Ras Alimirah had fled in May across the border to Djibouti, where his brother-in-law was in charge.

Apparently the flight coincided with a preemptive strike by the Afar on several key bridges and military garrisons to aid the Sultan's [Alimirah] escape. The ensuing attack on the Tendaho Plantation by the Afar, and the killing of the several hundred highlanders, may have also been a spontaneous reaction by the Awsa population to the news that the Sultan had been forced to flee. Whatever the cause, the retaliation by the military was predictably brutal. A battalion of troops was sent to Awsa... [and] a two-day battle ensued, during which a reported 1000 Afar were killed in and around Aysaita.[4]

Following the fall of the Derg, Ras Alimirah, who had in the meantime founded the Afar Liberation Front (ALF), returned to Asaita with his son, Hanfadhe Alimirah. However on 8 November 1995, Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) troops surrounded their family residence in Assayita, then after exchanging gunfire overpowered Alimirah's guards, and entered the residence, where they confiscated weapons and other items. According to observers, this action against the Sultan and the ALF was another effort to reduce his influence in the Afar Region. Despite the EPRDF's persistent efforts to bring the group under its control, the ALF is said to have remained independent.[5]
 

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:rofl:
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I, for one, would not want to live in a "microscopic version of Brasilia -- a completely botched attempt at creating a new town".
 

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Did I say that? :lol: I'd take Awash. Though I once did draw up some planned-city master plan for Asayita...
More power to you my freind. If you believe in your dream fight for it and don't take nay sayers seriously , including myself. Don't blame us what we know is failure, botched up dreams. What we do is ditch out written and spoken words and "TICHIT"
 

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Why is the whole Afar zone completely neglected? The only regions that seem to get any attention are Amhara, Tigray, and Oromo zones. And you wonder why Ethiopia has the largest number of "Liberation Fronts" on the continent.
 

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What makes you think it's neglected under this government?

The reality is, it's sparsely populated with a highly nomadic population and a difficult terrain. That makes it very difficult to develop, however a lot of things are planned and are being done.

For instance, from the major university expansion program under way, Semera University is in Afar region. There are large irrigation projects under way using the Awash River, there's a huge potash exploration project that will start production soon; a rail line is u/c; school enrollment is increasing, etc.
What more should be done?

Please, stop this victimization BS. It may have been true under previous regimes, but at least this is not something that Woyane can be reproached.
 

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What makes you think it's neglected under this government?

The reality is, it's sparsely populated with a highly nomadic population and a difficult terrain. That makes it very difficult to develop, however a lot of things are planned and are being done.

For instance, from the major university expansion program under way, Semera University is in Afar region. There are large irrigation projects under way using the Awash River, there's a huge potash exploration project that will start production soon; a rail line is u/c; school enrollment is increasing, etc.
What more should be done?

Please, stop this victimization BS. It may have been true under previous regimes, but at least this is not something that Woyane can be reproached.
^^^^
Thankx abesha...I love you for that! Ye Libain Negershiw - Amlak YiBarkish Abo :).
 

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I think the life style of the people of Afar has to modernized before thinking of expansive cities. Cities are only tools to a solution and are not solutions themselves. Farming, mining, tourism, transportation, manufacturing etc... should be enhanced to jump start an economic whirlwind in the region. The subsistent, survival oriented life style should go into modernized profit based economics. Afar has a long way to go before we see big cities in it.

Some activity in the right direction was started, some I read about here in SSC. As usual thought the result is always mixed and leaves more to be desired, the usual mark of the EPRDF government.
 
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