This website has been established by Irob Advocacy Association (IAA) to house knowledge products and information about IAA, research articles, facts, and information about Irob minority. Stay tuned for new updates and and check our site regularly to learn more about Irob and IAA.

IAA dedicates the website to the Irob heroes and heroines who paid the ultimate price with their life to defend Irob people and their homeland and people, those who stand firm with truth and justice, past and present.


Though the website contains general information about Irob in many sections, we thought providing a brief introduction about Irob from the outset could be helpful. Irob is found in North-Eastern Tigray, Ethiopia. The name Irob represents both the ethnic identity of the people and the land they live in. The usual appellation of the Irob people and land is “adoo’ha Irob, The Three Irobs, because of three subdivisions of the people and the area they inhabit. The northern part is called Adgadi-Are, the central part Buknaiyti-Are and the Southern part is Hassaballa (Hassaballa-Are). The town of Alitena, the first host of modern education in Ethiopia, was traditional capital of Irob until two decades ago. In 1996, the then government of Tigray moved the Irob capital from the historical Alitena town to a place called Dawhan, about 6 Km south west of Alitena. Go here to learn more about Irob minority


Irob Advocacy's vision is to see an economically empowered vibrant united Irob, where all rights are fully upheld. Irob Advocacy envisions an Irob society that is fully aware of its rights, history, culture, and social values. Hence, it strives to preserve the social values and group identity of Irob. IAA’s aspiration is to see all democratic, political, economic, and human rights are uphold at home in Irobland and to all Irobs, wherever they might be.


Irob Advocacy's mission is to empower Irob people through research and advocacy, and raise awareness so that its vision is realized. IAA shall work so that safety and security of Irobs are guaranteed and shall monitor that all rights are upheld. IAA promotes and advocates for the unity and democracy of all Ethiopians and peaceful co-existence with all neighboring peoples of the Horn of Africa.

IAA strives for emergence and flourishing of united Irob community with strong socio economic and democratic foundations. Hence, it will work to preserve the right of Irob minority’s indivisibility which is a matter of survival as a cohesive community.

IAA uses organizing, lobbying, educating, and court litigation tools of advocacy vehicles to achieve its mission.

What Prompted Advocacy Needs?

The needs prompted the formation of the Irob Advocacy Association are the overwhelming crisis that Irob is facing as a borderland minority population. The predicaments can be listed as the deteriorating economic, social, historical, language, identity, cultural and educational quality. Land degradation and chronic droughts have resulted in extreme poverty and destitute livelihoods. Bad governance and lack of public service and infrastructure, have worsened the already bad situation. In addition, we are witnessing both natural and systemic assimilation taking place at an alarming rate.

The 1998 Eritrean invasion and the two years of occupation, the Ethio-Eritrean war that followed in year 2000, and the disastrous post war outcome like the Algiers peace Agreement shook the very foundation of Irob's economic and social fabric. During the two years of occupation, the Eritrean armed forces also abducted over 93 Irob civilians whose whereabouts is not known to date.

One of the appalling outcomes of this conflict was the Algiers Agreement, between Eritrea and Ethiopia signed on December 12, 2000. This agreement, as it stands now, divides the Irob minority and its land between the two countries, which is an existential threat to the Irob minority. The decision of dividing Irob into two is completely baseless as neither the Irob people nor any part of Irobland has ever been under Eritrean administration in history. Besides, it outright disregards the UN 1992 minority rights resolution 47/135 of 18 December 1992. IAA shall work hard and it is determined to make sure all parts of this declaration are meticulously enforced where deemed necessary with regards to Irob.

The mass migration of Irob youth, exploited by heinous human trafficking network is another crisis that prompted the birth of IAA.

To make the already bad situation worse, another war broke in Tigray in November 2020, and Irob is under another occupation since then. Our people are in complete communication blackout and starving as there is no access to get help from outside.

These are some of the highlights why an advocacy organization was needed to advocate for this voiceless minority whose very existence is threatened.