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Göttingen, August 25, 2006
More than 200 members of the Oromo ethnic group have according to information received by the Society for Threatened Peoples (GfbV) disappeared following their arrest on 22nd August 2006 in Western Ethiopia. "We are very much concerned because the relatives have been refused all information on the fate of those arrested and so far no charges have been made against them", said the GfbV Africa expert, Ulrich Delius in Göttingen on Friday. The Oromo were arrested in the district of Tukur Inchinni, 125 km west of the capital Addis Abbaba and taken away on lorries to an unknown destination, said eye-witnesses.
The Oromo are the largest ethnic group in Ethiopia. Since November 2005 several thousand of them have been arrested because they had protested against the persecution of the Oromo in the multi-national state. Many of those arrested have been held in custody for months without any contact to the outside world. Recently it has been above all pupils and students who have been the victims of state persecution because they had protested against the arrest of the leaders of the Oromo charity organisation Macha Tulama or against the moving of the provincial capital of Addis Abbaba to Adama and called for more self-government for the Oromo.