Friday, January 19, 2007

Statement of the Union of Oromo Students in Germany (UOSG): Request for assistances to protect Oromo refugees in Somalia

January 19, 2007 (Germanyt) - The UOSG is founded in 1975 as one of Oromo mass organizations in exile to support the struggle of Oromo people for justice, peace, freedom, democracy, and stability. The struggle of the Oromo people has its root in its resistance to political dominations and economic exploitations by successive regimes in Ethiopia: it is not directed against any people but against the system of oppression. Since its foundation the UOSG has been committed to bring the voices of Oromo people to the attention of the international communities and the democratic governments mainly via the following major activities: organizing peaceful demonstrations, conducting annual seminars, writing appeal letters, publishing annual bulletin, etc. Unfortunately the genuine voice of Oromo people has been silenced by rules of gun under successive tyrannical governances of Ethiopia for more than a century. The UOSG is one of the Oromo people’s mass organizations that have been evolved out of the suppressed voices of the Oromo people.

The UOSG respectfully request for the assistances of the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia (TFGS) and the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) in particular and the international communities in general to protect the help less and innocent Oromo refugees in Somalia who are without voices. The Oromo refugee in Somalia in particular and anywhere else in Africa and across the globe in general have been managed under difficult conditions to escape from the widespread human rights violations practices of the Ethiopian government lead by the Tigray People Liberation Front /Marxist Leninist League of Tigray (TPLF/MLLT) that known by its fake name Ethiopian People Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF).

The unpopular government of Prime Minster Meles Zenawi lead by his political front (party), the TPLF/MLLT, has been not committed to minimize human rights violations perpetrated by its security forces against the innocent Oromo civilians across Oromia federal state since 1992. This wide spread human rights violations across Oromia is unhidden facts from the eyes of the international communities, international financial institutes, and developed countries who are reluctant to assess their polices of assisting the tribal political monopoly of the dictator Prime Minster who is not different from his predecessors in formulating and implementing policies that marginalize the Oromo people from meaningful political, social, and economic empowerments. The TPLF/MLLT regime has been systematically manipulating its monopoly of tribal military and political powers to silence the voices of Oromo people. The regime ill political attitude towards the Oromo people and majority of Ethiopian peoples is very dangerous for the stability and positive coexistences of highly diversified peoples of Ethiopia.

The TPLF/MLLT regime is manipulating its full control of military and police forces, security offices, and ministry of justices in order to routinely accomplish harassment, torture, disappearance, and extra judicial killings of innocent civilians across Oromia federal state and major parts of Ethiopia to guard its brutal governance. Seasonal and annual Human Rights Violations records in Ethiopia that have been released in the forms of statements, appeal letters, or reports by credible international human rights defenders (Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, US Department of State, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Society for Threatened Peoples, etc) and local human rights groups (Oromia Support Group, Ethiopian Human Rights Council or League, Anuak Justice Council, Sidama Concern, Oromia Human Rights and Relief Organization, Ogaden humanitarian Association etc) are the best indicators of the increased degrees of human rights violations practices of the regime’s security apparatus.

The TPLF/MLLT security apparatus have been intensified all kinds of repressions against all segments of the Oromo society in fashion of cold war since 1992. This is the major factor that have been driven tens of thousands of Oromo people from their home land (Oromia) and forced them to seek refugee in the neighboring countries where they hope to live under protection provided to them based on Article 33 of the Convention of the Status of Refugees, 1951. However Oromo refugees residing in Djibouti, Somalia, the Sudan, South Africa, and Yemen have been victims of cross border activities of the security forces of Ethiopian regime that operate underground through its diplomatic institutes. In December, 2005 the security agent of the regime has killed 25 Oromo refugees residing under the protectorate of Kenyan government and the UNHCR. This was not the only incident, however the killings, kidnappings, and harassments of defense less Oromo refugees in countries neighboring Ethiopia by the security forces of the TPLF/MLLT regime have been going on for the past 15 years and it will continue for unknown periods of time.

Currently the fate of Oromo refugees in Somalia is not an isolated affair. Somalia is home of hundreds of thousands of Oromo refugees who escaped the atrocities of successive Ethiopian regimes since the half of the 20th century. The UOSG has learned from different media sources that unknown numbers of Oromo refugees across Somalia have been harassed and detained either by the solders of the TFGS or by the armies of the TPLF/MLLT regime. The UOSG worried that the harassments, imprisonments, torturing, disappearance, or killings of defense less innocent Oromo refugees across Somalia since January 2007 could be complicated by the joint operations carried out by the TFGS and the TPLF/MLLT regime to restore peace and stability in Somalia. However the Ethiopian government lead by the TPLF/MLLT has no respect for International Human Rights Covenants and Treaties it ratified: and it is not concerned about rules of law and basic human rights protection. Thus Oromo refugees across Somalia are exposed to either disappearance or extra judicial killing practices of the TPLF/MLLT security forces if the TFGS will be reluctant to give necessary protection to Oromo refugees in Somalia according to international legal norms. Either illegal repatriation of Oromo refugees from Somalia to Ethiopia or the harassment and detentions of Oromo refugee in Somalia by the TPLF/MLLT armies are the grave violations of international laws.

Therefore, the UOSG kindly appeal to the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia, the UNHCR, the international communities, and the governments of developed countries:

1. To assist the immediate release of Oromo refugees detained across Somalia;
2. To assist in establishment of an independent Human rights committee that investigates cross border human rights violations perpetrated by the TPLF/MLLT security agents against Oromo refugees in Somalia;
3. To assist in implementation of special strategies to protect Oromo refugee in Somalia from ill treatments perpetrated by the TPLF/MLLT security agents that could be shadowed by complex conflicts in Somalia in particular and in the Horn of African sub region in general.

With great regards,

Executive committee of the Union of Oromo Students in Germany



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