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Letter to UN from Oromo Community in Seattle on Plight of Oromo Refugees in Yemen: Open letter to UNHCR from the Oromo Community Services of Seattle (OCSS). #Oromia. #Africa. #UN. April 21, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Because I am Oromo, Oromo the Largest Nation of Africa. Human Rights violations and Genocide against the Oromo people in Ethiopia.
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Letter to UN from Oromo Community in Seattle on Plight of Refugees in Yemen

Open letter to UNHCR from the Oromo Community Services of Seattle (OCSS)


Antonio Guterres, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
Case Postale 2500
CH-1211 Genève 2 Dépôt

Dear Commissioner Guterres,

We, the Oromo Community in Seattle*, are writing this letter to express our deep concern and dismay regarding the inhuman suffering of Oromo refugees in Yemen. Thousands of Oromo refugees have fled their homeland to neighboring countries, including Yemen, seeking protection from persecutions, large-scale arbitrary detentions, disappearances, tortures and extra-judicial killings they would be subjected to from the Ethiopian government due to their ethnic identity and political opinions. According to the Amnesty Internationalreport ‘Because I am Oromo’ – Sweeping Repression in the Oromia Region of Ethiopia, that was released on October 2014, between 2011 and 2014, at least 5000 Oromo have been arrested, tortured, and faced extra-judicial executions due to their peaceful opposition to the government. This report is self-evident that Oromo were forced to escape to rescue their lives from possible harassment of the Ethiopian government.

Currently, it is estimated that over ten thousands Oromo refuges reside in refugee camps in Yemen, including Sana and Eden. The current political turmoil in Yemen put the refugees’ lives in dire situation. Reports reaching us from Yemen indicate that refugees are trapped with no help in situation beyond their control. We have also received a report that a number of Oromo refugees have been killed, and some of them wounded by the flying bullets and indiscriminate ongoing fighting due to lack of adequate protection. Lives that they clenched to save are again put them in grave danger.

We are gravely concerned about the deteriorating condition of Oromo refugees in Yemen unless your leadership and international community intervene as soon as possible, and necessary steps are taken immediately to save the lives of the refugees. Oromo refugees in Yemen are also suffering from lack of food, shelter and medical care. Furthermore, the Ethiopian government security agents follow Oromo refugees and abduct some individuals using the current political crisis as an opportunity. This situation also jeopardizes the safety of the refugees.

We believe that, at this critical juncture, your leadership and the active engagement of the international community could mean the difference between life and death for many Oromo refugees. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, signed in 1948 and 1951, have articles that recognize the rights for refugees. Any country that has signed these declarations is obliged to respect them. When every letter of these declarations violated, member countries of the UN and humanitarian organizations should not keep silent.

Your Excellency,

We strongly believe that as a UN refugee agency, you are sanctioned to making a lasting impact on the lives of refugees and other displaced communities around the world by focusing on the basic needs and rights for refugees – like shelter, water, food, safety and protection from harm. Silence about the dire situation of Oromo refugees in Yemen is not only inhuman, but it is also a flagrant violation of the letter and spirit of the 1951 UN Convention, the 1967 Protocol Relating to Status of Refugees, and the UN General Assembly Resolution 2198 (XXI).

It is a duty of the United Nations High Commissioners for Human Rights, UNHCR and the international community to take a swift action to rescue the refugees whose lives and freedom have fallen in a grave danger. We earnestly demand the UNHCR and member nations to extend their humanitarian assistance so as to find a way in which the refugees could be rescued from that imminent humanitarian disaster that may result in carnage. We believe Oromo refugees, as any other people in the world, are entitled to get protection and humanitarian from the UNHCR and governments that signed 1951 Geneva Convention.

We, therefore, appeal to the UNHCR, all UN member nations and other humanitarian organizations to put all necessary pressure on the governments and groups to refrain from violating the rights of refugees in Yemen and territories under their control. As the current situation in Yemen exposes Oromo refugees to further threats, we demand respectfully the UNHCR Office to find urgently durable solutions in which the lives of the refugees can be saved. We also request urgent medical care, food and shelter for Oromo refugees in Yemen.

Sincerely Yours,

Oromo Community Services of Seattle


H. E. Ban Ki-moon
The United Nations
New York. NY 10017
E-mail: Inquiries@UN.Org
Fax: 212-963-7055

U.S. Secretary of State
John Kerry
Washington, DC 20520
E-mail: Secretary@state.gov

European Union
E-mail: public.info@consilium.eu.int
Fax: Fax (32-2) 285 73 97 / 81

U.S. Committee for Refugees
1717 Massachusetts Ave. NW
Suite 200
Washington, DC 20036
Tel: 202-347-3507
Fax: 202-347-3418
E-mail: uscr@irsa-uscr.org

Amnesty International
International Secretariat
1 Easton Street
Fax: +44-20-79561157

Human Rights Watch
Rory Mungoven
Global Advocacy Director
350 Fifth Avenue, 34th Floor
New York, NY 10118-3299 USA
Tel: 1-(212) 290-4700
Fax: 1-(212) 736-1300

* Oromo Community Services of Seattle
Address: 7058 32nd Avenue S. Suite # 101 – Seattle, WA 98118
Tel: (206) 251-1789