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Urgent Concern for Oromo Refugees in Yemen, Libya and South Africa May 16, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Human Rights.
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???????????Oromo refugees in Yemen

Urgent Concern for Oromo Refugees in

Yemen, Libya and South Africa

 

Date: May 14, 2015

Mr. António Guterres,
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
Case Postale 2500
CH-1211 Genève 2 Dépôt
Switzerland

Re: Urgent Concern for Oromo Refugees in Yemen, Libya and South Africa  

Your Excellency Mr. Guterres,

We, members of the Oromo Community Associations, civic and professional organizations in the United States write this urgent letter to you to bring to your attention and seek your immediate intervention on behalf of the Oromo refugees and asylums seekers currently stranded and exposed to violence in Yemen, Libya and South Africa. We are shocked by the news of barbaric execution of 28 Ethiopian refugees (including many Oromo) by ISIS in Libya on April 19, 2015.  We strongly condemn this inhuman act. We are also distressed by the news of hundreds of refugees who died last month while trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea from North Africa to southern Europe. Many Oromo refugees are also caught up in the violent conflict in Yemen and the anti-immigrant violence in South Africa at the same time.

Like many immigrants, these Oromo refugees and asylum seekers have no safe place to return to.  They fled from their homes in Ethiopia due to political imprisonment and brutal killings. They were seeking relief from repression at home and hoping to reach a safe place. But now many of them are caught in another violent situation and continue to suffer without any support. Many have already died in transition or in refugee camps. Our heart is bleeding by the horror that our brothers and sisters are experiencing in Libya, Yemen and South Africa.

At the same time, their immediate relatives, including children and aged parents, are brutalized by a repressive regime in Ethiopia. The Oromo people have been subjected to widespread and systematic human rights violations and killings at home in Ethiopia for several years. Systematic and sustained repressive actions such as targeted killings, abductions and disappearances, unlawful imprisonments and torture against the Oromo people have been widespread for over two decades. The Ethiopian government denies the Oromo and other peoples the freedom of association, press and free expression, although these rights are enshrined in its constitution. Several members of opposition political groups and journalists, professors and students are routinely detained, imprisoned or ‘disappeared’ (killed in hidden detentions places). Oromo leaders who genuinely defend the rights of the community are marginalized and stifled in political decision-making process or intimidated, arbitrarily detained and subjected cruel treatments. Several international organizations such as Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and International Crisis Group have widely documented and archived numerous cases of such state-sponsored atrocities over the years.

Dear Mr. Guterres,

We, the undersigned, members of the Oromo community associations, civic and professional organization in the United States, respectfully appeal to you for urgent intervention to save the lives of the suffering Oromo refugees in Libya, Yemen and South Africa. To alleviate their suffering and save their lives,

  • We request urgent relief supply to those stranded refugees in Libya and Yemen.
  • Urge the South African government to provide adequate protection to refugees and asylum seekers, and end the anti-immigrant violence immediately.

We would also like to draw your attention to the tragic political repression in Ethiopia that is contributing to the displacement of thousands of young people and their flight to refugee camps. To minimize the displacement of farmers, workers, students and professionals, we call upon you to use the diplomatic and political influence of your office and put adequate pressure on the government of Ethiopia:

  • To stop its intimidation, acts of violence, arrests and killing of innocent people, and respect their basic human and civil rights.
  • To establish an independent and credible commission of inquiry to investigate the violence perpetrated against students over the last year and recommend remedial measures to help the victims and their relatives.
  • To stop harassing and intimidating innocent citizens and end political repression and the violations of human rights.
  • To remove from office and bring to justice corrupt officials who threaten and intimidate the people and contribute to their displacement.
  • To release all journalists, student protestors and all political prisoners unconditionally.

We hope you will act promptly and save the lives of many refugees and asylum seekers, and urge Ethiopian government to change its repressive policy that is driving people from their homes to refugee camps.

 

Respectfully,

  1. The Oromo Community of Atlanta, Georgia
  2. The Oromo Community of Arizona
  3. The Oromo Community of Boston, MA
  4. The Oromo Community of Chicago, Illinois
  5. The Oromo Community of Columbus, Ohio
  6. The Oromo Community of Dallas, Texas
  7. The Oromo Community of Denver, Colorado
  8. The Oromo Community of Huston, Texas
  9. The Oromo Community of Kentucky
  10. The Oromo Community of Los Angeles, California
  11. The Oromo Community of Memphis, Tennessee
  12. The Oromo Community of Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota
  13. The Oromo Community Association of Michigan
  14. The Oromo Community of Nashville, Tennessee
  15. The Oromo Community of New Jersey
  16. The Oromo Diaspora Association of New York
  17. The Oromo Community of Northern California
  18. The Oromo Community of Pennsylvania
  19. The Oromo Community of Portland, Oregon
  20. The Oromo Community of San Diego, California
  21. The Oromo Community of Seattle, Washington
  22. The Oromo Community of South Dakota
  23. The Oromo Community of Utah
  24. The Oromo Community Organization of Washington, DC Metropolitan Area

C.C:

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

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