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IRIN: Feature: Ethiopian Oromo refugees face bribes, harassment in Kenya January 12, 2018

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 NAIROBI, 12 January 2018


A freelance journalist, focusing on humanitarian and development issues

Ethiopian Oromo refugees fleeing to Kenya to escape persecution say they are finding life on the streets of Nairobi no better than the insecurity they left behind, as they are targeted by bribes and harassment and forced into vast camps with few prospects or protections.

The Oromo are Ethiopia’s largest ethnic group but have long complained of political and economic marginalisation at the hands of the country’s ruling party, which is dominated by a minority ethnic group, the Tigrayans.

Following 2016 protests demanding political reform, which resulted in a state of emergency and the deaths of more than 600 in the security crackdown, thousands of Oromo made their way to neighbouring Kenya seeking asylum and refuge.

But they did not escape the Ethiopian authorities. Human Rights Watch has reported “numerous cases of harassment and threats” against Oromo asylum seekers in Kenya by Ethiopian government officials.

The rights group has also documented “confessions” by Kenyan police officers in which they admit to being offered bribes by the Ethiopian embassy to detain and intimidate Oromo refugees.

“When I came to Kenya I thought that I would be protected and would be able to start a new life,” said former Oromo politician “Tolessa”, who requested his identity be protected.

“[But] what I’m facing here is no different from what I was facing at home,” he told IRIN. “My future here isn’t very bright.”

Full of “spies”

Oromo refugees also reported attempts by Ethiopian officials to recruit them as informants in Nairobi’s Oromo community, promising land, protection, money, and even resettlement to the United States or elsewhere, Human Rights Watch noted.

“There are a lot of Ethiopian spies here in Nairobi,” one refugee, a former Ethiopian intelligence officer, alias “Demiksa”, told IRIN.

Now a senior dissident, “Demiksa” related what had happened to him back in Ethiopia.

He said that after refusing orders to torture prisoners held in Addis Ababa’s infamous Maekelawi prison, he was accused of being an opposition collaborator, detained, and then tortured himself.

“They tied my hands up and hung me up on the wall with nails and beat me with electric cables around my ankles and on my back,” he told IRIN, fighting tears. “I couldn’t walk for three months,” he added.

“Demiksa” said he was spared capital punishment on one condition: kill or be killed. Handed photographs of two prominent Oromo activists, he was given a loaded gun and told to get into a car.

He accepted the mission – “I had no choice,” he told IRIN – but was able to escape en route to the hit, and then fled Ethiopia.

When he arrived in Nairobi, “Demiksa” was told to register at the Kakuma refugee camp in northern Kenya like all other Ethiopian exiles.

The long arm of Ethiopian security

But Oromo who fear being stalked by Ethiopian intelligence believe even Kakuma is not safe.

“Threats from Ethiopian security officials – working together with local [Kenyan] police – also extend to the refugee camps [in Kenya],” Human Rights Watch researcher Felix Horne told IRIN.

Horne said Oromo activists who have come from cities in Ethiopia fear camp life because of the lack of employment opportunities, the heat, and Kakuma’s physical proximity to Ethiopia.

But they have darker fears too.

Oromo refugees have reportedly been kidnapped from Kenya and taken back to Ethiopia, and there have been similar reports from Sudan, Djibouti, Uganda, and Somaliland.

“This is not unique to Kenya,” Horne said. “The patterns of pervasive Ethiopian security presence utilising local security officials is similar in other countries where Ethiopians flee to.”

Tariku Debela, a political refugee living in Kampala who fled Kenya in April 2016, still remains a target for Ethiopian security forces. He told IRIN that his scars bear witness both to the torture he received in Ethiopia and an attempt on his life in Uganda.

“Some people came to my hotel room, drugged me, and then beat me up,” he explained to IRIN over the phone. “People living nearby heard what was happening and came to my rescue. One of [the attackers] was arrested.”

A Ugandan police investigation revealed “that the men who attacked me were sent from Ethiopia to kill me,” he added.

After imploring the UN refugee agency several times to offer him protection, Debela now stays in a UNHCR safe house, but doesn’t get much else in the way of assistance.

“UNHCR haven’t even tried to help me process my case for resettlement,” he told IRIN. “Since I am a political refugee, I shouldn’t have to stay here for the rest of my life.”

UNHCR has a mandate to provide protection to refugees, including political figures like “Demiksa” and Debela.

“The documentation issued to them by the government and UNHCR gives them the right to reside legally in Kenya and protects them from deportation to their country of origin or expulsion from Kenya,” Yvonne Ndege, senior communications officer at UNHCR, told IRIN.“There are some high-profile cases, such as the Oromo; sometimes their cases are expedited through the registration process,” she added.

But some say this policy exists only in theory.

“In practice, there is very little protection afforded to Oromo refugees,” Horne told IRIN.  “Individuals with serious security issues – some of whom are high-profile individuals – often receive no practical protection whatsoever from these agencies.”

Bribes, harassment, and detention

Kenya has an encampment policy – refugees are supposed to stay in one of two vast refugee camps that house 489,000 people: Dadaab and Kakuma. That means those found in urban centres without proper documentation are vulnerable to extortion and intimidation by the police.

Refugees IRIN spoke to in Nairobi mentioned regularly having to pay bribes to avoid harassment. The going rate is up to $200 for a permit to avoid being sent to Kakuma.

Life for those who can’t afford to pay is bleak. “Because I don’t have my papers I stay at home so that I can be safe from police,” teenager Fozia told IRIN.

Fozia fled Ethiopia following a brutal crackdown on students in her hometown in Oromia. After student protesters dispersed, she says police followed her home, then raped and beat her. She decided to flee.

Despite coming to Kenya as an unaccompanied minor, Fozia hasn’t been helped by the authorities. Without the ability to bribe registration officers at Nairobi’s government-run refugee registration centre, Shauri Moyo, she can’t officially register with UNHCR for refugee status determination.

“I was given a movement pass to Kakuma, but I feared going there, especially as a young girl,” she explained.

Neither can Fozia afford to bribe officials to gain an all-important exemption permit that would allow her to legally avoid going to Kakuma.

“Without that, I’m told by UNHCR to either go to Kakuma or register for exemption at Shauri Moyo,” she said.

Many other refugees face the same hurdles.

“I still haven’t received exemption,” another former Oromo politician and victim of torture in Maekelawi who preferred to remain anonymous, told IRIN.

“I’ve been ordered to bribe officers with $200 to gain exemption from camp,” the former politician said. “I don’t have that sort of money. I also stay indoors to avoid having to pay police officers that harass me.”

Following registration with Shauri Moyo, refugees can then apply for a government of Kenya “alien card” for asylum recognition. But several refugees told IRIN that this process also entails under the table payments – ranging from $300 to $485.

Such allegations of corruption and extortion are denied by Kenya’s Refugee Affairs Secretariat, known as RAS.

UNHCR “concerned”

Once refugees are able to access asylum, their cases are referred to UNHCR for refugee status determination, which is necessary for official recognition as a refugee.

But many refugees are having to wait years to even get an interview.

“I was supposed to have an appointment in March this year,” one woman complained. “You just turn up to their office [UNHCR], stand in line, and wait for your turn. Then they tell you that they can’t see you that day.”

She went on to explain how they typically just give you another appointment letter with a different date and year and tell you to wait.

“They didn’t even give me another appointment date last time – they just told me that they would call me,” she said. “I still haven’t heard anything yet [since her March appointment].”

Recognising these concerns, the UN refugee agency insisted it is committed to improving the registration system.

“UNHCR is concerned about the time being taken for asylum seekers and refugees to receive proper documentation,” UNHCR’s Ndege told IRIN, adding that it was working to streamline its registration processes.

But Horne from Human Rights Watch said neither UNHCR nor RAS are doing enough right now to protect vulnerable Oromo.

“Country guidelines on Ethiopia that officers use to assess asylum claims should be updated as they are over 10 years old and do not remotely reflect the current situation in Ethiopia,” he said.

Oromo opposition to rulers in Addis Ababa stretches back centuries. The current ruling party, the EPRDF, has used federalism to dilute that dissent, but it has persisted.

Charlie Ensor/IRIN
An Oromo activist in Nairobi, crosses his arms in an Oromo symbol of solidarity

In the unrest in 2016 and 2017, the Oromo were joined by the second largest ethnic group, the Amharas, in the demand for political reform – posing a significant challenge to the government.

Reform at last?

In a surprise announcement at the beginning of the month, Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn announced that his government would close Maekelawi prison and release political prisoners in a move he said would advance political dialogue with opposition groups.

“The regime realises that the political landscape is shifting rapidly and that they have to find a way forward to deal with ethnic tension and communal violence,” Ahmed Soliman, associate researcher at Chatham House, told IRIN.

But this all depends on how sincere the government is on reforming and its willingness to admit the violations it has committed – including in neighbouring countries.

As Amnesty International researcher Fisseha Tekele put it after Desalegn’s announcement: “A new chapter for human rights will only be possible if all allegations of torture and other ill-treatment are effectively investigated and those responsible brought to justice.”

(TOP PHOTO: Eastleigh, Nairobi. Home to Nairobi’s refugees. CREDIT: Charlie Ensor/IRIN)

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Kenya election ruling wins Africans’ admiration September 7, 2017

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 Odaa Oromoooromianeconomist

 

Kenya election ruling wins Africans' admiration

Kenya’s Supreme Court judge chief justice David Maraga (C) presides before delivering the ruling making last month’s presidential election in which Uhuru Kenyatta’s win was declared invalid in Nairobi, Kenya September 1, 2017.Reuters/Baz Ratner


The Kenyan Supreme Court’s decision to scrap last month’s presidential election, has been held up as an example of judicial independence on a continent where judges are often seen as corrupt. Opposion parties across Africa hope the shock overturn will have ripple effects in their own countries.

The court found that the electoral commission “committed irregularities in the transmission of results.”

That was enough to convince a majority in Chief Justice David Maraga’s panel to annul the results of the 8 August election.

“The greatness of a nation lies in its fidelity to its constitution and a strict adherence to the rule of law,” Justice Maraga declared on 1 September when he delivered his shock verdict.

“It’s one of the only times you’ve ever seen a sitting president’s election be overturned by the court of law. This rarely happens,” Nic Cheeseman, a professor of democracy and international development at the University of Birmingham, told RFI.

President Uhuru Kenyatta, after initially welcoming the decision, vowed to “fix” the court if reelected and called Chief Justice Maraga and the other judges crooks.

Opposition leader Raila Odinga, who petitioned the Supreme Court to nullify the election, called the ruling historic and a precedent for the whole of Africa.

“For the first time in the history of African democratisation a ruling has been made by a court nullifying irregular elections of a president,” he said.

His supporters erupted in disbelieving joy at the news, partly because Odinga had previously lost four elections, and cried fraud in all of them.

Previous poll violence

“It’s a proud moment to be Kenyan,” Dennis Owino, a political analyst with Kenya Insights told RFI.

“For a long time, Kenya has been in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons,” he says, in reference to the violence that marred the presidential polls in 2007 and 2013, as well as last month when at least 24 people were killed, most of them by the security forces.

Kenya’s image then was far removed from its current one as a beacon of democracy.

But the Supreme Court ruling didn’t find favour with everyone.

“The way people voted is what counts, it’s what matters and not more about how the votes are transmitted because it’s clear that Kenyans voted and voted well, and that there was no problem in the voting,” Wahome Thuku, a supporter of the ruling Jubilee Party told RFI.

Kenyatta’s lawyers said the vote overturn was politically motivated and that another round of voting was unnecessary.

“Everyone was in agreement that people voted and that the problem was in the transmission of the votes,” continues Thuku. “Will we have to go to the polls each time there are one or two irregularities?”

Observers criticised

Kenya’s election commission had declared Kenyatta the winner by a margin of 1.4 million votes in a poll vetted by the international community. Today those same observers mostly from the US and the EU, are now under scrutiny.

“A lot of the actual process around the election immediately looked like it was better, the machines worked in more constituencies than in 2013,” explains Nic Cheeseman, who monitored the 2013 polls as today.

“It was only later that we started to realise that certain forms weren’t available, that some results were being confirmed without the right forms and that process didn’t appear to be tight that certain concerns began to be expressed,” he says.

Those concerns were taken seriously by the Supreme Court, enough to annul the results.

Several Kenyan papers have since described Justice Maraga as a person of integrity, in stark contrast to the image of coruption that has long plagued the judiciary in Kenya and elsewhere on the African continent.

Ugandan opposition looks to Kenya

In Uganda the fallout from last year’s presidential elections are still being felt in one district in the north, Dokolo, where the outgoing chairman JB Okello Okello lost his seat to the ruling party’s candidate Paul Amoro, in a vote which many say was rigged.

“In respect of Okello Okello versus the electoral commission, it did not meet the expectations of the law that we believe should have been considered and adjudicated over,” Olal Justine, JB Okello Okello’s lawyer told RFI.

Justine says he hopes Uganda will emulate Kenya.

“We hope that what has happened in Kenya should have a positive ripple effect in the region and that those who feel aggrieved should have confidence going to court knowing that they will get justice.”

Kenyatta under fire

Back in Kenya, Kenyatta’s fierce reaction to the Supreme Court’s decision has fueled suspicion that he was complicit in the IEBC’s electoral fraud, says analyst Dennis Owino.

“If indeed the president won the election with clean hands then you’d expect the president to be mad at the IEBC for incompetence, that has cost him the victory.”

Instead that anger is being channeled at the judiciary, retorts Owino.

“He is still rooting for the same IEBC that has been found guilty of running a shambolic election, so in a sense the president is endorsing impunity, he’s endorsing electoral fraud,” he comments.

Although the Supreme Court found that there was sufficient evidence of tampering in the transmission of results to warrant a rerun, it found no misconduct on the part of Kenyatta himself.

The court’s full reasoning won’t be available for another few days. While it has ordered IEBC to organise a fresh poll in 60 days, it has not spelt out its plans for the compositon of the electoral commission this time round.

The opposition says it won’t take part if the IEBC remains the same.

“I think it’s hard to imagine an election in which we change the electoral commission 60 days out and then have a better quality election, I think that just doesn’t seem very likely to me,” reckons Cheeseman.

This uncertainty raises the risk that, if Kenya experiences another bad election, there could be renewed conflict in the courts or on the streets.


 

Kenya’s supreme court has annulled last month’s presidential election and called for a new vote — Quartz September 1, 2017

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Odaa Oromoooromianeconomist

 

Kenya’s supreme court has annulled last month’s presidential election and called for a new vote

 

Kenya’s supreme court has declared the results of last month’s presidential election invalid and ordered a new vote. Incumbent Uhuru Kenyatta won 54% of the now-nullified vote, defeating opposition leader Raila Odinga.

Chief justice David Maraga said the presidential election held on Aug. 8 “was not conducted in accordance with the constitution… rendering the declared results invalid, null and void.” According to Maraga, the court found “irregularities and illegalities” in the transmission of results. He ordered the electoral commission to hold a fresh presidential election within 60 days.

Cheers outside the courtroom and across Nairobi could be heard, with crowds chanting, “Uhuru must go!”

Odinga, claiming Kenya’s electronic electoral system was hacked to rig the results in favor of Kenyatta, had petitioned the court to examine the election. The electoral commission denied the results were hacked and international observers said they witnessed no signs of manipulation. The court invalidated the election with a majority of five of seven judges. The dissenters, Jackton Ojwang’ and Njoki Ndung’u, said none of the irregularities “occurred deliberately and in bad faith.” The court said it would deliver its full judgment within the next 21 days.

The court’s decision throws Kenya into a state of uncertainty. It’s not clear whether the current members of the electoral commission will need to be replaced. The Nairobi Securities Exchange halted trading for half an hour after an index of its 20 largest companies fell by more than 5%.

Kenya’s sixth election since introducing multi-party democracy in the 1990s, has been marred by widespread public mistrust, fake news, and violence. This is the first time a court has annulled an election in Kenya.

A week before the election, a senior election official was found dead, apparently tortured, outside of Nairobi. After election results were released, police cracked down on protesters in parts of Nairobi and Kisumu, an Odinga stronghold, killing at least 28 Kenyans, including a 10-year old girl and a six-month old baby. Locals and foreign observers worry about a repeat of Kenya’s 2007 election, when disputed results ended in post-election violence that claimed the lives of at least 1,600 people and displaced more than half a million.

Today, Odinga said that the court’s decision was “a first in the history of African democratization.” Odinga, surrounded by supporters in front of the supreme court offices in Nairobi, called the ruling “a triumph for the people of Kenya.” Kenyatta’s lawyer, meanwhile, dismissed the court’s move as a “political decision.”

In other ways, the election was a success. Voter turnout was high, with more than 15 million out of 19.6 million registered voters casting their ballots. Two-thirds of local legislators were voted out, and 25 of 47 governors did not win a second term.

 

Kenya’s supreme court has declared the results of last month’s presidential election invalid and ordered a new vote. Incumbent Uhuru Kenyatta won 54% of the now-nullified vote, defeating opposition leader Raila Odinga. Chief justice David Maraga said the presidential election held on Aug. 8 “was not conducted in accordance with the constitution… rendering the declared…

via Kenya’s supreme court has annulled last month’s presidential election and called for a new vote — Quartz

 

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ASLII GALGALOO DAANDII BOSONTUU GAAFII FII DEEBII ARTIST ALIYYI SABIT STN KENYA WALIIN August 25, 2017

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ASLII GALGALOO DAANDII BOSONTUU GAAFII FI DEEBII ARTIST ALIYYI SABIT STN KENYA WALIIN JULY 

 

 

New African: A conspiracy in the wild June 14, 2017

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A conspiracy in the wild

 

For over 10 years, the Northern Rangelands Trust, a Kenya-based conservation initiative, has been acquiring land in the arid north of the country. Today, it controls almost 10% of Kenya’s land mass. Environmental journalist John Mbaria investigates.

In its dying days, the Obama Administration pumped massive amounts of money into supporting a powerful NGO accused of using below-the-radar tactics to control a huge amount of Kenyan land, thereby using conservation as a subtle tool for dispossessing tens of thousands of pastoralists, who have unwittingly participated in their own dispossession.

Much of the land, whose control is enforced by local well-armed militias, has recently been granted UN-protected status. And with financial backing from powerful Western donors, the Northern Rangelands Trust’s (NRT) activities are largely insulated from public scrutiny.

Unless the new Trump administration discontinues the US government’s support to wildlife conservation in Africa, the NRT is set to continue having a say over vast, mineral-rich lands in the north and coastal areas of Kenya.

Most of these lands have been identified, in official documents, as areas of immense potential capable of becoming the very basis of the country’s future economic progress. These areas are also crucial to the maintenance of the extensive livestock husbandry practised by millions of pastoralists in northern Kenya.

Today, the NRT effectively controls 44,000 km2 (or 10.8m acres) of land – that’s roughly eight per cent of Kenya’s 581,309 km2 landmass. Interestingly, the organisation appears to have acquired a decisive say over these lands by co-opting the local leadership. Consequently, NRT’s control of the lands in Kenya’s Upper Rift, North and Coastal areas is facilitated by local political and community leaders, some of whom are co-opted as members of the organisation’s Board.

This has been done through community wildlife conservation, a model in which landowners assert the right to manage and profit from wildlife on their lands.

Conservancies have proliferated across pastoralist, wildlife-rich areas in northern and southern Kenya. They are also an extremely attractive funding prospect for Western donors in the conservation sector.

All the cash is handed over, not directly to the landowners, who have constituted themselves into 33 community conservancies, but to the NRT, which acts like a middleman and which has taken up not just conservation, but other roles (including security arrangements) that are ordinarily performed by national governments.

Among the biggest financial supporters of NRT, the former Obama administration consistently extended tens of millions of dollars to the organisation through the United States Agency for International Development (USAid). As if to underscore how important the NRT’s work was to the Obama Administration, the organisation’s Chief Programs Officer, Tom Lalampaa, and its founder, Ian Craig, were among the people given the privilege of making short presentations about their work when the former US president visited Kenya last July.

America’s latest support to the organisation was announced in a press statement released by the US Embassy in Nairobi in late November 2016. In the communiqué, the US Ambassador to Kenya, Robert F. Godec, said
the US’s new 5-year, $20m support was meant “to help expand” the NRT’s operations in Coastal
Kenya.

He hailed NRT’s partnership with the communities, terming it “a shared vision of protecting ecosystems and promoting peace for a better future”. He added that the cash would be used to support the work of community rangers, to conserve wildlife and fisheries, improve livelihoods, and advance women’s enterprises.

For its part, NRT, through Craig (who signed off as the organisation’s Director of Conservation), said the cash would be used to fund the opening up of new conservancies and create a conservation trust fund.


The former Obama administration consistently extended tens of millions of dollars to the NRT through USAid.


Though the US government believes that the NRT shares “the visions of protecting ecosystems” with the communities in Upper Rift, the North and on the Coast, recent developments in Kenya have proved otherwise. Indeed, the US support comes at a time when some well-armed herders, from some of the same communities the NRT has helped to form community conservancies, have invaded sprawling private ranches in Laikipia and elsewhere, leading to human fatalities, the killing of wild animals and forcing the deployment of specialised security units from the Kenya police.

The work of NRT and the West’s support to conservation in some of Kenya’s arid-and-semi-arid lands has altered the human/ wildlife dynamics in some areas. This has also invited curious concern from conservation experts, who believe that the US and other countries in the West have been supporting a controversial organisation that has been usurping the role of Kenya’s human and wildlife security organs, as well as destroying the age-old ability of tens of thousands of herders to live off their land.

As New African found out in extensive visits and interviews with different people in the affected areas, the NRT-inspired community-conservation model is simple and can be quite attractive for anyone ignorant of its implications, especially for the lives and livelihoods of local people.

After co-opting the local leadership, the NRT appears to have crafted MOUs with the communities owning the vast tracts of land. In most cases, the communities’ land-ownership claims are based on the most rudimentary rights – an ancestral claim to the land.

Community members are also reputed to retain significant respect for, and allow themselves to be guided by, local leadership which, in most cases, uses its standing in communities to advance, and persuade “lesser” members of communities to conform with the wishes of the NRT.

This is not so difficult as the organisation has come up with quite an attractive package for the  communities, including securing for them investors interested in developing lodges and other tourism facilities, once they agree to set aside some of their lands for exclusive use by wildlife and the investors.

NRT also promises bursaries for school children, employment for community members, a ready market for the livestock and the setting up of a grazing plan to prevent livestock deaths through drought in the drylands of Kenya.

“NRT’s approach is quite attractive to communities who have been neglected by successive governments in Kenya since the country attained independence from the British,” says Daniel Letoiye, a Samburu County resident who previously worked as a programme officer with NRT.

However, hidden in the fine print are consequences that are considered grave for the pastoralist groups in Northern Kenya. “Even when droughts occur, many of the pastoralist groups [who have signed up to the agreements] cannot access part of their lands that are now set aside for wildlife conservation and which constitute community conservancies,” says Michael Lalampaa, an official with the Higher Education Loans Board who hails from Samburu County.

Samburu comunity elders discuss their perspectives with the author in Samburu County

Lalampaa complains that the NRT compels communities to set aside the best portions of their lands for the exclusive use of wildlife and the tourist investors. Lalampaa says that the organisation usually identifies leaders and elites within relevant communities who aid in persuading the pastoralists to set aside big parcels of land for conservation purposes. “Once the agreements are put in place, it becomes impossible for the herders to access some areas with pastures in the conservancies … they are confronted by armed scouts who evict them.” He adds that it is “sad that at times, livestock ends up dying simply because the owners cannot graze the animals in what used to be their own lands.”

This has proven problematic especially since vast sections of the relevant rangelands have been depleted year-in, year-out by overgrazing and are inhabited by people who have become increasingly vulnerable to the devastating effects of climate change.

As a result, hundreds of thousands of livestock end up competing over the remaining patches of grasslands and dwindling water sources such as the Ewaso Nyiro River.

This happens, as copious reports show, in an area largely ignored by the Kenya government, inhabited by morans, have taken up cattle- rustling as a traditional pastime.

Claims have also been made that NRT’s activities have far-reaching implications on the entire country and therefore need to be handled with more than casual attention by Kenya’s allies across the world, the government as well as the people of Kenya.

“The sheer geographical, financial, cultural, and political scale of this intervention calls for a lot more thought than has been given to it thus far,” said Dr Mordecai Ogada, a conservation consultant based in Laikipia County.

Dr Ogada believes that the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) has “abdicated” from its responsibility to inspire the formation and sound management of conservation activities outside Kenya’s protected areas. But top officials at KWS – which has lately been experiencing financial difficulties – deny this, saying that they see no problem with the operations of the NRT.

However, KWS appears critical of recent moves by foreign governments to fund the NRT. “Conservation NGOs like NRT have recently benefited from funding from development partners, following the paradigm shift where development partners and other governments prefer to fund communities through NGOs rather than governments directly,” said Paul Gathitu, KWS spokesperson and head of corporate communications.

Attempts by New African to elicit comments from NRT met with no success. Nevertheless, on its website, the organisation – which calls itself a “movement” – announces that it has been raising funds to aid the formation and running of conservancies.

NRT also says that it supports the training of relevant communities and helps to “broker agreements between conservancies and investors”. It claims that it provides donors with “a degree of oversight” by participating directly in how community conservancies and incomes accrued are managed.  This was evident as New African toured eight conservancies in Isiolo, Marsabit, Samburu and Laikipia, where NRT has appointed its own managers who are in charge of the day-to-day running of the conservancies.

Besides the managers, there are the members of the Board and grazing committees who are, on paper, supposed to be making decisions that suit the needs of the true owners of the land.

However, there is evidence that main decisions are made by NRT and that the organisation has maintained little or no engagement with the owners of the land and local public institutions.

Besides the US, NRT’s activities are funded by a host of other private companies and bodies in the West. Some of the principal donors to NRT include the Danish Development Agency (DANIDA); the Nature Conservancy (a US-based international NGO); and Agence Française de Développement (AFD) of France. NRT is also bankrolled by other donors who fund its long-term programmes – including Fauna & Flora International, Zoos South Australia, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ of Germany), US Fish and Wildlife Service, San Diego Zoo, International Elephant Foundation, Saint Louis Zoo, Running Wild and others. These latter donors have boosted what NRT terms a pooled conservation fund that has a lifespan of more than five years.

The Tullow Oil Company, that has been involved in oil prospecting in Turkana County, has funded NRT to the tune of $11.5m in a five-year project meant to aid the latter in establishing and operating new conservancies in Turkana and West Pokot counties.

Seventy per cent of the money was meant to go directly to community conservancies’ bank accounts for meeting operational costs (i.e. staff salaries, the purchase and running of vehicles, the acquisition of computers and other equipment), while 30% was to enable the formation and management of the conservancies.


The NRT has maintained little or no engagement with the owners of the land and local public institutions


But this did not go down well with the Turkana County government, which declared the relevant conservancies illegal, with the County Executive for Energy, Environment & Natural Resources ordering NRT to stop its operations there.

Later, the County Governor, Josphat Nanok, termed NRT’s move to establish conservancies in Turkana as “ill-advised with a hidden agenda”.

Dr Ogada believes that the millions of dollars in grants given by the US and other countries in the West have made NRT a “launch pad” for what he terms “a new conservation paradigm” in East Africa.

“NRT has championed this model of conservation very actively for the last decade [resulting] in a situation where challenges or mistakes aren’t spoken about by donors or implementers because of the sheer scale of professional and financial investment in an institution [which like all others] does have inherent weaknesses,” he added.

The NRT’s security function is considered one of the most controversial aspects of the community conservancy movement in Kenya. Usually, maintenance of security within countries is a preserve of governments. But on its website, the organisation says that it inspires community conservancies to “tackle insecurity holistically”.

This includes conducting anti-poaching operations, wildlife monitoring and providing what it terms “invaluable [support] to the Kenya Police in helping to tackle cattle rustling and road banditry”.

The organisation says that by 2014, it had facilitated the training of 645 rangers who operate in the conservancies while Dickson ole Kaelo, the chief executive of the Kenya Wildlife Conservancies Association, reported that over 2,300 community rangers have been trained so far.

Normally, the organisation selects community members and takes them for training by the KWS’s personnel at the wildlife agency’s Manyani Training School, close to Kenya’s biggest national park, Tsavo.

Here, the rangers are taught “bush craft skills, as well as how to effectively gather and share intelligence, monitor wildlife and manage combat situations”. The involvement of KWS in the training of the community rangers was confirmed, but downplayed, by Michael Kipkeu, KWS’s Senior Assistant Director in charge of the Community Wildlife Service. “The KWS law enforcement academy provides tailor-made community scouts’ training.”

After being trained by KWS, the rangers are given more advanced training than what is posted on the NRT’s website. For instance, according to the Save the Rhino NGO, the rangers are given Kenya Police Reserve accreditation and “sufficient weapons handling training”.

Such advanced training involves tactical movement with weapons, ambush and anti-ambush drills, handling and effective usage of night-vision and thermal-imaging equipment, and ground-to-air communications and coordination.

There are also suspicions that the bigger scheme is to ensure that Kenya unwittingly “forfeits” some of the lands under the NRT by getting them declared by UNESCO as World Heritage Sites.

The scheme to have UNESCO declare some of the biggest private game ranches and wildlife conservancies in Laikipia, Samburu, and islands in the Coast as World Heritage Sites is now being pursued in earnest.

“Legally, the move may not amount to much but knowing how lobbying is done, if the government were to [seek to] change ownership, listings would be put up to demonstrate how special these ranches are and why they should remain with the present landowners,” said Njenga Kahiro, a former Programme Officer with Laikipia Wildlife Forum. The aim, Kahiro avers, is “to create a super-big protected area … all of it [covered by] the World Heritage Convention.”   NA


 

Oromia: Kenyan Government is Held Accountable for Supporting Ethiopia TPLF Dictatorship and Hunting Freedom Fighters September 21, 2016

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Odaa OromooOromianEconomist

OLF logo


Kenyan Government is Held Accountable for Supporting Ethiopia TPLF Dictatorship and Hunting Freedom Fighters

 

OLF Press Release

Foreign assistance from foreign countries near and far has helped the Tigirean People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) government of Ethiopia to stay in power unjustly for the last 25 years. Unintentional or intentional, foreign assistance provided to Ethiopia, has made it difficult for the peoples of Ethiopia to free themselves from the imposed orders of the anti-democracy and anti-human rights TPLF regime of Ethiopia.Because of the current popular uprisings in many parts of the country, the TPLF Ethiopian regime is hysterically paranoid, desperate and callous. In the same way the regime has been protecting its power by force and by begging for foreign support. Now the regime is attempting to enlist the help of neighboring and distant states to save itself from collapsing or to prolong its life. The TPLF regime is using its experience of begging for food handouts also plan to stay in power by soliciting foreign assistance in order to weaken domestic protests, armed and unarmed oppositions. By responding to the sinister invitation from the Ethiopian regime, the Kenyan government has agreed to provide military support and has ordered a joint military operation against the Oromo Liberation Army of Southern Zone.Holding Kenya and the sovereignty of Kenya in contempt, the TPLF regime of Ethiopia has crossed borders into Kenya several times and has been inflicting massive damage on Kenyan citizens under the pretext of searching for OLF/OLA. The crimes Ethiopia’s TPLF army is committing in Kenya include, massacre of the Turkana people, abduction and refoulement of Oromo refugees by interfering and infiltrating Kenyan policy and security operatives. Some Kenyan police fulfilled the wishes of Ethiopian government by letting it avoid responsibility for engaging in wanton criminal activities. The fact that the Kenyan government is entering into alliance once again with the Ethiopian regime by ignoring Ethiopia recurrent attacks against Kenyan civilians will make Kenyan people lose their respect and trust for their own government, which is continuously being treated as a puppet for Ethiopia dictatorship. Fulfilling the interests of the Ethiopian government at the expense of Kenyan interest amounts to complicity in the crimes against humanity being committed by TPLF regime inside Ethiopia and in Kenya’s own territory.

By enlisting the assistance of the Kenyan government, the TPLF regime and the Kenyan government have finalized plans to launch a campaign of attacks against the OLA operating in the south. It has been known that Kenya is planning to participate in this anti-OLA campaign by mobilizing its Special Forces unit GSU (General Service Unit), and its infantry (Kenyan Defense Force) and specially KA1 to take action in Moyale area across the border. There is no doubt that Kenyans citizens opposing the action of Ethiopia totalitarian regime and Oromo refugees are going to be the groups that are going to be the most hurt by Kenya’s blind support for TPLF. This military action by the two forces is not new.

Despite the search and joint operation conducted by Kenyan army and Ethiopia regime military repeatedly before, it has been impossible to stop OLF activities in the south. And it is meaningless if it is thought to reverse the ongoing Oromia wide struggle to uproot the TPLF brutal regime once for all.

Like many failed joint past campaigns, there is no doubt that this campaign is also going to fail again. We believe that it’s clear to everyone at this juncture that as long as the Oromo questions ofbilisummaa (freedom) are not answered, the Oromo liberation struggle will not be contained.

The OLF strongly condemns military, security and other forms of assistance the Kenyan government provides to Ethiopia’s tyrannical regime. Because these acts target freedom fighters struggling for the just cause of their people and because it will contribute to depriving the Oromo of freedom and to perpetuating dictatorship and slavery for the majority, the OLF again strongly asks the Kenyan government to stop providing assistance to the Ethiopian regime. Kenya should not be fighting a proxy war in which it has no stakes just to prolong the life of a dictatorial regime of Ethiopia.

Kenya’s government’s participation in wars planned by Ethiopia has no use except expanding the conflict into a regional conflict. It is possible to learn from the long history of the Oromo people that the Oromo have practiced peaceful relations, respect, love and mutual co-existence with neighboring peoples. Violating this long history/code of brotherhood/ good neighborliness, the role of the Kenyan government should not be one of being a proxy war monger on behalf of the TPLF regime that is staggering to collapse because of concerted and unstoppable popular movements at home. The OLF would like to remind Kenya that it will be responsible for perpetuating dictatorship and injustice and slavery against the Oromo people in Oromia and Ethiopia if it proceeds with this an unwelcome alliance and proxy effort with the fragile military regime of Ethiopia. Kenya will be responsible for all the damages this unholy alliance will inflict on the Oromo people and the Oromo national liberation struggle. Kenya should not interfere in the domestic political affairs of Ethiopia by picking Ethiopia’s regime’s side against the will of the Kenyan people who would want a respected and sovereign Kenya.

We call on the Kenyan people to confront and protest repeated unjust and illegal actions by their government, which will negatively impact the relationships between the peoples of Kenya and the Oromo people and others fighting for freedom from military dictatorship in Ethiopia. Kenyan people have the obligation to hold the Kenyan government accountable; they have the responsibility to object to continued Kenyan interference in the domestic affairs of its neighboring country. This actions will harm Kenyan people, Kenyan history and the relationship of Kenyans with their neighbors.

Beyond silently watching the Ethiopian government shed the bloods of the peoples of the Horn of Africa who struggle for their freedom every day, if the Horn of African countries silently watch the military support Kenya gives to Ethiopia regime, history will judge these governments. We appeal to regional governments to stop the Kenyan government for acting as a proxy warrior for Ethiopia in a conflict that does not concern Kenya and its peoples altogether.

Victory to the Oromo People!
Oromo Liberation Front
September 20, 2016

Egypt defends treatment of Oromo refugees April 6, 2016

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Odaa Oromoo#OromoProtests against the Ethiopian regime fascist tyranny. Join the peaceful movement for justice, democracy, development and freedom of Oromo and other oppressed people in Ethiopia

Egypt defends treatment of Ethiopian refugees


Ethiopian migrants, all members of the Oromo community of Ethiopia living in Malta, protest against the Ethiopian regime in Valletta, Malta, Dec. 21, 2015.  (photo by REUTERS/Darrin Zammit Lupi)


 

CAIRO (Almonitor, April 5, 2016) — On March 13, nearly 1,000 people of the Oromo ethnic community took part in a big ceremony celebrating the second anniversary of the Oromia Media Network (OMN), which opposes the ruling regime in Ethiopia.

The ceremony was the first event held by the Ethiopian opposition in Cairo since theoutbreak of violence in Ethiopia between the government and the ethnic community in December. The violence arose over Ethiopia’s “master plan” to expand the capital, Addis Ababa, into large parts of Oromo farmlands without any actual compensation.

At that time, Egypt’s Foreign Affairs Ministry contented itself with issuing a press statement on Dec. 21, saying that the incidents “are an internal Ethiopian issue.”

“We are looking forward to stability and the completion of the comprehensive economic and social development programs in Ethiopia,” the ministry said.

Yet local Ethiopian media outlets continued to circulate statements by Ethiopian officials accusing Cairo of supporting the opposition and of being behind these events in order to weaken Ethiopia. These statements were based on the late Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi’s remarks in November 2010 that there was irrefutable evidence of Egypt’s support for insurgents in Ethiopia, under the rule of former President Hosni Mubarak.

At the second anniversary ceremony, OMN head Jawar Mohammed spoke of the need for the Oromo uprising to continue against the policies of the Ethiopian government and the ruling Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) party. He accused the government of adopting systematic policies against the Oromo community and of seizing its land.

A government official who coordinates African affairs and spoke to Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity said, “The Egyptian authorities have nothing to do with the ceremony.”

He explained, “A group of Ethiopian activists applied for a security approval for the ceremony, which they obtained, similarly to any other foreign communities wishing to hold activities in Cairo.”

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) fact sheet issued in February said 6,916 Ethiopian asylum seekers are registered with the UNHCR in Cairo.

“Most of the Ethiopians who are registered with the UNHCR are of the Oromo people, whose registration rate has been constant since 2015,” Marwa Hashem, assistant public information officer for the UNHCR in Cairo, told Al-Monitor.

“The UNHCR have provided all political asylum seekers and refugees from Africa with services such as material aid to the most needy, educational grants, health care and psychosocial support.”

Ahmad Badawi, head of the Egyptian Foundation for Refugee Support, told Al-Monitor, “Egypt is committed to its international obligations not to reject asylum seekers when they do not oppose national security, even those who enter illegally.”

The Egyptian government does not provide any special advantages to Ethiopian refugees without providing the same to other foreign nationals, he said. UNHCR is in charge of providing services to all refugees.

The Oromo ethnic community makes up 40% of Ethiopia’s population, followed by the Amhara and Tigrayan communities, which make up 32% — though Tigrayans control the government through the ruling TPLF party. The Oromia Regional State stretches over large areas in central Ethiopia, where the capital is located, and includes most of Ethiopia’s wealth, as it controls the country’s coffee exports, gold mines and the rivers’ headwaters.

Due to the escalating protests, the Ethiopian government canceled the plan to expand the capital. Yet the Oromo revolution has not ended, as the people continue to demand freedom and fair representation in the government and to protest the ruling party’s practices.

“The Oromo community will continue to protest not only against the Ethiopian government’s master plan, which raised problems in the past, but also to preserve the Oromo ethnic community’s land, culture and language, against the ethnic policies of the Tigrayan who control the rule,” Girma Gutema, an Oromo community activist, told Al-Monitor.

“Eritrea and Sudan supported the Oromo struggle. Yet following the Sudanese-Ethiopian rapprochement, many rebels fled to Eritrea,” Gutema said. However, the Egyptians, as well as the international community, don’t know enough about the Oromo community’s problems to be able to offer support.

Such rumors, he said, are propaganda spread by the Ethiopian government due to its historic bickering with Egypt.

Galma Guluma, an Ethiopian political activist and organizer of the ceremony in Cairo, told Al-Monitor that Cairo is the safest place for Oromo people fleeing Ethiopia, particularly sinceSudan changed its policy and is now turning over Ethiopian oppositionists to their government.

“Fleeing to Cairo was not an easy thing to do. Many refugees went through difficult situations and conditions until they reached the Egyptian border,” Guluma said. “Most of the Oromo refugees in Cairo do not have permanent jobs, and some girls are working as domestic servants. Moreover, they receive very little aid from the civil society organizations.”

Guluma added, “We do not have weapons to face the regime in Ethiopia. Our goal is to focus on [getting] the media to speak of the suffering of the Oromo people,” who are oppressed despite the great wealth in their state.

He noted, “Cairo has been a historical place for the Oromo struggle and the idea of the media network and Oromo radio started in Cairo more than 50 years ago with SheikhMohammed Rashad, who studied at the Al-Azhar University in the 1960s and was honored by [former Egyptian President] Gamal Abdel Nasser.”

The Egyptian political administration has said that, while it seeks to build trust and goodwill, its open-door policy for Oromo refugees is part of an international commitment to the refugees’ case and should not be perceived as an attempt to exploit any internal conflicts to weaken the Ethiopian state.

Nevertheless, this issue remains a focus of constant tension in Egyptian-Ethiopian ties, in addition to the historic conflict over Nile water management.

International Oromo Women’s Organization’s Appeal on the Urgent Case of Mr. Dabasa Guyo’s Disappearance and Other Refugees in Kenya November 23, 2015

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???????????International Oromo Women's Organization
http://www.ayyaantuu.net/wp-includes/js/wp-emoji-release.min.js

 

November 6, 2015

Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights
United Nations Office at Geneva
1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland
Fax: +41 22 917 9022 (particularly for urgent matters)
E-mail: tb-petitions@unhcr.org

Mr. Antonio Guterres United Nations Higher Commissioner for Refugee (UNHCR)
Case Postale 2500 CH-1211 Geneve 2 Depot Suisse
Email: infoDesk@ohchr.org; GUTERR@unhcr.org

The UNHCR Representation in Kenya
PO Box 43801-00100 GPO
Nairobi, Kenya
Tel: 41 22 739 7280

The President of the Republic of Kenya
President Uhuru Kenyatta

Harambee Avenue
P.O. Box 74434 – 00200
Nairobi, Kenya.

The International Committee for Red Cross (ICRC) delegation in Ethiopia
Bole Sub city-, Kebele 12/13, House no. New
P. O. Box 5701
ADDIS ABABA
Phone: (+251 11) 647 83 00
Fax: (+251 11) 647 83 01
Head of delegation: Mr REYNOLDS James

The ICRC regional delegation in Kenya
Denis Pritt Road
P.O. Box 73226 – 00200
NAIROBI
(covers Kenya, Djibouti, Tanzania)
Phone: (+25420) 2723 963 – 4 – 5
Fax: (+25420) 2713003

Head of regional delegation: Mr MEYRAT Thierry
Media contact persons: Ms KILIMO Anne
Phone : (+254 20 2723963
Mobile (+254) 0722 202039
Mr STRAZIUSO Jason
Mobile: (+254) 733 622 026

Subject: Appeal on the urgent case of Mr. Dabasa Guyo’s disappearance and other Refugees in Kenya

Dear All,

I am writing this appeal letter on behalf of the International Oromo Women’s Organization (IOWO), a Non-Profit, Non-governmental Organization established to promote gender equality and be the voice for the voiceless.

The oppressed people in Ethiopia that include the majority of Oromo people fled their home to escape government persecutions, killings, arbitrary arrest, and abductions in Ethiopia. The Ethiopian government spearheaded by the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), came to power in the early 1990’s. Since that time until present, mass killings, arbitrary arrests, abductions, and evicting people from their home become the day-to-day activities of the government forces. Hundreds and thousands of Oromo and other nationals run away to escape from such government actions.
However, the government security forces hunt refugees in neighboring countries, assassinate or abduct and take back to Ethiopia for further torture and killing.

I.  Few examples of mass killings by Government forces in Ethiopia since TPLF came to power:

• The mass killing of University Students in Ambo and other cities April/ May 2014 on the peaceful demonstration against the expansion of Addis Ababa city to other neighboring Oromia cities, which is still continuing. (BBC News May 2, 2014, http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-27251331).

• The massacre of Muslim peaceful protestors April and August 2013 in Asasa and Kofele, Oromia, killed at least 26. ( Extracted from the report of CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation report 19th Session of the UPR Working Group Submitted 16 September 2013)

This is in violation of religious freedom provided in the country’s constitution of 1995 Article 11/3 which states “The state shall not interfere in religious matters and religion shall not interfere in state affairs”.

• The massacre of members of the Suri tribe took place in December 2012, at least 147 Suris killed. (extracted from HRLHA Statement Feb.2013).

• The Massacre of Oromos Gara Sufi in February 2007. The victims age range from 14 years old Ayisha Ali to seventy years old Ahmed Mohamed Kuree. (VOA Afaan Oromo program on Wednesday Feb. 21, 2007).

• The Massacre after 2005 National election, Addis Ababa in which 193 unarmed demonstrators killed (www.abbaymedia.com), BBC News (http://newsvote.bbc.co.uk/mpapps/pagetools/print/news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/6064638.stm)

• The massacre of Anuak on 13 December 2003. (http://www.abbaymedia.com/pdf/Press_Release/Remembering_the_Anuak_Massacre_of_December_13_2003.pdf),

Human Rights Watch, (https://www.hrw.org/news/2005/03/23/ethiopia-crimes-against-humanity-gambella-region).

• The Locke, Sidama, Massacre 24 May 2002 killing 46 and wounded 44. (OSG No. 38).

• The Massacare of Sheko and Majenger people on 11 March 2002, at least 128 dead. (By Nita Bhalla BBC, Addis Ababa, Tuesday, 16 July, 2002, 11:39 GMT 12:39 UK).

• The Massacre of Addis Ababa University Students of April 18, 2001, in violations of Academic freedom 51 dead and 250 wounded. (BBC news, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/1284608.stm) and (Abbay media, http://abbaymedia.com/remembering-april-2001%E2%80%B2s-massacre-of-ethiopian-students/)

• The Massacare of Babo Gambel village West Wollega on 28 April 1995, 27 people were summarily executed by the EPRDF army in the Babo Gambel village in Jarso District at a places called Shimala Ture and Qiltu near Ganda Sheik in western wollega. (Report from Sue Pollock 13 April
1996 Schottlands National Newspaper PP.10-13).

And others.

II.  Some examples of individuals abducted by Ethiopian Security forces and disappeared or not known their whereabouts.

  • Amanti (Shafee) Abdisaa abducted by Ethiopian Airport security men on August 20, 2000 at Addis Ababa Airport after he boarded the plane for conference in Nairobi representing the Ethiopian Environmental Organization he was working for. (OSG Press Release No.38).
  • Engineer Banti Guddataa Hirpha: Abducted by armed men January 5, 1998 in Addis Ababa around Behere Tsige in his firiend’s house. (OSG press release n. 23).
  • Efrem (Xibabu) Kaba: abducted from Addis Ababa November 17, 2000. (OSG press release n. 39).
  • Lammessa Boru: Arrested on September 17, 1992 near Dembi Dollo by EPRDF soldiers in Toyota land cruiser, later seen in military hospital in Jimma, but disappeared from there since October 23, 1992. (AI Index: AFR 25/06/95)
  • Yosef Ayele Bati: Arrested by unidentified security officer, on November 27, 1992 in Addis Ababa. (Amnesty International: http://bit.ly/yosefbati).
  • Zerihun Kinati Dheressa: Abducted by armed plain clothe men and uniformed police in Addis Ababa on October 17, 1997. (OSG press release 20).

According to different sources:

  • Nadhi Gamada: Detained in 1994 by the Ethiopian security force. Since then his whereabouts is unknown.
  • Jirenya Ayana and Temesgen Adaba: Abducted by government security men when walking near “Urael Church” in Addis Ababa in August 1995 and disappeared.
  • Bekele Dawano Hebano: Disappeared while in detention in 1993.
  • Dachasa (Masfin) Bayana Iticha: Abducted in Addis Ababa around “Mesalemiya” near the City Hotel by government security men in September 1995.
  • Dagaagaa Bayisaa: Abducted in 1993 while traveling by bus between Siree and Nekempt, and last seen in an underground cell at Bakko.
  • Daniel (Ida’aa) Akkummaa: Arrested in Addis Ababa in 1992. Since then his whereabouts is unknown.
  • Dereje Qana’aa: Disappeared in February 19, 1992 from the place he was teaching in Bodji in Wallaga.
  • Mustafa Idris: Disappeared on his way to home from work in Addis Ababa on May 31, 1994.
  • Takele Oljirraa: Abducted by government intelligence men in November 1992, near “Teklehaymanot” area (Addis Ababa), another person detained in 1994 believes he saw Takale in the Kasainchis secret detetion center in Addis Ababa (OSG August 1995 press release report, p. 13).
  • Takalinyi Dago: Abducted from Addis Ababa by the Ethiopian Secret Service, on January 14, 1996.
    Due to such brutal actions of government forces, some escaped and ended up their lives in Ocean/sea, some suffered in Yemen and other countries, and some seeking asylum in Kenya and waiting for the resettlement option in third countries.
    We thank the Kenya government and people for their hospitality. However, the Ethiopian government forces extended their brutal actions in killing or abducting and taking back, torture and put in prison or kill them.

III. Some examples of such Ethiopian government actions mentioned in “AN OPEN PETITION” of the Oromo Refugee community in Kenya to the UNHCR, September 2013, the followings are the victims of killings and abductions by Ethiopian security forces and mercenaries in neighboring countries:

A. OROMO REFUGEES WHO WERE ASSASSINATED BY ETHIOPIAN SECURITY IN KENYA

1. Jatani Ali<img class=”alignleft size-thumbnail wp-image-5585src=”http://i2.wp.com/www.ayyaantuu.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/Jatani-Ali.jpg?resize=100%2C100″ alt=”Jatani Ali” data-recalc-dims=”1″ />Jatani Ali, Borana, Oromo leader, former Provincial Governor of Borana Province in Southern Oromia, shot dead by the operatives of Tigray People’s Liberation Front Ethiopian People’s Democratic Front (TPLF/EPRDF) in Nairobi on 2nd July, 1992.

2. In 2003, asylum seeker Mr. Halakhe Diidoo was killed by Ethiopian security in the town of Moyale – Kenya as he crossed to seek asylum.

3. In 2004, Mr. Areeroo Galgalo was gunned down in Moyale – Kenya just some 50 metres away from Moyale Police Station as he was heading to seek asylum at the police station.

4. On 4th September 2007, Mr. Gaaromse Abdisaa was shot dead in Moyale town – Kenya while in bid to save his life and seek asylum.

5. 6th November 2007, a group of ten (10) Oromo refugees were attacked in their living apartment in Eastleign Nairobi. At least two were killed on the sport and some injured.

6. On 20th March 2010, Mr. Asefa Alemu Tana, a refugee with UNHCR File No.: Neth 029833/1 was found dead at his home near a bathroom, with deep head injuries. He lived in Huruma with his family members.

7. Mr. Dalacha Golicha<img class=”alignleft size-thumbnail wp-image-5586src=”http://i2.wp.com/www.ayyaantuu.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/Mr.-DalachaGolicha.jpg?resize=100%2C100″ alt=”Mr. Dalacha Golicha” data-recalc-dims=”1″ />On 1st February 2013, Mr. Dalacha Golicha a registered asylum seeker with UNHCR appointment letter was shot dead at his home in Huruma Nairobi.

 

 

8. Mr. Mohamed Kedir<img class=”alignleft size-thumbnail wp-image-5587src=”http://i1.wp.com/www.ayyaantuu.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/Mr.-Mohamed-Kedir.jpg?resize=100%2C100″ alt=”Mr. Mohamed Kedir” data-recalc-dims=”1″ />On 4th April 2013, Mr. Mohamed Kedir Helgol was shot dead and left in his private car along Eastleign Street. It’s our great belief with no doubt that the killers of Oromo refugee are the Ethiopian secret security agents in Kenya.

 

 

9. In 1994 a twenty four year old Boru was found hanged on a tree at the backyard of the camp. Most Oromos believe that the EPRDF agents killed him.
10. In 1994 an unknown gunman, who is believed to be an EPRDF agent, shot and killed many Oromo refugees inside the refugee camp.

11. In the same year (1994), an Oromo religious man, Sheik Abdusalam Mohammed Madare, was shot and wounded seriously. As a result, many Oromos living in the camp had protested against the discriminative killings of the Oromo refugee.

12. In 1995 three Oromo houses were burnt down in Kakuma camp, where a 5 year old baby girl, Hajo Ibrahim, was killed.

13. N 1996 a frustrated Oromo refugee, who fled from the camp and was found dead in the surrounding area, after half of his body was eaten by scavengers.

14. In 1998 a group of masked gunmen, showered bullets in the Oromo section of the camp for several hours.

15. In 1998 Mr. Rashid Abubaker was found dead in Eastleign by gunmen believed to be EPRDF agents.

16. In 1999 Mr. Sulxan Adem, Awal and Mohammed Seraj were kidnapped by unknown secret agents, and disappeared.

17. On 3rd June, 2000 a young nationalist Abudulwasi Abdulaziz was killed by EPRDF government secret killing square at Juja Road at Pangani. He was a member of Oromo Traditional Band.

18. In the same year (2000) Mr. Alamu a well known and respected Oromo in Dadab, was killed by unidentified people, but it is believed that those killers were assisted by Ethiopian authorities.

19. In the same year (2000), a UNHCR field officer named Shida had found one of the Ethiopian community members who bought a gun to kill the Oromo. She was said to have brought the person to Nairobi so that he would be charged in Kenya for his killing attempt.

20. In the same year (2000), one Oromo refugee was shot and lost one of his limbs.

21. In the same year (2000), in Dadab Mr. Solomon was shot dead.

22. In 2001 Ifrah Hassen was kidnapped in Kakuma by unknown group of people and her whereabouts unknown to this date.

23. In 2001 Mr. Jamal Mussa, Mr. Mohammed Adem and Mr. Mohammed Jamal and Tofik Water all disappeared and their whereabouts are still unknown.

24. In 2001 again the one Oromo refugee was killed by planned car accident, the car was driven by an Ethiopian who is believed to be an Ethiopian government agent.

25. At the beginning of 2002 Awel Mohammed Hussen was kidnapped from Dadab, and then found while he was taken to Dolo Military Camp in Ethiopia where he was killed by EPRDF soldiers two days later.

26. In the same year four Oromo refugees escaped in Kakuma fleeing to Nairobi from planned assassination by EPRDF squad.

27. On 2nd November 2002 Mr. Indalkachaw Teshome Asefa was murdered by Ethiopian security forces in Moyale town.

28. On the same day the body of Oromo women, believed to be murdered by security force was found in the town.

29. In December, 2009 an organized attempt by the Ethiopian government to deport some innocent Oromo refugee community members Mr. Mamed Said a well known elder of the community Mr. Alemu Ware and Yesuf Mohamed was reversed by the help of concerned bodies and the cry of Oromo community members.

B. DEPORTATION OF OROMO REFUGEES WHO LIVES WITH UNHCR MANDATE IN KENYA

1. Mr. Legesse Angessa and Teklu Baleha Dhinsa were abducted from Dhadhab Refugee Camp and deported back to Ethiopia.

2. In 2005, Mr. Liiban Jarso, Olqabaa Lataa and Amansiisa Guutaa (former student from Addis Ababa University) were abducted from Eastleign, Nairobi and unlawfully deported back to Ethiopia. In connection to this and many other disappearances of Oromo refugees, hundreds of Oromo refugees marched into mass demonstration and gathered outside UNHCR office in Nairobi on 27th December 2005 to complain the rise of insecurity and abduction cases instigated by the Ethiopian government and claimed that some had been killed.

The Kenya government authority intervened and the security detectives arrested three Ethiopian men believed to be secret security agents deployed to cause atrocities to Oromo refugees in Kenya. The three; Mr. Tesfaye Alemayo and Lulu were charged and tried before the law court which ruled and ordered their deportation to Ethiopia.

3. Tesfahu Chemeda 3<img class=”alignleft size-thumbnail wp-image-5588src=”http://i0.wp.com/www.ayyaantuu.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/Tesfahu-Chemeda-3.jpg?resize=100%2C100″ alt=”Tesfahu Chemeda 3″ data-recalc-dims=”1″ />On 27th April 2007 the Kenya terrorist police arrested Engineer Tesfahun Chemeda and Mesfin Abebe from a Nairobi hotel. They lived as recognized refugees since 2005 under the concern of UNHCR mandate. They were charged as suspected terrorist and arraigned before a law court in Nairobi.

Efforts by members of Oromo community, Kenya Human Rights Commission and the UNHCR to prevent their refoulement went to no avail, when on 7th May 2007 during a court hearing of Hebeus Capeaus, Kenyan officials told a local judge, and the two were already deported back to Ethiopia to face terrorism charges.” (Oromo Refugee Committee in Kenya, 2013).

Engineer Tesfahun Chemeda has been killed in Ethiopian prison and Mesfin Abebe is still in prison.

IV. Another example of mass killings in neighboring countries: According to OSA appeal letter to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Massacre of Oromo Refugees in Bassaso, Puntland (Somalia) on Tuesday December 01, 2009 in which at least 67 lost their lives and hundreds wounded and another time in Bassaso at different place on 02/05/09 mass massacre of 65 were brutally murdered and more than 100 others were injured.

Ethiopian government security force hunting Oromo Refugees anywhere in neighboring countries nonstop.

V. According to the recent HRLHA’s Urgent Action and Appeal of October 25, 2015, 131 Oromo refugees in Kenya targeted to be abducted or assassinated by the TPLF regime. The action started with the first named in the TPLF list, Mr. Dabasa Guyo Safarro, 80 years old, an Oromo cultural legend, resident of Mololongo, Kenya for more than thirty-five (35) years disappeared on September 27, 2015 in Nairobi, Kenya.

We are highly concerned for Mr. Dabasa Guyyo’s safety and security as well as the security of other 130 Oromo refugees named in the list.

We request President Uhuru Kenyatta and the government of Kenya to protect Oromo refugees in Kenya and stop the Ethiopian government boundary violations and harassing Oromo refugees.

We ask the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to urge the Ethiopian government stop human rights violations and abuse.

We request the ICRC to take urgent action in search of the where about of Mr. Dabasa Guyyo and safe his life.

We request the UNHCR to protect registered refugees and urgently work on their applications to secure asylum request to third countries.

We request the third countries governments and societies to support refugees who are in urgent need of security for their lives in providing asylum and urgent process for their resettlement.

Peace and justice for all,

Yours Sincerely,

Dinknesh Deressa Kitila
International Oromo women’s Organization
Board Director

Injustice anywhere is injustice everywhere!!!

Related:-

OMN: Jim Bernholtz’s Appeal on The Disappearance of Dabbasa Guyyo Nov. 14, 2015

https://www.oromiamedia.org/2015/11/omn-jim-bernholtzs-appeal-on-the-disappearance-of-dabbasa-guyyo-nov-14-2015/

Kenya: KDF deployed at border after Ethiopian forces kill Kenya police November 21, 2015

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MARSABIT: The Kenya Defence Force (KDF) has moved its armoured vehicles and tanks from the Odha Military Camp in Moyale to Sololo following an invasion by Ethiopian forces who killed three police officers.

 

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MARSABIT (The Standard): The development last evening follows a fierce gun battle earlier in the day between Kenya police and Ethiopian forces at Anona and parts of Sololo Township in Kenyan territory.

Marsabit County Police Commander Bernard Kogo said three Kenyan security officers were killed but declined to reveal the casualty on the Ethiopian side.  “We lost three officers at the border (Sololo) and I do not know what happened on their (Ethiopian) side,”  said Mr Kogo. On Thursday, a senior provincial administrator  identified a senior chief   who was gunned down by allegedly rebels from the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF). Ethiopia is fighting the rag-tag OLF rebels in Ethiopia and parts of Marsabit County that it claims hosts their rivals. OLF is opposed to Ethiopia’s ruling regime and claims it has marginalised the majority of Oromia-speaking people who include the Borana, also found in Kenya. At dawn Friday, Ethiopian forces in full military attire invaded villages in Sololo District where locals led by area MP Roba Duba said at least 24 Kenyans were abducted. “Eleven people were rounded up and taken away by Ethiopian soldiers. Before that they beat up everyone in their sight with gun butts, kicks and blows,’’ said Adan Jirma, a resident of Sololo South.

See also: Ethiopian soldiers cross to Kenya, kill three policemen, five missing At around midday Friday, Ethiopians soldiers made a second invasion in the two centres while backed by armoured vehicles.

This prompted administration and regular police, backed by Kenya police reservists, to engage the foreign army in a shootout. As the gun battle between the two sides raged up to about 4pm Friday, KDF’s army multi-unit detachment from Odha in Moyale, about 100km away, rolled its armoured cars and tanks that were deployed at the border, stretching a distance of about 15km. Sololo OCPD Benjamin Mwanzia said the military had been deployed to guard against further incursion but declined to give details.  National Hospital Insurance Fund Chairman Mohamud Ali called on the Kenya Government to protest what he called frequent invasion by Ethiopian forces into Kenyan territory. “We are a sovereign state and this (invasion) is bad because Ethiopia is considered a friendly neighbour. It is high time our government sends a strong signal to them,” said Ali. Mid this year, Ethiopian forces invaded Kenyan territory on three occasions — at Illeret, Sololo and Moyale.
Read more at: http://www.standardmedia.co.ke/article/2000183121/kdf-deployed-at-border-after-ethiopian-forces-kill-officers

 

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Ethiopia risks diplomatic row after its soldiers enter Kenya and kill local police officers.

NAIROBI will seek an explanation from Addis Ababa after Ethiopian soldiers killed three Kenyan police officers in foreign territory, Kenyan media reported Sunday.

 

http://mgafrica.com/article/2015-11-22-ethiopia-risks-diplomatic-row-after-its-soldiers-kill-kenyan-police-officers?fb_ref=eddd03b994f747968cd988c83dfcc383-Facebook

 

 

UNPO: Oromo: Enforced Disappearance of Prominent Community Leader October 15, 2015

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???????????Hayyuu Aadaa fi Argaa-Dhageettii Oromoo Obbo Dabbasaa Guyyoo. photo1

Oromo: Enforced Disappearance of Prominent Community Leader

Dabassa Guyo Saffaro, an important member of the Oromo community, with expertise in Oromo culture and cosmology, has been missing since 27 September 2015. He has long been persecuted by the Ethiopian government, and fled to Kenya in the 1970s. He has been living under UNHCR protection in Nairobi since then. His disappearance marks a continuation of the Ethiopian government’s consistent attacks on the Oromo people; his family and friends are calling on international human rights organisations to help the search effort.

Below is an article published by OPride:

A prominent Oromo wisdom keeper, oral historian and spiritual leader, who spent more than 30 years teaching the Oromo culture and cosmology, has been missing since September 27, family and friends said.

Dabassa Guyo Saffaro was born and raised in Yabello, Ethiopia. He moved to Kenya in the early 1970s fleeing political persecution, according to his daughter Darmi. He has since lived in Nairobi at times under the protection of the UNHCR. Guyo was in the process of renewing his expired Kenyan ID and UNHCR travel documents when he vanished.

Darmi, 22, is calling on the UN refugee agency, the Kenyan media, government and lawmakers to help locate her father, whom many describe as a living encyclopedia of Oromo wisdom, cosmology and oral tradition. The family is also asking international human rights organizations, the Oromo diaspora and other indigenous community leaders to help in the search effort and in investigating the circumstances of his disappearance.

“My father is a good man,” Darmi told OPride by phone from Mlolongo, where until recently she lived with Guyo, her two children and two other siblings. “He doesn’t have any quarrels with people. He is the greatest dad in the world.”

About half a dozen of Guyo’s former students contacted by OPride attest to the oral historian’s generosity, gentle spirit and kindness. Asnake Erko is the first of Guyo’s graduates and his former assistant. “I met him in Kenya in early 2000,” Erko told OPride. “Dabasa is a very kind man who shares from what he gets from good Samaritans. He is a man whose knowledge has no limits.”

Erko and nine other Oromo refugees eventually convinced Guyo to start teaching a course on Gadaa and Oromo culture. The effort led to the establishment in 2000 of “Arga Dhageettii Gadaa Oromoo,” an Oromo cultural institute where Guyo continued to teach Oromo culture, spirituality and the Gadaa system until recently.

Guyo was picked up from his residence in Mlolongo, a township outside of Nairobi, on September 25 by his son-in-law, Shamil Ali, and another individual from Kenya’s Oromo community, according to Darmi. He was invited by the community to preside over and perform rituals at an Irreechaa celebration at Nairobi’s City Park on September 27, something he has done every year for decades.

The respected leader reportedly returned to Eastleigh that evening after performing the ritual to spend the night with Ali, Darmi’s ex-husband. Ali says the father of six changed into a regular wardrobe after they got home and stepped outside for what he assumed was a “routine” walk. Ali says he became gradually more concerned when the elder did not return after an hour and as the night began to fall. Guyo was last seen wearing white pants and green sandals.

Darmi thought it was odd — and even uncharacteristic — for Guyo to leave behind all of his belongings and identification cards even if he ventured out for a quick walk. “My father never leaves his bag behind,” said Darmi, adding that her father had lived in Kenya for nearly four decades and knew his way around Eastleigh very well. “I was told Dad left everything of his behind, but still he can’t just get lost like a kid.” Guyo speaks Swahili and Oromo.

Ali and Guyo’s acquaintances in the United States and Europe fear that he might have fallen into the wrong hands, noting that Eastleigh is no longer a friendly neighborhood for immigrants. That the missing elder looks like a Somali in his physical appearance almost doesn’t help in an environment charged with official ethnic profiling, according to Jim Berenholtz, who had known Guyo for more than two decades. In recent years, Kenyan security officials have rounded up immigrants — particularly Somalis — en masse amid a heightened crackdown on those suspected of having links or sympathies for the militant group, Al-Shabab.

Erko and some members of the Oromo diaspora have raised concerns that Ethiopian security forces might have kidnapped Guyo because of his political views. (The Ethiopian intelligence in Kenya has a long history of targeting and kidnapping Oromo nationals in the country.)

Guyo’s family is desperately seeking information about his whereabouts. Ali maintains that he had searched local police stations, jails, hospitals and mortuaries for the missing elder at no avail. Darmi, who is seeking a divorce from Ali, questions some of her ex-husband’s accounts of her father’s unexplained disappearance and she plans to file a separate missing person report this week.

Both say they can’t rule anything out at this point, including a possibility that Ethiopian spies might have kidnapped the spiritual leader. One theory is that Guyo gave an unfavorable speech at Ireechaa and there were spies at the event. Ali also recalls Guyo had in recent months complained about some “pressure” from the Ethiopian embassy in Kenya. Erko and at least two of Guyo’s former acquaintances in the U.S. recall he always had concerns about his safety and had told them unidentified individuals had been nagging him to return to Oromia and teach Gadaa — an offer they say Guyo had repeatedly refused. Those who knew him say Guyo was openly critical of the Ethiopian government and the atrocities it commits against the Oromo people and the systemic repression of their culture. Understandably, there are a lot of speculations about his whereabouts and what might have befallen him. But at this point the family says their best hope is that the elder is indeed in Kenyan or Ethiopian custody.

His former students, including Berenholtz and Erko, say Guyo was a truly gifted orator with a very deep knowledge of the universe and the Oromo Gadaa system. The highly respected seer and mystic was an informant to such prominent anthropologists as Gamachu Magarsa, Paul Baxter and many others who have studied the Gadaa system.

In recent years, Guyo has been working with several globally recognized researchers, anthropologists and other indigenous nations, such as the Mayans, American Indians , Kyrgyz, the Altaic and other indigenous groups to raise awareness about Oromo cosmology and indigenous belief system. Over the past decade, the Oromo wisdom has travelled to the U.S., Guatemala, Kyrgyzstan, Australia and several European countries to share his wisdom with Oromo expats and other indigenous people.

Erko and others say Guyo had a unique ability to distill complex concepts about astronomy, a sophisticated Oromo calendar and numerology system “and make you sit there (listening) the whole day without even thinking that you were there for a second.” The renowned historian can reference specific dates and historical events from memory in each and every part of Oromia, according to Erko. He also had an unmatched ability to not only interpret but also connect age-old Oromo prophecies with current events.

None of the people we spoke with could conclusively say he’s kidnapped but all point to the history of Ethiopian intelligentsia in targeting such prominent Oromo nationals even beyond its borders. In addition to his lecture at Irreechaa, which his friends say may have drawn the ire of the Ethiopian intelligence, Guyo has been traveling around the world to teach Gadaa and raise awareness about the systemic suppression of Oromo culture and heritage in Ethiopia. Guyo’s disappearance on the same day he spoke at Irreechaa appears to lend some credence to their suspicion.

Anyone with information about Guyo’s whereabouts is encouraged to contact his family or the Oromo community organization in Nairobi. You can also send an anonymous tip to OPride at oromsisblog@gmail.com.

 

Photo credit: Rod Waddington @Flickr

http://unpo.org/article.php?id=18635

ETHIOPIA SPYMASTER INFILTRATES KENYA POLICE June 4, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, Janjaweed Style Liyu Police of Ethiopia.
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ETHIOPIA SPYMASTER INFILTRATES KENYA POLICE

By Kasembeli AlbertDavid Kimaiyo, Kenyan Inspector General of Police. COURTESY PHOTO(Radio mw Afrika) — Anxiety has gripped the Kenyan corridors of power and the National Police Service Commission  (NPSC) after it emerged that Ethiopian National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) has infiltrated the Kenya police service and established a unit within, which pays allegiance to NISS and executes orders from Addis Ababa.

Security pundits consider this an act of treason on the part of Kenya police officers involved.

Despite notification from the Kenya spy-master – National Security Intelligence Services (NSIS), sources intimated to The Sunday Express that nothing had been done to avert the lurking threat to the national security by such infiltration by a foreign agency.

“This guys are operating with impunity as though they are no longer officers of the National police Service,” said a senior police officer at Vigilance House.

When contacted the Inspector General, David Kimaiyo denied knowledge of such a unit operating under his arm bit. “Am not aware of that. In fact am hearing it from you,” said Kimaiyo.

Though officials at the Ethiopian Embassy in Nairobi declined to comment on the matter only referring as to Addis Abba, our sources within the embassy divulged that 50 polices officers are on the pay roll of the Ethiopia Government.

The officers under the command of senior police officer based in Nairobi received a total monthly payment of 900,000 Ethiopia Birr (KSh4.5 million) monthly minus the allowances and money meant to facilitate specific operations. The officers are said to live a lavish life and are accessible to top of the range cars.

Even as Ethiopia appears to be using the old spying system. Questions are emerging as to why the government has never taken stern measures against officers involved including charging them with treason because it is clear espionage.

Security analyst Simiyu Werunga attributes this to poor pay and deplorable working conditions, leaving the officers more vulnerable to corruption and bribery. “The government should take a stern action against the suspects for having taken part in criminal activities against their country even after taking an oath,” he said.

It is worth noting that NISS is a very powerful and dreaded organ of Ethiopia’s totalitarian government. It is to protect national security by providing quality intelligence and reliable security services. Under the plans presented, it is accountable to the Prime Minister. The agency has a wide permit to lead intelligence and security work both inside and outside Ethiopia.

“The unit specifically compiles intelligence reports as to specifics missions as requests made by Addis,” said a source privy to operations of the unit. The unit too specifically monitors the operations of Ethiopian dissidents and refugees living in Kenya.

The unit is also said to be responsible for kidnappings of Ethiopian refuges and dissidents and their subsequent repatriation to Addis Ababa where they face death, brutality and long prison sentences. The unit has specific detail to trail their eyes on Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) and the Oganden National Liberation Front (ONLF).

Last week, two police officers appeared in court charged with alleged abduction of two ONLF leaders in Nairobi. On January 26, two top officials of ONLF were abducted from outside a popular restaurant in Upper Hill, Nairobi. The two who were identified as Mr Sulub Ahmed and Ali Hussein were members of the ONLF negotiation team that was in Nairobi for a proposed third round of talks.

It is claimed security agencies from Ethiopia and Kenya were involved in the kidnapping. They were abducted by men who were in three waiting cars. One of the cars, a black Toyota Prado was seized and detained at the Turbi police station on Monday but the two were missing amid speculation they had been taken across to Ethiopia. The ONLF officials were invited by the Kenyan government for peace negotiations.

The two officers charged, a Chief Inspector Painito Bera Ng’ang’ai and Constable James Ngaparini are attached to Nairobi Area CID. He added the officers had been identified by witnesses as having participated in the abduction of Mr Sulub Ahmed and Ali Hussein who were members of the ONLF negotiation team that was in Nairobi for a proposed third round of talks.

Last week, the Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa (HRLHA) wrote to President Uhuru Kenyatta expressing its deep concern regarding the safety of four Oromo refugees from Ethiopia who were arbitrarily arrested by Kenyan anti-terrorist squad from Isili area in Nairobi on different dates of operations and taken to unknown destinations.

According documents in our possession,  Mr. Tumsa Roba Katiso, (UNHCR attestation File#: NETH033036/1) was arrested by people claiming to by a team of Kenyan police, who arrived at the scene in two vehicles, on February 1, 2014 at around 10:00 AM from 2nd Avenue Eastleigh Nairobi on his way home from shopping. The other three refugees, Mr. Chala Abdalla, Mr.Namme Abdalla, and the third person whose name is not known yet were picked up from their home which is located in the same vicinity.

They are alleged to have been picked by the special police squad on the payroll of Addis Ababa. The whereabouts of those Ethiopian-Oromo refugees is unknown until the time of going to press.

The HRLHA is highly suspicious that those Ethiopian-Oromo refugees might have been deported to Ethiopia. And, in case those Ethiopian-Oromo refugees have been deported, the Ethiopian Government has a well-documented record of gross and flagrant violations of human rights, including the torturing of its own citizens who were involuntarily returned to the country.

The government of Ethiopia routinely imprisons such persons and sentences them to up to life in prison, and often impose death penalty. There have been credible reports of physical and psychological abuses committed against individuals in Ethiopian official prisons and other unofficial or secret detention centres.

Under Article 33 (1) of the Convention relating to the Status of Refugees (189 U.N.T.S. 150), to which Kenya is a party, “[n]o contracting state shall expel or forcibly return a refugee in any manner whatsoever to the frontiers of territories where his life or freedom would be threatened on account of his . . . political opinion.”

This obligation, which is also a principle of customary international law, applies to both asylum seekers and refugees, as affirmed by UNHCR’s Executive Committee and the United Nations General Assembly. By deporting the four refugees and others, the Kenyan Government will be breaching its obligations under international treaties as well as customary law.

Though some government officials denied it is official government policy, the Kenyan Government is well known for handing over refugees to the Ethiopian Government by violating the above mentioned international obligations. Engineer Tesfahun Chemeda, who died on August 24, 2013 in Ethiopia’s grand jail of Kaliti due1 to torture that was inflicted on him in that jail, was handed over to the Ethiopian government security agents in 2007 by the Kenyan police.

Tesfahun Chemeda was arrested by the Kenyan police, along with his close friend called Mesfin Abebe, in 2007 in Nairobi, Kenya, where both were living as refugees since 2005; and later deported to Ethiopia. The Ethiopian government detained them in an underground jail in a military camp for over one year, during which time they were subjected to severe torture and other types of inhuman treatments until when they were taken to court and changed with terrorism offences in December 2008. They were eventually sentenced to life imprisonment in March 2010.

“The Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa (HRLHA) is highly concerned about the safety and security of the above listed refugees who were recently arrested by the Kenyan anti-terrorist forces; and for those who are still living in Kenya,” said a communiqué petitioning President Kenyatta to intervene.

It urges the government of Kenya to respect the international treaties and obligations, and unconditionally release the arrested refugees, and refrain from handing over to the government of Ethiopia where they would definitely face torture and maximum punishments. It also urges all human rights agencies (local, regional and international) to join the HRLHA and condemn these illegal and inhuman acts of the Kenyan Government against defenseless refugees.

HRLHA requests western countries as well as international organizations to interfere in this matter so that the safety and security of the arrested refugees and those refugees currently staying in Kenya could be ensured.

In the recent past, the rendition of Oromo refugees has been in the news. Kenyan authorities have been accused of illegal rendition of Oromo refugees to Ethiopia   under the pretext of cracking down on the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) militias. While in Ethiopia, the individuals are allegedly arraigned before special courts where they are handed heavy jail sentences ranging from death to life in prison.

The fundamental objective of the Oromo liberation movement is to exercise the Oromo peoples’ right to national self-determination and end centuries of oppression and exploitation. The OLF believes the Oromo people are still being denied their fundamental rights by Ethiopian colonialism. According to Terfa Dibaba, head of the Oromo Relief Association (ORA) based in Germany, 21 Oromo refugees have been adducted in Nairobi and Moyale and illegally shipped to Addis Ababa where they have been locked in custody.

Some of the people abducted in Nairobi and Moyale and clandestinely whisked to Ethiopia and languishing in jail include: Jatani Kuuno, Liban Wario and Milki Doyo. These, ORA alleges, were abducted in a friend’s house in Moyale by Kenyans enlisted by the Ethiopia authorities and ferried in two Kenya government’s Land Rovers to Ethiopia.

Others are Dabaso Kutu, Libani Jatani and Deban Wario. They are currently on trial in Ethiopia. Impeccable source have confided that a Kenyan, Abrhim Dambi, the head of the head of Ethiopian Spy network detailed to track down political dissidents has now fled to Addis Ababa where he is hosted by the government after he was exposed.

 Read more at:-

http://www.radiomwafrika.com/ethiopia-spymaster-infiltrates-kenya-police/

Related:-

https://oromianeconomist.wordpress.com/2015/06/01/kenyas-reprisals-against-ethiopia/

Kenya’s Reprisals Against Ethiopia June 1, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Uncategorized.
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Oromia

Kenya’s Reprisals Against Ethiopia

Kenya's relations with Ethiopia is getting far less harmonious
Kenya’s relations with Ethiopia is getting less harmonious recently due to Ethiopia’s repeated incursions into Kenyan territory in complete disregard to the country’s sovereignty

By African Intelligence,

UNDERMINED by the incursion of the Ethiopian army into Kenyan territory in late May (at the Illeret locality, 15 km from the border), relations between Kenya and Ethiopia could deteriorate even further.

The Kenyan government has decided to break the agreement signed with Ethiopia in 2012 under which Kenya undertook to import some 400 MW of electricity for a period of 30 years, after the Gilgel Gibe III dam (southwest Ethiopia) is completed next year. 

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Oromia and Kenya: Fascinating world of Kenya’s Borana Oromo People. #Africa. #Oromia January 24, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, Boran Oromo, Cushtic, Kemetic Ancient African Culture, Meroetic Oromo, Munyoo Oromo, Munyoyaya Oromo, Orma Oromo, Oromia, Oromiyaa, Oromo, Oromo Culture, Oromo Identity, Oromo Nation, Oromo Wisdom, Oromummaa, Rayya Oromo.
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???????????Faith of the Oromo

Fascinating world of Kenya’s Borana Oromo

More information about Borana can be found at www.boranavoices.org
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By Ruth Styles for MailOnline

Split between Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia, the 500,000-strong Borana tribe might be numerous but their fascinating customs and religious beliefs are entirely unique.

A nomadic people, their lives revolve around finding good grazing for their herds of camels and cattle, which combined, provide everything they need to survive in the striking semi-arid scrub land they inhabit.

But while men dominate village life and are in charge of the herds, women play a vital role and are in sole charge of building Borana homes and performing the elaborate dances that signal the birth of a baby.

Dressed in her best: A Borana woman wearing traditional garb made from goat skins. The expensive dresses are now kept only for best

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Rules: Many of the Borana’s rules apply to children, including a prohibition on addressing anyone older than themselves by their first name

With so little water to be had, their beauty routine is an unusual one and involves anointing their locks with ghee (clarified butter) to keep hair smooth and shiny.

Girls are given the most striking hairdos and wear the crown of their heads shaved until they marry, at which point the hair is allowed to grow back while the rest is plaited into elaborate designs.

But hair isn’t the only part of life governed by the Borana’s centuries-old laws. The majority of rules apply to children who, for instance, aren’t allowed to call anyone older than themselves by their first names.

Those names are also governed by tribal law and are inspired by the time of day they were born. ‘Boys born in broad daylight are always called Guyo,’ explains photographer Eric Lafforgue who took these incredible pictures.

‘Some are named after a major event, a ceremony (Jil), a rainy season (Rob) or a dry season (Bon). Others are named after weekdays while a few get odd names such as Jaldes (ape), Funnan (nose), Gufu (tree stump) and Luke (lanky long legs).’

Whatever their parents decide to call them, all children are given a place in the social pecking order at birth – and once done, it is rare for it to be changed.

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Welcome: The birth of a baby of either gender is marked by a traditional women-only dance which welcomes the infant into the world

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Hard work: Women are in sole charge of building Borana homes and since they move four times a year, have to work extremely hard

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Elaborate: A woman carries milk in an engraved gourd and shows off a bead ring (left). Right: The chief’s wife is given special jewellery

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Shaved: Girls such as this one have the crowns of their heads shaved until marriage. Afterwards, hair grows back and is plaited

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Changing times: Traditionally, the Borana believed in a single god called Wak. Now Islam and Christianity are beginning to make inroads

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Moving: Many of the young people are leaving the tribe behind for jobs in town, among them this trio who send money home to their families

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Screened: Borana women are not allowed to come face-to-face with their son-in-laws. If they do, both must immediately cover their faces

The luckiest are the sons of village chiefs who are placed in the top grade, daballe, at birth and show their status with long locks that make them resemble girls.

As future chiefs themselves, no one is allowed to punish them, even when they misbehave, while their mothers gain an honoured place in society and are frequently asked to bless well-wishers.

These women are also given special jewellery to wear usually made from colourfully beaded leather, enlivened on occasion with recycled Coca-Cola caps.

Those who aren’t married to a chief, although often forced to share a husband, do get some special benefits including being in sole charge of who can and cannot enter their homes – spouses included.

‘A wife always decides who will enter in the house,’ explains Lafforgue. ‘If her husband comes back and finds another man’s spear stuck into the ground outside her house, he cannot go in.’

Women are also in sole charge of raising their daughters and usually insist that they become excellent housewives. Men, when they come to choose a wife, will often judge the girl by her mother, which makes getting it right all the more important.

Older women are honoured as the keepers of tribal lore, although not all of it makes sense to Western ears. ‘Old people are afraid of having their picture taken,’ says Lafforgue. ‘They believe that when you take their photo, you remove their blood and steal their shadow.’

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New religion: An increasing number of Borana are becoming Muslim and have adopted Islamic customs such as the headscarf

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Respected: Older women are honoured as keepers of village lore while this boy (right) is the son of a chief and can never be punished

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Important man: This man is the overseer of one of the Borana’s network of wells. It is taboo to fight over water

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Chief: The Borana elect a leader every eight years. The ‘father of the village’ wears a special headdress called a kalacha

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Home: Women have the final say on who can enter their homes. If a man finds another man’s spear outside his wife’s hut, he can’t go in

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Laborious: Women are tasked with building all the houses, as well as dismantling and rebuilding them when the village moves on

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Livelihood: The Borana’s cattle and camels are their most precious possessions and are nearly always cared for by men

Sorce: TKG News


For more click Borana Voices

Source: http://ayyaantuu.com/horn-of-africa-news/oromia/fascinating-world-of-kenyas-borana-oromo-tribe-revealed/

The Tyrannic Ethiopian Regime is Accountable for the Death of a Political Prisoner And Prisoner of Conscience, Oromo National, Engineer Tesfahun Chemeda August 27, 2013

Posted by OromianEconomist in Uncategorized.
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The tyrannic and minority rule of TPLF  Ethiopian government has been conducting genocidal killings against the majority (the Oromo people), nations and nationalities in Southern  and Eastern Ethiopia. In its policies and strategies of  Nazi and Apartheid style, it has mainly targeting the Oromo who make more than 40% of  the population of the Horn of Africa. Engineer Tesfahun Chemada Gurmeessaa is the latest victim of  TPLF’s planned and systematic genocide going on. Ethiopian empire (Horn of African) is one of the least developed, economically very impoverished and marginalized in the world. It is the most world food aid dependent region. The tyrannic and corrupt regime in its statistical lies and paper growth has reported that it has registered the fastest economic growth in Africa. Practical observation on the ground indicates the opposite (it is poverty alone that is  growing). The politically motivated sectarian regime actually destroys the very scarce and rare  resources the region holds and the dynamics of the society (Oromo and other non-Tigrayan) that it has put under its genocidal target : engineers, teachers, graduate students, the writers, the farmers, business men and women, the natural forest (the ecosystem) and the ancient  human culture of the region.

The followings are republications  among the latest  petitions  initiated and open letters made by concerned citizens and Oromo human rights advocates  in the calls for the reversal of the ongoing crime against humanity. For further details and actions please refer to the original sources as they are acknowledged in this page.  

Dear President Barack Obama,

The #Oromo People < http://www.oromo.org/enocide-against-the-oromo-people-of-thiopia.html&gt; are the single largest Nation in the Horn of Africa under the brutal rule of successive Ethiopian rulers nearly for a century & half now. At this very moment, the current EPRDF regime, which controls Ethiopia for the last 22 years, has intensified the killing, detaining, displacing, expelling our people from every sectors of our society, from all corners of our country for no tangible reasons, but simply due to politics of fear and an excuse for extension of its ruling terms under various pretext.

Dear Mr. President,

In history, our people have never had such tactical gross abhorrent human rights violations of the highest order in any past Ethiopian successive governments that parallel to the current EPRDF tyrannical regime in part due to the shielding effect of present day Geopolitical dynamics.
Time and again, many peasants, students, skilled professionals, journalists, Artists, prominent nationalists, even Government ministers, and local and International activists have tried to demonstrate,  petition and  stage worldwide rallies to the Whitehouse and other Government and NGO institutions in various occasions in several countries to demand on Ethiopian Govt. to stop atrocities, but no concrete response was achieved yet.

There is no particular crime that our people have committed to suffer from such purposefully calculated heinous crimes by the ruling party against innocent civilians. Despite out loud preaches of Modern Democracy all over the world, our people are still well silenced and voiceless under gunpoint not to demand or petition their Govt. and no words from independent major world media outlets to expose these crimes and brutalities committed by this regime.Our people have been denied the right to collect and rest the bodies of their family members, relatives or friends who are victims of the Ethiopian Govt. The very recent cases in point among many others, are the refusal by the Govt. of the bodies of victims of Kofale Massacre & that of Engineer Tesfahun Chemeda, who was subjected to refoulement from Kenya to Ethiopia in few years back and killed this August 2013 in the notorious Kaliti Prison. Instead of allowing the family burry their son, the Govt. agents took his sister to jail accusing her of publicising Engineer Chemeda’s news of death at their hands.

Dear Obama,

We  hereby so kindly seeking your urgent support in voicing our strongest objection & hold the Ethiopian ruling EPRDF accountable for all its inhuman actions and atrocities being committed under various excuses and urge this regime to respect the rule of law, human rights & Democracy in Ethiopia. There will be no time that our people seek urgent help from USG and International communities than right now! Enough is better than over, justice, peace and democracy for the Oromo & other nationalities in the Horn of Africa shall prevail.

Therefore; we,  the undersigned individuals, would like to request your highest Office and all whom this may concern to influence the Ethiopian Govt. to respect the basic human & constitutional rights, stop genocide on peaceful people & obey rule of law to eventually transition itself from absolute Dictatorship to Democratic form of Government.

Thanks for your precious Mr. President,

Thanks everyone for taking your time to sign, share (on social media) & forwarding to friends.

Sincerely,

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/202/786/158/stop-atrocities-in-ethiopia/?taf_id=9925175&cid=fb_na

The HRLHA Statement

The Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa strongly condemns the atrocious torture and inhuman treatment by the Ethiopian government against its citizens and hold it accountable for the death of a political prisoner and prisoner of conscience Engineer Tesfahun Chemeda on August 24, 2013 in Kaliti prison.

HRLHA informants confirmed that Engineer Chemed died in Kaliti Penitentiary due to the severe torture inflicted on him while he was in different detentions centers from 2007 until the day he died. We also protest the fact that he was denied medical treatment by the government.

Engineer Tesfahun Chemeda, an Oromo national, was handed over by Kenyan authorities to Ethiopian Security agents in April 2007 from where he had granted a refugee status from UNHCR in Kenya after he had fled to Kenya to escape persecution by the EPRDF government of Ethiopia.

Engineer Tasfahun Chemeda was one of the 15 Oromo nationals who was sentenced to life in prison in 2010 by the Ethiopian court http://humanrightsleague.com/2010/07/a-call-for-the-reversal-of-the-racial-politically-motivated-and-discriminatory-sentence-by-a-court-in-ethiopia/ for his activism and political beliefs that were different from the ruling EPRDF government of Ethiopia.The Ethiopian Government is accountable for Torturing Mr. Chemeda in prison, thereby violating the 1984 Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, an agreement which Ethiopia signed and ratified in 1994 For denying Engineer Tesfahun medical treatment, violating the rights of prisoners which are clearly stated in international law and International covenants on civil and political rights article 10(1) “. All persons deprived of their liberty shall be treated with humanity and with respect for the inherent dignity of the human person”. and Constitution of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, the Rights of Persons Held in Custody and Convicted Prisoners article 21 (1) “All persons held in custody and persons imprisoned upon conviction and sentencing have the right to treatments respecting their human dignity”.

By handing over the Oromo refugees and others, the Kenyan Government is also breaching its obligations under international treaties as well as customary laws.

Under the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (1465 U.N.T.S. 185,) the Kenyan Government has the obligation not to return a person to a place where they will face torture or ill-treatment.
Article 3 of the Convention against Torture provides: No state party shall expel, return (“refouler”) or extradite a person to another state where there are substantial grounds to believe that they would be in danger of being subjected to torture.
The Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa calls upon the Ethiopian authorities to immediately carry out an independent investigation into Engineer Tesfahun’s death, including whether torture played a part in his death, and disclose to the public anyone found responsible and bring that person to justice. The HRLHA also calls upon the Western political allies of the TPLF/EPRDF Government of Ethiopia to exert pressures so that it is forced to turn around and start working on the genuine democratization of the country, halting the systematic elimination of citizens who demand basic rights and fundamental freedoms,

Finally we extend our condolences to Tesfahun’s family and friends in their time of grief as well as all Ethiopians who have been falsely accused, illegally detained or wrongly killed at the hands of a brutal and hypocritical regime. Engineer Tesfahun is just one of thousands of victims of the EPRDF government’s campaign of violence, repression and efforts to curtail basic freedoms and fundamental rights of Ethiopians at all costs.
http://ayyaantuu.com/horn-of-africa-news/ethiopia/ethiopia-the-government-is-accountable-for-the-death-of-a-political-prisoner-at-an-ethiopian-jail/

http://ayyaantuu.com/horn-of-africa-news/ethiopia/ethiopia-the-government-is-accountable-for-the-death-of-a-political-prisoner-at-an-ethiopian-jail/

The following is an open letter of the Oromia Support Group in Australia (OSGA) to Hon. Kevin Rudd, Australian PM, on the death in Ethiopian custody of Engineer Tesfahun Chemeda, after refoulement from Kenya.

——————-

Oromia Support Group in Australia

P.O. Box 38

Noble Park, 3174, Vic

E-mail: info@osgaustralia.com

Date: August 26th 2013

Open letter

Death in Ethiopian custody of Engineer Tesfahun Chemeda, after refoulement from Kenya

To: Honourable Kevin Rudd,

Australian Prime Minister

It is with sadness and anger that Oromia Support Australia Inc. OSGA reports the death of a young Oromo in Kaliti prison, Ethiopia, on 24 August, 2013. Tesfahun Chemeda was a student activist in Ethiopia and a political asylum seeker among refugees in Kenya, where he was granted refugee status by UNHCR. He was arrested with a colleague, Mesfin Abebe, by Kenyan ‘anti-terrorist police’ on 2 April 2007.

Although cleared by the anti-terrorist unit and by the FBI, the men were subject to refoulement to Ethiopia at the request of the Ethiopian authorities. UNHCR, the Refugee Consortium of Kenya and the Kenyan Human Rights Commission were told in court, after their application for habeas corpus that the men had been returned to Ethiopia, whereas they remained in custody in Kenya for at least two more days after the court hearing.

Tesfahun and Mesfin disappeared in detention in Ethiopia until charged with terrorist offences in December 2008. They were sentenced to life imprisonment in March 2010. [1] (Mesfin’s death sentence was later commuted.)

Tesfahun was transferred from Zeway prison to Kaliti, where he had been held in solitary confinement for nearly two years before he was killed. [2]

This is not the first time young Oromo men and women have been killed in detention. For example, Alemayehu Garba, partially paralysed with polio, was shot dead with 18 others in Kaliti prison in November 2005. [3]

Refoulement of UNHCR-recognised refugees from Sudan, Djibouti and Somaliland continues. [4]

How long must we wait for Australian Government and other western governments to stop maintaining the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) in power? Over one third of Ethiopia’s budget is in foreign aid. Ethiopia receives more aid from the Australia than any other country in the Africa.

It is a shocking state of affairs and an appalling way to spend Australian taxpayers’ money. Oromia Support Group in Australia Inc. tired of hearing from officials that they take every opportunity to engage with representatives of the Ethiopian government at the highest level to express their serious concerns about human rights abuses and lack of democratic progress in Ethiopia.

We have been hearing this for years. When are we going to see an effective response by those who control Ethiopia’s purse strings?

If Australia is so committed to providing aid to Ethiopia, than at least we should insist on it being contingent on real, measurable benchmarks of human rights and democratisation and not the desk-based studies of government-controlled data which support the status quo in Ethiopia.

This should be backed by effective sanctions so that members of the Ethiopian government are prevented from travelling to Australia and other western countries and investing in property and businesses outside of Ethiopia.

Unless meaningful sanctions are applied, growing disaffection with the west, previously noted by former US Ambassador Yamamoto, is likely to mature further. Under the oppression of the Ethiopian regime, opposition voices are becoming more likely to find expression in the very movements which the support of Ethiopia, because of its cooperation in the ‘war on terror’, is meant to avoid.

The authoritarian regime in Ethiopia is a major cause of instability affecting the whole of the Horn of Africa. Supporting it and investing in it is a short-sighted policy.

Yours sincerely,

Marama F. Qufi

Chairperson,Oromia Support Group in Australia Inc.

(For Dr Trevor Trueman, Chair, Oromia Support Group)

——-

[1] http://www.oromo.org/osg/Report_46.pdf, pp.43-44.

[2] http://www.opride.com/oromsis/news/horn-of-africa/3701-oromo-activist-tesfahun-chemeda-dies-in-prison-while-serving-life-sentence

[3] http://www.oromo.org/osg/Report_43.pdf, p.22

[4] For example, Badassa Geleta was among 18 refugees returned to Ethiopia from Djibouti on 31 December 2012 and detained in Dire Dawa. He was awaiting resettlement in Canada. Riyana Abdurahman, a 23 year-old teacher, was abducted from Hargeisa on 23 Novermber 2012 and imprisoned in Jigjiga, Somali Region, Ethiopia.

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

Dr. Trueman’s Letter to the British Government

Mark Simmonds MP

Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth
Affairs (Africa)
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
King Charles Street
London SW1A 2AH
25 August 2013

Open letter
Death in Ethiopian custody of Tesfahun Chemeda, after refoulement from Kenya

Dear Minister,

It is with sadness and anger that I report the death of a young Oromo in Kaliti prison, Ethiopia, on 24 August, yesterday. Tesfahun Chemeda was a student activist in Ethiopia and a political activist among refugees in Kenya, where he was granted refugee status by UNHCR. He was arrested with a colleague, Mesfin Abebe, by Kenyan anti-terrorist police on 2 April 2007.

Although cleared by the anti-terrorist unit and by the FBI, the men were subject to refoulement to Ethiopia at the request of the
Ethiopian authorities. UNHCR, the Refugee Consortium of Kenya and the KenyanHuman Rights Commission were told in court, after their application for habeas corpus, that the men had been returned to thiopia, whereas they remained in custody in Kenya for at least two more days after the court hearing.
Tesfahun and Mesfin disappeared in detention in Ethiopia until charged with terrorist offences in December 2008. They were sentenced to lifebimprisonment in March 2010. [1] (Mesfin’s death sentence was later
commuted.)
Tesfahun was transferred from Zeway prison to Kaliti, where he had been held in solitary confinement for nearly two years before he was killed.[2]
This is not the first time young Oromo men have been killed in detention. For example, Alemayehu Garba, partially paralysed with
polio, was shot dead with 18 others in Kaliti prison in November 2005.[3] Refoulement of UNHCR-recognised refugees from Djibouti and Somaliland continues.[4]

How long must we wait for Her Majesty’s Government and other western governments to stop maintaining the EPRDF in power? Over one third of Ethiopia’s budget is in foreign aid. Ethiopia receives more aid from the UK than any other country in the world.

It is a shocking state of affairs and an appalling way to spend UK taxpayers’ money. I am tired of hearing from Ministers and officials
that they take every opportunity to engage with representatives of the Ethiopian government at the highest level to express their serious concerns about human rights abuses and lack of democratic progress in Ethiopia.

I have been hearing this for over twenty years. When are we going to see an effective response by those who control Ethiopia’s purse strings?
If the UK is so wedded to providing aid to Ethiopia, than at least we should insist on it being contingent on real, measurable benchmarks of human rights and democratisation and not the desk-based studies of government-controlled data which support the status quo in Ethiopia.
This should be backed by effective sanctions so that members of the Ethiopian government are prevented from travelling to the UK and America and investing in property and businesses outside of Ethiopia.
Unless meaningful sanctions are applied, growing disaffection with the west, previously noted by former US Ambassador Yamamoto, is likely to mature further. Under the oppression of the Ethiopian regime, opposition voices are becoming more likely to find expression in the very movements which the support of Ethiopia, because of its cooperation in the ‘war on terror’, is meant to avoid.

The authoritarian regime in Ethiopia is a major cause of instability affecting the whole of the Horn of Africa. Supporting it and investing in it is a short-sighted policy.

Yours sincerely,

Dr Trevor Trueman, Chair, Oromia Support Group.

http://www.oromo.org/osg/Report_46.pdf, pp.43-44.
http://www.opride.com/oromsis/news/horn-of-africa/3701-oromo-activist-tesfahun-chemeda-dies-in-prison-while-serving-life-sentence
http://www.oromo.org/osg/Report_43.pdf, p.22
4 For example, Badassa Geleta was among 18 refugees returned to Ethiopia from Djibouti on 31 December 2012 and detained in Dire Dawa. He was awaiting resettlement in Canada. Riyana Abdurahman, a 23 year-old teacher, was abducted from Hargeisa on 23 Novermber 2012 and imprisoned in Jigjiga, Somali Region, Ethiopia. Tesfahun-chemeda-dies-in-prison-while-serving-life-sentence

[3] http://www.oromo.org/osg/Report_43.pdf, p.22

[4] For example, Badassa Geleta was among 18 refugees returned to Ethiopia from Djibouti on 31 December 2012 and detained i Dire Dawa. He was awaiting resettlement in Canada. Riyana Abdurahman, a 23 year-old teacher, was abducted from   Somali Land.                        http://qeerroo.org/2013/08/26/death-in-ethiopian-custody-of-tesfahun-chemeda-after-refoulement-from-kenya-open-letter-of-dr-trevor-trueman-of-osg-to-uks-parliamentary-under-secretary-of-state-for-foreign-and-co/

OLF Statement on the death of Engineer Tesfahun Chemeda  and His Short Biography

Engineer Tesfahun was born in 1976 from his father Mr. Chemeda Gurmessa and his mother Mrs. Giddinesh Benya at Harbu village, Guduru district, eastern Wallaga, western Oromia. He was lucky enough to get the slim chance of going to school for his likes under the occupation. He completed his school starting at Looyaa, then Fincha’aa and at Shambo in 1996. His remarkably high scoreenabled him to join the university in Finfinne (Addis Abeba) where he graduated with BSc in Civil Engineering in 2001. Subsequently:

1. Sept. 2004–Jan 2005 – he worked as unit manager for the maintenance of Arsi-Bale road project run by Oromia Rural Road Maintenance Authority and Ethio-Italian Company.
2. Worked at Degele-Birbirsa RR50 project in Salle-Nonno District in extreme South-west of Ilu-Abba-Bore Zone
3. Worked on four simultaneous road projects for settlements; Kone-Chawwaqaa, Baddallee-Kolosirri, Gachi-Chate and Yanfa-Ballattii
4. Worked as a project manager for Chawwaqa district head office construction in Ilu-Harari.
5. Oct. 2001–July 2003 site engineer for Siree-Nunu-Arjo Rural Road of Wallaga district.

Because of the policy of persecution andsurveillance imposed on him, like any educated and entrepreneurial Oromo class as per TPLF’s standing policy, he decided to flee to Kenya for his safety. He sought protection from the UNHCR office in Nairobi explaining his position, and got accepted and recognized as a refugee. However, for unknown reasons, he and his colleague in skill and refugee life, Mesfin Abebe Abdisa, were arrested and eventually handed over to the Ethiopian authorities by the Kenyan counterpart on April 27, 2007, due to the agreement between the two countries.

Ethiopia, being a member of the Joint Anti-Terrorism Task Force (JATT), formed under the auspices U.S. that includes Uganda and Kenya as well, continues to abduct Oromo refugees from the neighbouring countries where they sought UN protection, under the pretext of anti-terrorism. The two innocent victims Tesfahun and Mesfin were handed over to the Ethiopian authorities who took them handcuffed and blindfolded at 2:00AM local time on May 12, 2007, purportedly to have them investigated for terrorism at the JATT Main Investigation Branch in Finfinne (Addis Abeba).

From Apr. 27 to May 12, 2007, before handing them over, they were interrogated at the Kenyan National Bureau of Investigation near Tirm Valley by American agents and Kenyan Anti-Terror Police Unit. The Kenyan officer Mr Francis, who led the investigation, concluded the innocence of these two victims and requested the Kenyan authority to immediately let them free. However, another Kenyan CID agent Ms. Lelian, who is suspected of having close connection with the Ethiopian agents, opposed the decision and facilitated the handing over of these two innocent victims.

Once in the hands of the Ethiopian agents, they were taken to the notorious dark Central Investigation compound, known as Ma’ikelawii, where they were interrogated under severe torture for a year and a quarter.

Engineer Tesfahun was then presented before a court of magistrates of all Tigrian nationals in Jul. 2008, who passed the life sentence on him on March 31, 2010. The two were subsequently moved from the maximum security prison to an unknown destination for the pretext of planning to escape. They were taken for further torture in another underground location by a squad directly commanded by the late Prime Minister Meles Zenawi. It was only since last three months that they were returned to Qallitti main prison. The beating was so severe that the engineer repeatedly requested and needed medical treatment which he was of course denied and eventually succumbed to the torture impact yesterday Aug. 24, 2013. He became the latest victim of the vicious systematic genocide against the Oromo.

Regarding the fate of these two engineers, the OLF strongly believes that the way Kenyan authorities have been handing over innocent Oromo refugees to the anti-Oromo Ethiopian criminal regime is against the relevant international conventions. We strongly request the Kenyan government to desist from this practice of the last 22 years of handing over innocent Oromo victims who seek refuge in their country. The Kenyan government cannot avoid sharing the responsibility of such murders of innocent people who they hand over to the notorious regime that is well known for its anti Oromo campaign.

The OLF extends its heartfelt condolence to the family relatives and friends of Engineer Tefahun and calls on the Oromo people to double the struggle for freedom as the only way to be free of such persecutions.

http://gadaa.com/oduu/21361/2013/08/25/olf-statement-on-eng-tesfahun-chemedas-death-in-the-notorious-tplfeprdf-prison-of-qaallittii/

Oromia Times

Godina Dhihaa Oromiyaa bakkotaa gara garaatti sabboontotni ilmaan Oromoo ajjeechaa suukkaaneessaa mootuummaan Wayyaanee EPRDF hayyuu Oromoo Injinner Tasfahun Camadaa irratti raawwatamettii gadda guddaa itti dhaga’amee, ibsachuun

Anotaa gara garaa keessatti Hagaayyaa 25/2013 irraa egaluun reeffaa gooticha Injiner Tasfahun Camadaa eegaa turan. Keessaattuu Magaalaa Amboo, Gudarii , Geedoo fi Hanga Godina Horroo Guduruu Wallaaggaa Anaa Guduruutti sabboontotni Oromoo
reeffaa gootichaa Oromoo walqindeessuun simmannaaf egaa kan turan ta’uu gabaasi Qeerroo naannicha irraa beeksisa.

Awwaalchaa gooticha Oromoo Injineer Tafahun Camadaan walqabatee mootummaan Wayyaanee humna waaraanaa bobbaasuun uummata sodaachisuuf yaaluun, reeffii isaas guyyaa uummataan simatamuuf waan eegamaa tureef mootummaan Wayyaanee ta’e jedhee halkan akka darbuu fi maatii isaan akka dhaqabu taasise.Haalli kunis bakkaa hundatti sammuu uummataa keessaatti hadhaa kana hin jedhamne fi kulkkulfannaa uumee jira.

Sirni gaggeessaa awwaalcha hayyuu fi goota Oromoo Injiiner Tasfaahuu Camadaa Hagayya 26,2014 godina dhalotaa isaa Onaa Guduruu keessaatti ganda Harbuu iddoo jedhamu itti bakkaa hiriyoonnii isaa , sabboontotni Oromoo,Qeerroowwaan,dargaggoonnii Oromoo, Baratootni Oromoo dhaabbiilee barnotaa garaagaraa irraa boqonnaaf galanii jiran bakkoota garaagaraa irraa walitti dhammaachuun sirna awwaalcha gooticha Oromoo Enjineer Tasfahuun Camadaa irraatti argamuun marartoo fi jaalala goota kanaaf qaban agarsiisuun kabajaan aduunyaa kana irraa gaggefame.

Sirna sana irrattis haala sagalee jabaan fi dhadhannoon hangana hin jedhamneen Ummaannii fi sabboontotni dargaggoonnii Oromoo dhadannoowwaan argaman gadii dhageesisan.

1.Tasfaahuun hin dunee ummataa Oromoof jedhetu wareegame,
2. Wareegama hayyuu keenyaan bilisummaan uummataa keenyaa ni mirkana’a!!
3, Qabsoo hayyuun Oromoo Tasfahuun Camadaa irraatti, wareegamee fiixaan ni baafna.
4, Wayyaaneen diinaa uummataa keenyaati!!
5, Gumaan Hayyuu Oromoo Tasfahuun Camadaa irree qeerrootiin ni baafama!!
6, Diinni goota keenyaa qabsaa’aa kuffisuus qabsoon inni egalee hin kufuu itti fufaa kan jedhuu fi Walaloo fi seenaan Hayyuu Oromoo Injiineer Tasfahuun Camadaa uummataaf dubbifamuun haala aja’inbsiisaa ta’een sirni awwaalchaa isaa rawwate.

Walumaa galattii sirna awwaalchaa enjiiner Tasfahuun Camadaa irraatti kutaalee Oromiyaa gara dhihaa fi magaalota Finfinnee Adaamaa dabalatee Uummaannii Oromoo tilmaamaan 10,000 olitti lakkaa’amani tu irraatti kan argamee fi dargaggoonnii hedduun waraanaa Wayyaaneetiin utuu achii hin ga’iin karaattii kan dhorkamuun deebifaman ta’uu odeessii nu qaqqabee jiruu ifaa godhee jira.

Kana malees, Caasaaleen Qeerroo kan Godinotaa Lixaa Shawaa, Jimmaa, Iluu Abbaa Booraa , fi Godina kibbaa lixaa Shawaa erga gootichi Oromoo hayyuun ija uummataa ta’ee kun wareegamuu dhaga’anii gaddaa guddaa isaanitti dhaga’ame ibsachaa guyyaa sirni awwaalcha isaa rawwatamee bakkuma jiranitti maadheewwan walitti dhufuun dungoo qabsiifachuun sirna awwalchaa kana hirmaachuun gadda isaanii waliif ibsuun qabsoo gootni Oromoo kun irraatti wareegamee galmaan ga’uuf waadaa isaanii haaromsan.
Sirna Awwalchaa Gooticha Oromoo Injiineer Tasfahuun Camadaa ilaalchisuun gabaasni Qeerroo Oromiyaa gara gara irraa itti fufa.

Qbasa’an Kufus Qabsoon ittii Fufa!.

http://oromiatimes.org/2013/08/27/kabajaa-bifa-addaa-ummati-oromoo-taasiseefiin-sirni-awwaalicha-gootichi-oromoo-injiner-tasfahun-camadaan-lafa-dhaloota-isaatti-raawwate/

VOA Afaan Oromoo News

http://cdnbakmi.kaltura.com/p/1175831/sp/117583100/serveFlavor/entryId/1_bry1ym51/flavorId/1_zcbs8gfy/name/a.mp3

http://www.voaafaanoromoo.com/audio/audio/319438.html