As it is well known, Oromos have been oppressed in the Horn of Africa region over the past 120 years. Oromos still strive to save their lives in many ways, and often escape from Ethiopia, eventually crossing many borders until they find a peaceful place to definitely settle.
We, the Oromo community in Cairo in exile, would humbly forward our letter of complaints to your honored office concerning the above matter hoping for a timely intervention.
The Oromo people constitute 40% of Ethiopian population and have undergone successive oppression in the hand of present and past regimes through all sort of tortures which succumbed us to leave our beloved country ‘Oromia’ and made us scattered all over the world. The TPLF government sees Oromos as threats to its political power. For this reason, the TPLF government is intent on weakening the human, economic, and intellectual capacities of the Oromo people in and outside Ethiopia through political killings, intimidation, abductions and disappearances, unlawful imprisonments and torture against the Oromo people. This has been going on for over two decades.
To escape from such gross human rights violations, many Oromo refugees have been forced to flee from their homeland and are dispersed all over Africa, especially to Egypt through difficult journey and route to save their lives. Oromo refugees in Egypt are experiencing a multitude of human rights violations, including violent attacks by Ethiopian agents and attempts of political assassinations and intimidation targeted by the Ethiopian Embassy in Cairo through its extension of the Ethiopian community.
FEARS AND CONCERNS
The numbers of Oromo refugees in the Republic of Egypt are increasing day by day, and about 1000-1500 people refugees and asylum seekers have already registered at UNHCR, the current political situations in Ethiopia are not pleasing. When they reach Cairo, Oromos were subjected to harassment from agents of the Ethiopian Government and the Ethiopian Embassy in Cairo and the community allied to it i.e. the Ethiopia Community.
In a recent development, the Ethiopian community backed by the Ethiopian Embassy in Cairo to discredit Oromo refugees in Cairo and continuously distributed leaflets and other oppressive propaganda to all international media, such as the Amhara TV called ESAT and other medias outlets, which distort the reputation of our Oromo community by terming Oromo community in Cairo as “Islamic minority and terrorists.” The latest protests organized on 19/10/2014 by the Amhara community in front of the Office of the High Commissioner for refugees in Cairo were evident.
Through the aforementioned, it becomes evident that Oromos suffer in different ways in both, their homeland and their exile. For the above reason, we organize peaceful protests to condemn these practices and seek for national and international protection.
Resolutions and appeals
- We condemn the Ethiopian community act of oppressing us backed by the Ethiopian authority
- Oromo people have common political problem, and not religious problems. This claim of using religious issues to get sympathy from resettlement countries and marginalize oromo refugees, both Christian and Muslims, we want to show the world that the Oromo people are united – and we have three religion, Muslims, Christian and Waqefata. We know too well that a religion is for God, and our nation homeland Oromia for all and we, therefore, uphold our national unity irrespective of the religion of the Oromo belong to.
- We condemn the Ethiopian Embassy hand in Oromo internal refugees affairs and condemn the Ethiopian Government to stop intimidating our community.
- We appeal to the UNHCR to be proactive and make efforts to pressure the Egyptian government to protect Oromo refugees in Egypt – whose lives are threatened by Ethiopian agents, ensure that Oromo refugees human rights are respected and release Oromo refugees who were in Egyptian detentions to be released, ensure that they not forced to deportation to danger in home country.
- Call upon the Office of the High Commissioner for refugees in Cairo refugee to give attention to the protection of Oromo refugee members, leaders and activist who were targeted by regime in Egypt. Make sure to give appropriate security and safety of our members who escaped the junta of the Ethiopian regime and those who were wanted by regime and possible resettlement in a third country.
- Condemn the killing and disappearance of Oromo students in Ethiopia, murder and imprisonment of Oromo students in Ethiopian universities who were demonstrating a peaceful demonstration to protest the land grabbers and against expansion of capital Addis Ababa.
- We appeal to UNHCR to understand this grave situation of Oromo claimants and make sure that when rendering protection and humanitarian services to Oromo in exile, consider that the undeserved people will not be favored. Those people who have two identities, secured by Ethiopian government and exit the country at there own will and return. Also had UNHCR documents. This type of injustice is happening while the oppressed Oromo refugees are suffering for long time waiting for services. To our deep disbelieve we Oromos in Cairo are experiencing total discrimination if this culprit have not been uprooted. We appeal to your office to investigate all Oromo claimants matter and solve it amicably so that justice in front of your eye is halted immediately. We therefore request your esteemed humanitarian body to attentively handle our grievance so that the oppressed community at home cannot be made to suffer again at the hand of same aggressors.
- Lastly we need to remind UNHCR something concerning the Oromo language, it is historically known that any communities, tribes, in the world ignorant of his mother tongue and that are natural according to the law of God. Language as the core of identity of one tribe that express ones culture and heritage. For this purpose we clearly disagree with those culprits who identify themselves as Oromos and yet they are Oromo antagonist. Is it logic that one whose mothers and fathers native language is known and yet they don’t speak??? Reality is not hidden if not ignored. We assure your office that whosoever is from one race or tribe in Africa even if he is born in Hong Kong China, he speaks his mother tongue and that is his identity! What about those who grew up in their mother land and yet don’t know their language??? The huge problem is the problem of Oromo case / claimant which hinders our community. Some unnamed communities used to forge cases or get information to attain their goals using Oromo claims while they don’t belong to us. Through memorizing false cases .it is historically evident for such people hypocritically used Oromo names to achieve their goals. Reality they are agents of Ethiopian authority to destabilize Oromo refugees in diaspora. Refugees just because of their identity, language, culture. It unlawful to use false identity and claim and we request your kind office to review the Oromo problem.
We are convinced that any positive exit in all these issues will help drastically improve Egypt-based Oromo refugees’ life standards and personal conditions. We count on you, your understanding and commitment, being sure that you will not let us down.
UORA-EGYPT EXECUTIVE TEAM
UNHCR REGIONAL OFFICE CAIRO EGYPT
28TH OCTOBER 2014