Monthly Archives: December 2021

Oromo Peace Ambassadors Graduate

(A4O, Melbourne, 2019) Advocacy for Oromia held a series of 10 Peace Education Project workshops from July to August 2019 at Ross House.

Our first Oromo Peace ambassadors at Ross House. Photo © A4O

The course, which was hosted by the Perm Rawat Foundation, held in
collaboration with Advocacy for Oromia, is called the Oromo Peace
Education Project. “The workshops help us not only to recognise, but also
to build our inner strength and hope,” said Dabessa Gemelal, the Peace
Education coordinator at Advocacy for Oromia.

The Peace Education Program is a series of 10 sessions that guide an
individual toward discovering inner resources integral in developing healthy
life skills. Each session focuses on one of ten topics: Peace, Appreciation,
Inner Strength, Self-Awareness, Clarity, Understanding, Dignity, Choice,
Hope, and Contentment.

A graduation ceremony for our first Oromo Peace Ambassadors was held at
Ross House on August 3, 2019; 8 Oromo Peace Ambassadors graduated.
“The impact of this program is very positive, it has helped us to cultivate
inner strength,” Dabessa said. “I myself have grown from it, and I have
seen the positive effect it has had on the participants.” The Oromo Peace
Ambassadors were handed their graduation certificates by Gerry O’Connor
and Beatrice & Jeremy Collier from the Peace Education Team, Melbourne,
who facilitated the workshops.

The Oromo Peace Education Program helped participants feel empowered
to face past events, gain a willingness to change, better manage their day
to day life and spread a culture of peace and love.

By attending the peace education, the participants gained a deeper
understanding of different cultures and an enhanced capability in analysing
and solving conflicts by peaceful means. They also learned the importance
of mutual respect and co-operation and were taught about human rights,
causes of conflict and peaceful solutions.

Advocacy for Oromia work with Australian-Oromos to change lives for the
better and we couldn’t run these significant events without the support of
Ross House. We are proud of our achievements so far, however there is so
much more exploring and discovering left for us to do in the future.

Our thanks to the many, many people who have contributed to this peace
education project along the way. We appreciate the constant support of
Ross House and we proudly call the space, the Oromo House, where we
feel at home – for this we wish to thank Ross House and its staff for always
being so helpful and friendly.

Freedom Rally stages in Melbourne

(Advocacy4Oromia, Melbourne, 9 December 2021) Australian Oromo and Tigray communities stage Multicultural Freedom Rally in Melbourne today.

Freedom Rally stages at Victorian Parliament, 9 December 2021

According to the organisers the rally is a part of world-wide action to condemn a recent series of atrocities, mass arrests, and airstrikes against civilians.

Melbourne’s Oromo, Tigray and other communities marched from Victorian Parliament to Federation Square, where community leaders spoke of unity in the face of oppression.

Freedom Rally stages in Melbourne, 9 December 2021

The participant states that the aim of the rally is to express their grave concerns and to demand the international community to pay attention to the development in Ethiopia.

“We’re not afraid to stand together, to be able to stand against violence and repression.  Today, we join the Multicultural Freedom Rally in Melbourne to help raise our voices against a shared experience of brutal repression by Abiy regime.”

Freedom Rally stages in Melbourne, 9 December 2021

Demonstrators denounced the killings and violent repressions being meted out by the Abiy regime.

“We’re here today in the spirit of freedom rally to denounce any forms of violence. Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent. Abiy regime must respect the Oromo and Tegaru dignity, peace and freedom.”

Freedom Rally stages in Melbourne, 9 December 2021

Rights groups say Abiy regime has opened wide ranging military campaign in many parts of Oromia; continuously carrying out hostilities and mass arrests on these civilians. Journalist, book author, translator and bookstore owner, Hinsene Mekuria, has been arrested by gov’t security forces from his workplace in Finfinne on 4th Dec 2021 around 1:30 local time. He often writes on social media and speaks for the cause of the Oromo people. His whereabouts is unknown.

Hinsene Mekuria who was arrested by the security forces from his workplace on 4th Dec 2021

Reports by the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC) and Amnesty International describe widespread arrests of ethnic Tigrayans, including Orthodox priests, older people, and mothers with children.

Freedom Rally stages in Melbourne, 9 December 2021

In many parts of the country individuals are being arrested and detained without charges or a court hearing and are reportedly being held in inhumane conditions.

Demonstrators also appealed to the Government of Australia and the wider international community to put diplomatic, political, economic pressure on the Ethiopian regime.

“We URGE the good people of our international community to avoid the ultimate tragedy of silence over cruelty of the worst genocide in Ethiopia. We specifically urge the Australia and the wider international community, to take action and help stop the heinous crimes of the regime before Ethiopia potentially becomes a historic African tragedy.”

Freedom Rally stages in Melbourne, 9 December 2021

The message of Australian Oromo and Tigray communities is just calling for peace and freedom. “We’re not afraid to stand together, to be able to stand against violence and repression.  We join this Freedom Rally to help raise our voices against a shared experience of brutal repression by the State.”

Freedom Rally stages in Melbourne, 9 December 2021

NEWS: AUSTRALIA, CANADA, DENMARK, THE NETHERLANDS, UK, & US CALL FOR “LARGE NUMBERS” DETENTION OF TIGRAYANS IN ETHIOPIA TO “CEASE IMMEDIATELY”

Finfinnee, Oromia

Addis Abeba, December 06/2021 – A joint statement signed by the governments of Australia, Canada, Denmark, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and the United States and released this afternoon expressed profound concern about the “detention of certain ethnic groups” in Ethiopia and called on the government for the detentions to “cease immediately.”

Full Statement

We, Australia, Canada, Denmark, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and the United States, are profoundly concerned by recent reports of the Ethiopian government’s detention of large numbers of Ethiopian citizens on the basis of their ethnicity and without charge. The Ethiopian government’s announcement of a State of Emergency on November 2 is no justification for the mass detention of individuals from certain ethnic groups.

MANY OF THESE ACTS LIKELY CONSTITUTE VIOLATIONS OF INTERNATIONAL LAW AND MUST CEASE IMMEDIATELY. WE URGE UNHINDERED AND TIMELY ACCESS BY INTERNATIONAL MONITORS

JOINT STATEMENT

Reports by the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC) and Amnesty International describe widespread arrests of ethnic Tigrayans, including Orthodox priests, older people, and mothers with children. Individuals are being arrested and detained without charges or a court hearing and are reportedly being held in inhumane conditions. Many of these acts likely constitute violations of international law and must cease immediately. We urge unhindered and timely access by international monitors.

We reiterate our grave concern at the human rights abuses and violations, such as those involving conflict related sexual violence, identified in the joint investigation report by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and the EHRC, and at ongoing reports of atrocities being committed by all parties to the conflicts. All parties must comply with their obligations under international humanitarian law, including those regarding the protection of civilians and humanitarian and medical personnel.

It is clear that there is no military solution to this conflict, and we denounce any and all violence against civilians, past, present and future. All armed actors should cease fighting and the Eritrean Defense Forces should withdraw from Ethiopia.  We reiterate our call for all parties to seize the opportunity to negotiate a sustainable ceasefire without preconditions. Fundamentally, Ethiopians must build an inclusive political process and national consensus through political and legal means, and all those responsible for violations and abuses of human rights must be held accountable.

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