Oromo Human Rights Advocacy
(A4O,Oromo Human Rights) Dr. Trevor Trueman of Oromia Support Group On Oromo Human Rights Conditions in the Horn of Africa.
(A4O,Oromo Human Rights)A meeting on Human Rights Situation in Ethiopia took place at the House of Commons on 26 November 2013. It began by an opening speech of Mr David Anderson (MP) chairman of All-Party Parliamentary Group on Third World Solidarity who also highlighted efforts that has been underway to highlight and address allegations of human rights abuses by the government of Ethiopia. He further indicated that despite the continuous reports of such allegations the government of Ethiopia has always been dismissive in its response. He then invited speakers.
Dr Trevor Truman, chairman of Oromia Support Group (OSG) was the first person who briefed the audience about the suffering of Oromo refugees who fled Ethiopia and live in different parts of Africa. Based on factual accounts and story of Oromo refugees in Kenya, Somalia, Djibouti, South Africa and Egypt he presented the nature of human rights crisis Oromo refugees had to go through while they were in their home land and after they left Ethiopia. His evidence based presentation has shown the prevalence of torture, rape, extrajudicial killings and disappearance of Oromo citizens all in the name of supporting or being a member of Oromo Liberation Front (OLF). He concluded his presentation by expressing his disappointment on the false promises that continued to be given by the government of the United Kingdom since 1994 claiming that the UK government could only engage Ethiopia on human rights issues if it continues to provide aid to Ethiopia. No any credible measure has been taken to engage the government of Ethiopia to respect human rights over those years and it is sad to be so according to him.
Ms Claire Beston, a researcher on Ethiopia & Eritrea at Amnesty International, also highlighted the deteriorating human rights situation, the growing harassment, arrest and accusation of large proportion of Oromos for suspicion and even assumption of supporting or being member to Oromo Liberation Front (OLF). She particularly emphasized the growing intolerance and clampdown on dissents and the civil society. Based on the experience of what has happened in Libya following the fall of the former regime she warned that a crack down on the civil society of today’s Ethiopia may have the same devastating effect on the future of Ethiopia.
In the same way representatives from Oromo and Ogaden community, and from Gambella region Mr. Teshale Aberra, Mr Nyikaw Ochalla and Ms. Leila Hassan also presented the growing crisis of human rights violations in their respective regions. All underlined the fact that the United Kingdom as one of big donor of aid to Ethiopia shall stop giving the oppressed people the usual false promises of engaging the Ethiopian government on Human rights issues. They asked that the UK government shall begin considering the need to take genuine and concrete step to influence the Ethiopian government so that it shall respect human rights, that the government the UK shall ensure that aid money be used to advance democracy justice and human rights in Ethiopia than advancing repression as reports continued to unravel.
Participants from the audience also emphasized the growing trend of human rights repression in Ethiopia. Mr. Betena one of the experienced elder and political activist from the Sidama Community raised one important point regarding the deterioration of human rights violation and total repression under TPLF. Under the current regime, he stated, the number of poor people that need aid increased significantly, that even the imperial regime is far better than TPLF when it comes to the level of suppressing and impoverishing its own people. He further stated that the talk about development under today’s government is totally false and based on the increasing number of aid recipients and starving people, he stated that realities on the ground rather show otherwise.
(A4O, Oromo Human Rights) Gaara Suffii -The Killing Mountain: A Human Rights Story of the Oromo under Zenawi/TPLF Ethiopian Govt.