It Is Time to Break the Silence!

By Hawi Olani | March 31, 2014

Introduction

It’s becoming normal to see or hear the suffering, imprisonment and death in the Eastern Africa, particularly in Ethiopia these days. Many of us who are not living in Ethiopia may not understand or may be mislead by the false propaganda or news of the government.

Hawi Olani

But the reality is here, many of us are suffering both inside the country and outside of Abyssinia by being tortured, imprisoned and misunderstood by different human rights, international organizations, including the United Nations, etc. Many Oromo are still paying sacrifices, because of their identity as Oromo. Some of them are labeled terrorists and are killed on the street by the government forces and the securities.

These are not what were happening in the past few years when we lost a lot of Oromo intellectuals. I am writing this brief message to bring to everyone’s attention what our people are facing these days both in Ethiopia and outside in the refugee camps. I also would like the international societies to break the silence against the torturing and killings of Oromo people.  Because of the lies of the TPLF (Tigray People Liberation Front, a group from jungle), many of those who escaped death to other countries are denied of asylum by the westerners.

Therefore, I would like to say few words on the current challenge of Oromo people under the operation of the minority group of the (TPLF) from the North. I also would like to call the attention of international societies in alleviating the challenge of this people based on the following reality.

1. Killing of Oromo People

The Ethiopian government is using its extensive security apparatus to destroy Oromo people in the name of the supporters of OLF (Oromo Liberation Front). Since 1991, suspected Oromo people have been killed, tortured, raped and made to disappear.

In January 2014, there was a sad story in Finfinne area of Oromia special zone, Burayu town. A fatherless young man called Beniam was suspected as supporter of OLF and was bitten to death by two federal police men on the street. This young man was going to search daily job by which he support his orphan brothers and sisters. He was found on the way traditionally called “shekila” in Burayu area and was killed by these police men. Many people in the area displayed their opposition by throwing stones at Burayu Municipality by overcoming the beatings and gun firing on the day of the funeral.

In addition, Engineer Tesfahun Chemeda lost his life after a long time imprisonment and torture inkality prison. We need to keep shouting to expose these killings as many international organizations including the UN do not want to understand the challenge Oromo people are facing. These killings did not get justice against the killers. Because no one is dare to follow up the case as they also encounter the same punishment or killing.

Those who ask for their right receive corporal punished including life imprisonment or death in the name of terrorism. This leads many of the Oromo intellectuals to flee the country. What is committed against the Oromo can be considered as an act of genocide in Abyssinia.

2. Suffering

The suffering of Oromo people has long story. I hope everyone who has the opportunity to live among the Oromo people these days knows it very well. The suffering is a century long problem. Still it continued with the TPLF, a jungle minded inadequate minority that begun leading the country from 1991. This suffering is multidirectional, both from inside and outside of Ethiopia. There are more than 10,000 detainees and more than 30,000 prisoners who are suffering as supporters of OLF. From the female detainees, more than half of them are raped.

On the other hand, Oromia is suffering of budget as federal budget allocations to Oromia Region is less than the regions of minorities. The different organizations in Oromia are unable to solicit fund by different projects. Because, they encounter cancelations of most projects by the TPLF leaders. These are few of the sufferings of Oromo people that lead them to disappear from their country or pay sacrifice by opposing the suffering.

3. Imprisonment

Many of the Oromo people are imprisoned in kality, ziway, Shewarobit and Diredawa. The number  of Oromo people is getting larger these days in prison. One of the eye witnesses from one of the prison says that more than 75% of prisoners are from oromia. About  90% of them are suspected of politics and seen as supporters of Oromo party. For example, many of them, like Mr. Isayas Getahun Seda from Gimbie, Mr. Tsegaye (Teacher), Mr. Bekele Garba, Mr. Eshetu (owner of Hawi Hotel) and so on are facing torture in their prison cells. These prisoners have neither been tried in front of any legal court nor have knowledge for what kind of transgression they committed. Thousands of other innocent Oromo prisoners are still enduring different and severe physical injuries. Among them some of them have been torchered in inhumane manner and denied to be hospitalized.

In general, it is important for the world to know suffering of Oromo people both inside and outside of the country. The different international organizations should not be silent when these people are tortured. Let all the Oromo both inside and outside rise up against injustice!  Let we all united and struggle for freedom and democracy! Let’s stand together and take our struggle to go one inch forward.

 

Victory to Oromo

Hawi Olani 31/03/2014

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