Oromo: the violations nobody cares about

beinquisitiveFebruary 6, 2013 (BeInquisitive) – The Oromo is the largest ethnicity in Ethiopia and the history of this community is dotted with a plethora of repressive actions by the Ethiopian government. The conflict started approximately in the late 1800 when the ruler Menelik II’s aim to expand the empire resulted in forced agglomerations of southern and western Ethiopian groups.These first violent episodes were followed by Haile Selassie’s office during which a great famine affected over 200.000 Omoros. Straight after Mengistu and his harsh dictatorship traumatized Omoros with brutal human rights violation, torture, rape and public executions. Mengitsu’s Red Terror campaign launched in 1970′s resulted in scores of deaths as: “Many of these prisoners were detained under truly unspeakable conditions, packed by the hundreds into airless, light-less cellars, where they could hear the screams of those being tortured while they awaited torture themselves. Many of those executed were simply left by the roadside with Red Terror slogans attached to their bodies to terrify potential opponents. Others were simply ‘disappeared’.”

Detentions, tortures and executions of Omoro people occurred again in 1992 and in 1998. One year later, Human Rights Watch published a report according to which: “Wide-scale human rights violations occurred in the context of the government’s suppression of armed insurgency and political dissent. The military and rural militia associated with parties affiliated to the EPRDF ( leading government’s party) arrested thousands for months without charge or trial on account of their suspected support of armed insurgencies.”

Ten years later, the Advocates For Human Rights reported on the “Oromo Diaspora” document that since 1970 Oromos have been fleeing their homelands in order to find asylum in US and in 1980 the number of Omoro refugees amounted to 2 million.

This year, the arrest and torture of Omoro politicians led Omoros to gather and protest in Washington DC and London on January 25th, in the attempt of dragging international attention on the violation of human rights occurring in Ethiopia.

The 25th January protest focused on the release of the political prisoners, the demand of independence from the Ethiopian government and the end of the land-grabbing which deprive Oromo farmers of their lands.

Once again international media are not giving the right importance to the topic which is bound to be forgotten unless we do not spread the news. Oromos need worldwide attention and political intervention.

Despite there is no oil to steal or potential political threats to eliminate, superpowers must intervene.

Oromos need us, our voice, our rage, our support and as humans we have to stand up and defend a community whose rights have been violated for centuries.

Oromos need freedom and peace and we, gathered, can contribute to achieve this aim.

If you want to know more

Oromia Human Rights and Justice Council

The Advocates of Human Rights Report

Human Rights Watch Report

Oromia: about Oromia and Oromo

Oromo Rally for Human Rights 2013 


Update from Oromo Community of Washington Dc and Oromos in the UK



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