Sunday, June 11, 2006

Letter by Oromo student to President of Mekele University

To: The President of Mekele University
From: Mekele University Oromo Students
Subject: Our precarious current situation
Dear Mr. President

We Oromo students studying in the various faculties of the University of Mekele are in a very dangerous and life threatening situation. As there is no guarantee for our lives let alone to continue our studies, we are forced to write you this letter to request to guarantee our security and pursue our education as per the legal right of any citizen of Ethiopia.

We came to Tigray Region expecting that our constitutional and democratic rights as citizens of Ethiopia will be respected and rule of law will prevail. We thought that Tigray is part of Ethiopia in which any citizen has the right to live, work and follow any career of his/her choice. As anybody can live and work in other parts of Ethiopia without fear, we thought the same is true for Tigray region. Contrary to our expectation and belief, we have come to understand that the situation in Tigray is different for Oromo nationals.

We have firm belief that the current situation in Tigray is not a spontaneous and sporadic development. There are interconnected and systematic encroachments that led to the current climax. In 2001, Sime Terrefa, an Oromo student, was killed for no crime other being ‘a wrong person at a wrong place’. Proper investigation was not carried out nor any culprit brought to justice. Again in 2003 an Oromo student named Nedhi Chewaka was severed beaten and left presumed dead. Recently a book, that used fabricated data and derogatory terms, was prepared and published and put in the library for the public to read, to emotionally damage and provoke Oromo students. An agent provocateur threw handgrenade at Eshetu Neguse an Oromo student. Ironically it was the innocent Oromo student who was accused of trying to detonate the device and was imprisoned for several days without being treated for his wounds. Now, we Oromo students are under attack by Tigrean students in collaboration with some town dwellers. We are totally insecure. We don’t know when they will kill us.

We came to Mekele thinking it is a peaceful place where everyone from any part of Ethiopia enjoys equal protection of law irrespective his or her national origin. However, it is becoming clear that we Oromos are not wanted nor allowed to study in Tigray. Therefore, we appeal to the honorable President of the University to secure proper protection for our lives and appropriate environment to peacefully continue our studies or facilitate our transfer to another university where our rights as citizens will be respected and can continue our studies in peaceful environment. We also demand the unconditional release of fellow Oromo students who are detained and kidnapped.


Mekele University Oromo Students

cc:Prime Minister
OfficeOromia Regional Government
Ministery of Education
The House of Representatives


At 12:44 PM, Blogger oromo95 said...

Dear Oromo blogger,
This is a truly touching story. How come you attack and detain strudents who had to leave every thing behind and travel hundreds of miles to get education.
This is not an issue of politics only but of basicx human right.

Keep up the good job of exposing tyranny.


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