Saturday, February 16, 2008

UN urged to protect Oromo refugees in Somalia

Open Letter to UNHCR

Antonio Guterres, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
Case Postale 2500 CH-1211 Genève 2 Dépôt Switzerland

Dear Commissioner Guterres,

I am writing you this letter to express our deep concern and dismay regarding the inhuman massacre of around 100 Oromo Refugees and wounding of more than 65 in Bosaso, breakaway region of Somalia, on February 5, 2008. The basic reason Oromos flee and take refuge in neighboring countries is protection from persecution due to their national identity and their political belief in Ethiopia. Unfortunately, this is not being so for these refugees. The harassment, suffering, persecution and ill treatment of Oromos perpetrated by the Ethiopian regime is crossing international boundaries. Oromo refugees are constantly being harassed, forcefully deported by would be host governments and murdered by assassin squads of TPLF/EPRDF government or by paid agents of Ethiopian government in Djibouti, Kenya, Somalia, Sudan, and even Yemen, where they arrive after risking their lives on the high seas where about half of those who attempt to cross perish on a regular basis.

The current regime has made its policy clear from the very beginning when it assassinated Major Jatani Ali, an Oromo refugee, a former officer in the deposed Derg regime, in Nairobi in 1991. This was followed by assassination of Mr. Adam Tukale (Mullis Abbaa Gadaa), an OLF high-ranking official in Mogadishu, in 2000. They have acquired forceful repatriation of many prominent refugees who fled to the neighboring countries, whose destinies have never been known. Last year they assassinated many Oromo former journalists in Nairobi. The current mass massacre is a culmination of this policy of physically liquidating opposition individuals wherever they go.

The universal declaration of human rights signed in 1948 and 1951, have articles that recognize the right for refugees. Any country that has signed these declarations is obliged to respect them. These neighboring countries, except those entities that were part of Somalia, are members of the United Nations, and are signatories to the universal declaration of human rights of both 1948 and 1951. When these countries are violating every letter of these declarations member countries of the UN and humanitarian organizations should not keep silent.

Dear Mr. Commissioner,

The continuation of human rights violation in Ethiopia and the generation of many refugees have been perpetrated partly because the international community had chosen to turn a blind eye. We are convinced that at this crucial moment, your leadership, and the active engagement of the International Community, could mean the difference between life and death for many Oromo Refugees as well as the troubled Horn of Africa region. We strongly believe that this horrendous and inhuman act is an augmentation of permanent policy of the Meles Zenawi regime since 1991. Several hundreds of Oromos have been killed or disappeared in neighboring countries or forced to return to Ethiopia to face injustice between 1991 and 2007. We, therefore, appeal to the UNHCR, all UN member nations and humanitarian organizations to put necessary pressure on the governments and groups to refrain from violating the rights of refugees in their respective countries and territories under their control. We also we call upon human right activists, peace and freedom -loving individuals and organizations to condemn these cowardly act and render their much needed assistance to refugees suffering without any treatment. We request urgent medical care for those wounded, since they are not getting proper treatment, provide proper burial to the dead and investigate to bring the perpetrators to justice. We specifically request the UNHCR and member nations to find a way to protect these refugees from such carnage and the unbearable death toll on the seas as they attempt to escape such fates and help those still suffering without proper medical attention. Oromos as any other peoples in the world are entitled to get refugee protection and assistance from governments and UNHCR offices.

The followings are some of the current victims on (February 5, 2008 at 2:30PM local time) massacre by two simultaneous Hand Grenade attacks in two Bosaso restaurants each owned by Oromo immigrants. There are as many wounded ones being recklessly amputated for simple treatable wounds while the others who happened not to be at the targeted places that night are being made shelter-less by burning down their houses and forcing the landlords to expel tenants lest their own houses are also burned.

1. Abdallaa Siraaj Abraahim (28) from Roobee town, Arsi Zone. 2. Adusalaam Mustafa (20) from Baroda town, Harare Zone 3. Mohamed Email Passim (18) from Machala town of Harare Zone 4. Abdujabaar Mohamed Abdo (24) from Jajuu town of Arsi Zone 5. Mohamed Said (19) from Martu Abomsa, Arsi Zone 6. Aliyyi Mohamed Aliyyii (20) from Wallo Zone 7. Abdallaa Kamala Tusee (20) from Sude, Arsi Zone 8. Ziyaad Ibraahim Hassan (30) from Galamso town of Harargee Zone 9. Abdilgafaar Abdulahi Jabran (18) from Burqaa, Walqixee Zone 10. Abdilxaaif Shubbee Mohamed (42) from Bale Zone 11. Musxafaa Saalii Abdallaa (22) from Baddano town of Harargee Zone 12. Abdullee Biluu Ahmed (19) from Shirkaa town of Arsi Zone 13. Mohamed Amiin Kadir (22) from Robe town of Arsi Zone 14. Abdulmajiid Abitii Mohamed (22) from Jajuu town of Arsi Zone 15. Daud Kadir Hussen (20) from Jaju town of Arsi Zone 16. Xaahir Husseen Abdilkariim (25) from Baale Zone 17. Umar Aadam Umar (23) from Raya town of Wallo Zone 18. Nagahuu Abdi Ali (38) from Robee town of Arsi Zone 19. Qaasim Kadir (22) from Lole town of Arsi Zone 20. Ridwaan Kadir (23) from Jaju town of Arsi Zone 21. Hassan Umar Duqaa (20) from Wallo Zone 22. Usmaail Hasso sh Aadam (47) from Machitu town of Arsi Zone 23. Abdul Fataah Sh. Abubakar (18) from Arsi Zone 24. Mohamed Hassan Alilu (20) from Wallo Zone 25. Fadluu Haajii Abdoo (20) from Arsi Zone 26. Jamaal Mohamed Ululaa (53) 27 .siraaj kadir mahamed (20) from Arsi Zone 28. Abdallaa Ahmed Maluu from Shambale Town of Wallo Zone 29. Umar Ahmed Carafaa. From Wallo Zone 30. Ahmed Mohamed Kali Wallo 31. Sulaymaan Ahmed 32. Jamaal Mohamed Saali 33. Amiin Husseen Abdulqaadir 34. Mohamed Aloo Tufaa 35. Nagayoo Abdoo Alliyyii 36. Turee Amaan Abdoo 37. Mohamed Yaasiin Ibroo 38. Ali Mohamed Bashiir 39. Amina Umar Takaa 40. Aliyyii Ahmed Musa 41. Gidanaa Muusee Daadee 42. Ahmed Bakar Birkaa 43. Obsaa Amaan Sheekoo 44. Abdoo Kaliifaa 45. Nagaash Mohamed Idris 46. Mohamed Gazaalii sh. Amaan 47. Arabuu Hussen Abdurahmaan 48. Nuuraa Abdurahmaan Sheekaa 49. MUhyadiin Kamaal Amaan 50. Mohamed Aamadee Ulumee 51. Umar Mahamud Umaree 52. Husseen Jaaraa Sulxee 53. Abama Nyalata Abit 54. Mohamed dheeree 55. Almuu Bayanaa 56. Mohamed Bile Ahmed Yuusuf 57. Wandasan Baqalaa 58. Sulaymaan Ma’alim Warsame.

Sincerely, Qotto Gufuu

CC: H. E. Ban Ki-moon Secretary-General The United Nations New York. NY 10017

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