Oromo: Abduction And Disappearance Of Refugees In Somaliland
The Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa (HRLHA) expresses its deep concern about the safety of six Oromo refugees who were abducted from various locations in Somaliland on different dates in a joint operation by security forces of the governments of Ethiopia, and taken to unknown destinations.
According to information obtained through HRLHA correspondent in the area,
1. Fahmi Kalif Adam,
2. Mohammed-saani Mohammed,
3. Abdi Yuusuf Adam, and
4. Raajuu/Jeylan Jibril Kadir were kidnapped on the 28th of May, 2010 at around 8:00 PM in a locality known as Sha’abka in the town of Hargessa.
5. Abdurahman Ibrahim was abducted on the 1st of June, 2010 while he was walking along the street in the same town. The sixth refugee, Bontu Sharaf (a female engaged in private retail business), was abducted on the 5th of June, 2010 in the border town of Wacale on the Ethio-Somalian border. No information was obtained regarding the safety and the whereabouts of all the six refugees ever since they were abducted and taken away.
Abdi Yusuf, Raajuu or Jeylan Jibril, Mohammed-Sani Mohammed and Fahmi are registered refugees bearing UNHCR mandate, with registration numbers UNHCR 505-2008, UNHCR-165-2008, UNHCR 114-2008, and UNHCR 158-2008, respectively.
Two refugees who were very fortunate to escape the kidnapping have disclosed to an HRLHA correspondent that four of the kidnappers were in Ethiopian army uniform, and were speaking Amharic – Ethiopia’s official language.
HRLHA believes that those kidnapped refugees have been taken back to Ethiopia; and that they are likely to be subjected to torture, and eventually face harsh punishments.
It is very obvious that Ethiopia is a politically violent country, the reality that became more vivid especially after the most recent election held this past May, 2010, in which the ruling EPRDF party showed its authoritarianism by systematically eliminating opposition parties from the political games and the democratization process.
Throughout its time in power, the EPRDF ruling party is always accused of extrajudicial killings, massive political imprisonments, kidnappings and disappearances of people due to their differing political opinions. Although there have been some other alleged attachments to it, refugees from Ethiopia flee their homeland mainly due to this never ending political repression, and in an effort to escape such political killings and imprisonments. It is also obvious that Ethiopia is a country where death penalty is implemented.