July 8, 2011
Despite threats from the Ethiopian Embassy to Belgium, attendance at the Oromo Parliamentarians Council’s consultative conference was high with UNPO speaking of the international recognition of the Oromo nation and the abuses it perpetrated throughout Ethiopia.
Below is an article published by Gadaa.com:
A consultative conference, held on 2nd of July, 2011 and organized under the theme of “Stop Tolerating the Ethiopian Dictatorship; Let’s Work for the Freedom of Nations and Regional Stability,” which brought a broad range of scholars and issues on the Oromo and the Horn of Africa was a huge success, according to organizers.
This conference was the first of its kind to be organized in Europe. Speakers from the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, the Middle East and Cameroon had participated at the conference. This conference is a result of the hardworking exiled Oromo parliamentarians (Members of Parliament – MP’s) working under the banner of the Oromo Parliamentarians Council (OPC).
The conference was opened by the speech of Dr. Getachew Jigi Demekssa, an exiled MP and the current Chairman of OPC, who assessed the overall repression and pain of the Oromo people under the EPRDF regime. Ms. Tetty Rooze, the Coordinator of Protestant Social Center and a Human Rights Activist, explained much concerning about the suffering of Oromos in Ethiopia and abroad as a result of the Ethiopia regime repression. Dr. Trevor Truman continued in line with his detailed human rights abused caused by the brutal regime in Ethiopia. He presented a clear data, pictures and first-hand information based on his trip to the nearest borders of Ethiopia, and many refugee camps in Kenya. Mr. Andrew Swan from UNPO presented on the international recognition of the Oromo Nation and its current situation while Mr. Gino Brunswijck, an independent researcher, presented on Land-Grabbing in Oromia.
A Cameroonian researcher, Ms. Marie Sandra, presented on the plight of Oromo Women’s and Children’s followed by Mr. Franc Rottiers, a philosopher and a Doctoral researcher at the Ghent University with a title “Democracy Revisited: Recognizing the Case of Oromo Refugee.” A young researcher, Mr. Remco Van Hauwermeiren, presented the Human Rights Abuse of the Ethiopian Government in Ogaden based on his first-hand information based on his field trip and observation. Finally, Mr. Gabriel from the Aram-Nahrin Organization presented on indigenous nation’s colonialism, spiritual and physical genocide. The event was an eye-opening for Belgians, and an encouragement for the Oromo and other nations from the Horn of Africa at seeing the truth being staged with the people who can make some sort of difference.
Shocked by the continued repression, torture and killing as explained by Western scholars of different origins, participants have vowed to do all their best to bring the murderous Meles Zenawi and his government to the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague. They have also asked the EU and other governments to withdraw their support from this criminal government.
The most surprising issue of this event is that the Ethiopian Embassy in Brussels and their agents have campaigned and engaged in a terror-like threat in a bid to misinform the public from taking part in the conference. To realize this evil agenda, agents, diplomats, including the Deputy Head of Mission, who happens to speak Afan Oromo, have called many people with anonymous phone, and sometimes with open line to threaten individuals they think will attend the events. This unfolded in angering the public and contributed for the high participation as a sign of resistance. One of the participants was heard as saying, “Are the EPRDF and their agents dreaming to export their repression even to Europe? If that is the case we should also engage them in every appropriate manner.”
To the extreme disappointment of the dictatorial regime in Addis and their agents in Belgium, the attendance was amazing and the program went successfully beyond the goal initial set. In the interest of the law, the organizers said, the phone calls made, the numbers used and the threats posed were immediately reported to the police, and the investigations are underway. According to the investigation so far made by the organizers, Ambassador Solomon Abebe, the Deputy Head of Mission, was at the forefront of this organized crime of threats and terror. The number he used was tracked as +32 2 771 32 94, his voice was recorded and was already handed over to the police.
Finally, the organizers promised to hold more events of this type, and to follow up on the outcome of this conference. The conference came to an end with deep commitment, big moral and financial contributions to the Oromo Support Group (OSG), led by Dr. Truman, for their projects to support Oromo refugees suffering in neighboring countries in the Horn of Africa.