December 30, 2005

Oromo: OLF Raises Concern over Attacks on Oromo Refugees

PRESS RELEASE - The OLF asks the Kenyan government, the UNHCR, and all other concerned government and non-government agencies to take immediate actions to protect Oromo and other refugees residing in Kenya
The Ethiopian regime, faced with a growing popular discontent inside the country, and reproaching the large number of refugees in the neighboring countries especially in Kenya for the crisis inside the country, is now reinforcing its foreign-based security traps.

Just over the last few weeks, the EPRDF/TPLF security agents have killed or kidnapped 25 Oromo refugees residing under the protectorate of Kenya and the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR).

On December 27, 2005, hundreds of Oromo refugees staged a demonstration at the UNHCR office at Westlands in Nairobi to protest against the killings, kidnappings, and harassments by Ethiopian government agents. The demonstrators held slogans that read: UNHCR save Oromo refugees, Kenya government should protect us, bring back kidnapped Oromos …etc.

These outrageous offenses by Ethiopian government constitute a grave violation of the international law, which guarantees the safety of refugees fleeing persecution. The Ethiopian regime is stepping up atrocities against all segments of the Oromo society including hunting down Oromo nationals across the border as a part of a campaign designed to ease strong opposition made against the repressive government of Meles Zenawi.

Contrary to its declarations and accession to International Human Rights Covenants, the TPLF led Ethiopian Government is a tyrannical regime that has engaged in gross violations of human rights and that has no respect for international treaties that it ratified. The TPLF regime is anathema of human rights and rule of law.

The OLF is deeply concerned about this alarming development. Refugees are often helpless and feeble relying on the legal protection of host countries. The Ethiopian regime continues to defy international rules, blatantly disregarding the right of refugees to live in peace.

We ask the Kenyan government, the UNHCR, and all other concerned government and non-government agencies to take immediate actions to protect Oromo and other refugees residing in Kenya, demand that the Ethiopian government free all kidnapped refugees, and require that the Meles government refrain from cross-border criminal activities.

Victory to the Oromo People!

External Information Division
Foreign Relations Department
Oromo Liberation Front