From: Margartu Ali #Oromo Protests
To: Malia Obama
Tuesday, December 16, 2015
Dear Malia Obama
I am writing to inform you of the plight of Oromo children and youths who have been subjected to pain of unprecedented magnitude in the recent couple of weeks by the oppressive Ethiopian government. I am a United States citizen of Oromo origin; one of the largest ethnic groups in East Africa Predominately residing in Oromia region of Ethiopia and some parts of Kenya. I wish to draw your attention as the daughter of the most powerful and influential president on earth, to the grave violation of human rights in general and the violation of children’s right in particular all over Ethiopia currently. The cause of these unjustified deaths, imprisonments and pure state sponsored terrorisms on school children is simply exercising their right to freedom of thought and assembly. In the last three weeks, school children all over Oromia region of Ethiopia have been protesting in opposition to the integrated Addis Ababa master plan which designed to uproot millions of farmers from their ancestral land without any real alternatives. If implemented the plan poses threat not only to their livelihood but their cultural identity, language and their social order.
I’m pleading with you to sympathize with teens of your age and even much younger, (some as young as 8 years) from Oromo community whose rights to life and expression is at stake due to oppressive government regime. The Oromo school children are currently engaged in these protests are not doing it to cause an uproar or to gain power form the Ethiopian government, they are protesting peacefully because the implementation of this plan have a direct devastating impact on their lives and the lives of their communities. They are already marginalized economically, politically and culturally. The loss of their ancestral land would be the last blow putting their already bleak survival to unhappy end.
I believe in your kind heart you can feel and see the shattered hopes and dreams and the anguish these children are enduring especially when the tender bodies of these young ones meet with live bullet from the merciless police. In the recent few weeks there has been over 40 casualties not forgetting the other 78 who paid the ultimate price of death during a peaceful protest to oppose implementation of the Addis Ababa Master plan.
As a consequence of the rampant protests across the country, schools have been closed, denying the children of their right to education. Additionally, numerous arrests, torture and ruthless killings of the young ones is increasingly alarming and it is for this reason I have been prompted to write to you for intervention since I am convinced you care and value the life of your fellow teens wherever they may be all over the world. As the daughter of the most powerful president, you have the moral duty to speak for the voiceless and suffering children in the rest of the world. Hear the plight of your fellow young ones and stand with us please Malia, and we will forever be indebted to you and the United States.