Oduu Haaraya

OSA’s Appeal Letter to the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon about the Conflict in Eastern Oromia

P.O Box 32391, Fridley, MN 55432 www.oromosudies.org

His Excellency Mr. Ban Ki-moon,  Secretary-General

Office of the Secretary General  of United  Nations

885 Second Avenue

New York, NY 10017, USA



Your Excellency Ki-moon:

I am writing  on behalf  of the Oromo  Studies  Association (OSA), a scholarly  organization established by Oromo  and  non-Oromo scholars to promote studies on and  relevant to the Oromo  and other  people  of Ethiopia and  the Horn  of Africa. The Oromo,  the largest ethno-national group  in the Horn  of Africa, constitute 40% of the Ethiopian population. The  coalition of the  ruling  party  which  has  dominated Ethiopian political  landscape since  1991 is controlled by the  Tigrayan  People’s Liberation Front  (TPLF).   The TPLF, which  fears  Oromo  numerical strength in any free and  fair election, has  systematically destroyed all independent Oromo  organizations in Ethiopia.  The TPLF even destroyed the  Oromo  Relief  Association, a non-profit organization that  assisted the  people  who were affected by draught and famine.

Sadly, we have learned recently from reliable  sources and from our contacts in Eastern Oromia, Ethiopia, that  the  so  called  ”Special  Police”  or  “Liyu Police”  of the  Ogaden Regional  State  has  attacked Oromo  communities in Eastern Haragee Zone  of Oromia Regional   State.   The  reports are  still  developing  due  to  the  fact  that   the  Ethiopian government  denied  access   to  journalists  and   any  independent  media   to  the  area. However,  we have  confirmed through our  human rights  researchers and  through our own contacts that  at least   37 individuals either have been  killed or made  to disappear when  the  Ogaden   Liyu  Police  raided the  counties of  Oromia   bordering the  Ogaden Regional  State,  mainly  Anniya,  Jaarsoo and  Miesso.  An unknown number have  been wounded,  and   an  estimated  20,  000 people   have  been   displaced  and   are  in  dire situation with no assistance from  the government or other  non-governmental agencies. It  is  to  be  noted   that   charitable  organizations are  restricted or  in  many  situations prevented from any movement in the country, especially  in Eastern Ethiopia.

Besides  killing,  wounding and  displacing around 20,000  people,   the  Special  Police Force   of  the   Ogaden   Regional   State,   with   sanction  of  the   Ethiopian  government authorities have looted  a significant number of animal population from Oromo  farmers and   cattle    herders,  exposing    herders  to   starvation.     Alarmingly    the   Ethiopian government authorities even  disarmed the  police  force  of the  Oromia  Regional  State thus  preventing them  from protecting unarmed Oromo  farmers and  cattle  herders from being attacked by the above mentioned Special Police force.

 According to TheGuardian1, the so called Liyu Police is trained by an aid from the British  Government’s Department for International Development (DfID) to the Ethiopian government “to train  security  forces in the Somali region of Ogaden,  which lies within  Ethiopia, as part  of a five-year £13m–15m peace-building programme”. The Liyu Police however  is responsible for a series of human rights  abuses  in the Ogaden region.  Among several credible  sources, the HumanRights Watch2 has reported that this paramilitary force has been repeatedly accused  of “extrajudicial killings, rape,

torture and other  violations including destruction of villages”.  Moreover, the Liyu Police is accused of orchestrating a mock execution of a Swedish journalist3 jailed in Ethiopia

in 2011. It is a well-documented fact that  the Ethiopian government is committing a massive  human rights  violation against the Oromo,  the Ogaden  somalis, and other

peoples  of Ethiopia. The government uses the Special Police to squash dissent in the

Ogaden  Regional  State itself.

We believe that  the Ethiopian government is now using this Special Police to create  an artificial conflict between the Ogaden  Somalis  and the Oromo  people  in order  to divert their  attention from their  grievances against the policies of the government itself. It is no secret  that  Ethiopian Government’s trained forces have been involved in creating conflicts among  different peoples  in Ethiopia. The TPLF dominated regime  follows the policy of dividing  and turning against each other, the people who have lived peacefully together or as good neighbors for centuries. Such a short-sighted policy poses serious danger to the future of all the people of Ethiopia.

In the light of the above mentioned 20,000 displaced farmers and herders, we kindly ask the UN, under your able leadership, to urge governments, particularly the governments of the US and the UK, who are involved in financing and training such oppressive forces of the Ethiopian regime,  to take immediate action  and pressure the Ethiopian government authorities to end the attack  of Special Police Force and:

•   Provide  immediate humanitarian  assistance of food, shelter, and medicine to the thousands Oromo  farmers who have been wounded and displaced;

•   Pay adequate compensation to the families of those whose loved ones were killed by Special Police Force.

1 http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jan/10/ethiopia-forces-human-rights-funding

2 http://www.hrw.org/news/2012/05/28/ethiopia-special-police-execute-10

3  https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=gnlsSCv96Xk

•   Provide  immediate medical  attention to those who have suffered major  and minor injuries;

 •   Pay compensation to those whose cattle have been confiscated by Special Police


•   Allow immediate access to the affected area for local and  international journalists and other  charitable organizations and NGOs;

•   Bring to speedy trial those who killed innocent people,  while wounding many more,  and confiscated the property of Oromo  farmers and herders;

•     Facilitate a quick return of Oromo  farmers and herders to their  former lands and homes  from which they were driven  by the Special Police force;

Finally, in the name  of our scholarly  organization, I humbly request you to exert your energy and diplomatic skills upon  the Ethiopian government authorities to create conducive peaceful  environment for the return of displaced Oromo  farmers and herders to their  homes. OSA members believe that  as a top diplomat and principal voice of the United  Nations, you have a good opportunity to alleviate  the human sufferings of innocent Oromo  farmers and herders who were driven  from their  land by the Special Police Force, with full knowledge and sanction of Ethiopian government authorities. We thank you for your interest in the wellbeing of the people of Ethiopia and the Horn  of Africa.

Sincerely, Mosisa Aga, Ph.D.

OSA President


Prime  Minister of UK Mr. David Cameron

10 Downing Street

London, UK Secretary of State John Kerry

US Department of State

2201 C Street  NW Washington, DC 20520

Amnesty International USA Penn Plaza

New York, NY 10001, USA


Human Rights Watch

350 Fifth Avenue, 34th  Floor

New York, NY 10118-3299,  USA


Mr. Bekele Geleta

International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies

P.O. Box 372

CH-1211 Geneva 19


Email: info@redcross.ch


Unrepresented Nation and People Organization

UNPO Secretariat

P.O. Box 85878

2508CN The Hague The Netherlands unpo@unpo.org

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