Press Statement on the Plight of Oromo Refugees in Kenya Released on 2 September 2016 at Hotel Metro in Nairobi

The Coalition for Grassroots Human Rights Defenders Kenya in conjunction with the Coalition for Constitution Implementation Kenya and Bunge la Mwananchi have received reports about the plight of the Oromo refugees in Kenya who continue to face persecution, illegal detention, illegal deportation and enforced disappearance and are concerned that the Oromo refugees have continued to face such gross human rights violations despite the fact that they have legal refugee status in Kenya.

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The Oromo peaceful protesters have continued to face persecutions and gross human rights violations while in Ethiopia at the hands of the Ethiopian security forces especially the special Agazi security force prompting the Oromo to seek asylum in other countries including Kenya.

Some of the abuses the Oromo people face at home and that make them to seek asylum in Kenya and other countries include, arbitrary arrests, unlawful confinement, illegal detentions without trials, excessive use of force, tortures or cruel treatment, inhumanely and  degrading treatment, inflicting of permanent injuries, loss of innocent lives, use of lethal force, summary executions, political persecutions, enforced Disappearances, extra-judicial killings, internal displacement, destructions of private and public owned properties, sexual abuses and rapes of minors and unwarranted door-to-door brutal crackdown.

The Oromo people have been protesting against systematic marginalization, massive land grabs of Oromo community lands, denial of fundamental freedom and rights, discrimination in terms of development, inequality and political persecution, historical injustice, systematic marginalization, stigmatization of the Oromo culture, denial of the right to freely determine their social, economic, political, cultural and environmental affairs/destiny and propaganda by Ethiopia government that the Oromo people are seeking secession.

While in Kenya, the Oromo refugees have faced gross human rights violations and their complaints to the local authorities have felled on deaf ears. Some of the abuses the Oromo refugees have been facing in Kenya include:

1. On 22 August 2016, Mr. Jamal Aga Bifu a Oromo refugee was shot by people believed to be undercover police at Hurumu – Kiamaiko and is currently hospitalized in Nairobi

2. The abduction of Mr. Dabassa Guyo Safaro an 80 year old Oromo cultural legend who had lived in Kenya for more than 35 years as a legal refugee on 27/9/2015 by people believed to be Kenyan security forces

3. On February 24th, 2015, a group of heavily armed, CID officers believed to be form Pangani, arrested “Mr. Dirirsa Kajela” a public relation officer of the Oromo community welfare association and illegally detained him at the Pangani CID office on allegations of being suspected as OLF political representative. He was later rescued by the  Kituo Cha Sheria after an advocacy campaign that saved him from extradition to Ethiopia

4. On 16th September 2013, people believed to be police officers arbitrary and brutally arrested three Oromo leaders called Kadir Jalle, Alemayo Iddosa and Mohamed Abdurahman along the Eastleigh 2nd street, handcuffed them and took them to an unknown location in Mathare slum where they were harassed and severely beaten

5. On 1st February 2013, Mr. Deluge Golicha a registered asylum seeker with the UNHCR appointment letter was shot dead at his home in Huruma Nairobi.

6. On 4th April 2013, Mr. Mohamed Kedir Helgol was shot dead and left in his private car along Eastleigh Street.

7. On 20th March 2010, Mr. Asefa Alemu Tana, a refugee with UNHCR File No: Neth 029833/1 was found dead at his home near a bathroom, with deep head injuries. He lived in Huruma with his family members.

8. The abduction and forceful deportation of Engineer Tesfayu Chemada and Mefsin Abebe by people believed to be Kenyan Anti-terror Police Unit on 27/4/2007. Engineer Tesfahun later died while in detention in Ethiopia due to what close relatives claim to be inhumane treatment and torture on 25/8/2013.

9. Mr. Legesse Angessa and TekluBaleha Dhinsa all Oromo refugees were abducted from Dhadhab Refugee Camp and deported back to Ethiopia.

10. In 2005, Mr. Liiban Jarso, Olqabaa Lataa and Amansiisa Guutaa (former students from Addis Ababa University) were abducted from Eastleigh, Nairobi and unlawfully deported back to Ethiopia.

11. On 2nd July 1992, Mr. Jattani Ali Tandu was assassinated in a Nairobi hotel

12. In 2003, asylum seeker Mr. Halakhe Diidoo was killed by people believed to be Ethiopian security in the town of Moyale – Kenya as he crossed to seek asylum.

13. In 2004, Mr. Areeroo Galgalo was gunned down in Moyale by people believed to be Ethiopian security forces just some 50 meters away from Moyale Police Station as he was heading to seek refuge at the police station.

14. On 4th September 2007, Mr. Gaaromse Abdisaa was shot dead in Moyale town – Kenya while in bid to save his life and seek asylum.

15. On 6th November 2007, a group of ten (10) Oromo refugees were attacked in their living apartment in Eastleigh Nairobi. At least two were killed on the sport and some injured.

16. In 1998 a group of masked gunmen believed to be Ethipian security agents, showered bullets in the Oromo section of the camp for several hours killing several refugees.

17. In 1998 Mr. Rashid Abubaker was found dead in Eastleigh by gunmen believed to be Ethiopian agents and Kenyan security forces

18. In 1999 Mr. Sulxan Adem, Awal and Mohammed Seraj were kidnapped by unknown secret agents, and have since disappeared without trace.

19. On 3rd June 2000, a young nationalist Abudulwasi Abdulaziz was killed by people believed to be Ethiopian agents along Juja Road at Pangani

The Coalition for Grassroots Human Rights Defenders Kenya, the Bunge la Mwananchi and the Coalition for Constitution Implementation Kenya are asking:

1. The Kenyan government to fulfill her obligation and protect the sanctity of life as enshrined in the Constitution of Kenya 2010
The Kenyan government to immediately disband the hit squad within the police and arrest them and prosecute them as per the law.

2. The Kenyan government to declare Enforced Disappearances and Extra Judicial Executions a National Disaster and immediately commence a public inquiry on the same

3. The Kenyan government to fulfill its responsibility and obligation under the 1951 Refugee Convention, the OAU 1969 Refugee Convention, Refugee Act of 2006 and Article 14 of the Universal Declaration of Human that state that everyone has a right to seek asylum in other countries 

4. The Kenya judiciary to institute or develop a standard inquiry during deportation proceedings for determining fears of persecution upon return.

5. The Kenyan government to summon the inspector General of Police to give details of the suspected clandestine mission that a number of police officers were associated unlawfully with the Ethiopian Embassy in Nairobi including illegal deportations.
The Kenya police to recognize and respect asylum seekers and refugees documentations and incorporate refugee protection and law.

6. The Kenya police to provide adequate reporting mechanisms for security problems facilitate the filing of official police reports by asylum seekers and refugees security threats. Copies of these reports should be sent to UNHCR as a matter of standard operating procedure.

7.*The Kenyan government to create an independent, secured complain desk that allows asylum seekers and refugees to safely make complaints about police harassment, corruption, arbitrary arrest and unlawful confinement. Copies of these reports should be sent to UNHCR as a matter of standard operation procedures.

8. The Kenya police to contact UNHCR to inquire into the prima facie or individualize refugee status of refugees and asylum seekers in custody before deporting them.

9. The Kenya government to sermon the Ethiopian Ambassador based in Nairobi to give details and allegations of refuges abduction and harassment in Kenya and to take responsibility and liability for the breach and gross violation of Human rights in Kenya’s territory.

10. The Ethiopian government to fulfill the provisions of the Article 39 of the Ethiopia’s 1994 Constitution, that accords every nation/state, nationality or people in Ethiopia federation, the unrestricted right to self-determination he Ethiopian government to stop using the international financial aids to kill Oromo women, children and elderly

11. The global human rights and social justice community to join the Oromo people in pushing for respect of their rights and fundamental freedoms

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