Kenya must Stop Persecuting Ethiopian Refugees in collaboration with the Ethiopian Regime

December 30th, 2010 Print Print Email Email

Solidarity Movement for a New Ethiopia (SMNE) and Oromo American Citizens Council (OACC) call upon and urge the Government of Kenya to immediately stop persecuting and harassing Ethiopian refugees, particularly the Oromo, Amhara and Somali Ethiopians currently residing in the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) refugee camps in Kenya.

The ongoing persecution of Oromo and Somali refugees in Kenya is nothing more than the extension of persecution and repression they faced in their homeland, when they fled to Kenya to seek safe haven. There is clear evidence now that the Kenyan government is engaged in this egregious refugee rights violation at the behest of the Ethiopian government. It is truly shocking and dismaying to see the Kenyan government serve as the agent of the Tigre Peoples Liberation Front (TPLF) regime of Ethiopia that is notorious for its human rights violations.

The Kenyan government, in flagrant violation of its commitment and obligation under the international refugee and human rights laws, particularly violating the non-refoulement principle is rounding up and handing over thousands of refugees to the brutal TPLF regime of Ethiopia. Some of these refugees were executed when returned to Ethiopia, while others were tortured and maimed by the Meles Zenawi’s regime.
The cases of two Oromo Engineers, Mesfin Abebe Abdisa and Tasfahun Camadaa Gurmessaa, are important to note here. They were both UNHCR recognized refugees in Kenya. They were abducted and handed over to the TPLF regime by the Kenyan security forces. After two years of torture, physical mutilation (including castration) and incommunicado detention in one of many TPLF secret torture chambers, the TPLF regime sentenced Abdisa to death and Gurmessaa to life imprisonment. The same fate is waiting thousands of Ethiopian refugees who are currently rounded up from various villages, towns and cities of Kenya and forcibly handed over to the Ethiopian regime.
What is even more shocking is the fact that the Kenyan government is allowing the security forces of the TPLF regime to enter Kenya including the UNHCR refugee camps to kill, abduct and torture defenseless Ethiopian refugees particularly those from Oromo, Amhara and Somali ethnic groups.
SMNE and OACC strongly condemn this behavior of the Kenyan government which flagrantly violates all norms and principles of international laws including the United Nations Refugee Convention and its Additional Protocols to which Kenya is a party.
SMNE and OACC would like to underline the importance of the historical and longstanding friendship between the peoples of our two countries particularly the blood and cultural relations that exists between Oromo and Somali Ethiopians and the Kenyan people. We urge the Kenyan government not to break this bond that is cemented by blood and history; lest lasting enmity for generations to come between our people and our two countries is created.
We also appeal to the wisdom of the Kenyan people, civil society and political leaders to reign on their government to stop this brutality which is certain to leave lasting scar between our two countries and peoples. The TPLF regime is transitory, has no long lasting life in Ethiopia. However, the relationship between our two people will be there forever. It is not wise for the Kenyan government to ally with the current government that will be nonexistent tomorrow and persecute our people, thereby creating enmity with people who will be there forever.
The Kenya government has an obligation under the United Nations Charter, the United Nations Refugee Convention and its Additional Protocols to protect Ethiopians who fled to Kenya fleeing serious human rights violations in Ethiopia. The Oromo, Amhara and Ethiopian Somali refugees currently housed at the UNHCR refugee camps are UNHCR recognized victims of political persecution. They are bona fide refugees who should not be handed to their potential persecutors. The Kenyan government is fully cognizant of the political repression the TPLF regime is committing against the Ethiopian people, and therefore, its forced repatriation of refugees makes it accessory of the crime that the TPLF regime is committing against our people.
SMNE and OACC call upon the United Nations, the Governments of United States, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Canada; and the European Union, the UN Human Rights Council and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to strongly urge the Kenyan government to immediately stop the persecution of Ethiopian refugees, stop giving access to the Ethiopian regime’s military and security forces to UNHCR refugee camps in Kenya, stop forced repatriation of Ethiopian refugees to Ethiopia where they face certain execution, torture and long years of imprisonment.
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Please do not hesitate to e-mail your comments to: Mr. Robsan Itana, Executive Director of the Oromo American Citizens Council. E-mail:
Mr. Obang Metho, Executive Director of the SMNE, at:

The letter format of this press release has been sent to the President of Kenya, the Secretary Generals of the United Nations and African Union; the President of the United Nations Human Rights Council, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, United States Secretary of State, European Union Foreign Policy Chief, Foreign Secretary of United Kingdom, Foreign Ministers of France, Germany and Canada.

  1. Anonymous
    | #1

    You are too late, like Aba Gebremdehn. So many people are hurted in Kenya, any please try to shout again and again .The Nairobe Gov. is serving TPLF. Where is OLF? What is doing?

  2. Melese
    | #2

    You are too late. The Nairobe Gov. is serving TPLF. Where is OLF? Please try yo shout again and again.
    God bless ETHIOPIA and Ethiopians.

  3. Anonymous
    | #3

    What do you mean when you say ETHIOIPIA and oromo american is any who called oromo american i do not think may be you want to say ETHIOPIAN american. pleas correct it thank you.

  4. Lucy in America
    | #4

    Unity with patriotism but without hypocrisy

    Oftentimes in our history, the scoundrels wear the cloak of patriotism with inherently hypocritical egos. There have been times where we have witnessed the emergence and collapse of traitors in this country.

    For instance, during the liberation struggle against the Italian aggression in the 1930s, patriotic forefathers have fallen fighting the enemy whereas bandits treasonably betrayed their own people. If we take our pretty recent political history into account, a number of traitors has emerged and fallen.

    Fast forward, and The 2005 election has uncovered some of the most severe traitors of Ethiopian political struggle. Lidetu Ayalew, the present Ethiopian Democratic Party (EDP) Chairman and the then Coalition for Unity and Democracy (CUD) Party Public Relations Officer is a case in point. He has betrayed the whole nation especially those murdered by Meles’ ruthless security forces under the sun. Today, Lidetu is living in a state of mental frustration. His conscience is chasing himself. I strongly believe that conscience is the ultimate court for human beings. We can escape the court by all means available. But there is no way to escape from our conscience and justice. He is being tortured by his own conscience. The most influential French theologian John Calvin once said: “The torture of a bad conscience is the hell of a living soul” – I totally agree.

    Therefore, in our walk to freedom we need to be aware of the emergence of opportunists and seasonal patriots. These “patriots” either want to win favors or avoid punishments. They don’t want to be labeled as traitors, yet their commitments are not strong enough for them to make a sacrifice. At the first sign of inconvenience, their “patriotism” evaporates. Probably, the worst kind of criminal act is betrayal of one’s nation. There are two types of traitors – active and passive. Active traitors sell their country in the marketplace for personal gains as Meles and his operatives are busy leasing out our land to foreigners by evicting patriotic farmers. Passive traitors watch their country being sold and remain silent. Most of us fall under the definition of passive traitors. Don’t we?

    Consequently, we Ethiopians are in limbo/dilemma as to which political organization/s we have to lend hands to overthrow this unconstitutional, tyrannical government. We are tired of being betrayed!!! The move which brought the four parities together (Afar People’s Party, Ginbot 7 Movement for Justice, Freedom, and Democracy Party, and Ethiopian Movement for Unity and Justice) as an Alliance for Liberty, Equality, and Justice in Ethiopia (ALEJA) is a commendable initiative and I urge other parities to join this initiative regardless of ideological differences.

    What should be underscored is that our current national struggle definitely requires a shared sense of urgency and a common goal. If we struggle in a concerted fashion, the oppression of Meles will vanish like evil spirits at the dawn of the day. However, if we procrastinate anymore, this great nation will soon disintegrate and the plight of our children and grandchildren will NEVER allow us to rest in peace in our crypts – since death is inevitable. Time is over for rivalry as our enemy is working day in and day out to destroy this millennia-old nation irreversibly. Thanks to brave Ethiopians, we have now different media/outlets by which we can make our voices heard — Ginbot 7 Radio, VOA, DW Radio, ESAT and other electronic media fully dedicated to the Ethiopian cause. On our way to freedom, there might arise opportunists or traitors as always. Let’s have zero tolerance for these traitors.

    Be cognizant that there is no easy walk for freedom (as Nelson Mandela says) and freedom is not free (as Shiv Khera says). But, be sure that we shall not die without a hope that liberty is on steady advance for us and our children. We will soon see a complete eclipse of liberty and emancipation. Let’s long for the dreams of the future better than the unbearable history of the past 20 years.

    | #5


  6. The Eritrean one!
    | #6

    The Kenyans government have no boundaries of shame be it toward Ethiopians, Eritreans, and Somalians; however, what is disturbing the most is as to what is the Kenyan government gaining from weyane thugs by prosecuting the refuggees from Ethiopia. I hope they are not selling these innocent people for a few shillings!

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