Wide Spread Arrest in all Corners of Oromia Continues Unabated – AFRO-O

October 30th, 2007 Print Print Email Email

The Advocacy for the Fundamental Rights of Oromos & Others (AFRO-O) would like to inform Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch about the ongoing mass arrests and torture of hundreds of Oromos in Ethiopia at the present time. (more…)

The Advocacy for the Fundamental Rights of Oromos & Others (AFRO-O) would like to inform Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch about the ongoing mass arrests and torture of hundreds of Oromos in Ethiopia at the present time. Last week, when pressed by Oromo opposition parliament members the Ethiopian prime minister admitted that his government is arresting some Oromos because they were Oromo Liberation Front members and supporters. He went even further by accusing senior opposition MPs, including the honorable Bulcha Demeksa and the honorable Dr.Marara Gudina, of being OLF leaders themselves. He further threatened them by saying that “once the government had enough evidence the culprits would be arrested and put on trial.” This in itself is a clear breach of principle of any democratic governance, for the leader of the ruling party to threaten members of parliament with arrest.

The Advocacy for the Fundamental Rights of Oromos & Others (AFRO-O) has just received a list of 148 Oromo men, women, students and farmers and their places of residences and locations of their detentions. We notice the fact that many individuals are brought to the famous Makelawi detention center in the capital, Addis Ababa, known to Oromos as Finfine. We strongly suspect that the reason for transporting these individuals to the Makelawi is to torture them. The Makelawi in Ethiopia is synonymous with torture to the Oromo people and other Ethiopians. All the listed Oromo individuals are suspected of involvement with the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF). We believe that the list is a “tip of the Iceberg,” since the arrests are in the thousands according to news reaching us and are ongoing.

We appeal to Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch to follow up and investigate these new arrests and their plight to all peace loving people around the globe. We suspect that the real reason for these new arrests is to intimidate the electorate into supporting the ruling party of Prime Minister Zenawi.

Thank you for all your work in supporting those whose rights are denied


Advocacy for the Fundamental Rights of
Oromos & Others (AFRO-O)
P.O. Box 422
Burtonsville, MD 20866
Website: www.afro-o.org


  1. Balcha
    | #1

    I have a problem with the name in itself- “… Oromos and others”. It does look humaniterian organization. If it is a humanterian organization why it has to specify ethnicity?

    Human right is not ethnic specific. Before you cry to the world you have to understand what you are crying for,ok?

    It is an era of globalization! Grow up!!!!

  2. MebrateM
    | #2

    Despite the disappointments we may have about some of these self-styled representatives of the Oromo and their dubious separatist ethnic political agenda,our hearts must still bleed for our Oromo brothers and sisters who are being persecuted at the hands of TPLF.Our anger must be kindled against such cruel treatment and we must protest and appeal to governments,various U.N agencies,human rights groups and civic associations on their behalf for the protection and respect of the dignity and rights of our people.This must be our primary duty which we must be able to discharge without stint and with a sense of urgency.
    By contemplating and sharing the agony of the hour with our Oromo compatriots,we affirm our mutual exchanges in the past and the viable dialogue in the future.
    Let us not forget that ours is the politics hope and redemption!

  3. Sekokaw Beza
    | #3

    Our popular leader birtukan in your eye there will be more than 100 plitical prisoner. What’s wrong?
    is democratic kinijit palying a cover up role for tyrant,or what? Please give us a break if you guys strugle for the people let the world know what the dictator meles doing in our land. Now you thoght you accuse Hailu Shawel but you risen up tplf from the grave. Please speak the truth. The people gave you what you want when you go home you have to give back for the peopple that let all political prisoner out of jail specialy those still in jail because they were standing behind your slogan. It is shame for you to eat one day while they are in jail. Do not for get them.

    God bless Ethiopia.

  4. Eskinder Degene.
    | #4

    What is the defntion of Human Being.

    We all knows a lots of humanbeing is suffring in prison in diffrent partes of the country in thousendes number.Why you are saying Oromo in my understand for evidence you can mention some number of prisons.But Amnisty International from its stand of point should struggel all humanbeing whose who suffering in preason to be settfree not only Ormo all Debube, Amhara ,Afar Tgiray and so on.

    I am surprising for those who are still thinking abot ethnik ,think broad way as all human equity and eqality.Not a single nation.
    Think as humanbeing!!!

  5. Tesfaye
    | #5

    Before doing something else, first you need to clarify who are the Gallas and who are the Oromos? Even the word Galla became known to the international anthropologist study book at the end of the 19-century. From where did get the word Oromo or doesn’t not matter when you names and renames places and yourself anytime you want? The OLF associates are the type of the Galla immigrants.

    We Ethiopians have many things a head to clarify and make them understand that they are immigrants between 1570-1870 deep in to the Ethiopian highlands.

    The govt deserves support and appriciation with the campaign to eradicate each and every OLF element from the Ethiopian surface.

    | #6

    Please admin,

    delete the above stupid comment od Tesfaye. This kind of stupidity doesn’t help. As human beings we have to feel the sufferings of all ethiopians regardless of their ethnic backgound, religion, etc.

    Although the name of the human rights advocate group is funny to me.
    Why did they add “others”.
    Who are the “others”?
    Do they really the connotation behind the word “others”?

    I wonder when we Ethiopians mature. I wonder when we will be civilized. The more we are educated, the more we go to the worst. The more we taste democracy in the western world, the more we become antidemocracy.

    Shameful generation.

  7. eliyas kebenu
    | #7

    I am surprising when the narrow minded tesfaye try to tell us about our history.he say”Oromos/Gallas are immigrants.”HEY,do you know that nobody is created as it was in Ethiopia/Abysinia….if you don’t I will buy you a bunch of history books about Ethiopia.every ethinic groups of ethiopians were immigrants from Esia or wherever!! let me ask a question, if oromo is immigrant; to whom that land was belongs?? tell me this but don’t say it was semetician.otherly,one thing what I always sorry about is every body has a headache when oromo issue is risen up every where else. still you are trying to call us GALLA and some of you are articulating about oromo specific…you guys don’t say that again.you need to understand that oromo is the ethinic group that has been fighting for his freedom.this doesen’t mean racism!whatever you say this goes up.nobody stop our way!you hate us,you love our land…try to tell us nothing!we also know the theory of globalization ha ha haaaa where you been yesterday?????

  8. G/Kidan
    | #8

    This is to those Ignorants for the truth.

    The Great Oromo(galla) migration was a series of migrations in the 16th and 17th centuries by Oromos from more southerly areas in Ethiopia to more central and northern regions. The migrations had a severe impact on the recently weakened Solomonic dynasty of Ethiopia, as well as being the death blow to the recently defeated Adal state.

    Contents [hide]
    1 Background
    2 Sources
    3 Early migrations
    3.1 Mélbah (1522-1530) and Mudena (1530-1538)
    3.2 Kilolé (1538-1546)
    4 Bifolé (1546-1554)
    5 Settlement
    5.1 Meslé (1554-1562)
    5.2 Harmufa (1562-1570) and Robalé (1570-1578)
    6 Reprisals under Sarsa Dengel
    6.1 Birmajé (1578-1586)
    6.2 Mul’eta (1586-1594)
    7 17th c.
    7.1 Ya’qob
    7.2 Susneyos
    7.3 Later Emperors? Up to Iyasu I? Iyasu II? (right before ZM)?
    8 Changes in Oromo Customs/Beliefs/Culture
    8.1 Culture at time
    8.2 Changes
    9 Consequences
    10 References
    11 Further reading
    12 See also

    [edit] Background

    [edit] Sources
    Because Oromos did not write their language during the migrations, we must refer to Solomonic, Portuguese, and Arabic sources for the reasons behind and history of the migrations. Particularly, a 16th century Tigrayan monk named Bahrey is the foremost source on the migrations. His book (written in Ge’ez), the History of the Galla (Ge’ez ??? ? ??? z?nahu legalla; “Galla” being an older name for “Oromos” that is now pejorative), was written in 1593 and details the migrations from 1522 to his age. In addition to his book, further information can be gleamed from other contemporaries such as from the Ethiopian monk Abba Paulos, Shihab ed-Din’s Futuh al-Habasha (Conquest of Abyssinia), João Bermudes, Francisco de Almeida, Jerónimo Lobo, and various royal chronicles (e.g. those of Gelawdewos, Sarsa Dengel, and Susenyos, though that of Sarsa Dengel may have been written by Bahrey).

    [edit] Early migrations
    The early migrations were characterized by sporadic raids by the Oromo on the frontiers of the Solomonic kingdom. After capturing cattle and other booty, the raiding parties would quickly return back to their homelands. Actual settlement of new territories would not begin until the luba (Ge’ez ?? l?b?, an “appointed” head of one of the five groups of an Oromo clan) of Meslé.[1]

    lubas (meaning – p.301)

    [edit] Mélbah (1522-1530) and Mudena (1530-1538)
    According to Bahrey, the earliest Oromo migratinos occured under the Oromo luba Melbah, during the time of Emperor Lebna Dengel. He states that they invaded the neighboring Bali in the Southeast just before the invasions of Ahmad ibn Ibrihim al-Ghazi of Adal (also known as Ahmed Gragn) in the north. These early incursions (Oromo razzia) were limited, however, as the encroaching groups returned to their homeland near the Shebelle River after each raid. Raids continued under Mudena past the Wabi Shebelle, but these groups also returned home shortly.[2]

    [edit] Kilolé (1538-1546)
    After the death of Ahmed Gragn, Kilolé resumed his predecessors raids, piercing further into Solomonic territory. Aided by the weakening of both the Solomonic dynasty and Adal, he was able to raid as far as the province of Dewaro, north of Bali. Again, however, after each raid, the parties returned to their villages. Bahrey’s dating might, however, be off, however, as Shihab ad-din, who wrote a decade before Ahmed Gragn’s death, notes a locality named Werre Qallu, an Oromo name, in the province of Dewaro. Francisco de Almeida, however, agreed with Bahrey’s dating, affirming that the Galla first began migrating around the time of Ahmed Gragn’s invasion (1527).[3]

    [edit] Bifolé (1546-1554)
    During the time of luba Bifolé, the Oromo migration achieved its first major success. While all previous movements had been minor raids on neighboring provinces, under Bifolé new raids were undertaken that began to weaken Solomonic control. All of Dewaro was pillaged and Fetegar to its north was attacked for the first time.[4] Furthermore, according to Bahrey, the inhabitants of the pillaged areas were enslaved, becoming gebrs (Ge’ez ??? gabr; Amh. gebr, Tgn. gebri), a term referring more precisely to “tax-paying serfs,” similar to the serfs in Ethiopia during feudal times. Emperor Gelawdewos, however, campaigned in the south as a result of thee attacks. According to his chronicle, the Emperor defeated the Oromo incursions and made subject to his rule those he captured, preventing further attacks for some time, with further incursions reduced to skirmishes. The initial attacks were significant, however, on a much larger and more devastating scale to the Solomonic dynasty. Despite his reprisals, Gelawdewos was troubled and was forced to settle refugees in a town of Wej, north of Lake Zway, around 1550-1.[5]

    [edit] Settlement

    [edit] Meslé (1554-1562)
    Meslé’s time represent a fundamental change in the migrations of the Oromo. Not only were newly taken territories permanently settled by Oromos for the first time, but mules and horses began to be ridden by the first time. The adoption of horseback-riding from the north greatly increased the Oromos fighting power, putting them on par with Solomonic troops, who were largely unequipped with firearms.[6]

    In the new phase of migration adopted under Meslé, the Oromos defeated Gelawdewos’s troops in Jan Amora, allowing them to pillage a number of towns. Instead of returning to their homelands, however, they stayed in the new territories. Gelawdewos campaigned against the Oromos as a result, defeating them at ‘Asa Zeneb (yet unidentified), but he was nevertheless unable to drive them from the frontier provinces and continued to build the new town in Wej for new refugees.[7]

    Oromo migration was not restricted to Solomonic territories, however, as activites against Adal were also pursued. The forces of Nur ibn Mujahid (r. 1551/2-1567/8), the Amir of Harar, for instance, were soundly defeated by the Oromos. According to Bahrey, there had been “no such slaughter since the Galla first invaded.” [7]

    [edit] Harmufa (1562-1570) and Robalé (1570-1578)
    During the luba of Harmufa, the Oromos advanced even deeper into Solomonic territory. With the use of horses, they were able to attack the province Amhara, and even get as far as Begemdir and Angot. Further advances were made under Robalé, during whose time Shewa was pillaged and Gojjam attacked. For the first time, Oromo advances were devastating core Solomonic provinces, whereas there earlier incursions were simply against frontier provinces. Despite the deeper attacks, the core provinces remained under Solomonic control, and Emperor Sarsa Dengel carried out reprisals in return. One such reprisal in 1573 involved the engagement of Oromos near Lake Zway in a frontier province, whom he defeated, and taking their cattle and distributing it among his subjects who are described in his chronicle as “bec[oming] rich” as a result.[8]

    [edit] Reprisals under Sarsa Dengel
    Forced to fight the Ottomans in the north of his Empire, Sarsa Dengel turned to curb the spread of Oromos in the south in the 1570s. The first mention of his actions is in his short Royal chronicle, which states that he fought a force of Borana Oromos at Lake Zway under a luba named Ambissa. Learning that, after the 1572 rains, the Oromos had taken Wej, the Emperor gathered his forces from throughout Ethiopia to form an army at Gind Beret. From there, Sarsa Dengel headed south, where he found that the Oromos had also taken Maya.[8] Despite the size of his army, he was able to defeat the Oromos in the area, pushing them back to Fetegar, and capture a large number of cattle. Sarsa Dengel again learned in 1574 of Oromo incursions in Shewa, and the pillaging of cattle in lowland Zéma. The Emperor sent Azzaj Halibo with 50 cavalry to the area, who forced the Oromo to flee sent the heads of 80 to the Emperor as trophies. Sarsa Dengel was again forced to head north with his army to confront the Ottoman-backed Bahr negus Yeshaq, but later returned to Wej in 1577-8 to fend off Oromo advances in the area.[9] As a result of the battle in the Mojjo Valley (just east of modern Addis Ababa) against the Borana Oromo, corpses were strewn all over the surrounding countryside. The Emperor then fended off an attack in Dembiya by the Abati Oromo at a place called Weyne Deg’a and as a result of the battle, according to Bahrey, less than ten Oromo survived.[10]

    [edit] Birmajé (1578-1586)
    Despite Sarsa Dengel’s military campaigns, the Oromo migration continued to spread northward during this time. It was under luba Birmajé that the Oromos first began to use body-length ox-hide shields. These shields allowed the Oromos to resist arrows and therefore successfully defeat the Mayas. During this time period, the Oromo often came into conflict with Daharagot, one of Sarsa Dengel’s commanders, who was often successfuly. Nevertheless, during this time, the Oromo pillaged Ar’ine in Wej, killing Solomonic courtiers in the process. Further advances were made around Lake Tana, Dembiya, and (old) Damot, which was surrounded and some of whose inhabitants were enslaved.[10]

    [edit] Mul’eta (1586-1594)
    Under luba Mul’eta a large raid (Oromo dulaguto) was made on Gojjam south of Lake Tana. With the Ottoman situation in the north largely under control, Sarsa Dengel again took the initiative against the Oromo in the south, where he forced the Dawé (or Jawé) Oromos in Wej to flight. (287) Bahrey praised Sarsa Dengel’s campaign, stating that he “did not act according to the custom of the kings his ancestors, who, when making war were in the habit of sending their troops ahead, remaining themselves in the rear with the pick of their cavalry and infantry, praising those who went forward bravely and punishing those who lagged behind.”[11] Despite Bahrey’s praise, Sarsa Dengel was forced to use coercion to draw troops, decreeing that anyone who failed to heed his call to arms would have his house pillaged and property confiscated.[12]

    [edit] 17th c.

    [edit] Ya’qob

    [edit] Susneyos
    Ras Se’elä Krestos

    [edit] Later Emperors? Up to Iyasu I? Iyasu II? (right before ZM)?

    [edit] Changes in Oromo Customs/Beliefs/Culture

    [edit] Culture at time
    extensive – p.301 brief – p.289

    [edit] Changes
    Use of kosso

    [edit] Consequences
    p. 306

    [edit] References
    ^ Pankhurst, Richard K.P. The Ethiopian Borderlands: Essays in Regional History from Ancient Times to the End of the 18th Century. The Red Sea Press, Inc.: Asmara, Eritrea, 1997, p.301.
    ^ Pankhurst, Richard Borderlands, pp.281-2.
    ^ Pankhurst, Richard Borderlands, p.282.
    ^ Pankhurst, Richard Borderlands, pp.282-3.
    ^ Pankhurst, Richard Borderlands, p.283.
    ^ Pankhurst, Richard Borderlands, pp.283-4.
    ^ a b Pankhurst, Richard Borderlands, p.283.
    ^ a b Pankhurst, Richard Borderlands, p.285.
    ^ Pankhurst, Richard Borderlands, p.286.
    ^ a b Pankhurst, Richard Borderlands, p.287.
    ^ Pankhurst, Richard Borderlands, pp.287-8.
    ^ Pankhurst, Richard Borderlands, p.288.

    [edit] Further reading
    Richard Pankhurst, Ethiopian Borderlands
    Mohammed Hassen, The Oromo of Ethiopia: A History 1570-1860

    [edit] See also
    History of Ethiopia
    Oromo people
    Retrieved from “http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Yom/Great_Oromo_migration”

  9. ziway
    | #9

    To whom you are talking like this men? are you organizing non history books that you just create here or written with your self centred priests? I think your father was Debtera…!

    yesterday your fathers were robing our properties and today you their echo;are spreading massive propogand on our people.you have still have an approach of restrient againest our community.

    instead,me,in the name of all Oromo people I advice you to wipe your ass by these and other books that have written by your cruel famillies.all your books are far from truth.you are also very far away from knowledge.we know your day today job which that was and is slandarity againest another tribes and you each other.you hate work you love talk.I will not tolarete you when you speak like this.

    We are here to support our brothers,they are there to protect them selves againest you and you.

    the worst thing is you are ablityless to win those our genune people.
    being long tangued is the one that you gain genetically.

    I don’t like you and your books.I again don’t like your historians.live us alone!!!!!
    unless,as today we send your beggars from Our capitol FINFINE we will send you back to Esia from Africa.you have to know that,Africa is the land of cushetic.rather the few semetics….dem it.

    you here me!I am not ignorant,but when you try to bend our history I hate you hardly.

    Go to hell.

  10. Ermias
    | #10

    I understood about gebre kidan/gebra minamin,he is an actor like history reader and writer amplifying sounds of his familly.in his point of view he will think he is correct.

    Gebre minamin:we need you to stop talking too much.I am not worry about you.couse ‘am proud of my oromo brothers defending you in every aspects.you have a right to say many further things about our history,the good thing is you your self know how Oromo have been the back bone of the country in every sectors…and,when you try to write such fire kersiki things we will be offensive againest your brothers there.please stop blaming others and get to work!!

    whatever you say our people are enough to protect you every where.it will be internationally or nationally.dont think like yesterday.you have to know that we have many smart and wise people than you do.

    we dont care for such silly amulet about our citizen.we love peace.

    we have no fear or apprehension about you.I would like to anderline….we are wealthy!!!

    Don’t push us to remember about that yesterday.this is not good.if you don’t like us you have a right to live your own life in your abyssinia.I didn’t accept the way you are acting.think about your brothers who are living with our familly.we have no one living with you!!!if you prefer this way it is danger!!!think about!!!!

    Gebre devil…..stooooooop.

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