Unelected Governor of Gambella, Accused of Deep Involvement in Crimes Against Humanity, has been Denied a Visa to Enter Canada

June 8th, 2008 Print Print Email Email

Anuak Justice Council / June 7, 2008

Mr. Omot Obang Olum, the Gambella Region Governor who was appointed to his position following his suspected collaboration with the EPRDF regime of Prime Minister Meles Zenawi in the massacre of 424 Anuak leaders in Gambella in December of 2003, has had his visa application for entry into Canada denied by Canadian government officials late on Friday, June 6, 2008.

Mr. Olum was scheduled to speak at a meeting in Calgary to Canadian Ethiopians from the Gambella region on Saturday, June 7, but now will not make it. (more…)

Anuak Justice Council / June 7, 2008

Mr. Omot Obang Olum, the Gambella Region Governor who was appointed to his position following his suspected collaboration with the EPRDF regime of Prime Minister Meles Zenawi in the massacre of 424 Anuak leaders in Gambella in December of 2003, has had his visa application for entry into Canada denied by Canadian government officials late on Friday, June 6, 2008.

Mr. Olum was scheduled to speak at a meeting in Calgary to Canadian Ethiopians from the Gambella region on Saturday, June 7, but now will not make it. In an earlier meeting held in Minnesota on May 31, many attendees were dissatisfied with Olum’s emphasis on developing the region while appearing to evade questions or flatly deny his own alleged part in the human rights crimes going on in the region before, during and after the killings. Mr. Omot Olum failed to publicly take the higher ground and admit to his wrongdoing. Anuak would love to be so surprised—if it were deemed honest and sincere.

Efforts to deny his entry into the United States were unsuccessful even though we have learned from
anonymous sources that United States officials had detained Olum for questioning after he arrived in the
states on May 30, 2008, but that he was later released, allegedly, because he held a diplomatic visa that
gave him special privileges and greater immunity against possible action.

Regardless, Canada has now taken a stand against an alleged perpetrator of genocide and human rights
crimes. This is all the more significant to the family of these victims as Olum and other legitimate
suspects all the way up to the federal offices in Addis Ababa, have never been held accountable for these
actions within Ethiopia. Way to go, Canada! No longer do we want western countries to be used as safe
havens for those who have committed gross human rights abuses.

Mr. Olum, who was the chief of security for the region at the time of the massacre, had been identified in
testimony from witnesses given to human rights investigators from Genocide Watch, Survivors Rights’
International and Human Rights Watch (HRW) as the individual responsible for compiling and handing
over the list of Anuak leaders who were later targeted and killed.

Mr. Olum later was appointed as governor of the Gambella region in a suspected payoff for his loyalty to
the EPRDF government of Ethiopian unelected Prime Minister Meles Zenawi. To date, no one has been
held accountable for the massacre of the Anuak. Neither has anyone been held accountable for the over
200 Ethiopians killed in protests following the hijacking of the Ethiopian National Election of 2005 or for
the gross human rights crimes being perpetrated in the Ogaden and into Somalia as well as for the
countless other human rights abuses committed throughout Ethiopia.

In a comment made to the Calgary Herald, Karen Shadd, a spokeswoman for Citizenship and Immigration
Canada, was quoted in their June 6, 2008 article as saying that “the department takes public safety
seriously even though she could not comment on the visa.” We now see the proof that her statement had
substance to it.

Canadian government figures show that there are over 800 war criminals or human rights abusers
currently living in Canada. In 2000, Canada passed a new law that the Canadian courts have jurisdiction
to hear cases in court of those found to be in the country—even one related to individuals visiting on a
visa who are suspected of committing a human rights crime such as Omot Olum. Should he have been
allowed to enter the country, this law could have taken effect on his case.

However, the current denial of Olum’s visa is the best first step and Canadians have taken it. This is the
kind of action that is needed to bring to an end the human rights abuses and the repression of freedom and democracy in Ethiopia being carried out by the regime of Meles Zenawi.

We are hoping that this action is an indication of a new level of commitment to upholding the principles
of freedom and democracy in Third World countries that western countries like Canada and the United
States hold so dear.

The West’s War on Terror has contributed to the willingness of donor countries such as Canada and the
United States to turn a blind eye to the horrific violations of human rights and oppression in countries
such as Ethiopia whose partnership in the War on Terror has given them impunity. Yet, on the home
front, the prime minister of Ethiopia, Meles Zenawi, is terrorizing his own people.

Canada’s partnership with Meles Zenawi, also seen by many Ethiopians as complicity with a dictator, is
putting Canada’s own future relationship with Ethiopians in jeopardy. If Canadians in leadership and in
the media fail to acknowledge how our support of this dictator is a means to perpetuate human rights
abuses, the sabotage of the democratic process and the repression of the press, we will end up
compromising not only our moral principles as a free country, but we will be putting our own future
national interests at greater risk as these average Ethiopians become hostile to us in the west due to our
silence and self-interest. Please do something to change the course of these events!
If there is a group interested in further pursuing this, please contact us for more information.

Mr. Obang Metho,
Director of International Advocacy
Anuak Justice Council
E-mail: Obang@anuakjustice.org
Website: http://www.anuakjustice.org

  1. WEGESHAW
    | #1

    Great job AJC!
    Thank you Mr. Obang Metho!
    This is part of the total victory to come.
    This is part of the total victory for all Ethiopians.
    We don’t accept a “weyane of Meles’ – Obang” whose mission was to neutralize and destroy the great humanitarian work of the truthful and real OBANG METHO.
    No “Weyane of Meles’ style disqualification of the truth. No compromise with the brutal “Weyanes of Meles”. Yes OMOT OBANG OLUM is still an anuak by birth but his heart is irreversibly changed to “Weyane of Meles”, there are a lot of Ethiopians in general, whose hearts has badly changed into “weyane of Meles” and that are the whole members of EPRDF.
    No compromise with “Weyane of Meles”.
    No “GURTONG” before the killers of our Anuak brothers and sisters come to justice.
    Thank you AJC again, for we all Ethiopians could learn from you brothers and sisters!
    We have learned a lot from your pains as one of peace loving tribe of this great country.
    Like wise almost all tribes and nationalities in Ethiopia have suffered the same misery.
    Our pains should bring us together in order to fight with this “powerful of evils” and defeat them. “Weyane of Meles” doesn’t know what peaceful way of settling things is all about.
    The great Anuak tribe has taught the whole World one important thing – ” GURTONG”,
    and “GURTONG” works among the Ethiopian communities but never “Gurtong” with “Weyane of Meles” before the perpetrators come to justice!
    Long live the Anuak tribe along with all Ethiopian tribes!
    Long live Ethiopia!
    We shall overcome!

  2. Belaye Zeleke
    | #2

    To all involved in the process you have done excellent job to stop this TPLF messanger from coming to Canada

    Mr Obang Metho you are respected for your stand for freedom by millios around the wold

    God Bless

  3. | #3

    Thank you Oband for Great work and contineous struggle. I admire you and your organization.
    Great Job AJC and its Leader Obang. That is how peaceful war is waged. We all win when Perpetrators of Crime held accountable for the crime they have commited, and exposed to the world. The Time will soon come, where, for all TPLFs’ Killers and their leaders to be brought to Justice. Killers and Dictators will not have any place in the world to hide from the Crime they are commiting. They can not hide their Atrocities against their own people, the Ethiopian People. They will be judged by the International Tribunal Court, and they will not be enjoying their dimplomatic previlages for long.
    I would urge Meles and his cliques to quit the government and give it to The Ethiopian People, before too Late. For Some this might seem frivolous, and not be fisible, but, believe me my brothers and sisters, that is the best way they can get our from the mess they have created. That is the way you can have peace and reconciliation with your own fellow Ethiopians. You see, my fellw Ethiopians, I believe in reconcilation in order to be clean from past horrible mistakes, (killings, tortures, and arrests) and repent for past sins, and to live in peace in our future and for our next generation. Please, my fellew Ethiopians there is no such permanet enemies in our land, own birth place, but temporary parasites who they thik they can live for ever. Let us remind these people History will reapt itself, We are all mortals. Let us leave Peaceful, Progressive, Kind, and Nurturing Ethiopia for our Children.

  4. | #4

    Thank you Oband for Great work and contineous struggle. I admire you and your organization.
    Great Job AJC and its Leader Obang. That is how peaceful war is waged. We all win when Perpetrators of Crime held accountable for the crime they have commited, and exposed to the world. The Time will soon come, where, for all TPLFs’ Killers and their leaders to be brought to Justice. Killers and Dictators will not have any place in the world to hide from the Crime they are commiting. They can not hide their Atrocities against their own people, the Ethiopian People. They will be judged by the International Tribunal Court, and they will not be enjoying their dimplomatic previlages for long.
    I would urge Meles and his cliques to quit the government and give it to The Ethiopian People, before too Late. For Some this might seem frivolous, and not be fisible, but, believe me my brothers and sisters, that is the best way they can get out from the mess they have created. That is the way you can have peace and reconciliation with your own fellow Ethiopians. You see, my fellw Ethiopians, I believe in reconcilation in order to be clean from past horrible mistakes, (killings, tortures, and arrests) and repent for past sins, and to live in peace in our future and for our next generation. Please, my fellew Ethiopians there is no such permanet enemies in our land, own birth place, but temporary parasites who they thik they can live for ever. Let us remind these people History will reapt itself, We are all mortals. Let us leave Peaceful, Progressive, Kind, and Nurturing Ethiopia for our Children.

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