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FEBRUARY 2009 No. 2
Leggesse Wogi’s family, a senior Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) rebel field commander who martyred on a war against Meles’s regime [Ethiopia] troops for liberation in October 2008, escaped prosecution by Ethiopian government securities and left the country for exile. Weyineshet Getahun (Leggesse’s wife), Netsanet Leggesse and Frihewet Leggesse (daughters), and other family member Embet Gezahegne were the few lucky Oromos to escape the extra- judicial killings.
Mostly the Meles regime made OLF as culprit for the bombings occasionally occurred in the capital city Addis Ababa which Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) denies as a false and set up allegation. In October 2008 Meles Zenawi told parliament that the government had confirmed that all bombings this year in Addis Ababa were the work of the OLF. Apart from the cases noted above, no credible evidence has been presented to verify these claims. Meantime the civilians were the victims both in the accident and in the move the Ethiopian security forces took actions under the label of investigation. Consequently, human right abuses reported by humanitarians and human right organizations, at local and international levels for years, included unlawful killings, torture, beating, abuse and mistreatment of detainees and opposition supporters by security forces, usually with impunity; poor prison conditions; arbitrary arrest and detention, particularly of suspected sympathizers or members of opposition or insurgent groups (Refer U.S. Department of State, 2008 Human Rights Reports: Ethiopia, February 25, 2009).
In September 2008 more than hundred Oromos were arrested including opposition party leaders and put to jail in charge of supporting Oromo Liberation Front (OLF). The Ethiopian government accuses categorically Oromos by ethnicity supporting OLF. Harassment, detention and mass arrest usually occurs as a result. As Meles’s government and armed conflict supporters remain hostile human right violations are proliferating across the country.
Back Ground Information:
After the military junta [Derg] regime was ousted from power in 1991 by armed struggle from Tigrayi, Eritrea, Oromo, Amhara, and southern Ethiopian peoples, Tigrayi – led Ethiopian government was established. Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) and Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF), which yielded bedrock support from their respective nations, were forced out of the transitional government that paved way for Tgrayi People Liberation Front (TPLF), which is a minority to control all political, military and economic power in Ethiopia. Since then OLF and ONLF remained in armed conflict with Meles regime. The government faced armed opposition from the Oromo liberation Front (OLF) and the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) both gaining mass support of the people. Thousands of the people remained in indefinite and mainly incommunicado detention without charge or trial in connection particularly with the armed conflicts in Oromia and Somali regions, and arbitrary and mass arrest continued. In connection with general election held May 2005 thousands were put to jail, and more than hundreds were shot dead on the street of the capital city.
Member of Refugee Council of Australia