August 19, 2009
Urgent Appeal of Oromo Refugees in Yemen
High Commissioner for Refugees, Geneva, Switzerland
Human Rights Watch – Washington DC, USA
Amnesty International – London, UK
International Communities – globally
UNHCR branch offices in Yemen
Subject: Ethiopian (Oromo) refugees Al-kharaz Refugee Camp Re Yemen
Your Excellences We would like to write to you this urgent appeal letter to inform you that we are going to set up again a sit-in, as refugees in front of UNHCR office in the Al-kharz Refugee Camp The reason concerns the high discrimination against us with lasting solution, by UNHCR in Yemen although, we suffer under very appalling securities and political persecutions emanating from the Ethiopian authorities in cooperating with the Yemeni securities.
We were frankly and precisely applying for protection with UNHCR offices in Yemen seeking a durable solution, since we are deprived completely of any protection and the rights that any refugees must get in a country of asylum, even the right to humanitarian claims. We suffer very bad securities, threats and attempts with forcibly deportation. So, we live escaping from both the Ethiopian authority and the Yemeni securities all the last 14 years, just like a rat escapes from the cat. Why? It is as clear as the daylight that there is a political relationship between Yemen and Ethiopia which seems as political integration, regarding to the atrocious treatments we facing in Yemen. Lots of the Oromo refugees were deported forcibly to Ethiopia, having arrested from the Camp and serious attempts to forcibly deportation of the Oromo refugees with UNHCR mandates, the securities said they are wanted by the Ethiopian authority. Many have been threatened and pursued with forcibly deportation by the securities in Al-kharaz refugee Camp due to fighting for our rights as refugees that the securities blamed them being as political agitators as if they involved in spoiling the Yemeni relationship with Ethiopia. One of them was threatened seriously with a weapon that made him to flee from the Camp then, the securities used to pursue him out of the camp, who then has been escaping from place to place. With reference to the new arrivals the authorities pull Oromos out of the others and forcibly deport them after mistreatments with different assaults, on the way to and in prison. We suffer very bad situation that we can’t describe the scale of the persecutions we suffer, by this short letter.
What seems the UNHCR role playing with the issues?
Although witnessing all these sufferings with us including the absolute Yemeni decision toward us, UNHCR in Yemen never paid an appropriate attention to us with such terrible securities. UNHCR is neglecting about our applications for protection – UNHCR in Yemen used seriously to convince the international Community in opposite of the fact that we suffer about. UNHCR particularly, the office in Aden in cooperating with the other refugees living here used to vanish the facts of the persecutions we suffer, although UNHCR knows that no refugees suffer from political persecution except us in Yemen. The refugees having some of inducements, they used to describe a well being of the situation. UNHCR, by the way expresses that we are beset by securities, when it compels us to hide under the Somali Community, confirming that the authority does not allow us to live as Oromo refugees. Starting from 05/05/2005, we set up a sit-in around the UNHCR compound in Al-kharaz that was extended seven months in so hot and windy storm, with no any response to our problem. In that days many international human rights organizations among them Amnesty international in London tried to visit us but, UNHCR blocked them, we have an accurate information from the Amnesty. None of UNHCR visited us, even one day. Is not a crime such involvement by a human right agency against human being? In this contrary, UNHCR in Yemen was and has been resettling the Somali refugees massively in third countries, just for better life. We suffer the most but defend less. Right now, UNHCR in Yemen has involved with apparent misleading about our durable solution, by extending it with false appointments day by day, week by week and month by month for the last three years and never have done anything yet, but it has been continuing with other refuges every week. This is actually seemed a tactical misleading about our issues to get us extradited to Ethiopia.
His Honor the High Commissioner, Mr. Antinio Guterrs You remember about our issues you received during your visit to Yemen on 15/05/08, and we sent to you again our problems witch is indisputable. You acknowledge our situation has no any other alternative solution unless resettlement in a third country. Your staffs in Yemen have never mitigated with our situation, but have been pressurizing against us. Therefore, we have decided to start with a sit-in, either if that will cause us to death or to life. However, we would like to display this persecution and discrimination by the UNHCR in Yemen against us with such terrible securities and inhuman circumstance. And we are informing to the global Communities that UNHCR in Yemen will be in charge with responsibility of any bad consequences with the coming sit-in. We hope the international communities, Human rights organizations and Amnesty international to do their best with our issues to survive us.