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Gabcast! Gotoota Oromo Haa Yaadannu. #17 - Wallee.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Ethiopian Brutality

February 16, 2007 - Fighting between the Resistance and Ethiopian troops which erupts almost every middays and nights caused scores of civilians dead. The Ethiopian troops using heavy artillery fire against the civilians population every day for the last 4 days.

Residents say that the Ethiopians are too scared to come into the neighborhoods and fight the resistance hand the hand and they are only using heavy fire which is only killing innocent civilians.

One artillery round fired by the Ethiopians from the sea port area landed on the beach and killed 1 boy and injured 3 of his friends (picture) after a barrage of mortars from the resistance inflicted casualties on their troops.

The "government" are appearing to loose control of the city and only holding the presidential palace, the sea port and the airport which comes under daily attack. The ambushes by the resistance are being conducted during the morning times as well as the nights since there is hardly any police forces on the streets, many towns have lost authority since the Islamic courts withdrew from the area, and mostly controlled by clan gunmen and local gangs.

Opposition Radio says 33 killed in southern Ethiopia clashes

Feb 15, 2007 (ST) — An opposition radio said 33 tribal warriors were killed in inter-clan fighting in southern Ethiopia. It accused Addis Ababa of being behind these clashes.
The Voice of Oromo Liberation audio website reported that inter-clans clashes between Borana and Gabra clans of Oromo are instigated by the Ethiopian government.
“To prolong his stay in power, [prime minister] Meles Zenawi is pursuing a policy of instigating violence among peoples”, the radio said. It also accused Ethiopian authorities of arming one clan against the other.
The Ethiopian police had said that 19 people were killed but the radio said 33 killed and many others have been wounded.
Last week police said that the rival tribes clashed were motivated by grazing problem for livestock in the area.
The radio urged the warring parties to resolve their conflict using the traditional method of mediation.
The trouble began four years ago when Ethiopian authorities marked out a new border between the Borana and Gabra territories. Both of them depend on livestock.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Coleman meets top US diplomat for Africa to discuss Somalia and Oromo issues

During meeting with Assistant Secretary of State Jendayi Frazer, Senator pushes for Special Envoy to Somalia and submits a letter outlining human rights abuses against the Oromo refugees

February 13th, 2007 - Washington, D.C. - Washington, D.C.—Continuing his push toward establishing a comprehensive U.S. strategy to bring peace and stability to Somalia, Senator Norm Coleman yesterday met with Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Jendayi Frazer to discuss U.S. diplomatic efforts concerning Somalia. Senator Coleman, following up on his comments during hearings last week with Secretary Rice and Assistant Secretary Frazer, pressed for the appointment of a Special Envoy to Somalia. He also raised alleged human rights abuses suffered by the Oromo refugee population in Somalia at the hands of the Ethiopian military. During the meeting, Senator Coleman presented to Secretary Frazer a letter outlining his concerns over the allegations of abuse that were brought to the Senator’s attention by the Oromo American Citizen Council of Minnesota. The Senator also extended an invitation to Assistant Secretary Frazer to travel to Minnesota to engage the Somali diaspora community in the national reconciliation process that is underway in Somalia.

“With Minnesota being home to the largest community of Somalis in America, I feel a strong sense of responsibility to be an advocate for stability in Somalia,” said Coleman. “It is a region of the world that has gone largely ignored for many years, and yet we have vital national security interests at stake in the country. Minnesota is also the home to a substantial Oromo community, many of whom left Ethiopia due to persecution and who have long raised their human rights concerns with me. It was disheartening to hear that the abuse faced by the Oromo in Ethiopia now exists in Somalia too, with the presence of the Ethiopian military. I am concerned about allegations of abuses like arbitrary detention and harassment of Oromo refugees. I expressed my view to the Assistant Secretary that it is up to the United States and other countries to use our influence to ensure that human rights are respected by the Ethiopian military.”

Senator Coleman last week joined Senator Russ Feingold (D-WI) in introducing legislation that would require a comprehensive U.S. strategy to aid the war-torn country, including increased diplomatic engagement as well as financial assistance. The legislation also includes a provision continuously advocated by Senator Coleman establishing a Special Envoy for Somalia to coordinate U.S. diplomacy as well as elevate the importance of the issue. Coleman and Feingold have previously worked on Somalia legislation that was attached to last year’s Department of Defense Authorization bill.

“As political strife and lack of economic opportunity continue to exacerbate the instability in Somalia, we need to develop a comprehensive strategy to deal with the struggling country that could otherwise become a haven for terrorists,” said Coleman. “One important piece of this strategy is to have a U.S. diplomatic presence on the ground in Somalia. The U.N. and many of our international partners have had key diplomats visit Somalia, but the U.S. has yet to do so. I think it will be difficult for the U.S. to play a lead role in helping stabilize Somalia if we are unable to send diplomats there. Additionally, in order to make any diplomatic presence effective we will need a Special Envoy to coordinate our policy.”

Coleman had previously pressed for the appointment of a Special Envoy for Somalia last week during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing with witnesses that included Frazer and USAID Assistant Administrator Michael Hess. He reiterated his calls for a Special Envoy at a hearing on the Foreign Affairs budget with Secretary Rice last Thursday. At the hearings, Coleman raised long-standing concerns about U.S. diplomatic capacity to formulate and carry out policy toward Somalia, as well as the level of humanitarian assistance to that country.

Source: Office of Senator Coleman, Feb 13, 2007

Map of oromia

Map of oromia