Oromo refugees appeal for solidarity

February 16, 2007

MELBOURNE — On February 13, a rally was organised by the Oromo Community Association to protest the treatment of Oromo refugees in Somalia since the US-backed invasion by Ethiopia.

Shangale Ali, from the Oromo Community Association, told the rally that attacks on Oromo refugees by Ethiopian forces in Somalia are "not a random act, but a calculated campaign of ethnic cleansing directed against the Oromo people who are fighting for self-determination".

"Ethiopian troops have misused the international campaign against terrorism as a justification for human rights abuses, including extrajudicial killings, torture and arbitrary executions."

Oromo Community Association youth activist Zulfiye Tufa told the crowd that, "Hundreds of refugees in Somalia have been forced back to Ethiopia to face persecution. The invasion is supported by arms from the US."

The association wants the international community, human right organisations and peace supporters across Australia to "stand with us and urge the Meles Zenawi minority government to stop their atrocities against Oromo refugees in Somalia".

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