Ethiopia: Arrests and Detentions of Oromo Students in Southern Oromia

HRLHA Urgent Actionhrlha

March 26, 2014

Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa (HRLHA) would like to express its deep concern over the safety and fates of Shakiso High School Oromo Students who became victims of discriminate mass arrest and detention in Shakiso Town of Guji Zone in southern Oromia. Around two hundred ethnic Oromo Students have been sent to a jail in the nearby Adola Town, and some have received varying degrees of injuries both from bullets that were shot by the security forces during the interference and by beatings.

Shakiso High School

Those high school Oromo Students, almost all of whom are juvenile, were arrested and/or picked up at different times from different places including the school compound following a minor clash between them and ethnic Amhara Students of the same high school. According to information obtained by HRLHA through its correspondents, the clash between the two groups occurred following a provocation by the ethnic Amhara Students in opposition to the singing of the regional anthem in the regional Oromo Language by ethnic Oromo Students during flag raising ceremony at the school based on the rules and regulations provided for by the constitution of the regional state. The ethnic Oromo Students were reporting the incident and filing their complaints with the school administration when the school compound was raided by the federal security forces. Among the ironies surrounding this incident were that:

  1. The Federal Security Forces were deployed to interfere in such very minor and localized issues that could easily be dealt with by local administrative bodies and communities including that of the school itself,
  2. The ethnic Oromo Students, who were the victims of the clash, were discriminately double-victimized while those who triggered the violence were left unquestioned,
  3. Not only that such constitutional provisions as a regional anthem that have been in place for close to two decades becomes a subject of dispute, but also those who attempted to exercise such legal provisions were deemed criminals that belong to detention instead of those who contradicted the constitution head on.

The Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa (HRLHA) has been able to obtain the names of the
following Oromo students among those who have been detained:

  1. Bezabish Gurmeessaa (MEMBER OF OPPOSITION OFC)- wounded by bullet,
  2. Desta Waaree – beaten up and injured,
  6. Bezabish Gurmeessaa
  7. Chaltu Birbissa
  8. Hotessa Soree
  9. Yohanes Jisso
  10. Kifle Areri
  11. Badhadha (father name not identified)
  12. Beyena Jarso
  13. Shambel Galchu
  14. Jemal Aga
  15. Wendimu Areri
  16. Nagessa Gedo
  17. Getachew Demise
  18. Boru Dube
  19. Gemechis Bilu
  20. Chari Chana
  21. Ware Kottola ,

Although the interference of the government security forces was not far from expectations, the very harsh and violent actions that have resulted in life-threatening injuries are not acceptable by any standard. Given the violent way the students were dealt with, it is also very likely that they could be subjected to tortures.

Therefore, HRLHA calls up on the Ethiopian government to unconditionally release the detained
students; and allow necessary treatments for those who have been injured and/or wounded. It also calls upon the Ethiopian government to investigate the clash and bring the culprits to justice so that they refrain from continued racist provocations that will create conflicts between the two nations.



Unity of Oromo Struggle is a priority The Oromo want dignity, self-expression, and self-governance. The Oromo want their voices to be heard. The Oromo want sovereignty They want to live together at peace with their neighbors, who themselves also live in freedom exercising their own sovereignty.The struggle for independence will continue until the Oromo question gets proper and just response. A well organized liberation struggle and the spirit of Oromummaa will save the nation’s unity and identity from later day detractors. Long Live Free Oromiyaa!!Down with Colonial forces and their lackeys!!

Posted on 26/03/2014, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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