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New wave of arrests in Ethiopia

More than 200 Oromo arrested and disappeared

Bolzano/Bozen, Göttingen, 25. August 2006

According to the Society for Threatened People (GfbV), more than 200 members of the Oromo people disappeared after they have been arrested on 22 August 2006 in the western regions of Ethiopia. On Friday he GfbV-referent for African matters in Göttingen, Ulrich Delius, expressed his concerns since so far the relatives were denied any information concerning the fates of the arrested persons. Moreover, no charge has yet been brought against them. Referring to eye-witness reports, the members of the Oromo people were arrested in the district of Tukur Inchinni, around 125 km west of the local capital Addis Abeba, and taken on trucks to an unknown destination.

The Oromo people constitute one of the largest ethnic groups in Ethiopia. Since November 2005, several thousands of them have been arrested because they protested against the persecution of their members within the multiethnic state of Ethiopia. For month, many of the arrested people have been kept imprisoned without any contact to the external world. In recent times, especially schoolkids and students have become the victims of these persecutions since they were demonstrating against the arrests of leaders of the Oromo welfare organization Macha Tulama, or against the shifting of the local capital from Addis Abeba to Adama, and because they were claiming more autonomy for the Oromo people.

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