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Gumii Paarlaamaa Oromoo (GPO)
Oromo Parliamentarians Council (OPC)
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against Students in
Dismissals and Suspensions of University Students on Political Grounds
February 20, 2012
Three students of Jimma Unversity in the regional State of Oromia in Ethiopia were given academic dismissal while four others were suspended from their studies at the university for two years for demanding for a halt to what was described as politically motivated racial slurs allegedly perpetuated by students of Tigrian oringin, the ethnic group that controls the political power in the current regime in the University campuses. According to the HRLHA reporter in Jimma (Wetern Oromia), Wubshet Zelalem, Mengistu (Amhara nationasl), Tesfaye Berihanu Bari’e and Moera Lema Debela (both Oromo nationals) were dismissed from the University, while Mekonnin Dabale Tolla, Nuredin Ahmed Bariso and Takalign Konta Oli (Oromo) were temporarily abrogated for two years. Another student called Melesse Tilahun (who was a Gurage by birith) was penalized with one year suspension from the University. With the connection of the incident on Feb 4, 5 & 6,2012 many students, among those who opposed the inappropriate punishment imposed by the University administration against their fellow students, were arrested and taken to unknown destinations. HRLHA has been able to obtain through its correspondents, some of the names of those students who are believed to have been detained at unknown locations. They are:
In the same episode relating to racism, one student named Ebbisa was
The Human rights League of the Horn of Africa has reported several times in the past on similar politically motivated violent actions taken by armed security forces of the government against students of higher education institutions, the Oromo students always being the prime targets.
As it was the case in
the previous similar human rights violations against Oromos and
other students, this most recent violence by the government and
university administrations was a deliberate provocation by students
who belong to the ruling TPLF/EPRDF party aimed at politically
intimidating the students while destabilizing their academic lives.
The worst aspect of these
kinds of extra-judicial and politically motivated violence against
students of non-Tigrian origin is that the victimized students not
only receive punishments that they don’t deserve, but also brings
tension and instabilities in and outside the University compounds.
In general, their academic life would be disrupted, and as a result,
their future lives would be ruined. Given that these persistent acts
of violence by a government in charge of responsibly ruling a
country have targeted non-Tigrian students proves that racial
discrimination by the EPRDF/TPLF government of
It is very unfortunate that such racial, discriminatory, and dictatorial actions and experiences have been repeating themselves in the past years under the Ethiopian TPLF/EPRDF regime. It is more unfortunate that they have been happening in academic environments where equal and fair treatments of students are expected in a friendly, conducive, motivational, and absolutely non-political atmosphere. It is undoubtedly very difficult to expect the emergence of adequately trained, motivated, and productive citizens with quality and transferable academic achievements from such discriminatory and intimidating environments.
HRLHA demands that the Government of Ethiopia stop taking such harsh academic decisions and violent actions against the young generation and reverse those decisions of dismissal and termination against the students. HRLHA would also like to once again express its deep concerns regarding the whereabouts as well as safety of the students who have been taken to into custody.
HRLHA also calls up on regional and international diplomatic, democratic, and human rights agencies to challenge the Ethiopian TPLF/EPRDF regime on its persistent racial, discriminatory, dictatorial, and suppressive actions against the generations in charge of the futures of the country.
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