Kenya: Oromo Refugees and Asylum Seekers are at Risk

Kenya: Oromo Refugees and Asylum Seekers are at Risk
October 25, 2015
For Immediate Release
Appeal To: The President of the Republic of Kenya
Your Excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta
President of the Republic of Kenya
PO. Box 74434-00200 Nairobi, Kenya,
Tel: 254 203 247000

Your Excellency,

First of all, the Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa (HRLHA) would like to express its appreciation to the people of Kenya and to its government for their hospitality and kindness towards thousands of Oromo and other refugees and asylum seekers who have fled their homes to escape government persecutions in Ethiopia, and who are now residing in different parts of the Republic of Kenya including in the capital city, Nairobi. Since the early 1990’s, when the TPLF government came to power to the present, hundreds of thousands of Oromo and other nationals have run away from arbitrary detentions, degrading tortures and violent killings in Ethiopia to save their lives by seeking refuge in the Republic of Kenya and other neighboring countries.
However, the Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa (HRLHA) expresses its deep concern regarding the safety of all Oromo national refugees and asylum seekers presently residing in the Republic of Kenya because of the document it recently received from its informants. The document was written by the Ethiopian Government agency, the so called “Anti-Terrorist Unit”, and sent to the Republic of Kenya Government. It addresses the bi-lateral agreement signed by both countries in 2012.
In this communique, the Ethiopian Government’s “Anti-Terrorist Unit” reminds the Republic of Kenya Government of the bi-lateral agreement made between the two countries in 2012, an agreement that expresses issues of common interest such as terrorism on which both countries should find a common solution. The communique discloses the names of 131 Oromo Nationals and their addresses and telephone numbers in Nairobi and in different township areas; the agency claimed the source of its information was the Ethiopian intelligence unit. In the names listed among the 131 Oromo Nationals in this communique is Mr. Dabassa Guyyo, an Oromo cultural legend who recently disappeared in Nairobi. His name was at the top of the list. (#1).
List of Oromo National Refugees and Asylum seekers in Kenya labeled as terrorists by the so- called “ANTI TERRORIST UNIT”, the Ethiopian Government agent.

No Name Sex
1 Dabasa Guyo M
2 Dirirsa Kejela (Wakjira) M
3 Dachas Roba M
4 Shamil Aliyi M
5 Keranso Abdisa M
6 Mahamed Abaye M
7 Gaddisa Lammi M
8 Alemayehu Iddosa M
9. Tolera Mogasa M
10 Shaga Arado M
11 Abdusalam Muktar M
12 Galgalo Jilo M
13 Fikadu Dirriba M
14 Gosaye Anota M
15 Jamal Ibro M
16 Chali Nagasa M
17 Kalil Mohamed M
18 Mohamed Taha M
19 Mohamed Zakaria M
20 Mohamed Abdullah M
21 Idris Negawo M
22 Shukuri Mohamed M
23 Buke Chulo M
24 Abdi Guddina M
25 Ana Saba M

26 Bahar Harari M

27 Lemo Wariyo M
28 Wayu Malka M
29 Tamam Ahmed M
30 Magarsa Bikila M
31 Galgalo Dhiri M
32 Kadir Jale M
33 Falma Roro M
34 Obsa Lenco M
35 Mustafa Boki M
36 Gugsa Tulu M
37 Dida Kena’a M
38 Gaga Jimma M
39 Gada Mulatu M
40 Bontu Ambo F
41 Barnan Saba M
42 Abdi Denge M
43 Nur Kadir M
44 Sa’id Hussein M
45 Berhanu Mulisa (Tola) M
46 Abdi Hirphasa M
47 Tolasa Gada M
48 Aman Samuna M
49 Bilisumma Hordofa M
50 Fita Mideksa M
51 Abdullah Ahmed M
52 Darara Irbo M
53 Jalata Wallaga M
54 Milkessa Wakjira M
55 Sanyi Wallaga M
56 Yeron Biru M
57 Daku Gababa M
58 Timaj Taha M
59 Misira Mama M
60 Badriya Boro F
61 Badriya Nur F
62 Maksina Amano M
63 Abdi Ibrahim M
64 Aliyi Sabit M
65 Chala Bultum M
66 Jafar Yusuf M
67 Fawaz Ahmed M
68 Lami Sori M
69 Abdo Asabot M
70 Lenco Eliyas M
71 Asha Bire F
72 Faxe Aniya F
73 Diribe Gada F
74 Aman Gobena M
75 Shafis Akil M
76 Tajudin Ibrahim M
77 Temesgen Kumsa M
78 Maya Dagale M
79 Abdata Saba M
80 Shifera Kumala M
81 Lami Dugasa M
82 Mahadi Harar M
83 Shamsadi Abdurazak M
84 Godana Nure M
85 Hawi Falmata F
86 Fardosa Mohamed M
87 Fatiya Ame F
88 Roba Gada M
89 Yomsan Abaye M
90 Mohamed Kedir M
91 Ayub Hussien M
92 Tahir Kadir M
93 Adele Ahmed M
94 Tura Ahmed M
95 Alemayehu Wallaga M
96 Chala Ragassa M
97 Fira’ol Ambo M
98 Hailu Jifara M
99 Lucho Bayitu M
100 Shifera Biranu M
101 Nuradin Musa M
102 Mahadi Jundi M
103 Waljira Mangasha M
104 Tiya Nure M
105 Anane Tamiry M
106 Dure Nagasa M
107 Dika Godana M
108 Dalacha Iddi M
109 Galane Dasta F
110 Alemayehu Kitaw M
11 Mikael Wallaga M
112 Kasu Wallaga M
113 Solomon Wallaga M
114 Mohamed Hussein M
115 Birhanu Ambo M
16 Abdurashad Marfo M
117 Badhne Kafani M
118 Solomon Kebede M
119 Mekonen Beyene M
120 Zalalem Teshome M
121 Habib Hussein M
122 Abdo Hebo M
123 Tahir Hassen M
124 Abba Arsiti M
125 Mohamed Tahir M
126 Abba Hussein M
127 Haji Abas M
128 Abdullah Hamza M
129 Aba Qube M
130 Haji Hassen kalid M
131 Omar Alqadir M

The disappearance of Mr. Dabassa Guyyo Safarro is disheartening and HRLHA is deeply shocked.
Mr. Dabassa Guyyo Safarro, age 80, a resident of Mololongo, Kenya for more than thirty- five years disappeared on September 27, 2015 in Nairobi. The HRLHA is highly suspicious that the disappearance of Mr. Dabassa Guyyo Safarro is connected with the campaign of Ethiopian authorities labelling Oromo refugees in Nairobi as terrorists. HRLHA also suspect that Mr. Dabassa Guyyo Safarro is being held in Nairobi, or might have been deported to Ethiopia. In either case the Kenyan Authorities have an international legal obligation to not hand over Ethiopian refugee and asylum seekers residing in their territory to the Ethiopian Government and need to disclose the whereabouts of Mr. Dabassa Goya Safarro to his family and the public- and give the reason for his arrest.

In case Mr. Dabassa Guyyo Safarro has been handed over to Ethiopia, it should be noted that the Ethiopian Government has a well-documented record of gross and flagrant violations of human rights, including the torturing of its own citizens who were involuntarily returned to the country. The government of Ethiopia routinely imprisons such persons and sentences them to life in prison, and often imposes the death penalty. There have been credible reports of physical and psychological abuses committed against individuals in Ethiopian official prisons and other unofficial or secret detention centers. Under Article 33 (1) of the Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees (189 U.N.T.S. 150), to which Kenya is a party, “[n] o contracting state shall expel or forcibly return a refugee in any manner whatsoever to the frontiers of territories where his life or freedom would be threatened on account of his. . . Political opinion.” This obligation, which is also a principle of customary international law, applies to both asylum seekers and refugees, as affirmed by UNHCR’s Executive Committee and the United Nations General Assembly. By deporting refugees, the Republic of Kenya Government will be breaching its obligations under international treaties as well as customary law.
1. Under the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (1465 U.N.T.S. 185) to which Kenya agreed in 1997, Kenya has an obligation not to return a person to a place where they face torture or ill-treatment. Article 3 of the Convention against Torture provides: No state party shall expel, return (“refouler”) or extradite a person to another state where there are substantial grounds to believe that they would be in danger of being subjected to torture.
2. For the purpose of determining whether there are such grounds, the competent authorities shall take into account all relevant considerations including, where applicable, the existence in the state concerned of a consistent pattern of gross, flagrant or mass violations of human rights. We strongly urge the government of Kenya to respect the international treaties and obligations it has signed and ratified.

Therefore, HRLHA would like to draw the attention of Western Governments, the UN Human Rights Council, the EU Human Rights Commission, the African People’s and Human Rights Commission as well as other regional and international human rights organizations and NGOs to these worrisome safety situations of Oromo refugees in the Republic of Kenya and take all necessary actions against:
• The Ethiopian Government to refrain from labeling its citizens as terrorists who are resisting its dictatorial administration
• The Republic of Kenya Government should not collaborate with the Ethiopian dictatorial Government to criminalize the Oromo and other refugees and asylum seekers currently living in its territory
Background Information:
The Kenyan Government is well known for handing over refugees to the Ethiopian Government by violating the above mentioned international obligations. It is very disheartening to recall that Engineer Tesfahun Chemeda, who was tortured to death on August 24, 2013 in Ethiopia’s grand jail of Kaliti, was handed over to Ethiopian Government Security Agents in 2007 by the Kenyan Government. Tesfahun Chemeda was arrested by the Kenyan anti-terrorist forces, along with his close friend Mesfin Abebe, in 2007 in Nairobi, Kenya, where both had lived as refugees since 2005. Both were later deported to Ethiopia. The Ethiopian Government detained them in an underground jail in a military camp for over one year, during which time they were subjected to severe torture and other types of inhuman treatment until when they were taken to court and changed with terrorism offenses in December 2008. They were eventually sentenced to life imprisonment in March 2010. (Mesfin’s death sentence was later commuted.)
The Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa (HRLHA) is highly concerned for the safety and security of Mr Dabasa Guyyo Safarro who disappeared in Nairobi on September 27, 2015, whose name along with the above listed refugees was also labeled by the Ethiopian Government as terrorists and those who are still living in Kenya. It urges the government of Kenya to respect the international treaties and obligations, to not cooperate with the Ethiopian unfounded allegations and disclose the whereabouts of Mr. Dabassa Guyyo Safarro. The Kenyan Government should also reject the unfounded allegations of Ethiopian Government against Oromo national refugees and asylum seekers residing in Kenya.
HRLHA requests the governments of the Western countries as well as international organizations to interfere in this matter so that the whereabouts of Mr. Dabassa Guyyo are disclosed and safety and security of the refugees of those currently staying in Kenya are ensured.


1. Please send appeals to the President, the Kenyan Parliament and Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Kenya and its concerned officials as swiftly as possible, in English, or your own language expressing
2. Urging the authorities of Kenya to ensure that Mr. Dabassa Guyyo Safarro is treated in accordance with regional and international standards on the treatment of prisoners
3. Urging the authorities in Kenya to completely reject the unfounded allegation of the Ethiopian Dictatorial Government about Oromo refugees living in Kenya.

Copied To
• Kenyan Parliament office:
Address: City Square, Nairobi, Kenya
Phone: +254 20 2221291
The Fax: (254-2) 2243694
• Ministry of Justice, National Cohesion and Constitutional Affairs
Address: PO Box 56057-00200, Co-operative Bank House , Nairobi

Phone: +254 20 224029/24033
Fax: +254 20 316317

• Mr.Antonio Guterres United Nations High Commissioner for Refugee (UNHCR)
Case Postale 2500 CH-1211 Geneve 2 Depot Suisse Email.; Attention
• The UNHCR Representation in Kenya
P.O. Box 43801-00100 GPO, Nairobi, Kenya
Tel: 41 22 739 7280
• Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights United Nations Office at Geneva 1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland Fax: + 41 22 917 9022 (particularly for urgent matters) E-mail:
• African Commission on Human and Peoples‘ Rights (ACHPR) 48 Kairaba Avenue, P. O. Box 673, Banjul, The Gambia. Tel: (220) 4392, 962 , 4372070, 4377721 – 23 Fax: (220) 4390 764 E-mail:
• Office of the Commissioner for Human Rights Council of Europe F-67075 Strasbourg Cedex, FRANCE + 33 (0)3 88 41 34 21 + 33 (0)3 90 21 50 53
• U.S. Department of State –
Short Echalar Julie A –
Trim, Vernelle. Ethiopian desk officer

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