Oromo Studies Association appeals to Obama

Written by Mohammed A

In a letter dated Jan. 3, 2012, the Oromo Studies Association (OSA), a scholarly organization established to promote studies relating to the Oromo people in Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa, wrote to President Barack Obama about the growing repression and human rights violations committed by the Ethiopian government.

A follow up to previous letters of appeal to the Obama administration, Harvard professor and OSA president Hamza Abdurezak’s current letter to the U.S. government highlight the growing concerns over the abuse and brutally unjust treatments of the Oromo people, the single largest group in Ethiopia. The letter called for the Obama administration to take a “proactive action in restoring human rights in Ethiopia”. In his letter, Abdurezak stated,

Unless there is a credible pressure from the United States and Western donor nation, the Ethiopian regime will continue its repressive and gross human right violations, ultimately contributing to local, regional and global instability.

Reports from Amnesty International and the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, a not for profit organisation based at City University in London, show evidence of billions of dollars for developmental aid used for political oppression and the implementation of a “new level of repression” in Ethiopia amidst mass uprisings in North Africa and the Middle East.

The OSA letter called for international pressure to be put on the Ethiopian government, whose crimes against the Oromo people include targeting Oromo culture and indigenous religions, unlawfully abducting and detaining Oromos, carrying out extrajudicial killings and arrests, and implementing undemocratic terrorism and press laws.

It stated that the Obama administration as well as other western donor and democratic countries must  “use all their diplomatic and economic levers to end growing repression and escalating human rights violations in Ethiopia”.

Read the full text of OSA’s letter in PDF here : OSA Appeal Letter to President Obama



About the author

Mohammed A

Mohammed Ademo is a freelance journalist based in Washington, DC. He's the founder and editor of, an independent news website about Ethiopia.

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