Oromo refugees in Kenya face bribes, harassment

The Oromo are Ethiopia’s largest ethnic group but have long complained of political and economic marginalisation at the hands of the country’s ruling party, which is dominated by a minority ethnic group, the Tigrayans. Following 2016 protests demanding political reform, which resulted in a state of emergency and the deaths of more than 600 in the security crackdown, thousands of Oromo made their way to neighboring Kenya seeking asylum and refuge. But they did not escape the Ethiopian authorities. Human Rights Watch has reported “numerous cases of harassment and threats” against Oromo asylum…

Read More

Ethiopian PM announced political prisoners will be released.

Prime Minster Haile Mariam Dessalegn announced that his government will release all political prisoners and a notorious detention center knows as Maekelawi will be closed. During his announcement the PM was flanked by the chairmen of the sister parties that form the EPRDF coalition. The government didn’t say anything whether those who put those people in jail in the first place will be held accountable, or if the prisoners will be compensated for pain and suffering they endured. Details of this announcement and names of those prisoners to be pardoned…

Read More

Lelisa Desisa and Mamitu Daska win Bronz in New York City Marathon

Ethiopian Athletes won Bronze both in the men’s and women’s events of New York City marathon today. Lelisa Desisa finished third in the men’s race that featured plenty of drama, with Kamworor holding off countryman Wilson Kipsang by just three seconds in a mad dash to the finish, earning his first win in the process. Kamworor came in with a time of 2:10:53, followed by Kipsang in second place and Lelisa Desisa coming in third with a time of 2:11:32. Desisa has won Boston marathon on two occasions, in 2013 and 2015. Meb Kiflehzighi of…

Read More

Ethiopian born Mohammad Al Amoudi Arrested in Saudi Arabia

Ethiopian born Mohammad al-Amoudi, one of the richest men in the world and the most prominent investors in Ethiopia, is detained in Saudi Arabia today. He is among several high profile princes, ministers and businessmen that were arrested over an alleged corruption. According to an update provided by a local Saudi online media outlet, the detainees include 11 princes and 38 current and former officials. All 49 were arrested for charges of “corruption”, following an investigation led by the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. In a statement, Saudi Arabia’s Attorney…

Read More

Ethiopian army banned from Oromia-Somali areas amid peace efforts

The Ethiopian government has disclosed that the army has effectively been banned from playing any role in the search for peace in a boundary crisis between the Oromia and Somali regional states. Information Minister Negeri Lencho at a press briefing said as part of peace efforts in the wake of recent deadly clashes, the government was tackling the source of the tensions but also actively helping displaced persons with much needed assistance. A high-powered government delegation led by deputy Prime Minister Demeke Mekonnen is said to have visited displaced persons…

Read More

Rally to Commemorate the Victims of the 2016 Irreechaa Massacre & Protest against Violence and Political Repression

This year, while celebrating the?Irreecha?festival, Oromo communities in the Diaspora will commemorate those who were murdered in Bishoftu on October 2, 2016 by the Ethiopian government forces and the conditions they created to victimize innocent people. Irreecha is an ancient Oromo cultural tradition which survived many years of repression, and continues to flourish. It is observed in late September and early October annually at the historic Lake (Hora) Arsadi near the town of Bishoftu, about 25 miles south of Finfinee (Addis Ababa). In recent years three to five million people…

Read More

The TPLF regime is resettling Tigrians in Addis Ababa/Oromia

The TPLF regime is resettling Tigrains? in Addis Abab/Oromia and continues displacing the Oromo from their land. Fifteen billion birr from Commercial Bank of Ethiopia just for Addis Ababa. I wonder how much would same bank offer to cities and towns in Oromia. This is a race against time to absolutely exterminate Oromos in the city. Oromos constitute a small minority among the vast 900000 people registered for housing. We are demanding Oromia again to resettle all Oromos displaced from Somali region in Addis Ababa.

Read More

Transfer of OCO Leadership

Through an election process that was fully transparent, democratic and peaceful, the Oromo Community Organization of the Washington DC metropolitan area carried out a peaceful transition of power on June 24, 2016. The 9-member Board of Directors convened at the Oromo House to elect from among themselves leaders who would serve in the positions of President, Vice President, Executive Director, Executive Secretary and Executive member for a two-year term. Prior to the intra-committee elections to replace outgoing members of the Board, the General Assembly elected 5 leaders to be added…

Read More

OCO Requests Language Access for District?s Oromo Residents

Washington DC?The President of the Board of the Oromo Community of Washington DC, Dr. Desta Yebessa was among 75 witnesses who testified in support of At-Large DC Council Member Grosso?s Bill to expand language access to residents at a public hearing jointly convened by council members David Grosso, Kenyan McDuffie and Council Chairman Phil Mendelson on ?Language Access for Education Amendment Act of 2015.?The act was introduced by Council member Grosso on February 3, 2015. Reflecting on the purpose of the hearing, David Steib, Eqs., Director of Language Access ,…

Read More

OCO President Testified in front of the Council of the District of Columbia

Dr. Desta Yebassa, OCO Board President and Project Manager, testified in front of the Council of the District of Columbia, chaired by Ms. Anita Bonds on May 6, 2015. The Oromo Community Organization of Washington DC joined numerous community and non-profit organizations in advocating for increases in funding for their own organizations as well as for the Mayor?s Office on African Affairs, which has helped provide grants to qualifying non-profit organizations over the years. OCO President explained to the Council that the Oromo make up ?over 40% of Ethiopia?s total…

Read More