Personal request for International Protection or RSD from Desperate Ethiopian Refugee in Yemen
To: whom it may concern / UNHCR delegates
Applicant = AHMED MOHAMED ALI WADAY
POB & DOB: Ethiopia. E-Harage Midhaga district KATABE village in 1970 / 50.
Marital Status: Married. Gender: Male. Nationality: Ethiopian.
Address: Kharaz Block 40 Shelter 25 file No: 06/36568 Mobile: 774198752
Country: Republic of Yemen
To the UNHCR Protection Officers Sub Office-ADEN
Dear, Madam. Brenda Escalante, Protection Officer
Dear, Sir. Mr. Wasim Alhammud, Protection Officer
To the UNHCR protection officer Field Office Al-kharaz
To the Head of the UNHCR Sub Office – ADEN
Dear, Sir. Mr. Jahangir Durrani, Office manager
First, our deepest gratitude for your great importance of human rights all over the globe and protecting the refugees with all necessary needs including durable solution for people in need. And again, we render thank because of you are the most praise-worthy persons to be the provider of ours whom we very much hope would survive us rapidly from these inhuman situations of different repressions. We are very pleasant to write to you this urgent appeal note hoping that you are well and happy. And also we pray may GOD grant you pleasure and long life; May GOD protect you wherever you are.
Then, we are writing to you this urgent appeal note to seek your humanitarian protection, which we very much hope would meet with your favorable response. we fled our home country 22 years ago due to the gross human rights abuse, the ethnic cleansing by the silent murderer of the TPLF regime, which forced thousands of Oromo nation run to the neighboring countries including Yemen to escape the killing. However, coming to Yemen did not mean safe where for us (Oromo) in particular.
We were being treated inhumanly and deprived of all the rights that any refugee must get in a country of asylum such as security, protection and educations etc. as well as durable solution as a result of ethnic prejudice because we are Oromo while non-Oromo refugees, who is allowed and given all entitlement as a refugee in Yemen has been massively given resettlement in third countries just for better change. We have been discriminated alone more excessively with no respite, deprived of either national or international protection and made to suffer from inhuman treatment (intimidation, arrestment, extortion, beating etc. with UNHCR mandates) emanating from the TPLF regime. And we have been deprived of any advocate or defender absolutely all these years.
To claim against ill-treatment or for any right as Oromo can surely result the claimant into life-threatening situation. We are writing to you this short appeal note with respect to the frequently requested UNHCR Refugee Certificate. So that, we wish you would prioritize our request to end the prolonged questions or the matters related to the artificial ID. In August 2002, we met the 9th United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (Mr. Ruud Lubbers) who visited the Camp on 18/08/2002, expressed the rejection from the Yemeni Government to host Ethiopian (Oromo) refugees like others; he said that it is responsibility of the UNHCR to protect and save such refugees within a short time. As a last single solution, January 2003 (RSD) interview was conducted with us, one by one (husband, wife etc. separately from each other), by the interview mission. After couple of months, we were told success of 75% and that the letter for recognition will be given soon. The remained 25% was said to be re-interviewed.
While we were waiting for the result, they came to us with another idea that we should be hidden under the Somali Community and registered with the government as prima-facie falsely despite the Yemeni government officially rejected to recognize or accept the Oromo Refugees. However, UNHCR is continuing its pressure against us inhumanly up to this day by different abusive policy, treatments, and now by denying us monthly ration about 2½ years under such a painful-situations. UNHCR Yemen office uses to do this against us by dealing with the local authority saying as if we are economic migrant in order to falsify our truthful claim just to fulfil the request from the Ethiopian dictator regime into deporting us or denying us recognition, rights relevant to weed us out in Sahara Desert.
We fled our homeland to save our lives due to a well-founded persecution by the Ethiopian regime. As well as we applied to your offices for many years /since 1998 / more than 22 years in Yemen, we have been facing ranges of pressures on refugee status, and blaming me as if I am preventing the refugees from being registered with the government. Nevertheless, I am representing none except myself and my family. Also, now it is my own personal request to you for International Protection. It is up to you to assess or determine it by the interview of 2003, or re-interviewing me and my couple. UNHCR recognizes the refugees in accordance with the UN, 1951 convention or declaration on refugee status. So, we are praying your humanitarian protection to certify our refugee status accordingly as soon as possible.
The reason that made me flee from my sweet home: Ethiopian (Oromo) people are oppressed, detained mistreated, killed, and hidden extremely and dispossessed their own properties by the Ethiopian regime for a long time and still acting meanwhile aggressively. Personally, I was accused to be partial of Oromo Liberation Front (O.L.F.) and so that the authorities were searching into my home occasionally. I was a technician fixing all kinds of Radios, TVs, Receivers, etc. that everyone brings to me anything for fixing. One-day two men had brought to me, two small radios for fixing and some goods bagged with a plastic case. At midnight of this day itself, a military force came, surrounded my home and forced me to open the door.
As usual, they started searching and found Telegrams, packages of letters, medicines, bullets etc. in the bagged goods case. Then, they took me to the military Camp where they tortured me badly, forcing me to confess my partiality with the rebels and that the materials, belongs to O.L.F. and that said they decided to execute me if I do not confess. After diabolic treatments, I confessed their demand to save myself.
It was Nov 8-1998, when the story happened and I was living in Harare – Ethiopia, my house was attacked around 12:00 am by the Ethiopian army, I was arrested along with the stuff (two Telegrams, two radio operators for repair, some medicine, posting massages and pullets) belonging to the O.L.F. was found in my house, which was left by two of my colleagues who were captured by the security and under torture, guided them to my location. I was arrested and sent to the Midaga military camp and I was interrogated and asked the source of those properties, but since I used to work fixing such tools, I denied any involvement with O.L.F. and told the investigators, these stuff belonged to a customer whose name I don’t know and where he is willing to use it, but I was arrested and tied my hands with my legs and dangled on a high iron fence, where my head was down and legs up and started to torture my foot, until it all turned into red, without being capable to move my body.
I did not give the information they wanted to have then, I was transferred to another location inside the camp, where I was again tied 4.5 kilo of cement to my Testicles and I could not resist and asked them to untie me, so that I would tell them everything. I shouted until I become unconscious … after I got conscious, all my body was filled with urine and I felt incapable to talk. The following day, I was untied and my body was down and I was given two shots by them and I was asked again and I denied.
The investigators found a letter among the substances that might be a trace to the head of the O.L.F., which made them call the regional director and told them their findings. I was referred to higher investigation process, but the director insisted to receive information from me by any means as soon as possible before the O.L.F. find out I was captured. In this way, I was referred to a third place within the military camp, where I was subjected to a worse torture, a metal bar was put in my mouth to widen my mouth and then Ice was loaded to my mouth and a Coca-Cola bottle was put in my Anus and I could only breath from my ears, nose and eyes and it was very painful which made me signal them to stop the torture and I told them where these stuff were directed; the name of the head and the camp of O.L.F., and other useful information that I could tell.
Next day around 5:00 am, I was taken by the military in 250-300 armed soldiers to guide them to the O.L.F. camp, and we spent 10 hours. We reached there around 3:00 pm, a place called Gobelle which was far away 25 KM to the O.L.F. camp, where we started hiking. Five were specially assigned to guard me to prevent me from escaping. The head of the military decided not to proceed until 3:30 am. The next day we reached Gola-Awara at around 9:30 am, but the O.L.F. already knew the government supposed action in what had made to evacuate the camp. I was again beat badly for lying and misguiding them.
We started to walk towards the second camp called Hadha-miti, spending all the day and could not reach. Therefore, they slept a place called Kara-Arbe and proceeded their journey around 6:00am next day towards the second camp and I was deliberately misguiding them to save more time to give the O.L.F. a chance to evacuate the second camp. Around 3:30pm, they run out of water and accused me of deliberate misguide and waste of time and I told them pointing to the camp location which, was not far and they also figured out some foot traces, which matched my claim and they started to distribute themselves into groups, and each group was moving together before others we reached a valley around 6:00pm, where everyone drunk water, had a rest and started to eat a sudden attack was carried by the O.L.F on the valley and they were sprayed with shells making them confuse.
The attack continued for one hour and half and the five soldiers who were especially assigned to me were all injured, except one who was very close to me. I decided to escape and he shot me in the right armpit, but continued to run away. After two and half hours under the dust of bombardment, I managed to escape despite my bleeding. Finally, I hurled down, it was raining, and the weather was cold, which alleviated somehow my bloodshed.
I rested for 3 hours, and then started to walk again towards a place called Mullu reaching there around 10:00 am. I narrated my uncle, Abdi Ibro who lives in Mullu what happened to me. I was brought to a remote place where I stayed for half an hour. I was given 700 Birr to use it as a transportation to Jigjiga then proceeded to Hargesa then to Bossaso, from where onward journey to Yemen for Al-gahin Camp to seek asylum from UNHCR.
We were suddenly collided with a strong attack that disordered them and lost their control. During that period, I ran through the forest and escaped. Lastly, I came to Somalia to save my life. In Somalia, there was very bad security deterioration that forced me again to flee to Yemen. Since Nov. 1998, I was living in the Refugee Camps under very threatening situation owing to political status. Finally, I would like to feel that the international community my long-term / chronical conditions in Yemen. We are the long-term refugees who had been in protracted displacement in Yemen, since 1998
We are writing this short note to bring to your attention the heavy prolonged persecutions we suffer which is the reason to lose patience and made us use to beseech your humanitarian protection from time to time with no rest. Because, we are completely crazy with perpetual pain of the inhuman treatments that has intoxicated our senses.
Therefore, we have no choice more than seeking your humanitarian protection to save my family and me from these gross human rights violations, racial discrimination and gross neglect, even under the current situations in Yemen.
Lastly, we are praying to your kindness hoping your lasting decision concern our sufferings under this threatening situation in Yemen.
Thank you very much
AHMED MOHAMED ALI WADAY,
Al-kharaz Refugee Camp
Block 40 Shelter 25
Requesting the evacuation and resettlement of Ethiopian and Eritrean Refugees in Yemen to USA, CANADA, or other countries in the diaspora.
Yeharerwerk Gashaw (Yeharer) The First Ethiopian International Model, Actress and humanitarian and Official Advocate and representative of the Ethiopia Refugees in Yemen. E-mail [email protected]
For years Ethiopian and Eritrean refugees have been the victims of discrimination by UNHCR representatives in Yemen. Though these refugees hope to relocate to other countries, they are constantly denied resettlement assistance by the UNHCR in Yemen while refugees of other nationalities are quickly and easily assisted in relocating. We are asking the UNHCR to urgently evacuate and start resettling Ethiopian and Eritrean refugees that are currently in Yemen to different countries in the diaspora. We are asking that the U.S, Canadian, Australian, Swedish, Swiss governments accept these refugees to resettle in their respective countries. We are calling on the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies to intervene on behalf of the refugees and aid in their resettlement. We ask the UNHCR to begin communicating with these entities in order to expedite this process. These individuals are unfairly trapped in a place of danger and unrest, and they need your help so that they can be freed.
This happening was brought to my attention in 2004 when I was attempting to help former Ethiopian Navy members and civilians in Yemen to relocate to the United States. I was told by the U.S homeland security that Dr. Saad Al Athar, the head UNHCR representative in Yemen at the time, stated allegations against these innocent people saying that they would be a threat to U.S national security and that my request should not be fulfilled. I had to work hard to prove these statements false in order to gain permission from the U.S government, specifically President George W. Bush, to allow these refugees to resettle in the U.S where they have now resided peacefully for the past 9 years. This type of occurrence is common to the UNHCR in Yemen, and is robbing innocent Ethiopian and Eritrean people of their right to relocate to other countries and live freely and peacefully as they should. Meanwhile, these people are trapped in refugee camps where young Ethiopian & Eritrean men and women are constantly being taken and sold into human trafficking and are victims of sexual and physical abuse and assault. In the past week these camps have also undergone bombings by Saudi-led coalition attempting to weaken Iranian-allied Houthi militia and allied military units in Yemen, resulting in killing and wounding of many innocent Ethiopian and Eritrean refugees.
We ask that you sign our petition for the UNHCR to immediately begin a speedy relocation of these Ethiopian and Eritrean refugees so that they can be evacuated and resettle in countries where they can live peacefully. The Ethiopian community in the diaspora, especially in the U.S, Canada, Australia, Switzerland and Sweden, are willing to help these refugees resettle in our respective areas of residence. We are currently working to appeal to the governments of the countries listed so that these refugees will be allowed resettlement and we are also reaching out to NGO’s in order to find potential opportunities for housing and support if these refugees are allowed to resettle in our areas. Your signature will help us to bring attention to this issue and give us the backing we need to make a positive change in the lives of these innocent people. We are so appreciative of your support!
For more information on the condition of Ethiopian & Eritrean refugee camps in Yemen please see the videos and article links below.
Below, are advocate committee members:
Ethiopian Refugees’ In Yemen Advocate Committee and International Community Outreach (Plano, Texas USA) and
Former Ethiopian Armed Forces Worldwide Organization (Dallas, TX USA)
Sociologist YeharerwerkGashaw, USA
Dr. Mankelkilot Hailessilase, USA
Dr. Tezera Tsegaye, USA
Dr. Aregahgn Siefu, USA
Mrs. Tsehaie Bekele, USA
Dr. Gashu Habte USA
Mr. Nebeyu Damte USA
Mr. Messele Kelel, USA
Mrs. Nigist Tewolde, USA
Capt. Ashebir Gebre, USA
Dr. Lema Kibret, USA
Capt. Solomon Gadissa, USA
Mr. Ezra belete, USA,
Mr. Dil Yaregal. Washington, USA
Ms. WudieAdgeh, USA
Mr. Haile Kassa, Switzerland
Demmelash Girma, Switzerland
Mr. GetachewReda, USA
President Barack Obama
International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movementand 2 others
Prime Minister of Canada Stephen Harper
IOM IOM director General, William Lacy Swing
Evacuate Ethiopian and Eritrean Refugees from Yemen and resettle them to other countries in the diaspora.
Other previous petitions