A Call for Immediate Inclusion of Ethiopian Refugees on the UN Priority Watch List
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Worldwide Ethiopian Refugees' Rights Advocate Group USA (WWERRAG USA)
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Global peace-seekers please support our petition to the UN: A Call for Immediate Inclusion of Ethiopian Refugees on the UN Priority Watch List.
Attn: Mr. Antonio Guterres
Secretary General of the United Nations
New York, NY 10017
April 16, 2017
As we have been addressing with you since you served (2005) in the UNHCR, the Ethiopian refugees are undergoing crisis both inside and outside of their home country that fully qualify them for priority need. We hope that you will use your current position of power to help these innocent people get the aid they need by adding them to the UN priority refugee watch list.
For the last 26 years since ethnic based apartheid Tigrayan People Liberation Front, has ruled in Ethiopia, due to the separatist government (backed by US and Europe), Ethiopia has had one of the highest rates of African refugees fleeing from oppression. Many have fled fearing for their lives due to the genocide of specific tribes including the Amharas, Oromos and Gambelas. They risk life and limb to escape unfair imprisonment, and even death. Along with Somali refugees, Ethiopians face long harrowing journeys and undergo the abuse of violent smugglers who often abuse, rape, and even murder these innocent victims. Those who survive arrive in countries like Yemen, in hopes of living a peaceable life. Yet, unlike their Somali counterparts, who are immediately granted refugee status, Ethiopians are not recognized as asylum seekers. As a result, they cannot get the help they need, and are instead tracked down, arrested, and deported back to Ethiopia, where their fate awaits them.
Once they are unable to find help within the country they arrive, relocation to other countries of refuge also becomes an issue. In 2004, upon attempting to relocate exiled Ethiopian naval members from Yemen, U.S department of homeland security officials informed me that Dr. Saad Al Athar from Iraq, the UNHCR representative in Yemen at the time, had allegations against these refugees. Dr. Athar had written officially to U.S Department of Homeland Security, Yemeni officials, and even to the local newspapers labeling the former Ethiopia naval members as threats to Yemen and U.S national security. As a result, they were unable to gain help from the U.S government. I had to work hard to prove these statements false to gain permission from the U.S government (President George W. Bush’s administration) for their resettlement, and now they have resided peacefully in the U.S for the past 11 years. This type of occurrence is common to the UNHCR in Yemen and other predominantly Muslim countries, often occurring due to the predominance of Ethiopian Orthodox Christianity among the refugees. This discrimination is robbing innocent Ethiopians of their right to relocate to other countries and live freely and peacefully.
According to the highlights from the 71st UN Day, the UN's refugee priority watch list includes Somalia, Sudan, and the Republic of Congo. Despite they meet the criteria to be included; Ethiopian refugees are not included on this crucial list. As a result, UNHCR workers and officials do not give priority to these refugees despite their critical situations. The inclusion of Ethiopians is vital for heightened efforts by the UNHCR in order to help these asylum seekers relocate safely.
We the internationally recognized human rights activists, NGOs, Ethiopians, Ethiopian-Americans, and the peace-loving people from around the globe, are asking you to include Ethiopian asylum-seeking refugees on the UN Priority List (UNHCR) and grant them a legal refugee status accordingly. Mr. Guterres, please help these innocent people get the help that they need and deserve!
For any questions, please contact:
Actress, the First Ethiopian International Model,
Activist for Democracy in Ethiopia, African refugees’ resettlements,
Human Rights and Pan-Africanist.
For more information on the suffering of Ethiopian refugees globally, please visit the following links:
For more information about the brutality occurring in Ethiopia:
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