Widespread Violence against Students in Ethiopia

Dismissals and Suspensions of University Students on Political Grounds

February 20, 2012

Three students of Jimma Unversity in the regional State of Oromia in Ethiopia were given academic dismissal while four others were suspended from their studies at the university for two years for demanding for a halt to what was described as politically motivated racial slurs allegedly perpetuated by students of Tigrian oringin, the ethnic group that controls the political power in the current regime in the University campuses. According to the HRLHA reporter in Jimma (Wetern Oromia), Wubshet Zelalem, Mengistu (Amhara nationasl), Tesfaye Berihanu Bari’e and Moera Lema Debela (both Oromo nationals) were dismissed from the University, while Mekonnin Dabale Tolla, Nuredin Ahmed Bariso  and Takalign Konta Oli (Oromo) were temporarily abrogated for two years. Another student called Melesse Tilahun (who was a Gurage by birith) was penalized with one year suspension from the University. With the connection of the incident on Feb 4, 5 & 6,2012 many students, among those who opposed the inappropriate punishment imposed by the University administration against their fellow students, were arrested and taken to unknown destinations. HRLHA has been able to obtain through its correspondents, some of the names of those students who are believed to have been detained at unknown locations.

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