Refugees from Ethiopia March in Syracuse Over Concerns About Violence in Their Homeland

Jan 8, 2016

About 50 refugees from Ethiopia took to the streets of Syracuse Friday to try and get the U.S. government to stop attacks against people in their homeland.  People who fled violence years ago are seeing their relatives in danger.  They're crying out to urge Washington to stop government backed violence in their African Homeland.   Habiba Boru came to Syracuse 15 years ago to escape similar attacks. 

Ethiopian refugees in Syracuse gather outside the office of Rep. John Katko to call on the U.S. government to stop the violence in Ethiopia.
Credit Chris Bolt / WAER News

"We are protesting for the Oromo students who are being killed and dying as of now in Ethiopia.  the Ethiopian government is  displacing Oromo farmers, and Oromo students from middle school to university are coming out and protesting for peace.  When they did this, the government decided to put armed forces on street and start killing children."

Boru explains the Oromo people are being pushed out of their farmlands to expand the country’s capital of Addis Abbaba.  Jamal Abdullahi has lived here 32 years and  wants his voice heard.

"The United States is a superpower, and we are citizens of this country.  I have four children who were born here.  We are American citizens who struggle every day, we pay taxes.   The United States government should stop the killing.  The Ethiopian government doesn't hesitate to shoot."

  The group marched to Congress Members John Katko’s office to seek help in stopping the violence they feel is being obscured by other areas of the world.

"We are hoping Mr. Katko can reach out to the president, or the state department.  The Ethiopian government is banning any media that's coming in.  That's why we're hoping the U.S. government can reach out to the Ethiopian government and stop this killing."

Other countries are taking notice…the European Union has a meeting Monday to address Ethiopian violence.    

Congressmember Katko was in Washington.  The protestors were able to meet with a staff member here in Syracuse.

The refugees march down Warren St.
Credit Chris Bolt / WAER News