Last Updated: Wednesday, 30 July 2014, 07:28 GMT

Djibouti/Ethiopia: Forced deportation of Oromo refugees from Djibouti to Ethiopia, including information on the Awr Aousa refugee camp and information the treatment of deportees by the Ethiopian government (August 2004)

Publisher Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada
Author Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board, Canada
Publication Date 13 August 2004
Citation / Document Symbol ZZZ42916.E
Reference 7
Cite as Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Djibouti/Ethiopia: Forced deportation of Oromo refugees from Djibouti to Ethiopia, including information on the Awr Aousa refugee camp and information the treatment of deportees by the Ethiopian government (August 2004), 13 August 2004, ZZZ42916.E, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/41501c7723.html [accessed 30 July 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Without specifying their ethnicity, various sources state that Ethiopians were among about 100,000 "illegal immigrants" that, in September 2003, the Djiboutian authorities ordered to leave the country or apply for asylum (UN 31 May 2004; U.S. Committee for Refugees May 2004; Africa Research Bulletin 23 Oct. 2003, 15443; BBC 14 Sept. 2003). However, sources linked to the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) refer to Ethiopians who have expelled from Djibouti as "Oromo refugees" (Voice of Oromo Liberation 8 Dec. 2003; ibid. 17 Oct. 2003; Oromo Canadian Community Association of GTA 22 June 2004).

According to reports, more than 80 per cent of targeted immigrants left voluntarily before the expiration of the ultimatum made by Djibouti authorities, while those remaining were transferred to the Awr Aoussa (Aour Aoussa) camp (Africa Research Bulletin 23 Oct. 2003, 15443; UN 31 May 2004). Based in the southern part of the country (Africa Research Bulletin 23 Oct. 2003, 15443; BBC 31 Aug. 2003; ibid. 14 Sept. 2003), Awr Aousa, also known as Aour Aoussa, is described as a temporary transit camp (UN 31 May 2004) set up by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to register and accommodate asylum seekers waiting for the Djiboutian government decision on their claims for asylum (U.S. Committee for Refugees May 2004; BBC 31 Aug. 2003). However, two reports indicated that the Awr Aousa camp suffers from bad sanitary conditions and lacks basic facilities (BBC 14 Sept. 2003; IRIN 10 Oct. 2003).

Information on the treatment by the Ethiopian authorities of persons expelled from Djibouti could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate. However, a 31 May 2004 United Nations (UN) report stated that some 3,000 Ethiopians whose applications were rejected have been deported from the Awar Aousa camp to their country of origin. A 31 August 2003 BBC report noted that 1,000 of the 30,000 expected returnees from Djibouti arrived in the Ethiopian town of Dire Dawa on 30 August 2003. Citing the Ethiopian minister of Foreign Affairs, a 9 September 2003 Integrated Regional Information Network (IRIN) report indicated that the Ethiopian government had provided transport and food rations to returnees from Djibouti. Corroborating information could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate.

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim for refugee protection. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.

References

Africa Research Bulletin [London]. 23 October 2003. Vol. 40, No 9. "Djibouti: Mass Expulsions."

BBC. 14 September 2003. "Migrants Defy Djibouti Ban." [Accessed 15 Sept. 2003]

_____. 31 August 2003. "Djibouti Extends Refugee Deadline." [Accessed 9 Aug. 2004]

Integrated Regional Information Network (IRIN). 10 October 2003. "Djibouti: Thousands of Would-Be Refugees Languishing in Dire Conditions." [Accessed 9 Aug. 2004]

_____. 9 September 2003. "Djibouti - Ethiopia: Ethiopia Assisting Citizens Ordered to Leave." [Accessed 9 Aug. 2004]

Oromo Canadian Community Association of GTA. 22 June 2004. "Urgent Appeal Against the Deportation of Oromo Refugees from Djibouti." [Accessed 6 Aug. 2004]

United Nations. 31 May 2004. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. "Affected Populations in the Horn of Africa Region." [Accessed 11 Aug. 2004]

U.S. Committee for Refugees. May 2004. "Djibouti." World Refugee Survey 2004. (United Nations High Commission for Refugees). [Accessed 6 Aug. 2004]

Voice of Oromo Liberation Website [in English]. 8 December 2003. "Oromo Rebel Group Accuses Ethiopia of Hampering Regional Peace." (BBC International Reports/Dialog)

_____. 17 October 2003. "Ethiopia: Opposition Says Government Preparing for Another War with Eritrea." (BBC International Reports/Dialog)

Additional Sources Consulted

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) office in Ottawa did not respond to a request for information within time constraints.

Publications: Africa Confidential, Africa Research Bulletin, Jeune Afrique/L'intelligent, Resource Centre country file.

Internet sites, including: Allafrica, Amnesty International, Ecoi.net, Fédération internationale des ligues des droits de l'homme (FIDH), Global IDP Project, Human Rights Watch (HRW), International Crisis Group (ICG), IRIN, MISNA, U.S. Committee for Refugees, United States Department of State.

Copyright notice: This document is published with the permission of the copyright holder and producer Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB). The original version of this document may be found on the offical website of the IRB at http://www.irb-cisr.gc.ca/en/. Documents earlier than 2003 may be found only on Refworld.

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