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Sunday, April 24, 2005

Minnesota's Anuak, Worry About Conditions In Homeland

Abang Ojullu can't stop crying when she thinks of two of her brothers, killed by the Ethiopian military.

Ochwor Ojulu calls relatives in his native Ethiopia every week to check on his brother, who has been jailed and tortured by the government for more than a year.

Obang Okello worries whenever he thinks of his parents, forced to live in a shed they built under some trees after their home was taken by soldiers.

All three are Anuak, an ethnic minority from western Ethiopia, who now live in Minnesota. They say their stories of family and friends being terrorized by the Ethiopian government are part of a larger picture outlined by a Human Rights Watch investigator last month.

That report said Ethiopian troops have committed widespread killings, rapes and torture of the tribal Anuak population in the southwestern corner of the country since late 2003. Hundreds were killed and thousands driven from their homes after numerous attacks by soldiers and civilians from other ethnic groups, it said.

WCCO

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