Oromo are among the more than 230,000 refugees who have survived in 12 camps run by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in eastern Sudan.
According to UNHCR, there are 180,000 Eritrean refugees in the country, and 17,000 Ethiopians. Some have lived there for 20 years, and some for more than 40 years.
“Their future depends upon a third country,” UNCHR’s Theresa Ongaro told the Afan Oromo service recently. And the conditions under which they live is precarious, according to Oromo who live in these camps. Some refugees had complained to the UNHRC does not provide adequate shelter, food and medical attention to many living in Sudan.
Some have taken jobs outside the camps to survive. We don't want refugees to have an assistance-based life only, because the aid cannot continue for long time,” said Ongaro. “It might stop any time.”
Some of the Oromo interviewed complain it is hard to qualify as political refugees and to qualify for resettlement because their translators are Tigrigna speakers who might not be sympathetic to Oromo refugees.
“That doesn't mean they are working for the Ethiopian government nor mistreating the Oromo refugees,” UNHCR’s Teresa Ongaro told the VOA Afan Oromo.
Nevertheless, UNHCR recently hired an Afan Oromo speaker for the interviews.
Nineteen members of five families appeared for UNCHR interviews to resettle in Sweden and two more families may be eligible to resettle in Australia.