Ethiopian Oromo refugee, Abdi Mohamed Ahmed, 42, from Dire Dawa, pictured at his apartment block in Eastleigh, Nairobi, Kenya.
The reason why I left my beloved country of which I was born was that I was obliged by political harassment. I was from the Oromo community and used to support OLF (Oromo Liberation Front). The OLF was a member of the transitional government that used to administer with the political coalition from 1991 up to '92. As that time as a community we organised and used to help each other and the OLF. Later in 1992 due to political conflicts the OLF withdrew from the transitional government, then the government started to harass people accusing them of being OLF.
I was among the first to be harassed by false accusation, plus I was robbed of all my properties. I was arrested and held in a military camp and tortured from '96 to '97. During my first arrest everything I had was looted, when I came out I had to start a new life from zero. Again for the second time in 2002, again by false accusation, without doing anything, I was taken from my home and put in a military camp named '12th Battalion Military Camp'. I was held for 11 months and this was the worst situation I faced. I was detained in a small suffocated room without enough food, without sunlight or ventilation. During the night they used to take me out for investigation shackling my hands in order to beat me severely, pouring cold water on my body. The precondition that was given for my release was that I have to be confined to a restricted area, I was not allowed to go out of the city and not to participate with any part of society.
I had to work to feed my family so my situation required that I should interact for survival, I had to go out. One day I left Dire Dawa to go to the next town, Haro Maya. Accidentally I didn't come back the same day, I spent the night there, the same night security agents came to my home to look for me and because they missed me they took my wife in my place,