Source: Omani Association for Human Rights
OAHR launches “Right to Return” campaign, which coincides with its participation in the World Conference on Statelessness, which will be held in The Hague, Netherlands, on 26 to 28 June 2019.
The campaign was launched to help thousands of Omanis who are stranded in East Africa, as well as in the rest of the world; especially in Zanzibar, Kenya and Burundi, where Omanis have settled for hundreds of years in many East African countries. Omani sultans ruled Zanzibar and its neighbouring countries for hundreds of years until the coup in 1964, which saw the end of the Omani rule in Zanzibar.
Thousands of Omanis emigrated to settle in East Africa before the oil boom, in search for a better life. However, as soon as the coup against the Omani rule in Zanzibar took place, there was a reverse migration back to Oman. As a result, thousands of Omanis returned to their motherland Oman. At that time, soon after Sultan Qaboos took power in 1970, it was possible to return to Oman . Sultan Qaboos called upon the Omani people from all over the world to return to their motherland to contribute in the process of building their country and development. This coincided with the beginning of the oil era. The country was then in urgent need for manpower and competencies.
The Omani government closed the doors of the right to return for Omanis once it reached a state of sufficiency from external expertise and with time, turned its back from accepting the requests of thousands of Omanis who demanded their right to return. Their demands were rejected despite providing documents proving that they were of Omani origin.
During the reign of the Omani sultans in Zanzibar, the freedom of movement between the two sides was open without the need to carry any identity documents. Consequently, after the separation of the two countries, thousands of Omanis were suspended in the East African countries after being denied by the authorities in their motherland Oman.
As a result of this unjustified denial, the Omanis in Burundi have formed a peaceful movement for more than 20 years to demand their right to return. They organized many peaceful protests and demonstrations demanding recognition from the Omani government, to grant them their rights, especially since many of them are stateless, this includes hundreds of women and children. Although these injustices have been submitted to the United Nations, a fair solution has not been reached to this day.
On this platform, the OAHR declares its full support to all stateless persons and stands with the right of Omanis throughout the globe to return to their homeland Oman.