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International Business Times: Jawar Mohammed: This is why Oromo people don’t care about cabinet reshuffle November 4, 2016

Posted by OromianEconomist in #OromoProtests.
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Odaa Oromoooromianeconomist

irreecha-oromo-2016-oromoprotests-bishoftu-horaa-harsadiGrand #OromoProtests,Tarkaanfii itti aanu By Jawar

People are demanding a new democratic government elected by the people. To really meet protesters’ demands, the government should release political prisoners, they should remove the military from villages, towns and universities and start a dialogue on a transition to a more democratic government.

 

IB Times Exclusive interview with executive director of Oromia Media Network

By , IB Times, November 3, 2016


 

The Ethiopian government recently reshuffled its cabinet in a move seen by some as a result of months of anti-government protests. The parliament approved the list of 21 ministers proposed by Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, who said the appointments were based on people’s skills rather than their political affiliations.

As some key posts were given to ethnic Oromo, some claimed the reshuffle was part of measures the government said it would take to reduce grievances expressed by some ethnic groups.

In October, Ethiopia declared a six-month-long state of emergency following unrest in Oromia, and occasionally in Amhara.

The response to the protests, labelled as the biggest anti-government unrest Ethiopia has witnessed in recent history, has resulted in the death of more than 500 people since November 2015, a figure the government later confirmed.

In Oromia, people demonstrated against perceived disenfranchisement and lack of inclusion in the political process as the government is dominated by the Tigray minority. They also called for an end to land grabbing, claiming Oromo farmers are forcibly evicted from their farms.

Government reshuffle ‘no meaning for Oromos’

Jawar Mohammed, executive director of Oromia Media Network (OMN), banned under the state of emergency, explained Oromo people are calling for a radical regime change, not a government reshuffle.

People are demanding a new democratic government elected by the people. To really meet protesters’ demands, the government should release political prisoners, they should remove the military from villages, towns and universities and start a dialogue on a transition to a more democratic government,” he told IBTimes UK.

Mohammed, who lives in the US, also claimed Ethiopians have not been affected by the state of emergency , with the exception of a restriction on internet access.

“Oromia has been under a state of emergency for the last 12 months, the military is there, all the civil and political rights have been suspended, people have been arrested,” he alleged.

“Yes, some media outlets have been banned, but this is nothing new. OMN has been jammed some 20 times since March 2014. Even before the state of emergency, they were already arresting people, breaking down satellite dishes and jamming our transmission, what they did now was to officially admit what they were already doing and reassure investors that they are taking measures, beefing up security.”

Ethiopia Oromo Oromia
People walk near a burnt-out truck in the compound of a textile factory in the town of SebetaTiksa Negeri/Reuters

Attacks on foreign-owned companies

During anti-government protests, Oromo people attacked foreign-owned factories in Oromia, acts of violence that could result in a reduction in investments in the country.

Ethiopia strongly condemned the attacks, which it blamed on “anti-peace forces who aim to destabilise the country.” The government also claimed the situation in the country has gone back to normal since the state of emergency was implemented.

However, Mohammed claimed protests have halted only because it is harvesting season and rallies are bound to restart. He also said people will, once again, attack foreign-owned factories as they were allegedly “built on lands that were illegally taken from farmers or lands owned by the ruling party.”

“These are not xenophobic attacks. In fact, protesters have not touched a single investor physically,” he said. “The targets are strategically chosen because people need to now that investments in Ethiopia, until a democratic system is in place, is not safe. Click here to read more….


Click here to read the whole interview: Oromia Media Network executive Jawar Mohammed believes Ethiopia wants him dead

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Grand #OromoProtests: Amhara and Oromia unrests: Why are Ethiopia’s largest ethnic groups protesting? August 11, 2016

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stop killing Oromo People#OromoProtests, #GrandOromiaProtests, 6 August 2016, all over Oromia. Dhaadannoo. p131

Amhara and Oromia unrests: Why are Ethiopia’s largest ethnic groups protesting?


Dozens feared dead during protests over disputed territories and human rights issues.

By , IBT, August 8, 2016

Ethiopia has witnessed a rise in protests in the north-western region of Amhara and in Oromia state, in the country’s south. Reports claim that clashes between police and protesters in both regions have resulted in alleged deaths and dozens of arrests.

Anti-government protests erupted in Amhara earlier in August, when thousands took to the streets of Gondar and Bahir Dar to protest over the administration of disputed territories. Members of the Welkait Tegede community are demanding their lands be administered by theAmhara region, instead of the Tigray state.

These territories used to be part of Amhara, until the political coalition known as theEthiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) introduced a federal system and restructured the region including the areas into the Tigray region.

Protesters, who identify themselves as ethnic Ahmara – Ethiopia’s second largest group – clashed with police during the demonstrations, labelled as the biggest anti-government unrest Ethiopia has witnessed in recent history.

Police fired tear gas and shot in the air to disperse thousands of people who shouted anti-government slogans.Authorities accused protesters of attacking public properties and saidat least seven people died during the unrest, which entered its third day on Sunday (7 August).

However, both witnesses and Amnesty International claimed at least 30 people were killed in Bahir Dar.

Ethiopia unrest
People mourn the death of Dinka Chala who was shot dead by Ethiopian forces in Yubdo Village, about 100km from Addis AbabaZACHARIAS ABUBEKER/AFP/Getty Images)

Oromo protests

Oromo activists, opposition members and Amnesty have claimed that at least 67 people were killed across Oromia, Ethiopia’s largest state,during anti-government protests at the weekend (6-7 August). The demonstrations were the culmination of a wave of unrest that has rocked Oromiain recent months.

Deadly protests erupted in November 2015 againsta government draft plan − later scrapped − that aimed to expand the boundaries of the capital Addis Ababa. Oromo people feared the plan would result in the confiscation of land owned by farmers, who would become impoverished as a result.

Demonstrations are still occurring today, although less frequently, with people calling for self-rule, the liberation of political prisoners, the end of what they perceive as “military regime” in the region and the cessation of an alleged crackdown by security forces on “peaceful and unarmed” demonstrators, mainly students and farmers.

Activists and human rights organisation have accused authorities of killing some 400 people since the protest started. The government has always denied the allegations of violence and claimed that legitimate protests had been infiltrated by people who aimed to destabilise the country.

“Having been tired of only counting the dead, Oromo activists called a grand Oromia wide public demonstration, dubbed #GrandOromiaRally, last Saturday, to call on the government to stop the killings and release the thousands it arrested,” an Omoro activist told IBTimes UK.

“The rallies were a great success. People came out in their thousands each in over 200 towns and cities across Oromia including the capital Addis Ababa and other major regional cities like Adama and Dire Dawa,” the activist, who spoke on condition of anonymty, continued.

There is no apparent connection between the two waves of demonstrations, but members of both communities have shown support for each other’s causes.

“Demonstrators in Grand Oromia Rally hailed slogans that show solidarity to theAmhara Protests, and those who came out on Amhara Protests hailed slogans that show solidarity with the #Oromo Protests,” the activist explained.

Government’s response

Reports claimed the government blocked internet access during the demonstrations that occurred at the weekend.

The Ethiopian embassy in London has not responded to a request for comment on the allegations.However, the state-affiliated Fana Broadcasting Corporation (FBC) reported authorities as blaming foreign enemies for the recent unrest anddeemed the recent protests as illegal.

“The government is aware that the ideas and slogans reflected in the demonstrations do not represent the people of Oromo or Gondar,” Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn said in a statement.


http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/amhara-oromia-unrests-why-are-ethiopias-largest-ethnic-groups-protesting-1574938

IBT: Grand #OromoProtests: Ethiopia Protest August 2016: Amid Internet Ban, Rally Against Government Leaves At Least 33 Dead. August 8, 2016

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Ethiopia Protest August 2016: Amid Internet Ban, Rally Against Government Leaves At Least 33 Dead



(International Business Times) — The two largest ethnic groups in Ethiopia took part in a massive anti-government protest over the weekend that has claimed dozens of lives. The protesters demonstrated against alleged government discrimination and human rights violations.

In Ethiopia, majority of the general population is made up of the Oromo and Amhara ethnic groups. Protests first began last November when the government had plans to expand the capital into Oromia, which would in turn displace Oromo farmers in the region. After the government dropped their expansion plans, demonstrations continued to spotlight other issues impacting the community.

Dozens of protesters in the nation’s capital, Addis Ababa, were arrested on Saturday, BBC News reported. Things were far more violent in other parts of the country. According to the government, seven protesters died in Bahir Dar, a city located in the Amhara region. Demonstrations in the Oromia region reportedly claimed lives as well, with Oromo activists claiming at least 33 protestors were shot by police.

“So far, we have compiled a list of 33 protesters killed by armed security forces that included police and soldiers but I am very sure the list will grow,” Mulatu Gemechu, deputy chairman of the opposition Oromo Federalist Congress, told Reuters.

In light of the protests, the government has responded by banning unauthorized public demonstrations and blocking social media. Officials claimed online activists were responsible for the outcry. Prime Minister Haile Mariam Dessalegn announced Friday the internet ban stating they, “threaten national unity.”

“It has now become clear that people cannot hold peaceful protests in Ethiopia,” Seyoum Teshome, a blogger following the demonstrations, told The Associated Press. “Regional police forces are being replaced by the army, leaving many areas to be under the military’s control.”

IBTimes: There is a violent repression in Ethiopia – so why is the UK government silent about it? #OromoProtests June 16, 2016

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Odaa Oromoo

 

There is a violent repression in Ethiopia – so why is the UK government silent about it?


By David Mepham By David Mepham, IBTimes  June 16, 2016


 

London, Oromo Peaceful rally in solidarity with #OromoProtests in Oromia against TPLF Ethiopian regime's ethnic cleansing (Master plan), December   10, 2015

Oromo community protest in London over ‘ethnic cleansing’

http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/there-violent-repression-ethiopia-so-why-uk-government-silent-about-it-1565781
Ethiopia: Oromo community protest in London over ‘ethnic cleansing’ IBTimes UK

 


The Ethiopian government is engaged in its bloodiest crackdown in a decade, but the scale of this crisis has barely registered internationally. According to Human Rights Watch, more than 400 people, including many children, have been killed by the country’s security forces in Oromia, Ethiopia’s largest region, with lethal force unleashed against largely peaceful, student-led protests.

For the past seven months, security forces have fired live ammunition into crowds and carried out summary executions. While students were first on the streets, many others have joined them, including teachers, musicians, opposition politicians and healthcare workers. Tens of thousands of people have been arrested, some of whom remain in detention without charge, and there are credible reports that detainees have been tortured or beaten – some of them in public. Hundreds of other people have been forcibly disappeared.

In normal circumstances, a crackdown on this scale would generate large-scale media attention and prompt strong international censure. But global media coverage has been very limited, in part because of Ethiopia’s draconian restrictions on media reporting and the difficulties journalists face in accessing the region. The response of governments internationally, including the British government, has also been extremely muted.

The reason for this is not a lack of information: diplomats in the country have a fairly good idea of what is going on in Oromia. Instead, it appears to be a flawed political calculation that the UK’s massive investment in Ethiopia’s development efforts (over 300 million pounds of aid is provided annually) would be undermined by public criticism or greater pressure on the government to rein in its abusive security forces.

The other obstacle is Ethiopia’s acute food crisis, where a severe drought – the worst since the famine of 1984-85 – has left 18 million people in need of aid. Global attention on this issue has led many governments around the world to overlook or downplay the other very urgent crisis unfolding in Oromia.

But these trade-offs are short-sighted and counter-productive. Ethiopia’s repression and its deepening authoritarianism hinder, rather than help, the country to combat food insecurity, promote development and tackle a range of other challenges. And they create the conditions for further instability and polarisation.

 

Ethiopia is struggling with its worst drought for 30 years. 2016

Ethiopia
Ethiopia is struggling with its worst drought for 30 years, with millions in dire need of life-saving aidGetty Images
Indeed, it was the very lack of respect for rights in the Ethiopian government’s approach to development that first triggered unrest in Oromia last November. The early protests were a response to the so-called ‘Addis Ababa Integrated Development Master Plan’, which proposed a 20-fold expansion of the municipal boundary of the capital.

Protesters objected that this top-down initiative from the government, introduced without meaningful consultation or participation of the affected communities, would displace thousands of ethnic Oromo farmers from land around the city. Those displaced by similar government initiatives over the past decade have rarely received compensation or new land on which to rebuild their lives – and protesters feared a repeat of this experience on a larger scale.

Mersen Chala, brother of Dinka Chala, who was killed by Ethiopian forces for protesting, but his family says he was not involved ,December 17, 2015, Oromia.

Dinka Chala
Mersen Chala, brother of Dinka Chala, who was killed by Ethiopian forces for protesting, but his family says he was not involved ,December 17, 2015, Oromia.Getty Images
Concerns were also expressed about mining and manufacturing projects in Oromia and their impact on the environment and access to water. In mid-January 2016, the government announced it had “cancelled” the Master Plan. But despite this, the government does not seem to have changed its approach (it is still marketing land to investors, for example), there has been no let-up in the repression, and the protests continue. The government’s violent response and the rising death toll have further inflamed the situation and decades of historic Oromo grievances around cultural, economic and political marginalisation have come to the fore.

With or without the plan, the forced displacement of farmers looks likely to continue – as it has in many parts of Ethiopia – unless the Ethiopian government fundamentally changes its approach to development. That would mean treating communities as genuine partners in the development process, meaningfully consulting them, and allowing them to shape development projects. And it should mean opening up space for peaceful dissent and political opposition, as well as independent media.

In the short-term, the Ethiopian government could ease tensions by releasing all those arbitrarily arrested and imprisoned, establishing a credible independent investigation into the killings and other violations – with those responsible for abuses held to account – and it could start a dialogue with the Oromo community about their legitimate grievances that have fuelled these protests.

But given the awful rights record of the government in Addis this seems highly improbable without stronger international pressure. As a major development partner to Ethiopia – including support for work in the Oromia region itself – the British government should use its leverage more assertively and help galvanise a concerted international response – one which highlights, to the Ethiopian government, the cost of its ongoing repression. And it should press the Ethiopians to pursue a development strategy that respects human rights, rather than tramples all over them.


David Mepham is UK Director of Human Rights Watch


http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/there-violent-repression-ethiopia-so-why-uk-government-silent-about-it-1565781


IBTimes: Oromia: Ethiopia protesters: No, we don’t have self-rule in Oromia state. #OromoProtests March 31, 2016

Posted by OromianEconomist in #OromoProtests, Africa, Oromia, Oromo.
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Odaa Oromoo#OromoProtests against the Ethiopian regime fascist tyranny. Join the peaceful movement for justice, democracy, development and freedom of Oromo and other oppressed people in EthiopiaNo To Fascist TPLF Ethiopia's genocidal militarism and mass killings in Oromia, Ethiopia

By . March 30, 2016

Oromo people protest
Oromo people protesting against planned expansion of capital Addis Ababa in Oromia, Ethiopia’s largest stateEtana Habte

 

UK (IBTimes) — Protesters and activists in Oromia, Ethiopia’s largest state, have denied they have self-rule in the region, contrary to a governement’ statement given to IBTimes UK. Abiy Berhane, minister counsellor at the Ethiopian Embassy in London said earlier in March people already rule themselves in Oromia, they use Oromo as the official language, they have their own budget and a regional parliament that rules on all political, economic and social aspects.

Who are the Oromo people?

The Oromo people are Ethiopia’s largest ethnic group and their population amounts to more than 25 million (around 35% of Ethiopia’s total population).

Oromo people speak Afaan Oromoo, as well as Amharic, Tigrinya, Gurange and Omotic languages. They are mainly Christian and Muslim, while only 3% still follow the traditional religion based on the worshipping of the god, Waaq.

In 1973, Ethiopian Oromo created the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), which stemmed from the discontent over a perceived marginalisation by the government and to fight the hegemony of the Amhara people, another large ethnic group in Ethiopia.

OLF – still active today – also calls for the self-determination of the Oromo people. It has been deemed as a terror organisation that carried out violent acts against people in Ethiopia, Somalia and Kenya. The group has always denied such allegations, claiming its mission is to terminate “a century of oppression” against the Oromos.

Read more about Oromo people

However, some Oromo people denied the claims made by the official. Activist, author and PhD candidate at London’s Soas University, Etana Habte, told IBTimes UK there is no self-rule in Oromia, where people do not trust the region’s ruling party coalition, Oromo Peoples’ Democratic Organization (OPDO).

“Opdo is an organisation of ex-war captives established by the TigrayanPeople’s Liberation Front (TPLF) inTigray in 1990, when the latter failed to co-opt the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF),” he alleged.

“Oromia’s regional council, Caffee Oromiyaa, has never had any history of independent decisions, it has been approving what is put on the table byTPLF. If Oromia has no self-rule, no regional council of itself, talking about budget and independent decisions is only a mere waste of time.”

Opdo has not responded to a request for comments on the allegations.

Climate of fear

Oromia has been rocked by the deadly protests that erupted in November 2015 against a government draft plan − later scrapped − that aimed to expand the boundaries of the capital Addis Ababa.

Activists claimed some 400 people, at least 200 according to a report by Human Rights Watch (HRW), have been allegedly killed by security forces. The government denied the allegations of violence and claimed legitimate protestshave been infiltrated by people who aim to destabilise the country.

Although the government scrapped the plan, demonstrations are continuing, with peoplecalling for self-rule, the liberation of political prisoners, the end of what they perceive as “military regime” in the region and the cessation of an alleged crackdown by security forces on “peaceful and unarmed” demonstrators, mainly students and farmers.

 

“The regime is using new strategies to punish Oromia. Amenities have been cut in most urban centres, the regime has brought down all independent TVs and radio broadcasts from overseas, closed selected websites and social media websites. It is doing this in an attempt to breakdown the nerve centre of the protests,” Habte alleged.

“There is a serious climate of fear in the public and there is no guarantee that any person would come back home safely once they leave. This situation has convinced people that the state targets you simply because you are Oromo. Amnesty International’s report published in October 2014 titled, Because I am Oromo: Sweeping Repression In The Oromia Region Of Ethiopia, is an absolute representation of unfolding realities.”

Habte also denied protesters are seeking secession, although it is a right guaranteed by the constitution. He denied that the government started public consultations, contrary to what Berhane told IBTimes UK.

“People are heard time and again saying: ‘We don’t want to be ruled by a government who has killed our loved and respected ones’. It seems too late, but if the regime wants to solve the current crisis, it has to address it at a national level and with national representation.”

Read more at:- http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/ethiopia-protesters-no-we-dont-have-self-rule-oromia-state-1551225

Martial law in Oromia: The state is now under 8 military divisions controlled by Fascist TPLF warlords from Tigray. March 23, 2016

Posted by OromianEconomist in #OromoProtests, Africa, Oromia, Oromo.
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Odaa Oromoo#OromoProtests  in Mega town, Borana, Oromia,  Feb 29, 2016Solidarity message to Oromo People and #OromoProtests#OromoProtests iconic picture#OromoProtests of 7 December 2015

#OromoProtests, Alge High School, Iluu  Abbaa Booraa, 22nd March 2016

“It is because of the absence of self-rule that you see millions of farmers evicted and their land given to ruling party officials or foreign companies. The regime downplays the scale of questions raised as well as the scale of the lethal forces used.” – Habtamu Dugo, an exiled Oromo journalist and US-based professor


Ethiopia: Government says Oromia has self-rule but activists vow to continue protests

BY , IBT, March 23, 2016

Oromo protests in Karsa town
Oromo protesters in Karsa town, West Arsi Zone, Oromia state, on 16 February 2016Oromo activists

People in Ethiopia’s Oromia state already have self-rule and protesters’ demands are already in place, an Ethiopian official told IBTimes UK. Abiy Berhane, minister counsellor at the Ethiopian embassy in London, made the comment as activists said they are still on the streets of Oromia calling for self-rule, the release of political prisoners and the end of military presence in the region.

Protests in Oromia began in November 2015 against a government draft plan to expand the boundaries of the capital Addis Ababa. Demonstrators, mainly from the Oromo ethnic group, argued the so-called “Addis Ababa master plan” would lead to forced evictions of Oromo farmers from their lands and would undermine the survival of the Oromo culture and language.

Who are the Oromo people?

The Oromo people are Ethiopia’s largest ethnic group and their population amounts to more than 25 million (around 35% of Ethiopia’s total population).

Oromo people speak Afaan Oromoo, as well as Amharic, Tigrinya, Gurange and Omotic languages. They are mainly Christian and Muslim, while only 3% still follow the traditional religion based on the worshipping of the god, Waaq.

In 1973, Ethiopian Oromo created the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), which stemmed from the discontent over a perceived marginalisation by the government and to fight the hegemony of the Amhara people, another large ethnic group in Ethiopia.

OLF – still active today – also calls for the self-determination of the Oromo people. It has been deemed as a terror organisation that carried out violent acts against people in Ethiopia, Somalia and Kenya. The group has always denied such allegations, claiming its mission is to terminate “a century of oppression” against the Oromos.

Read more about Oromo people

The government scrapped the master plan following increasing agitation which activists claimed led to the death of some 400 people, at least 200 according to a report by Human Rights Watch (HRW), released on 21 February.

The government denied the allegations of violence and claimed the death toll was much lower, but did not give a specific figure.

Berhane explained Ethiopian authorities conducted an assessment on the unrest and admitted they took slow steps in addressing people’s legitimate grievances. “Had these demands been addressed quickly and effectively, dissident groups would not have been able to infiltrate peaceful protesters and instigate violence,” he said.

“The government does not want to see any of its people die, even the death of one person is one is one too many. What the country needs first and foremost is peace. Inciting violence, creating division, coming up with horrific stories and posting those stories on social media does not help in any way.”

Earlier in March, Prime Minster Hailemariam Desalegn apologised for the deaths and destruction for which he blamed “anti-peace forces” that infiltrated demonstrations.

Self-rule already in place

Berhane claimed that people are ruling themselves in Oromia, where the official language is Oromo, people have their own regional parliament and run their own budget. “Political problems in Oromia and indeed in any other part of Ethiopia have been for the most part resolved. If there are any that are not resolved, the Constitution provides the mechanism for resolving them so there is no need for violent conflicts,” he said.

However, Oromo activists who spoke to IBTimes UK denied Oromo people have self-rule in the region, claiming that Oromia’s ruling party, Oromo Peoples’ Democratic Organization (OPDO), is an organisation of “ex-war captives” created by the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), a political party in Ethiopia’s Tigray region.

Activists also denied violent people infiltrated protests, and alleged the government iscracking down on peaceful and unarmed demonstrators, including pregnant women and children. They also claimed the government declared martial law in Oromia, which they say is now divided into eight military divisions controlled by “ethnic Tigrean generals”.

“It is because of the absence of self-rule that you see millions of farmers evicted and their land given to ruling party officials or foreign companies. The regime downplays the scale of questions raised as well as the scale of the lethal forces used,” Habtamu Dugo, an exiled Oromo journalist and US-based professor, said.

“Oromo are not able to elect their leaders in a free and fair election and the ruling party serves the interests of few ruling elites from the Tigray region. Although Afan Oromo is recognized on paper as a regional official language, people are demanding it to be made into one of the federal languages, since it is the most widely spoken language in Ethiopia.”

Dugo, also a member of the Board of Directors of the Oromo Studies Association, added that should alleged killings by security forces continue, Oromo people might start calling for secession, a right guaranteed by the Ethiopian constitution.

An Oromia-based activist who spoke to IBTimes UK on conditions of anoymity, denied the government of Oromia rules on its own budget. The source said: “While Oromia contributes 60% of Ethiopia’s GDP, OPDO has to accept 70% of its recurrent and capital budget from the TPLF-dominated federal governement.”

The source also alleged at least 40,000 Oromo people are currently imprisoned and many of them “had to suffer severe torture”.


 

Read more at :-

http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/ethiopia-government-says-oromia-has-self-rule-activists-vow-continue-protests-1550831

Related:-

Unrest in Ethiopia: Grumbling and rumbling

Months of protests are rattling a fragile federation


 

International Business Times: Oromia:#OromoProtests: Oromo protesters: ‘We are still on the streets because we want self-rule’ March 10, 2016

Posted by OromianEconomist in #OromoProtests, Africa, Oromia.
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Odaa OromooGaaffiiwwan yeroo ammaaNo To Fascist TPLF Ethiopia's genocidal militarism and mass killings in Oromia, EthiopiaSolidarity message to Oromo People and #OromoProtests#OromoProtests against the Ethiopian regime fascist tyranny. Join the peaceful movement for justice, democracy, development and freedom of Oromo and other oppressed people in Ethiopia#OromoProtests, Finfinnee (Addis Ababa) University students, 8 March 2016

#OromoProtests global solidarity rally organised by the Australian Oromo community in Melbourne, 10 March 2016 p2

Oromo protesters: ‘We are still on the streets because we want self-rule’

By ,   March 10, 2016
Oromo students
Students believed to have been injured during protests at Wallaga University Oromo activists

UK (International Business Times) — Hundreds of people from Oromia, Ethiopia’s largest state, are still protesting on the streets calling for self-rule. An activist who spoke to IBTimes UK on condition of anonymity explained that Oromopeople, Ethiopia’s biggest ethnic group, were also protesting against the alleged violence carried out by security forces against demonstrators.

Protesters in Oromia first took to the streets in November 2015 to voice their dissent against a government draft plan that aimed to expand the boundaries of the capital Addis Ababa. They argued the so-called “Addis Ababa master plan” would lead to forced evictions of Oromo farmers who will lose their land and would undermine the survival of the Oromo culture and language.

Who are the Oromo people?

The Oromo people are Ethiopia’s largest ethnic group and their population amounts to more than 25 million (around 35% of Ethiopia’s total population). They originated in the Horn of Africa, where they are believed to have lived for millennia.

Oromo people speak Afaan Oromoo, as well as Amharic, Tigrinya, Gurange and Omotic languages. They are mainly Christian and Muslim, while only 3% still follow the traditional religion based on the worshipping of the god, Waaq.

In 1973, Ethiopian Oromo created the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), which stemmed from the discontent over a perceived marginalisation by the government and to fight the hegemony of theAmhara people, another large ethnic group in Ethiopia.

OLF – still active today – also calls for the self-determination of the Oromo people. It has been deemed as a terror organisation that carried out violent acts against people in Ethiopia, Somalia and Kenya. The group hasalways denied such allegations, claiming its mission is to terminate “a century of oppression” against the Oromos.

The Ethiopian government scrapped the master plan following increasing agitation which activists claimed led to the death of at least 200 people.

However, Oromo people have continued their protest arguing, among other things, that they did not trust the authorities.

“The issue of the master plan was only an immediate cause,” a source close to the campaigners said. “The root causes are real demands for Oromo self-rule, democracy and rule of law, among others and the government has continued to respond violently.”

The activist also claimed that during student protests which occurred on 8 March, police allegedly arrested more than 50 people and injured many.

“Student protests occurred at some large universities including Addis Ababa University,Jima University and Wallaga University,” the source added.

“AtAddis Ababa , Oromo students demonstrated for the second round in front of the US embassy chanting ‘we are not terrorists, we are Oromo, stop the killings inOromia’. In Wallaga, government forces beat and injured many students. Hospital beds were overflowing with injured students and ambulances were prevented from taking victims to hospitals in other cities around that part of Oromia,” the source alleged.

Government dismisses allegations of violence

The Ethiopian embassy in London has not responded to a request for comment on the fresh allegations.

On 21 February, Human Rights Watch (HRW) released a report warning that at least 200 people had been killed with further arrests of Oromo protesters by security forces, including the military.

However, Ethiopia dismissed the allegations with an official telling IBTimes UK the HRW report was“abysmal propaganda.” The government claimed the death toll was much lower than 200 but did not give a specific figure. Protesters were also accused of trying to secede and create an independentOromia state.

An earlier statement by the Ethiopian embassy sent to IBTimes UK stated that the government engaged in public consultations which resulted in the decision to scrap the master plan. Authorities also launched an investigation to identify people behind “corrupt land acquisition practices”, loss of innocent lives and damage to private and public properties. The investigation has led to a number of arrests.

http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/oromo-protesters-we-are-still-streets-because-we-want-self-rule-1548661

Oromia: Ethiopia: Govt Accused of Bloody Crackdown On #OromoProtests February 26, 2016

Posted by OromianEconomist in #OromoProtests, Africa, Oromia, Oromo.
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Odaa Oromoo#OromoProtests iconic pictureagazi-fascist-tplf-ethiopias-forces-attacking-unarmed-and-peaceful-oromoprotests-in-baabichaa-town-central-oromia-w-shawa-december-10-20151

Ethiopia: Govt Accused of Bloody Crackdown On Protesters

 

By All Africa and Al Jazzera,   22 February 2016

Ethiopian security forces are carrying out a brutal crackdown on peaceful protests in the country’s Oromia region and thousands of people are being held without charge, a human rights group has said.

The demonstrations began in November due to a government plan to expand the boundaries of Addis Ababa into Oromia, which surrounds the capital, raising fears among Oromo people that their farms would be expropriated.

Addis Ababa, which has accused the protesters of having links with “terror groups”, dropped the plan on January 12 and announced the situation in Oromia was largely under control.

The New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW), however, said the protests were continuing.

Ethiopia’s information minister, Getachew Reda, told Al Jazeera that he had not yet read the report and so could not comment on it.

HRW noted that researchers were unable to determine how many people have been killed or arrested because access to Oromia is restricted.

“[Ethiopian] activists allege that more than 200 people have been killed since November 12, 2015,” the rights group said.

In a previous document at the beginning of January, HRW reported at least 140 killings.

“Flooding Oromia with federal security forces shows the authorities’ broad disregard for peaceful protest by students, farmers, and other dissenters,” Leslie Lefkow, deputy Africa director at Human Rights Watch, said on Monday.

“The government needs to rein in the security forces, free anyone being held wrongfully, and hold accountable soldiers and police who used excessive force,” Lefkow added.

The rights group called on the Ethiopian government to end excessive use of force by its security forces, free everyone detained arbitrarily, and conduct an independent investigation into killings and other security force abuses.

The Oromos are the largest ethnic group in the horn of Africa country.

Ethiopia: Oromo protests will continue unless government ceases ‘killings and torture’

https://uk.news.yahoo.com/ethiopia-oromo-protests-continue-unless-112251659.html?soc_src=social-sh&soc_trk=fb

Ethiopia’s crackdown on land protests ongoing – rights group

 

 

http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/world/ethiopia-s-crackdown-on-l/2537982.html#.VsxcELyVBqn.twitter

PROTEST CRACKDOWNS: BEYOND THE BODY COUNT

Oromia: Ethiopia: #Oromoprotests will continue unless government ceases ‘killings and torture’ February 22, 2016

Posted by OromianEconomist in #OromoProtests, Africa, Oromia, Oromo.
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Oromo protests will continue unless government ceases ‘killings and torture’
By , International Business Time, IBTimes UK,  22 February 2016
Oromo students Protests, Western Oromia, Mandii, Najjoo, Jaarsoo,....#OromoProtests against the Ethiopian regime fascist tyranny. Join the peaceful movement for justice, democracy, development and freedom of Oromo and other oppressed people in Ethiopia
Protesters in Oromia, Ethiopia’s largest state, are continuing as the government keeps killing, torturing and jailing peaceful demonstrators, an activist alleged during an interview with IBTimes UK. The source, who spoke on conditions of anonymity for security reasons, alleged that the death toll at the hands of security forces stands at 270.
Oromo people, Ethiopia’s largest ethnic group, have been protesting since November 2015 against a government’s draft plan that aimed to expand the boundaries of the capital Addis Ababa. Demonstrators argued the so-called “Addis Ababa master plan” would lead to forced evictions of Oromo farmers who will lose their lands and become impoverished as a result.
Protesters also claimed that forced evictions as well as a perceived marginalisation by the government are already occurring and they threaten the survival of the Oromo’s culture and language.
Although the government decided to scrap the plan following increasing demonstrations, Oromo people continued to demonstrate arguing they did not trust the authorities.
“The protests continued because the government kept on killing, jailing and torturing people for taking part in the Oromo protests,while giving contradictory press releases saying it scrapped the plan, but continuing to prosecute those who took part in the protests,” the activist told IBTimes UK. 
The source added that at least 30,000 people have been arrested. “Our basic demand are: Stop the killings, release all political prisoners, bring to justice all the perpetrators of the killing, tortures and disappearances, establish independent investigators into the matter, compensate victims’ families,” the activist continued.
“We also call on the government to withdraw its army from the Oromia region, where it was deployed to crackdown on the protests as the region’s police force couldn’t control demonstrations”.
The activis’ comments came one day after Human Rights Watch released a report warning that killings of Oromo protesters at the hands of security forces, including the military, continue.
“Security forces, including military personnel, have fatally shot scores of demonstrators,” the rights group said. “Thousands of people have been arrested and remain in detention without charge. While the frequency of protests appears to have decreased in the last few weeks, the crackdown continues.”
IBTimes UK has contacted the Ethiopian embassy in London for a statement, but has not received a response at the time of publishing. Speaking to the BBC, communications minister Getachew Reda denied the government was cracking down on demonstrators.
He also denied that protests were ongoing and claimed attacks on public buildings were carried out by armed gangs “who are trying to stir up emotions in the public”.
In a previous interview with IBTimes UK, Abiy Berhane, minister counsellor at the embassy, confirmed that an investigation had been launched to establish the exact death toll of people who “fell victim to the violent confrontation with security forces as well as the extent of property damage”.
Regarding the allegations of violence against demonstrators and civilians, he said: “These are just one of the many fabrications that are being circulated by certain opposition groups as part of their propaganda campaign. The unrest cannot be described as a national crisis.
“The disturbances orchestrated by opposition groups have now subsided as the general public understood that the integrated master plan is still at a draft stage and will only be implemented after extensive public consultation in the matter takes place and gains the support of the people.”
Read more at:-
http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/ethiopia-oromo-protests-will-continue-unless-government-ceases-killings-torture-1545199

IBTimes: Addis Ababa master plan: Oromo protesters claim Liyu police killed 27 after government scraps plan January 20, 2016

Posted by OromianEconomist in #OromoProtests, Africa, Oromia, Oromia News, Oromiyaa, Oromo, Oromo and the call for justice and freedom, Oromo News, Oromo Protests, Oromo students protests, The Tyranny of TPLF Ethiopia.
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Addis Ababa master plan: Oromo protesters claim Liyu police killed 27 after government scraps plan

Ethiopia unrest
People mourn the death of Dinka Chala who was shot dead by Ethiopian forces in Yubdo Village, about 100km from Addis AbabaZACHARIAS ABUBEKER/AFP/Getty Images)

Agazi, fascist TPLF Ethiopia's forces attacking unarmed and peaceful #OromoProtests in Baabichaa town central Oromia (w. Shawa) , December 10, 2015

At least 27 protesters from the Oromo community, Ethiopia’s largest ethnic group, have been allegedly killed since the government announced it would scrap a plan to expand the boundaries of the capital Addis Ababa, which triggered mass demonstrations. Protesters in Oromia, one of the nine ethnically-based states of Ethiopia, have continued to demonstrate, arguing they did not trust the statement from the Oromo Peoples’ Democratic Organisation (OPDO) released earlier in January.

A demonstrator told IBTimes UK on conditions of anonymity: “21 peaceful demonstrators were killed yesterday [18 January] and six people are said to have been killed today. It’s really so tragic.”

The number adds to the already more than 140 people allegedly killed by security forces since protests started in November 2015 after the government announced the so-called “Addis Ababa master plan.”
The source alleged that the government deployed special forces, known as Liyu Police, into Oromia towns such as Bedeno and Dire Dawa. Liyu police – formed of Somalian soldiers – was created by the Ethiopian government in 2007 to halt the rise of Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) separatist group. The special forces have been accused of committing crimes including extra-judicial executions.

“They [Liyu Police] have killed about 27 peaceful protesters even after the master plan was said to have been halted,” the source continued.

Ethiopian government’s position

Demonstrators argued that the master plan will lead to forced evictions of Oromo farmers who will lose their lands and become impoverished as a result. They also claimed that forced evictions as well as a perceived marginalisation by the government are already occurring and they threaten the survival of the Oromo’s culture and language.

The Ethiopian government, which has been accused of trying to censor information on the protests, has always denied Oromo people are marginalised and claimed the protests are being orchestrated by some dissidents who aim to destabilise the country. Officials have also refuted the number of deaths given by the activists and opened an investigation to assess the death toll as well as the circumstances of the deaths.

IBTimes UK has contacted the Ethiopian embassy for a comment on the recent death allegations, but has not received a response at the time of publishing.

In a previous interview, Abiy Berhane, minister counsellor at the embassy, told IBTimes UK regarding allegations of violence: “These are just one of the many fabrications that are being circulated by certain opposition groups as part of their propaganda campaign. The unrest cannot be described as a national crisis.

“The disturbances orchestrated by opposition groups have now subsided as the general public understood that the integrated master plan is still at a draft stage and will only be implemented after extensive public consultation in the matter takes place and gains the support of the people.”

European Union condemns “excessive force”

Meanwhile, the European Union has issued a resolution on the ongoing unrest, condemning the “excessive forces by security forces” in Oromia and other Ethiopian regions.

The document reads: “[The EU] calls on the government to carry out a credible, transparent and impartial investigation into the killings of protesters and other alleged human rights violations in connection with the protest movement, and to fairly prosecute those responsible, regardless of rank or position.

“Welcomes the government’s decision to completely halt the Addis Ababa and Oromia special zone master plan, that plans to expand the municipal boundary of Addis Ababa.”

The EU also urged the Ethiopian government to invite a UN rapporteur and human rights experts to investigate and to stop impeding the free flow of information.

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http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/addis-ababa-master-plan-oromo-protesters-claim-liyu-police-killed-27-after-government-scraps-plan-1539043

IBTimes UK: Oromo protesters do not trust a statement by the Ethiopian government claiming it will scrap its plan to expand the capital Addis Ababa January 14, 2016

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Odaa Oromoo#OromoProtests, Qabosoon itti fufa jedhu aayyoleen

 

Addis Ababa master plan: Oromo protesters ‘do not trust OPDO statement’
By Ludovica Iaccino, IBTimes UK,   January 14, 2016

 
#OromoProtests @  Lagayye  town E.Haraghe, 12 December 2015
Oromo protesters do not trust a statement by the Ethiopian government claiming it will scrap its plan to expand the capital Addis Ababa, a demonstrator told IBTimes UK. The source, who lives in Oromia – Ethiopia’s largest state – said on condition of anonymity that protests against the expansion plan will continue in spite of the statement released by the Oromo Peoples’ Democratic Organisation (OPDO) on 13 January.

Although OPDO is the party administering Oromia, the source explained it is not regarded as representative of the Oromo people, Ethiopia’s largest group. “The statement isn’t taken seriously among the Oromo people because the party has historically been used by the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) as an instrument to crackdown on all Oromo legitimate concerns,” he alleged.

The source added that the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), created in 1973, is regarded as the organisation representing the Oromo people and their interests. “OPDO is perceived as a mere administrative representative of TPLF in Oromia region, but not the political representative of Oromo people,” he said.

More about Oromo people
Addis Ababa master plan: Who are the Oromo people, Ethiopia’s largest ethnic group?
“OLF has massive support, Oromo demonstrators both back home and in the diaspora chant OLF’s slogans and they always say they are our true representatives. The expansion plan issue is just the tip of the iceberg as far as Oromo grievances are concerned in the Ethiopian state.”

Oromo people have been protesting since last November against the so-called “Addis Ababa master plan” as they believe it will lead to forced evictions of Oromo farmers who will lose their lands and become impoverished as a result.

Demonstrators also argued that forced evictions as well as a perceived marginalisation by the government are already occurring and they threaten the survival of their culture and language.

Activists and rights groups have warned at least 140 people have been killed by the army and security forces in recent protests, with the OLF accusing the Ethiopian regime of renewing “a second round of war” against the Oromo in December 2015.

IBTimes UK has contacted the Ethiopian embassy in London for a statement, but has not received a response at the time of publishing. In a previous interview, Abiy Berhane, minister counsellor at the embassy, confirmed to IBTimes UK that an investigation had been launched to establish the exact death toll of people who “fell victim to the violent confrontation with security forces as well as the extent of property damage”.

Regarding the allegations of violence against demonstrators and civilians, he said: “These are just one of the many fabrications that are being circulated by certain opposition groups as part of their propaganda campaign. The unrest cannot be described as a national crisis.

“The disturbances orchestrated by opposition groups have now subsided as the general public understood that the integrated master plan is still at a draft stage and will only be implemented after extensive public consultation in the matter takes place and gains the support of the people.”
In Focus: Addis Ababa master plan threatens Oromos self-determination, IBTimes UK

Read more (video) at the following link:-

http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/addis-ababa-master-plan-oromo-protesters-do-not-trust-opdo-statement-1537946