Deadly Protests in Ethiopia Over Plans to Expand Capital

ambo-universityVOA News -May 01, 2014 —

Witnesses say Ethiopian police have killed at least 17 protesters during demonstrations in Ethiopia’s Oromia region against plans to annex territory to expand the capital, Addis Ababa.

Authorities put the protest-related death toll at 11 and have not said how the demonstrators were killed. The main opposition party says 17 people were killed while witnesses and residents say the death toll is much higher.

Residents say that an elite government security force opened fire on protesters at three university campuses.

The demonstrations erupted last week against plans by the Ethiopian government to incorporate part of Oromia into the capital. Oromia is Ethiopia’s largest region and Oromos are the country’s largest ethnic group.

Oromos say the government wants to weaken their political power. They say expanding the capital threatens the local language, which is not taught in Addis Ababa schools.

Ethiopian officials say the master plan for expansion was publicized long ago and would bring city services to remote areas.

They accuse those they call “anti-peace forces” of trying to destroy Ethiopia’s ethnic harmony.

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12 Responses to Deadly Protests in Ethiopia Over Plans to Expand Capital

  1. Haymanot Reply

    May 1, 2014 at 8:38 AM

    Addis is not only the capital of Ethiopia but also Africa. We need to understand this. The issue should be how are we going to handle the people we dislocate, how is the Oromia region to benefit in the process & so on. Burning buildings & vehicles would not help. Destroying Emperor Menelik’s monument doesn’t solve the issue either. Let us start looking at the big picture.

  2. Haymanot Reply

    May 1, 2014 at 8:40 AM

    The government should also try to minimize the use of force & resolve such problems peacefully.

  3. Haymanot Reply

    May 1, 2014 at 8:44 AM

    Please see correct email above and the final part of my comments below.

    The government should also try to minimize the use of force and resolve such problems peacefully & in a civilized manner.

  4. Kibrom Reply

    May 1, 2014 at 8:48 AM

    All these are the outcomes of TPLF’s Ethnics federalism .”Anchew Tamechew Anchew tarochew”-Amharas good saying.Narrow minded will remain narrowed for life.

  5. Tuffaa bekele. Reply

    May 1, 2014 at 3:44 PM

    Another Very sad day for the poor Ethiopians .the fascist weyane killers not only displase our peopel but also kill them.kids ,mother,old people .all are the victim of this evils who hate the oromo people.

  6. Kumakullo Reply

    May 2, 2014 at 12:27 PM

    Haymanot,
    I totally agree with you .
    One thing must be clear. Any government won’t take days and weeks to maintain order .The question is Who is behind the student demonstrators???
    We got to look beyond narrow political & ethnic sentiment to tackle & solve issues.
    Having said that, it’s tragic dear lives are lost & property is destroyed.

  7. Freedom Reply

    May 2, 2014 at 12:57 PM

    Enough Is Enough, The Blood And Life of Our Kids, Youngsters And People Should Never Be Lost In Vain

    May 2, 2014

    Dear compatriots!

    It is time for action, it is time to rise up and put a stop to the 24 years of suppression, murder, torture, dispossession, displacement, annexation, and historical shame inflicted on our people by the minority TPLF regime.

    Our heroic Oromo young generation beginning from 6 year old kids are standing for their God given human rights unarmed, fighting with fully armed TPLF murderers and tugs. We have seen and heard that kids are murdered in broad day light, parents and relatives are fired up on when they were trying to pick up dead bodies of their kids and relatives. This is an unmatchable cruelty and hate crime committed against the Oromo people by the TPLF junta. This crime may only be paralleled by the crimes committed by fascists and the Nazis.

    We need to do all what we can to support our people struggling for their rights, justice and freedom. The flame that is lit by the blood of our people should never be allowed to be extinguished anymore until we get rid of the TPLF tugs. The struggle needs to be multifaceted and sustainable until the major goal to get rid of these tugs is achieved.

    What are the things that our expatriates, especially those living in the western world, can do to support this struggle in various ways? What else can be done to get rid of these tugs? The following are serious options to consider:

    Inform the world about what is currently happening:

    •Compile evidence of the atrocities committed against our people in different parts of Oromia and write letters of appeal to local representatives, human rights agencies, relevant ministries, offices of heads of states and opposition political parties individually and collectively.
    •Compile picture and video evidence if possible of the atrocities committed against our people and submit to different media outlets individually or collectively wherever possible.
    •Submit these appeals to Red Cross, Amnesty International, UN, European Union and other relevant human rights international organizations.
    •Submit the evidence of these atrocities to ICC in the Hague, Netherland.
    •All Oromo media outlets abroad have been doing an excellent job to expose what is going on at home and that good job has to continue in a sustainable way to support the struggle of our people.
    •Collective organizations and associations of the Oromo have been doing excellent job in letting the world know about the plight of our people. This needs to continue even in a much more sophisticated way.
    •Use various social media to post these atrocities and actively participate in discussions to expose what is happening at this time.
    •Maintain sustainable and continuous link with our people to inform them that they are not alone in their struggle and that the world knows about what is happening.
    •Organize peaceful protest marches in different western cities showing pictures of our heroic kids gunned down by TPLF murderers.

    Supporting the struggle of our people to defend themselves:

    •We need to find means to financially support all Oromo forces that are genuinely struggling to liberate our people from the yoke of TPLF’s oppression; these forces include our Qeerroos that are showing the way forward.
    •In this struggle, we need to understand that the decisive factor is the people. No advanced weaponry, no number of soldiers can stop a people determined to be free. It is this aspect that we have to pay a lot of attention to, to create a sustainable unity and determination of the Oromo people.
    •This aspect has to be supported with good and sophisticated communication and unity of purpose of our people, from East to West, from North to South and to Center.
    •Along this line, it is important to consider preparedness of every Oromo citizen to defend himself or herself.
    •The TPLF junta currently relies on its trained soldiers, commandoes and police force that it thinks will sustain its power for ever. But one thing they have to keep in mind is that there is also a way of struggle that the united Oromo people can do: that is to take the arms and weaponry away from them and turn them against them. It would seem that one option left for the Oromo people is this- to take away their arms and weaponry that they are so proud of and think that they will keep ruling us forever using them. By this, they will be reminded of the heroism of the Oromo people that they have looked down upon and denigrated for the last 24 years.
    •We need to support the creation of unity of purpose amongst all Oromo forces at this crucial historic juncture.

    The creation of alliance with all forces that are struggling for justice, equality and democracy in Ethiopia:

    •TPLF is the master of divide and rule. One of the main reasons they have sustained their minority dictatorship and inhumane rule over the last 24 years is by dividing the people of Ethiopia including the Oromo people
    •We need to let the rest of the people of Ethiopia know that it is not in the culture of the Oromo people to do injustice to others and that our struggle is not directed against any nation and nationality of the country, but against tyranny and injustice and for freedom and God given rights.
    •We need to let people know that we have no issues and hatred for the poor and innocent people of Amhara, Tigray, the Southern people, the people of Ogaden and all the people of the country. Where ever possible, we need to create fair alliances or at least convince those forces not to stand against us when we are struggling against the TPLF fascist regime. In essence, our struggle must be inclusive and magnanimous where possible not to multiply our enemies and to reduce the sacrifice that our people have to pay. As you all know, one of TPLF’s play book is to incite the rest of the Ethiopian people against the Oromo by pretending that they are the only guarantor of peace and protection.

    The pursuit of international alliances and support:

    •Understanding that the key to freedom is the people and that no force is able to stop a determined people, we will also need alliances to hasten the time and also reduce the sacrifice to be paid. This is by acquiring multifaceted support for the struggle. All fair and justifiable options should be on the table to get rid of these murderers.

    Other aspects of the struggle at home:

    •The Oromo people and the rest of the Ethiopian people have a decisive buying power.
    •As everybody knows, the TPLF controls critical infrastructures and economic sectors of the country. We know that they are highly trumpeting the so called millennium development goals. What is development when they are working on dispossessing, displacing the people by subjecting them to beggary, homelessness on their own ancestral land, and murdering the very same citizens of the country?
    •All the activities they pursue indicate that they are working on perpetuating their hegemony over the rest of the Ethiopian people. Hence the people must use their buying power to cripple TPLF’s companies and economy to speed up the process of freedom from the yoke of their tyranny. It would be a matter of not buying products and services from TPLF companies.

    The blood and lives of our young people should not be lost in vain. The flame they lit should engulf the tyrannical TPLF regime and should lead to their demise.

    Time for unity and action is now. 24 years of shame is enough. The great Oromo nation should take back its place in history together with the rest of the oppressed people of Ethiopia.

    Rise up and end tyranny! No power, no cunning tactics and strategy, no divide and rule will stop a determined people from achieving their rights and freedom.

  8. Hawassa Reply

    May 2, 2014 at 2:23 PM

    Ethiopia has about 80 Ethnic groups. These Ethnic groups together have one nation and one capital city. No one has the right to clam any of them for its own.
    Addis Ababa was the capital city of shewa for more than 100 years and Ethiopia for 126 years. Until 1993, its size was containing as far as to Debrezeit. Look the Addis Ababa administration map till 1991 or before Derge departure.
    Stop suffering within ethnic politics. Move on. It is certain 99% Ethiopians are already moved on. So, the 1% backward and criminals must not get their way to affect the 99% but just treat them the way they deserve. These are brainwashed messengers and dogs doing what they have been told by few criminals in the country and abroad. Catch them.

    It was a big mistake to start with having a kind of law/policy or whatever that decides the boundary of the cities and town knowing cities will be always expanding, towns will become cities, villages will become towns and the people living in those places and at that matter all over the country must be and will be all Ethiopians.

    The government must move on from the past mistake which is no single individual, group or Ethnic have the right to claim any place in the country only for its own. All Ethiopians must have to live, work and have good life anytime and place all over the country. This how things are working other places that became the best way to prosper and have best life.

    From Canada to Argentine, Western Europe and all over the world, people with different races, Ethnics, religions, cultures and so on are living as one people in one nation.

    Why is the justification these ignorant even thinking to have own so called oro let alone demanding it publicly?
    There is no need to ask any permission from anyone but just make it reality the new master plan. Those don’t like it, they can go to hell. This is the time to come together for better tomorrow not living in the primitive ways of thinking and doing things to suffer from the consequences.

  9. Gojam Reply

    May 2, 2014 at 2:47 PM

    What is next deporting all Amharas from every Oromia region, just like OLF did in the 1990’s ????
    Increasingly, the Amharas becoming unwelcome specially in Oromo regions, I blame King Menilik and king Haileselassie (Amhara Tribalist kings) who sowed hatred between these people.

  10. Goh Taye Reply

    May 2, 2014 at 8:09 PM

    Young lives are being mowed down by brutal government forces.Reason,unconstitutionality of the so called Addis Ababa Master Plan which is being opposed by students and peasants alike.The opposition is peaceful and conducted in broad day light by unarmed demonstrators.The Masacar is yet another evidence of how this regime wants to stay in power: use of naked force,intimidation,terror,torture and killing.It is the repetition of the aftermath of the 1997 stolen election which gave them about nine years respite.One wonders how many young lives would be cut short this time by the blood thrifty force.Ethiopians of every rank,faith,ethnicity, language and political affiliation should unite and make this movement a sustainable one until the regime is forced to comes to its senses and listens to peoples’ voices and meets their legitimate demands.It is only then that we say the lives of those young boys and girls who were killed in 1979 on the streets of Addis Ababa and today on the streets of Ambo did in fact die for a cause,indeed for a noble cause.

  11. Zemzem Reply

    May 3, 2014 at 4:21 PM

    I felt very sorry and deeply sad about the whole event. I don’t know where our country is headed on, when all theses messes end up. It has been too long and to much. Those killed are my heroes.

  12. Getu Reply

    May 4, 2014 at 5:31 PM

    NO NEED OF DIVERSION. LET US TALK WHAT IS HAPPENING JUST NOW!! NOT ABOUT WHAT HAPPENED IN THE PAST OR WHAT WAS DONE 150 YEARS AGO!! PEOPLE ARE FREE TO LOVE OR HATE ANYBODY INCLUDING EMPEROR MINILIK OR MELESE ZENAWI OR WHATEVER …WE DON’T FIGHT ON PEOPLE CHOICE,IT IS UP TO YOU BUT …IT IS UP TO ALL OF US WHEN STUDENTS ARE SHOT ON THE DAY LIGHT FOR ASKING QUESTIONS …IT IS NOT ABOUT POLITICS,IT IS BEING A HUMAN ..IMAGINE WHAT WOULD YOU FEEL HAD ONE OF THE DEAD BROTHER WAS YOUR OWN …OF COURSE,WE BELIEVE ANYBODY WHO CHALLENGE THE GOVERNMENT TO KEEP OUR RIGHT IS OUR BROTHER AND SO MANY ARE LEFT IN PRISON FOR THE KNOWN FALSE ACCUSATION(BANK ROBBERY,TERRORISM ETC)

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