In Ethiopia’s pursuit of expansion, locals prove to be new roadblock

The Ethiopian government was forced to abandon a development plan for the capital after two months of protests by the Oromo people who have complained about the handling of the expansion into their land.
By William Davison, Correspondent, JANUARY 17, 201

REUTERS/Darrin Zammit Lupi

Walk past the China-Africa Overseas Leather Factory in the highland plains just north of Addis Ababa, and it’s clear that it has had better days: Its gold plaque nameplate is dented, its windows smashed, and dozing soldiers from an elite military unit dot the compound.

“Oromia belongs to us,” hundreds of protesters chanted last month as they overran the $27-million Chinese-owned tannery on the edge of Sululta, according to the company’s guard.

For the last two months, a wave of demonstrations led by the Oromo people –  Ethiopia’s most populous ethnic group – have been protesting a joint strategy between Addis Ababa, the country’s capital, and the Oromia regional state. The proposal would allow the capital to expand into Oromo land, where up to 40 million people live. It’s an official attempt to harmonize development of the capital with surrounding Oromo towns such as Sululta.

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Posted by on January 18, 2016. Filed under FEATURED. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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