Clashes between the military force and protesters in Ethiopia’s Oromia region today left 25 people killed, according to the Ethiopian Satellite Television (ESAT). The army that took over the mandate of the regional police used live ammunition against the demonstrators.
The students were protesting against a controversial proposal, known as “the master plan”, to expand Addis Ababa into surrounding Oromia state, which they say will threaten local farmers with mass evictions.
The death toll so far had reached more than 55.
The protests first started on November 20 in the Western Oromo region cities of Ambo, Ginchi and Western Welega, and gained momentum within schools and other educational institutions.
It is now spread to more than 100 Oromia towns and villages.
Protests against the plan first turned violent in April 2014. At least 47 people were killed when security forces used excessive force and live ammunition to disperse the crowds.
By some estimates, there were as many as 20,000 Oromo political prisoners in Ethiopia as of March last year.
As always, the local and mainstream media has paid little attention to the ongoing #OromoProtests. Demonstrators have been taking to Facebook and Twitter to report the clashes, with additional coverage coming from diaspora media.
Oromos make up the largest chunk of Ethiopia’s 95 million people, and their language is the fourth most widely spoken African language across the continent. Yet Oromo is not recognized as a federal working language in Ethiopia.
The ruling elite and members of government are mostly from the Tigray region, which is located in the northern part of the country.
(Post last updated on 14 Dec 2015, 7:30 pm Local time)
Jawar Mohamed, OMN Executive Director, calls on all oppressed people to wage the struggle against the unjust and minority regime in Ethiopia. Jawar discussed the need to come together, all oppressed people have to fight, shoulder to shoulder in unison, the barbaric regime of the TPLF. Kudos to Jawar for a bold articulation of the situation on the ground and what needs to be done. Indeed, all Ethiopians need to come together and push the struggle forward; you need to be forward looking and liberate your people from the oppressive tyranny of the TPLF massacring your people– the young, the old, and children- in the Oromo regions, Gondar, and elsewhere in Ethiopia.