An outbreak of public protest unprecedented in its duration and spread since the ruling party took power in Ethiopia in 1991 is stirring a rare cocktail of discontent. Demonstrations started in November mainly by members of the Oromo ethnic group, which accounts for about a third of Ethiopia’s 97 million-plus people, have refused to die down. Indeed, they have spread.
The government has dropped its plan, the original cause of the hubbub, to expand the city limits of Addis Ababa, the capital, into Oromia, the largest of the federal republic’s subdivisions of nine regional states and two city-states. But the protests have billowed into a much wider expression of outrage. People are complaining about land ownership, corruption, political repression and poverty. Such feelings go beyond just one ethnic group. Continue reading Unrest in Ethiopia Rattling a Fragile Federation→
The Tigray Peoples Liberation Front (TPLF), the strongest component of the ruling coalition, from the middle of 2014 has faced the highest level of Tigrean popular discontent since its inception 40 years ago. That came first. Now the unrest in the most populated region of Ethiopia has sent to the regime as a whole the most shattering warning shot since its arrival in power in 1991.
Despite Tigray’s marginality in terms of geography, population – 6% of Ethiopians – and its economy, the TPLF had the strength to impose its hegemony after its victory over the Derg military-socialist junta in 1991. This dominance has recently declined, but it remains the driving force of the coalition between the four ethnic forces constituting the near-single party – the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) – with the Amhara National Democratic Movement (ANDM), the Oromo People’s Democratic Organisation (OPDO) and the Southern Ethiopian People’s Democratic Movement (SEPDM). Continue reading Unrest in Ethiopia: The Ultimate Warning Shot?→
At least 40 people have been killed, hundreds wounded, and thousands detained in more than three weeks of uprisings in Ethiopia’s Oromia state, the largest of nine linguistic-based states. The Oromo people make up close to 50 percent of Ethiopia’s population of 100 million.
Protesters primarily oppose a draft master plan that, if implemented, will expand the jurisdiction of Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa, into Oromia. Dozens were killed last year in similar protests when authorities first introduced the controversial Addis Ababa and Surrounding Oromia Special Zone Development Plan or the Master Plan. Continue reading The Oromo Protests and Ethiopia’s Political Vulnerabilities→
Ethiopian police killed 10 Oromo students who were demonstrating peacefully over plansto integrate the capital, Addis Ababa, with surrounding towns in Oromia region in the past three weeks, an opposition leader said.