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A Nationwide Public Protest Planned in Oromia, Ethiopia

Map: Wikipedia

BOLE POST (08/22/17) : Ethiopia is preparing for a nationwide, five day stay-at-home protests planned to take place from August 23 -27. The Oromos who make up about 35% of Ethiopia's population accuse the ruling party EPRDF (Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front) for systemic killing, jailing, torture, economic exclusion and brewing proxy conflicts between neighboring tribal groups. Though EPRDF claims to be a coalition of several political parties representing the nine Regional States in Ethiopia, the real power resides with Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF). TPLF is a political party from Tigray, Ethiopia, and it is the main party of the EPRDF that overthrew the socialist regime in 1991. Over the years, TPLF has systematically replaced top security and intelligence officials by individuals of Tigray origin, and it has successfully instituted a Syrian Alawite type minority rule; where, ethnic Tigrean minorities controlled everything from executive cabinet membership to an airport hostess. The Oromos and Amharas who make up about 65% of the country's population were systematically excluded from key positions in government, and those who opposed the regime are often jailed, killed or forced to exile. Since 2009, the ethnocentric regime has been using the Anti-Terrorism Proclamation as weapon to jail, torture and kill those who oppose the government mainly Oromo activists, scholars and politicians. Under EPRDF hundreds of thousands of Oromo farmers were forced off their land to make a way for construction of villas and apartments for growing middle class population comprised of mostly TPLF members and their supporters. In order to further this expansion of the capital city, the ruling party officials disclosed a Master Plan to incorporate dozens of Oromo towns and villages to go under the Administration of Addis Ababa City Government. This unpopular and secretly planned land-grab program further fueled the protests and opposition all over Oromia Regional State, and the government as usual, responded by jailing thousands and killing hundreds of unarmed peaceful protesters. The situation only got worse in 2016 when government security and intelligence forces intentionally provoked hundreds of thousands of Oromos who were gathered to attendants the annual Irreecha Festival causing a stampede and chaos that killed hundreds.


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