As the Oromo peaceful (nonviolent) protests against the Addis Ababa Master Plan in particular, and against a broad spectrum of marginalization of Oromos in Ethiopia in general, continue unabated for a second month, the Ethiopian Federal government’s response has, so far, depended on its militaristic muscle to crush the dissidence violently by killing, maiming and arresting the protesters. According to the latest media reports, at least 122 Oromo persons, including young Oromo schoolchildren, Oromo teachers, Oromo university students, Oromo farmers and Oromo civil servants, have been killed by the Ethiopian government over the last two months. In addition, some 1,500 Oromo persons have been wounded by gunshots fired by the Ethiopian paramilitary police, which is currently getting reinforcements by the country’s military. In what observers have labeled as the invasion of the Federal State of Oromia, the Federal paramilitary police as well as the military have been called, by the Ethiopian Federal government, for duty to crush the civilian Oromo peaceful protests in Oromia. The “invading force” has also rounded up more than 4,500 Oromo persons and put them in concentration camps inside Oromia and elsewhere in Ethiopia; among those arrested are top and mid-level opposition political leaders, Oromo artists and university students. The media reports add that the whereabouts of at least 800 Oromo persons are unknown at this point; families and friends fear the worst as they anxiously await for news about their disappeared loved ones.
Observers say, these random, but strategically staged, shootings to kill or maim, mass arrests and disappearances are primarily motivated by the Ethiopian government’s ambition to instill “fear” among the Oromo people so as to enforce the Oromo people’s submission and deter future protests. Thus far, “fear” has been defeated in Oromia. Despite the gross human rights violations against them, Oromo students – from elementary schools to universities – in particular, and the wider Oromo public in general, have continued their peaceful protests against the Addis Ababa Master Plan, which, according to the protesters, aims to steal the farmlands of millions of Oromo farmers in the vicinity around Addis Ababa as well as other major towns in Oromia in order to transfer the ownership of the land to government-affiliated inventors. It is to be remembered that media reports said the Master Plan’s implementation has already begun – with at least 600 Oromo farming families evicted from the Sululta area alone with low or no compensations. However, the Ethiopian government, in a bid to slow down the Oromo protests, has propagated, through its media outlets, such as EBC and Fana, that the “Master Plan has been cancelled.” Opposition leaders say, neither the Addis Ababa Master Plan nor the newer Master Plan for All Oromian Towns (“Labsii Magaalaalee Oromiyaa“) have been cancelled/repealed through proclamations yet, and the already implemented portions of the Master Plans have not been reversed yet — making the government’s rhetoric about the Master Plan being cancelled useless in light of the law. The Oromo protesters do seem to care more for real actions of the law rather than the government’s temporary sweet talks meant to only buy time to continue the implementations of the Master Plans. The Ethiopian government’s reluctance to bring peaceful solutions to meet the demands of the Oromo protesters continues to fuel the Oromo Protests (this is, probably, the reverse of the government’s plan to appear fearsome and “merciless,” as the Prime Minister stated it blatantly during his recent media appearance, by its militaristic invasion of the Federal State of Oromia to crush the protests; i.e. as the government intensifies the invasion of Oromia for its “merciless” punishment of the Oromo civilian population, large protests are breaking out all over Oromia to stop the Master Plan more than ever.)
Over the last month, the Oromo Diaspora communities (as well as other Ethiopian Diaspora communities) have staged demonstration rallies in major cities around the globe to bring the gross human rights violations against Oromo protesters to the attention of the international community. During the rallies, the rally-goers have asked the international community to intervene to stop the crime against humanity against Oromos by the Ethiopian government. Here are some of the Diaspora rallies from the last few weeks.
Sample videos from the Diaspora protests: