News January 13, 2016 at 04:06 pm

Oromo Sets Record Straight: Despite Authorities’ Claims, Oromos Still Being Killed in Ethiopia

Sanyi Kadura January 13, 2016 at 04:06 pm

January 13, 2016 at 04:06 pm | News

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As an Oromo currently living in Ethiopia, I know that in spite of what authorities are saying, my people are still being targeted and killed in Ethiopia.

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Ethiopian forces have killed at least 148 Oromos, wounded hundreds, and imprisoned thousands, including prominent opposition parties and leaders.

The protest began on November 12, 2015, at Ginchi town, which is located 80 km southwest of of the capital Addis Ababa, in Oromia region. Soon, the protest dramatically spread to all corners of the Oromia region, which is the largest state in Ethiopia, containing about 40 percent of the Ethiopian population and surrounding Addis Ababa in all directions.

Initially, the protest was against the government’s master plan to expand Addis Ababa 100 km in all directions and potentially displace about 10 million farmers from their land. But later, the protesters began to speak out against the total marginalization and oppression of Oromo people.

On December 15, 2015, the  government labeled them terrorists, making it easy for police and the National Defense Army to intensify arbitrary killing,  torture, and mass imprisonment.

 

On December 30, 2015, Muktar Kedir, president of Oromia region, released a statement through state media, saying that the unrest in the Oromia region is totally controlled. He even thanked the federal Police Defense Force and Agazi Special Forces, the same forces who killed peaceful protesters.

But contrary to Muktar’s statement, the protests continued and are still underway.

For example, Haramaya University and Ejimma University are full of the military, and students are being beaten and imprisoned, while female students are being raped. In addition, there were at least 36 emergency room visits at Jimma University Hospital, after a hand grenade was thrown at protesting students.

On January 10th, around 9:00 p.m. at night, Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn was wining and dining with his ministers on the wedding of his daughter at the palace, when the beating and shooting of students protesting at Haramaya started.

And up to now, five are feared dead from the community around the campus, where the army shot at fleeing students.

And on Monday,  even though the government announced that they will not expand in to the Oromo region, the protest is still underway in several towns, after a protest exploded at the funeral of one of the political prisoners who was tortured to death in prison.

The protest resulted in a number injuries and one death.

*Note: This contributor’s name has been changed to protect the writer’s identity.

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