Finfinnee and Oromo over the last 15 years
By Birhanu M Lenjiso
1) 1991 – The capital city, Addis Ababa “Finfinne”, is separated from the Shewa province of Oromia and transitioned to a “special administration zone” of the federal Ethiopian government.
2) 1995 – The Federal government of Ethiopian adapts the constitution to re-create Addis Ababa as a “self governing region” without Oromo administration. Senior officials argued to include a clause (article 49) which still recognizes Addis Ababa belonging to Oromo and receiving ‘special interest’ over joint administration, resource sharing and service delivery and the constitution states the coming of subsequent law detailing the interest of the region.
3) 2004 – Federal government amended the constitution to relocate the Oromia regional government capital city away from Addis Ababa to another in city of Adaama. Heavy protests took place. 300 students were demised only from Addis Ababa University and jailed, some were died and some are still in jail.
4) In the same year, thousands of Oromo businessmen and women were imprisoned and their business were expropriated, confiscated and embezzled by the government cadres.
5) 2004 – In Relation this Oromo social organizations like Macha and Tullama association were dismantled
6) 2005 Oromia Regional Parliament (Caffee) restored Addis Ababa as capital of Oromia only because the opposition political party won the entire parliamentary seat in the city
7) 2007/8 – More towns (19) separated from the Shewa province of Oromia are transitioned as “special administration” zones around Addis Ababa/Finfinnee and massive land sales began.
8) 2009 – An “Addis Ababa Area Expansion Master Plan” was developed by Lyon Town Planning Agency for expansion of Addis Ababa (55,000 hectares) and consultation begins, with strong government support from France and China.
9) 2010/11 – The Massive volume of land sales raises concern among Oromo urban planning engineers who protested, resulting in dismissal and imprisonment of several of them.
10) 2014 – The Master Plan was official unveiled to ‘integrate’ the ‘Special Oromia Zone’ to Addis Ababa. The plan revealed some 1.1 million hectares of land would transfer from Oromia region to Addis Ababa with at least expected displacement of 2 million farmers around Addis Ababa.
11) March 2014 – senior officials of Oromia were called in Adama to approve the new plans, without success. 3 day meeting concluded in 1 day due to fierce protest by the Oromia regional government officials. The officials raised violation of constitutional and jurisdictional violation.
12) April 2014 Federal government bypasses formal approval procedure and moved straight to implementation, without Oromo consultation. Mid-level Oromia regional government officials were called for training on how to implements the project. These officials heavily criticize and demand the plan to be tabled for further discussion.
13) April 2014 – Oromo protests spread across universities. Police clash with non-violent protestors, over 50 students were killed, thousands were/are jailed and disappeared.
14) May 2014 – 30 international cities hold rallies to protest killing of students and the incorporation of the “Master Plan”
15) September 2015 – Oromia regional government passed a vague proclamation on urban development in the region
16) November 2015 – top official in the regional government gave a press conference and raised the controversial master plan again.
17) December 2015 – Oromo student protest out break again, beating, killings and imprisonment of students are undergoing right now.
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