Two Weeks in Pictures | Oromo Protests Against the Master Plan

Compiled by Gadaa.com

Unveiled by the ethic-Tigrean-dominated Federal government of Ethiopia in April 2014, the Addis Ababa Master Plan intends to expand the borders of Addis Ababa by many folds into the adjacent Federal State of Oromia.

The City of Addis Ababa, known as Finfinne by Oromos – who make up the largest ethno-national group in Ethiopia, is itself part of the State of Oromia, but the Federal government instituted a “Charter City” status (self-governing status) over the city in 1995 without the approval of the State Representative Council of Oromia (known as Caffee Oromiyaa). Through the “Charter City” status, the city has become a self-governing region, but, to fend off the ethnic Oromo opposition to this secession of Addis Ababa from Oromia, the 1995 Constitution, in Article 49, has recognized the “Special Interests” of the Federal State of Oromia over Addis Ababa (Finfinne). However, experts say this Article 49 of the Constitution has never been put into effect, rather, what has happened over the last two decades since 1995, they say, is essentially the opposite. Caffee Oromiyaa and many other vital State institutions of Oromia, which used to be located in Addis Ababa, had been forced out of Addis Ababa and relocated to elsewhere, especially, to Adama, by the Tigrean-dominated Federal government, which has become the governing body of the City of Addis Ababa.

Over the last two decades, Oromo institutions had been cleared off from Addis Ababa: Oromo music bands, Oromo civic societies (such as, the Macha-Tulama Self-Help Association), Oromo newspapers, venues for expression of Oromoness (such as, Hawi Hotel) and so on, were criminalized and banned on fictitious accusations that these institutions of Oromoness had connections with the outlawed Oromo Liberation Front (OLF); today – Addis Ababa has become a ghost town from the Oromo view – a city cleansed of its ethnic Oromo origin and features. Opponents of the Master Plan say, it is this “City of Addis Ababa” that wants to expand into the rest of Oromia by cleansing Oromos and Oromoness along its way.

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What the Federal government proposed in April 2014 in its “Addis Ababa Integrated Regional Development Plan,” known in short as the Addis Ababa Master Plan or the Master Plan, was essentially expanding the “Charter City” of Addis Ababa beyond its current limits by taking more land from Oromia. Opponents of the Master Plan say, this is a gradual, but definite, trampling of the Constitution as well as a threat to the existence of the Federal State of Oromia as a region (Addis Ababa sits in Central Oromia; if allowed to expand with a “Charter Status,” it will ultimately cut off the Federal State of Oromia into two: East and West – see the map drawing attached here). Opponents have counter-proposed their own plan, which supports the development of the region without the expansion of the “Charter City” of Addis Ababa and the restoration of Addis Ababa (Finfinne) as an integral part of the Federal State of Oromia. However, the Tigrean-dominated Federal government seems to use the mantra of “development” for its main objective of expanding the “Charter City” in order to decapitate the Federal State of Oromia as a coherent region.

What has become more appalling to the opposition is the way the Master Plan is being put into effect. The Addis Ababa Master Plan of the Tigrean-dominated Federal government intends to expand the “Charter City” by depopulating the region of its ethnic Oromo population and settling non-Oromo ethnic people. Since the ethnic Oromo population of the region lives on farming, the Federal government’s “development” mantra, with a focus on ‘industrialization,’ has meant the eviction and removal of the ethnic Oromo farming population, while those being settled there as an ‘industrial population’ are of non-Oromo ethnic groups, especially from the dominant Tigrean ethnic group. Therefore, by covering the Master Plan with “industrialization” and “development” buzz words, the Federal government has, albeit unsuccessfully, hidden its genocidal agenda against ethnic Oromos in the region. Opponents say the ethnic Oromo farming community itself must be supported to industrialize, instead of be evicted from its land and thrown to become homeless, as a new non-Oromo ethnic community takes over the Oromo land through the Federal government’s apparent militarized implementation of the Master Plan.

In addition to the Addis Ababa Master Plan, the Federal government has recently outlined a new comprehensive Master Plan for all cities and towns in Oromia to be given “Charter City” statuses under the disguise of “development.” With the “Charter City” status comes the project of cleansing these towns and cities of their Oromo residents and Oromoness.

The past weeks’ Oromo protests, which are currently being waged by Oromo students, come with this background of life-and-death for the Oromo people in the Oromian region adjacent to Addis Ababa and other major towns, and Oromia itself as a coherent region. The Oromo protests have been staged all over Oromia; the following are some pictures from the weeks’ Oromo protests against the Master Plan.

Reports say the latest Oromo protests against the Master Plan were triggered when Federal authorities, using the State of Oromia’s officials as vehicles, started an indoctrination campaign to force the Oromo people to accept the Master Plan. Another event that led to the escalation of the Oromo protests was the cutting down of an old-growth (virgin) forest in Ginchi, known as the Chilimo State Forest, for “development;” residents opposed it in light of the drought and famine risks associated with deforestation; the government, as it fails to feed the 15-million people affected by the recent drought, continues its deforestation policy in the name of “development.”

In late November 2015, residents of Mendi in Western Oromia blocked the road to make the town inaccessible for an entourage coming in for the indoctrination. The Federal government, in overreaction, according to observers, sent in its Special Federal Paramilitary-Police force (known as Agazi) to quell the tension …

Reports say the latest Oromo protests against the Master Plan were triggered when Federal authorities, using the State of Oromia's officials as vehicles, started an indoctrination campaign to force the Oromo people to accept the Master Plan. In late November 2015, residents of Mendi in Western Oromia blocked the road to make the town inaccessible for an entourage coming in for the indoctrination.

Reports say the latest Oromo protests against the Master Plan were triggered when Federal authorities, using the State of Oromia’s officials as vehicles, started an indoctrination campaign to force the Oromo people to accept the Master Plan. In late November 2015, residents of Mendi in Western Oromia blocked the road to make the town inaccessible for an entourage coming in for the indoctrination.

The Federal government, in overreaction, according to observers, sent in its Special Federal Paramilitary-Police force (known as Agazi) to quell the tension, but the tension got out of hand when shots were fired - media reports say, two were wounded by police shots in Mendi.

The Federal government, in overreaction, according to observers, sent in its Special Federal Paramilitary-Police force (known as Agazi) to quell the tension.

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More Photos of the Oromo Protests from Western Oromia …

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As news of the confrontation spread throughout the town and the region, elementary and high-school students of Mendi – who were in school at the time, started marching. During the march, the students expressed their opposition to the annexation of Oromian land by the Master Plan. According to media reports, two were wounded by the Federal police shots in Mendi …

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By the end of November 2015, the protests spread through the Western Oromian region: students in Ambo, Naqamtee, Jarso, Dirre Inchini, Ayraa/Guliso and other towns joined the Oromo protests against the Master Plan; more Federal police were dispatched from the center (Addis Ababa) to contain the peaceful protests by the schoolchildren …

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By the eve and beginning of December 2015, the Oromo protests spread to Eastern Oromia. Students of Haromaya University joined the Oromo protests; the Federal government, again in overreaction – according to observers, sent in its militarized police force to Haromaya. As this video shows, the Federal force, with a strategy of showing fierce force and terror to put down the Oromo protests in Oromia through fear, unleashed ts massive force on unarmed peacefully-protesting students. At least four students were killed, and many more were wounded by the Federal police at Haromya University …

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Deceased/Wounded Oromo Students of Haromaya University …

Deceased Oromo Student Gazzahany Oliqaa

Deceased Oromo Student Gazzahany Oliqaa

Deceased Oromo Student Gazzahany Oliqaa

Deceased Oromo Student Gazzahany Oliqaa

Wounded Oromo Student

Wounded Oromo Student

Wounded Oromo Student

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Wounded Oromo Student

Wounded Oromo Student

Wounded Oromo Student

Wounded Oromo Student

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On December 1, 2015, the Oromo protests spread to Bale, Southeastern Oromia. The government, once again, sent in its elite militarized police, mechanized with maiming and deadly weapons, to contain the unarmed peacefully-protesting students of Madda-Walabu University …

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On December 1, 2015, elementary students in Gimbi, Western Oromia, staged a march through the town – holding placards that denounced the Master Plan, which, if implemented, would displace millions of Oromo farmers and make them homeless …

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On December 2, 2015, students in Tulu-Bolo and Waliso (in Central Oromia) staged their protests against the Master Plan; meanwhile, students in Ayra/Guliso continued their protests for another week. The government sent in its Federal Paramilitary-Police to stop the protests by the schoolchildren in Waliso and Ayra/Guliso. On this day, eyewitnesses say that, at least two Oromo students [one of the victims’ photo shown below] were killed, and others were wounded by shots fired by the police in Ayra/Guliso. In another development, many students were wounded by the police during the peaceful protest in Waliso …

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Oromo protests by students in Ayra/Guliso (Western Oromia)

Oromo protests by students in Ayra/Guliso (Western Oromia)

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An Oromo schoolchild killed by the Federal police during a peaceful protest against the Master Plan

An Oromo schoolchild killed by the Federal police during a peaceful protest against the Master Plan (Ayra/Guliso)

Residents of Ayra/Guliso react to the news of the violent suppression of the peaceful protests:

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The Wounded in Waliso:

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The Oromia-wide protests against the Addis Ababa Master Plan have continued for another week. According to a reliable report, on December 3, 2015, Haromaya town’s residents, in Eastern Oromia, marched through the town denouncing the Addis Ababa Master Plan and the brutal attack of the Ethiopian Federal Police (Agazi, the military-police branch of TPLF) against peacefully-protesting students earlier the week at Haromaya University. Earlier the week, Haromaya University’s Oromo students were protesting against the Addis Ababa Master Plan, whose goal, they say, is to expand the City of Addis Ababa by many folds by evicting Oromo farmers from their land around Addis Ababa, and, consequently, leading to the loss of the Oromo livelihood, and the Oromo cultural and linguistic identity in the region. As shown in this video, they were violently met by the Ethiopian Federal Police, which stormed the campus – killing at least three and wounding many more, according to media reports; a fourth student, named Gazzahany Oliqaa, died a day later from complications of the police beatings.

Here are some photos from Haromaya’s protest march against the Addis Ababa Master Plan.

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On the same day, December 3, 2015, an Oromo 10th-grade student named Dejene Serbessa, in Tole (West Shawa), was killed by the Federal police, according to media reports. Other Oromo protest marches against the Master Plan were held in Burayu, Naqamte, Chelenko, Bedeno, Holeta, Mogor, among others. The following are photos of the deceased student Dejene Serbessa, and the marches in Naqamtee, Bedeno and Mogor …

On December 3, 2015, an Oromo 10th-grade student named Dejene Serbessa, in Tole (West Shawa), was killed by the Federal police, according to media reports.

On December 3, 2015, an Oromo 10th-grade student named Dejene Serbessa, in Tole (West Shawa), was killed by the Federal police, according to media reports.

High-School students protesting in Naqamtee (they were not allowed to go out of campus):

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Students protesting in Bedeno:

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In Mogor (West Shawa):

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Overnight, Oromo students of the Waliso campus of Ambo University staged a protest rally to denounce the Master Plan and the brutal killings of Oromo students all over Oromia …

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On December 4, 2015, the Oromo protests against the Master Plan spread to Southern Oromia – Bule Hora University. During the peaceful protest, the Federal police broke into campus and stormed the rally – wounding many students; some got injured while trying to get away from the Federal police by jumping through windows of their residential building …

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On this day, December 4, 2015, Oromo protests were held at Welayita Sodo University, in Shashemene, in Holeta, in Goro Dola (Guji zone), in Awaday (East Hararge), in Gasara (Bale zone), at Hawasa University (in the Southern Federal State), among others. According to media reports, the Federal police dispatched to contain some of these peaceful protests wounded many; no deaths had been reported …

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In Awaday

In Awaday

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About advocacy4oromia

The aim of Advocacy for Oromia-A4O is to advocate for the people’s causes to bring about beneficial outcomes in which the people able to resolve to their issues and concerns to control over their lives. Advocacy for Oromia may provide information and advice in order to assist people to take action to resolve their own concerns. It is engaged in promoting and advancing causes of disadvantaged people to ensure that their voice is heard and responded to. The organisation also committed to assist the integration of people with refugee background in the Australian society through the provision of culturally-sensitive services.

Posted on December 7, 2015, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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