IOYA Press Release drafted about the ongoing Oromo Protests
09 December 2015
We are greatly concerned about the recent brutal crackdown against innocent unarmed peaceful protesters in Oromia by Ethiopian police.
Words seem inadequate to express the sadness we feel for the peaceful protesters who have been killed, beaten and unlawfully detained. We share their grief in this time of agony and pain. We are appalled that a similar tragedy occurred last year in April, 2014 and not much has changed in Ethiopia. Recent images surfing the internet are heartbreaking and disturbing. As an organization subscribing to broader democratic engagement of the Oromo youth, we oppose the brutal violence that the Ethiopian government is meting out on innocent, unarmed young students who are peacefully protesting. As International Oromo Youth, we support and stand in solidarity with Oromo student protesters.
The students are protesting the Addis Ababa “Integrated Developmental Master Plan” which aims at incorporating smaller towns surrounding Addis Ababa, displacing millions of farmers. The implementation of the “Master Plan” will essentially result in the displacement of the indigenous peoples and their families. Farmers will be dispossessed of their land and their survival both in economic and cultural terms will be threatened. The student protesters strongly believe that this plan will expose their natural environment to risk, threaten their economic means of livelihood (subsistence farming), and violate their constitutional rights.
We call on the international community to join us in denouncing these inhumane and cruel activities carried out by the Ethiopian government. It has been reported that shootings, unlawful arrests, and harassments by security personals are becoming rampant. We believe it is imperative that the international community raise its voice and take action to stop the ongoing atrocities that are wreaking havoc to families and communities in the Oromia region.
We pray for safety and security of all peoples in Ethiopia.