Amnesty warns against ‘brutal crackdown’ on protesters

 

Ethiopian immigrants from the Oromo region in Djibouti on 5 December 2010Image copyrightAFP
Image captionMany Oromo people flee Ethiopia to take refuge in neighbouring states

Anti-terror rhetoric by Ethiopia’s government could escalate into a brutal crackdown on protesters, human rights group Amnesty International has warned.

A plan to expand the capital’s administrative control into the Oromia region has sparked deadly protests.

The government has accused Oromo protestors of links with terrorist groups and trying to topple the state.

Amnesty says the claims aim to justify repression of those protesting against feared land seizures.

The Oromo make up Ethiopia’s biggest ethnic group, at about 27 million people.

Oromia is the country’s largest region, surrounding the capital Addis Ababa.

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Authorities say five people have died in protests so far, but opposition parties and human rights groups say the number is closer to 40.

Protesters also say they fear cultural persecution if what has been dubbed a “master plan” to integrate parts of Oromia into Addis Ababa go ahead.

‘Chilling’

Some have also raised the prospect that they will be forcibly evicted and their land taken amid the rapid expansion of the capital.

“The suggestion that these Oromo – protesting against a real threat to their livelihoods – are aligned to terrorists will have a chilling effect on freedom of expression for rights activists,” said Muthoni Wanyeki, Amnesty’s Regional Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes.

In April last year the same plan sparked months of student protests.

The government said at the time that 17 people had died in the violence, but human rights groups said that the number was much higher.

Source: BBC News

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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 16, 2015, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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