Ethnic Persecution and Crimes Against Humanity in the Horn of Africa: the Case of Oromia
Nations within the current day Ethiopian empire have witnessed horrifying crimes against humanity that include genocide, mass arrest, eviction from lands, rape and other forms of torture. Atrocities and human rights violations in this part of the globe date back to the 19th century scramble for Africa. Abyssinia, the only black colonial power that participated in the scramble for Africa, has committed despicable crimes against humanity to silence any resistance to their empire building project. Oromo, potentially the largest nation in the continent has suffered disturbing violations of human rights under the Ethiopian rule. Ethiopian colonial terrorism and the violence that started during the last decades of the 19th century continues to the present day. The empire has been known for extrajudicial killings, the massacre of innocent people including students; arbitrary mass arrest and detention of people supporting opposition political parties; arrest, detention, and harassment of journalists for publishing articles critical of the government; torture and other cruel, inhumane, and degrading treatment of political prisoners; eviction and land grabbing; restrictions on freedom of the press; super regulatory restrictions on civil society organisations and freedom of association.
This piece of work is intended to initiate structured debate on crimes against humanity in the Ethiopian Empire. I would never claim that this article is a comprehensive study into human rights violations in Ethiopia, yet it will briefly shed light on the intent and magnitude of human rights violations committed by the current Ethiopian government against Oromo and its neighbouring nations. The method used in this study is qualitative. Empirical data has been gathered from published and unpublished materials and reports compiled by academia, credible international media, government agencies and human rights organisations. In spite of the fact that accusing governments of crimes against humanity is a serious and risky activity, especially when dealing with dictatorships like that of Ethiopia, I believe that bringing these authorities to the attention of the world is the moral thing to do. I will leave the judgment to confirm or reject the conclusions I have drawn to other social science researchers.