Violent clashes in Ethiopia over ‘master plan’ to expand Addis
Extending capital into surrounding farmland is part of ongoing discrimination against Oromo people, say protesters. Global Voices reports
At least 10 students are said to have been killed and hundreds injured during protests against the Ethiopian government’s plans to expand the capital city into surrounding farmland.
According to Human Rights Watch, the students were killed this week when security forces used excessive force and live ammunition to disperse the crowds.
The students were protesting against a controversial proposal, known as “the master plan”, to expand Addis Ababa into surrounding Oromia state, which they say will threaten local farmers with mass evictions.
According to the Ethiopian constitution, Oromia is one of the nine politically autonomous regional states in the country, and the region’s Oromo people make up the largest ethnic group in Ethiopia.
However, rights groups say the Oromo have been systematically marginalised and persecuted for the last 24 years. By some estimates, there were as many as 20,000 Oromo political prisoners in Ethiopia as of March 2014.