Ethiopia Oromo Protests Spark Fatal Ethnic Clash, Group Says by William Davison

December 14th, 2015 Print Print Email Email

Protests by Ethiopia’s largest community against a plan to integrate the capital, Addis Ababa, with surrounding towns have spiraled into fatal clashes between ethnic groups over land in one district, the Ethiopian Human Rights Council said.

Conflict between Oromo and Amhara people in Ameya Woreda of Oromia state flared on Dec. 12 after three weeks of protest across the region over the Addis Ababa plan, according to Betsate Terefe, executive director of the Addis Ababa-based group.

“Real ethnic conflict broke out and is under way,” he said in an e-mailed statement on Sunday. “Many houses burned, people killed and wounded.”

Ethiopia is a multi-ethnic federation whose constitution gives groups the right to self-government and protects their language and culture. Oromo protesters say the plan for the capital will lead to a further loss of autonomy and marginalization for Oromo living on the outskirts of the capital. The government says integrated development will benefit everyone.

Two Dutch-owned farms have been burned down and another was attacked in West Shewa zone, the Netherlands Embassy in Ethiopia said in an e-mailed statement. Solagrow and Grazeland Farm Agro Industry were destroyed on Dec. 11 and Sunday, while Linssen Roses was stoned by a crowd on Dec. 10, it said.

Facing Resistance

Security forces mostly left Ameya when they faced resistance after fatally shooting an Oromo farmer on Sunday, said Tesfaye Hirtasa, who’s visiting his family in the district.

Five people have died in the ethnic clashes, more than 10 properties have been razed and families are fleeing the fighting, he said by phone on Monday. “Everybody is full of fear, no one has security. Those who have armaments are protecting their house from any attack. Others are moving in the forest, others are taking their property to other places,” Tesfaye said. “Things are not stable, we are totally in danger.”
The situation in Ameya arose because government agents incited ethnic violence to distract from the Oromo protest movement, said Bekele Gerba, the deputy leader of the opposition Oromo Federalist Congress. More than 40 people have been killed by security forces during three weeks of protests, including over the last three days in the West Shewa zone that contains Ameya district, he said by phone from Addis Ababa on Monday.
Communications Minister Getachew Reda said a minimum of five people have died during the demonstrations, which he said started off largely peaceful and have degenerated into extremist Oromo groups trying to incite further unrest by attacking Amhara, officials, factories and government installations.

“The security forces will be taking very responsible and measured steps to neutralize the armed gangs which are now terrorizing the people in the region in those localities,” he said by phone from the capital on Monday.

  1. Anon
    | #1

    This is one of the fearful result that can be expected when any group calls for protest with out having a pre-planned commonly shared vision and specific objective (in collaboration with other Ethiopians)to achieve the desired goal.
    In all likely hoods, in spite of the hopes of some who thought good will come out for all Ethiopians, the true color of this movement is showing forth. It appears, after two weeks of un certainty this movement has fallen in to the hands of the fringe and extremist elements of the OLF. What is more, some Ethiopian news outlets ,out of their desire to see TPLF go are increasingly becoming intolerant to other views. For now I refrain to mention this site by name but my comments have been refused because my opinion on this issue is directly opposed with their position on this issue. For instance my opinion in respond to Professor Alemayehu Gebremariam, the report to the Anwar Mosque, etc. have been denied post. I am not tribalist. First and for most for most I am humanist and libertarian. I Am very suspicious of any one who will not allow me to voice my opinion about my country and would have me believe his political organization alone will solve the national problem. ESAT too need to be open to the opinion of the majority Ethi opians.

  2. Kadiro
    | #2

    This is the work of the TPLF/OPDO agents, as per the information from the area. It is an attempt by the regime to divert the attention to enter ethnic conflict.

  3. Ittu Aba Farda
    | #3

    All what I can do right now is wail, wail!!! Woe! Woe! Cry My Old Beloved Country!!! Woe! Woe!!! Whoever let this happen should not be proud of it. Nobody should be proud of this wanton violence. All I can do as always is pray, pray and pray. The Almighty works often in mysterious ways to let good things happen when situations get out of human’s hands. I am now banking every drop of my hope in Him, The Creator!!!!

  4. Anonymous
    | #4

    We either swim together or sink together.

  5. dodo
    | #5

    this is a report of a British Agent fanning the flames of hatred

  6. Freedom
    | #6

    First they looted and displaced Amhara people living in southern part of Ethiopia but I did not do anything because I was not an Amhara. Then they looted and displaced the Gambela and many other southern tribe people in order to steal their fertile land and Omo River, which had been the life blood of the many southern tribes for thousands of years, but I did not do anything because I was not a Gambelan or member of varies southern tribes. Now they are looting the Oromo please and our response should be, “even though we may not be Oromo please we will stand shoulder to shoulder with them, support them, fight with them.” This crime against Oromo people should be used as an opportunity to overthrow the current terrorist mafia government in order to form a government that treats and respects all ethnic group equally. INJUSTICE TO ONE IS INJUSTICE TO ALL. CURRENT INJUSTICE DIRECTED AGAINST OROMO PEOPLE IS NOT ONLY INJUSTICE TO ALL ETHIOPIANS IN PARTICULAR AND AFRICANS IN GENERNAL BUT ALSO ALL PEASE/JUSTICE LOVING PEOPLE OF THE WORLD.

  7. Development without Freedom
    | #7

    Wayans are criminals and anti-peace groups. People are tired of their lies and crimes and said enough.

  8. Ittu Aba Farda
    | #8

    I hear now that this protest is growing into victimizing innocent farmers and properties owned by our Western allies. Factories and all aspects of infrastructures are sanctified properties of the people be it in the short or long run. I say sanctified because people make a living working at such locations. Those who intentionally damage such entities are nothing short of terrorists especially in this day and age. I hear that some innocent poor farmers have been victimized by this clueless and rampaging young people. I called them clueless because they are not led by knowledgeable people so such wanton violence would not happen. But they are riled up by a grouping of bigots who are sending them to a waiting furnace as they have done in 1992-93 where they abandoned tens of thousands young Oromos to the wolves but they themselves cut and ran. I cry for this misled and taken advantage of youth. I wail with the mothers and fathers whose precious child has just been cut down by bullets fired upon by none other than one of their own. I cry my heart out because when I thought I am seeing the youth of that country has finally recovered from the slaughter it suffered at the hands of that butcher Mengistu but it is once again is being handed over on the silver platter to another equally murderous and newly found tycoons. Now this recovering youth is being forced to abandon their places of births in their millions. A lot of them may become tools of those bigoted evils nowadays congregated in Asmara or those savage terrorist groups in the Arabian Peninsula or Somalia. Woe this unfortunate youth!!! Woe!! Woe!!!

  9. Darsema
    | #9

    The anti-Amhara feeling among the Tigrayan elite is very strong and that is why the TPLF attacks and kills the poor Amharas when ever it feels the heat from the Oromos. The most important power card the TPLF has is piting the Oromos against the Amharas. The TPLF has been considering the Oromos as simple Tools to be used against the Amharas. The present anti-TPLF protests the Oromos carrying out are proving the TPLF wrong. Now the Oromos are waking up and rising against the TPLF who are looting their Resources.

  10. Dorccisa
    | #10

    Apart from the guns and bullets that the Fascist Woyanae brought into Ethiopia, it had filled its crack-head with all sorts of devious plans to place wedges among the interconnected, interrelated people of Ethiopia and as an additional weapon of distraction to use it when threatened. It has now become inevitable that Fascist Woyanae on the edge of where it stands on to be plunged into its own death with no chance to survive even for a minute in the flame that it started when it came into Ethiopia in a rush.

    Based on what the Fascist Woyanae intended to do when it came into Ethiopia and what it has been doing for the last twenty five years, this ugly monster fascist woyanae will go to its eternal grave hating millions who currently fighting against it tooth and nail. intoxicated with the blood of its victims that it has been consuming for the last twenty years, blinded by the billions of dollar worth lands, properties, and resources of the citizens in millions, and deafened by the voice it echoed in its head, all the senses it had failed to him terribly to awaken it into reality; it is now the reality is vivid to the enemy that it would die multiple times and it dies, it would have no burial.

  11. Anonymous
    | #11

    In order to understand the current Oromo uprising in Oromia, one should know what happened in history to Jiberti muslims in Shire, Tigray and the Afar region in south east Tigray under Yohannes and much later by Meles Zenawi, under the auspices of TPLF. Oromos are not going to capitulate their land neither to TPLF nor their adherents, who are straddling between the barricades. People have to join them now to expel the invader, back to Adowa.

  12. anon
    | #12

    [Ittu Aba Farda]

    Your concern is well taken ,I like to think, by many level headed Ethiopians who won’t wish any harm to that country. I am inclined to say not any group from Asmara, or Somalia but the Whabists from within in collaboration with their masters from abroad are at the front line of this movement. Watch my word! What is amazing is the fact many conscious Oromos and leaders are in tune with this state of affair. I am in agreement with you in that the only hope we have now is the situation is in the hand of GOD.

  13. Ittu Aba Farda
    | #13

    Yes let’s all pray for that youth and for the entire people. I have relatives in the places that made news recently where massive protests were held. I know people who live in Western Hararghe such as Arba, Asabot and other places located in the interiors of Chercher mountains. Some of them have told me that they have heard certain individuals with hidden faces were shouting jihad, jihad. Right there that is the hands of those hateful Wahhabis. They may not be the instigators of the protest but it proves that they have rushed their running dogs to change the course and change into a religious conflict. These are the same Wahhabis who had taken millions of East Africans including my own Oromos as slaves since the 8th/9th century and callously wiped them out from their ‘haafaas’. They have been bedeviled by the sight that Muslims and Christians including animists have been living in harmony for centuries in their millions in that country we all left behind. You see when a Libyan and another time an Albanian soldier who are in the fascist Italian army in the 1930′s came to my father’s and uncle’s house and told them to go out and kill every Christian in sight, their answer was a resounding ‘No’. They told them no because it was not an Oromo value to kill innocent people just because they are different. Above all, they told them that those Christians were farmers just like them who grew up together tending to their family cattle and land. They tilled the same land and drink from the same spring. You see that is an Oromo. Whenever I talked to my relatives I always use that occasion as my routine parable. I hope and pray it has sunk in. The people of that country have seen enough destructive mayhem and gory bloodshed in the 1960′s, 70′s and 80′s where the youth, the cream of the crop of that society was decimated. Not again!!! Let’s you and I keep on praying and believe me the Almighty is listening. Our Creator works in many mysterious ways to let cool heads prevail. He will never let us down!! Peace!!!!!

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