Wednesday, September 30, 2015

A Summary of Oromos Killed, Beaten & Detained by TPLF Armed Forces During the 2014 Oromo Protest Against the Addis Ababa (Finfinne) Master Plan

Compiled by the National Youth Movement for Freedom and Democracy (NYMFD) (also known as Qeerroo Bilisummaa)


It is a well-documented and established fact that the Oromo people in general, and Oromo students and youth in particular, have been in constant and continuous protest ever since the current TPLF led Ethiopian government came to power. The current protest which started late April 2014 on a large scale in all universities and colleges in Oromia, and also spread to several high schools and middle schools have begun as opposition to the so called “Integrated Developmental Master Plan” or simply “the Master Plan.” The “Master Plan” was a starter of the protest, not a major cause.

The major cause of the youth revolt is the opposition to the unjust rule of the Ethiopian regime in general. The main issue is that there is no justice, freedom and democracy in the country. The said Master Plan in particular would expand the current limits of the capital, Addis Ababa, or “Finfinne” as the Oromos prefer to call it, by 20 folds stretching to tens of Oromian towns surrounding the capital. The Plan is set to legalize the eviction of an estimated 2 million Oromo farmers from their ancestral land, and sell it to national and transnational investors. For the Oromo, an already oppressed and marginalised nation in that country, the incorporation of those Oromian cities into the capital Addis Ababa means once more a complete eradication of their identity, culture, and language. The official language will eventually be changed to Amharic. Essentially, it is a new form of subjugation and colonization. It was the Oromo university students who saw this danger, realized its far-reaching consequences and lit the torch of protest which eventually engulfed the whole Oromia regional state.

For the minority TPLF-led Ethiopian regime, which has been already selling large areas of land surrounding Addis Ababa even without the existence of the Master Plan, meeting the demands of the protesting Oromo students means losing 1.1 million of hectares of land which the regime planned to sell for a large sum of money. Therefore, the demand of the students and the Oromo people at large is not acceptable to the regime. It has, therefore, decided to squash the protest with its forces armed to the teeth. The regime ordered its troops to fire live ammunition to defenceless Oromo students at several places: Ambo, Gudar, Robe (Bale), Nekemte, Jimma, Haromaya, Adama, Najjo, Gulliso, Anfillo (Kellem Wollega), Gimbi, Bule Hora (University), to mention a few. Because the government denied access to any independent journalists, it is hard to know exactly how many have been killed and how many have been detained and beaten. Simply put, it is too large of a number over a large area of land to enumerate. Children as young as 11-years-old have been killed. The number of Oromos killed in Oromia during the current protest is believed to be in hundreds. Tens of thousands have been jailed, and an unknown number have been abducted and disappeared. The Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa, which has been constantly reporting the human rights abuses of the regime through informants from several parts of Oromia for over a decade, estimates the number of Oromos detained since April 2014 as high as 50,000.

In this report, we present a list, which we have managed to collect and compile, of 61 Oromos who had been killed, and 903 others who have been detained and beaten (or beaten and then detained) during and after the Oromo students protest which began in April 2014. The information we obtain so far indicates those detained are still in jail and still under torture. Figure-1 below shows the number of Oromos killed from different zones of Oromia included in this report. Figure-2 shows the number of Oromos detained and reportedly facing torture. It has to be noted that this number is only a small fraction of the widespread killings and arrests of Oromos carried out by the regime in Oromia regional state since April 2014 to date.

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