By Meseret Wondafrash Leta
The prime reason for my comment is that two conflicting articles from two different writers are reported concerning urban hyenas. Both writers’ comment focused on and argued about the urban animals that either could be dangerous to rough sleepers on the street or that are existing urban fabrics and friendly co-resident as being one of the diverse cohabitant of the city.
First, a BBC journalist Martin Fletcher, on February 23, 2014 under the article titled “Urban hyenas are becoming a dangerous problem in the Ethiopian capital, where they attack rough sleepers” commented about the infestation of the city by dangerous creature. He further noted about the growing number of incidents of hyenas attacking people and domestic animals in Addis Ababa. Martin Fletcher in order to show the dangerousness of these hyenas has quoted Stephen Brend, a zoologist with the Born Free Foundation, who said that ” Hyenas have jaws as powerful as those of great white sharks, …They can crush an elephant’s leg. They devour every last morsel of their prey – bones included.”
On the opposing side Yves Maria Stranger, a reporter to “www.thegurdina.com” on March 5, 2014 under the article heading “Addis Ababa and its hyenas have a long and peaceful history: Reports of attacks on humans are creating an unfair image of these ‘beasts’, says a long-term resident of the Ethiopian capital” argued that hyenas in the city of Finfinnee (Addis Ababa) and Ethiopia has long history of living side by side peacefully with people. Yves Maria Stranger further argued by saying“…..the story of Addis Ababa and Ethiopia’s long coexistence with hyenas is a more nuanced affair. I would argue there are fewer hyenas in the city itself, and more of the beasts on the periphery. Fewer in the city because ringroads, fast cars and a blanket of cement and urbanisation have erased a lot of the “wild” urban areas. More in the periphery because Addis Ababa has grown so tremendously in the last few years.”
It is clear that both of the commentators seemed to give more attention to the wildlife of the city while they have no clue about the indigenous Oromo culture that are on the verge of distinction (ethnically to be cleansed). The recently declared Master plan of the city of Finfinne (Addis Ababa) by the city government has indicated that there is a government plan to incorporate vast amount of land to urban development and the outlying existing Oromo occupied land along with agricultural land to be annexed. There will be a gravely outcome if the city expands out as planned by the government and it has to be the concern of not only Oromo people but all mankind has to give due support for the voiceless.
My point of view is that the advocacy and environmental protectionist concern that are rendered to hyenas of Oromo land in and around the Addis Ababa should also at least be given to the Oromo people, clan, sub-clan, culture, andscape, environment, and sense of place that are going to be destroyed when the master plan will come to tsfullest effect. The government of TPLF has a hidden plan to expand large cities in the state of Oromia in order to take control over the prime land of our people. This is evidenced by its long term annexed large cities such as Jimma, Harar, Dire Dawa, and Awasa which are already under the control of the TPLF government for more than 23 years. All of these cities are controlled and its sources are sucked by the TPLF government while different revenues that are collected by all municipalities including incomes from land sell and land related incomes.
Additionally, the government of TPLF has continued evicting people from their ancestral homeland to gain and grab more land with clear or hidden reasons. On the other hand, a protest and peoples refusal to give their land has continued where arbitrary detention and mass arrest is widely used to stop by the TPLF led government.
Finally, I would like to argue that the environmentally sensitive places, cultural hubs, clans, sub-clans, unique social orders, and the Oromo people deserve all due attention to save their identity and lives. Also, I would like to ask all civilized people to consider the underlying situations and conditions of the impoverished people that are going to be a victim of unfair planning practice and governmental power. Also, I ask for your help and advocacy that you did for the urban hyenas to also give it to the Oromo people. Historically, most European, American governments, and experts helped only dictators while turning deaf and blind toward the people of Oromia. May god bless you for your future comprehensive and inclusive report !!!