By Christopher Aadland
About 200 members of Minnesota’s Oromo community rallied at the State Capitol on Monday to protest treatment at the hands of the Ethiopian government.
The protest was in response to a crackdown on Oromo protestors in Ethiopia, who have opposed government plans to evict farmers from their land to expand Addis Abba, Ethiopia’s capital city.
Hundreds of Oromo — the largest ethnic group in Ethiopia — have been killed by the Ethiopian government since last November, protestors say, and thousands more have been imprisoned for opposing the government.
More recently, march organizers said, the Oromian region of the East African nation has been under martial law.
To put pressure on the Ethiopian government, protestors called for the United States to withhold aid to the Ethiopian government until the violence stops.
“We’re frankly upset over our government not caring enough to stop this,” said Najat Hamza, a community activist and member of Oromo Womens Organization of Minnesota. “We always felt the United States stands for human rights and in this instance their not.”
This was the fourth time Minnesota’s Oromo community. Monday’s march coincided with others nationwide, said Urgo Shanka, one of the event’s organizers and a youth coordinator with the Oromo Womens Organization.
Aadland is a University of Minnesota student on assignment for the Star Tribune.