From: Arif Ali #Oromo Protests
To: Media community
Tuesday, December 15, 2015
Special Attention: An Appeal letter for International Media Coverage
I am a United States citizen who originally emigrated from Oromia area of Ethiopia. I belong to the Oromo nation, the largest national group in East Africa who mainly inhabit Ethiopia. I am writing this letter out of deep concern about my compatriots, the Oromo People who are currently enduring the most barbaric action perpetrated on them by the Ethiopian regime. I write this letter to draw the attention of the media community to follow-up and report on the human rights abuses taking place in Ethiopia in general and the abuse of children’s rights across the Oromia region in particular.
In the last couple of weeks, there have been reports of ruthless killings, beatings, unlawful detentions, and tortures directed against the indigenous Oromo People in general, and Oromo students in particular.
Reports coming out of Oromia region of Ethiopia indicate that massive atrocities are being committed by the army the Special Forces and the intelligence forces of the Ethiopian government.
Forceful crackdown against the Oromo by the Entire Ethiopian armed forces has targeted every school in the Oromia region, and children as young as 12 years old are being gunned down for protesting peacefully.
This round of crackdown started in the middle of November when the authorities sold a forest land called Bosona Cillimo, in Ginci located in west Shawa Zone of Oromia.
In March of last Year the Ethiopian Authorities publicized an Integrated Development plan that would incorporated the 36 Oromia towns in the vicinity of Addis Ababa.
The plan would displace about two million Oromo Farmers inhabiting the surroundings of Addis Ababa. In addition, the plan would do away with the indigenous Oromo culture and replace with a different one, not to mention the fact that Oromia will be cut into two halves, this condition would create an island in the middle of Oromia, completely erased off its culture and language.
This infamous plan if implemented will see forceful eviction of millions of peasant Oromo farmers from their ancestral land to pave way for infrastructural developments by the state. The plan unfortunately, does not provide a resettlement mechanism to the poor farmers who will be affected and this has sparkled heated wrangles between the state and the residents of Oromia region. As a consequence to this, school going children have for the past few weeks joined a peaceful struggle to fight for their ancestral land by staging protests in condemnation of the government’s unfairness to the indigenous community. It is obviously clear the implementation of the integrated Addis Ababa Master Plan will not only pose danger to the livelihoods of the Oromos but it will also adversely affect their social order, and cultural identity.
Media and communication main objective is to inform, connect and empower besides helping people bring about lasting change in their lives.
Even though there has been a lot of demonstrations thought Oromia, and throughout the world Oromo Diaspora, there is not much coverage of the events by the international media.
I am writing this letter to bring your attention to the human tragedy that is taking place in the Oromia region of Ethiopia. I ask you to do a little research and report before it is too late.
Thank you very much