Ethiopia Government and Oromo Must Dialogue

Published on 3rd October 2016

What is happening in Ethiopia? In September this year, at least 23 people died when a fire broke out at a prison that housed high-profile politicians, many of them victims of government crackdowns against months of protests in the central Oromo region and elsewhere. This month, over 50 Oromos who were celebrating their annual Irreecha religious festival died after regime forces allegedly instigated aerial and ground military fire against them.

The human rights abuses, waged primarily against the Oromo and Amhara populations are reaching fever pitch proportions. The killing of peaceful protesters, the arrest and detention of students, journalists, and political leaders, and the stifling of political dissent should not be allowed to operate under the guise of “counterterrorism.”

The unrest in Ethiopia is a product of the politics of exclusion, corruption, self-seeking and bloated egos. It is time the Ethiopian government and aggrieved communities negotiated on equal terms and invested in sobriety to avoid more loss of lives. Meanwhile, the African Union and the international community should not ignore this human disaster. The ongoing imbroglio is a stain on the nation that harbours the headquarters of the African Union


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