ETHIOPIAN security forces today reportedly killed more than 20 ethnic Oromo students after opening fire while protesting peacefully in the western Oromia town of Ambo.
Eye witness reports indicate that eight among the dead are students.
In recent days ethnic Oromo students, opposition and activists in Ethiopia are ratcheting up opposition to the territorial expansion of the capital city under the guise of the “Addis Ababa Integrated Development Master Plan” that was unveiled earlier this month.
According to leaked documents, the proposed plan will expand Addis Ababa’s boundaries to 1.1 million hectares, covering an area more than 20 times its current size. Under this plan, 36 surrounding Oromia towns and cities will come under Addis Ababa’s jurisdiction.
Oromo students, opposition and activists say the plan will undermine Oromia’s constitutionally granted special interest.
After the killings, the peaceful ethnic Oromo protest is shaping itself into an Oromo students movement and quickly spreading to Adama, Dire Dawa, Addis Ababa and other regions and cities.
According to local reports, thousands of students in all regional universities in Oromia, namely Jimma, Haromaya, Ambo, Wollega, Metu, Bolu Hora, Adama and Maddawalabu, in recent days participated in the city wide demonstration demanding an immediate halt to the city’s ‘disingenuous’ plan.
Ethnic Oromo were the original inhabitants of the land and have social, economic and historical ties to the city of Addis Ababa, which they used to call it Finfinne, that was conquered through invasion in 19th century.