Ethiopia, they are killing my people. International Youth Peace Conference

I am Shire Temesgen Beriso, I am from Ethiopia, Oromia region. I am studying Sociology at the Haramaya University. I need to publish this story because my people is protesting the government and are being killed because of it, since 2014. And they are not listened to, and I have the chance to talk about my people.

In May 2014, my people started protesting Addis Ababa (The capital of Ethiopia) integrated master plan. The master plan is to claim the lands from the farmers their own, and that force the farmers to flee their lands. They began protesting the illegal land-grab, and it spread all over the Oromia region. Government and the militaries started killing, imprisoned, and tortured anyone who oppose the Master Plan, and keep on doing this until this day[1]. And today the demonstrations are also calling for the release of political prisoners and for wider freedom.

Oromos are the largest ethnic group in Ethiopia, and above 45 million Oromos in Ethiopia. They represent 60% of the country’s economic. But they are denied access to education, easy mobility, and Human Rights (there are no freedom of speech). Being an Oromo is being considered a terrorist by the government. The country is ruled by an ethnic minority, which consist of 6% of the country’s population. They are the military generals, investors, company owners, the government’s official, ministers.

There is an opposition party, Oromo Federalist Congress led by Professor Merera and Bekela. They are imprisoned now. Professor Merera is in jail for exposing what the government is doing at the European Parliament[2]. And 22 active members of the opposition party are in Kality and Kilinto prisons. The prison’s officials are putting fire to the prisons, to kill 70 political prisoners.

The police shot a young Oromo in front of his mother, and forced her to sit on her dead son’s body and beat her up[3].

In October 2016, during the Oromo festival Irreechaa, the thanksgiving festival that is considered the biggest cultural and spiritual celebration in Africa, the police opened fire on the participants and killed at least 700 people. And the government reported that it is lie, and that the police only threw tear gas, and that the report of the massacre was tempered.

During protests they jailed 20,000 people, farmers, workers, students etc.

The tension and massacres are still happening today. Now the Oromia region is invaded by Sumali special police funded by the Ethiopian government. At this very moment, This Sumali special police are killing, torturing, burning down houses of Oromos. This was created by TPLF (The government’s party). 500,000 Oromos had to flee their houses in Cinaksan, Mieso, Gigjiga, Somali land, and Moyale, western areas of Oromo Region. This is not an ethnic clash, it is the work of the government to create instability and violent unrest among brotherly ethnic groups.

The money that allows the  Ethiopian government to kill our own people, is money given by Western countries that were supposed to be distributed for our schools, and hospitals and social welfare.

If the readers could share our stories and show support for the Oromos people, by voicing out their opposition to their government in the way their taxes money are being used, would be a great help for us.

I want a free and democratic Ethiopia. Where self-determination and human rights are respected. I want fair and free direct elections.

We need an international support from communities, the UN, the EU, Governments from around the world to denounce such massacres and impose sanctions on Ethiopian Government.

To read more on the topic:

https://www.amnesty.org/en/countries/africa/ethiopia/report-ethiopia/

[1] http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-35325536

[2] http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-38169256

[3] http://ecadforum.com/2016/09/08/ethiopia-they-told-me-to-sit-down-on-my-dead-sons-body/

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