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Five-day strike shuts down Ethiopia’s Oromia region in bid to free political prisoners

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Five days of strikes have wracked Ethiopia’s Oromia region

Photo: AA

Today marks the conclusion of a five-day general strike in Ethiopia’s Oromia region, led by the Oromo Federalist Democratic Movement, which claims to represent the interests of the Oromo, the country’s largest ethnic group.

The strike comes a year after hundreds of thousands of Ethiopians took to the streets to protest land reform that would have displaced thousands of ethnic Oromo farmers. Protestors also object to their lack of political representation.

Elections in Ethiopia are generally considered to be rigged to favour the ruling leftist Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) and its allies—in 2015 the EPRDF, which is dominated by the minority ethnic Tigrays, won all but two seats.

In the following clashes between security forces and protestors, more than 500 demonstrators died, sparking international condemnation. This week’s strike aims to secure the release of opposition leader Merera Gudina, who was arrested on charges of terrorism in February.

Even if strikes secure the release of some political prisoners, there is little they can do to shake the EPRDF’s 26-year grip on power.

5 Comments

  • Nadhi says:

    The ruling party or tplf must learn how the people have a power. Therfore, the governmnet must leave the office for the opposition party Oromo federalist congress immidately. Otherwise soonest the tplf will be collapsed for goods which will cost them for a generation’s.

  • Mike says:

    Keep dreaming if you think the so called oromo federalists would take power in Ethiopia. They’re a bunch of clueless, ignorant, barbarians, secessionist, anti- Ethiopian clowns who will plunge the country into chaos. Pathetic losers- EPRDF-TRANSFORMED Ethiopia into an economic miracle. EPRDF-TPLF gave you a voice and and an economic power. Ungrateful clown! democracy took 250 years in America.

    • Tosa says:

      You should be ashamed of yourself. Change is coming,tplf should learn history from the past. They should work on their existing plan. Any thing is better than the current government. The country mood is for change. Shape up or you will ship out, the choice is yours.

  • cafamo says:

    I think it is right time to say enough is enough for those so dull federalist. Please leave alone Bale and Arusi we are Hadiyas . We never allow you to make down Ethiopia.

  • Not Mike says:

    Those farmers make up a lot of the country’s income… And for you to trash talk the country’s largest ethnic group is a little ignorant.

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