What is Oromia?
Oromia is the land of the Oromo people, located across Ethiopia and Kenya. The Ethiopian government actively prohibited the use of the Oromo language and culture for most of the 20th Century.
Who is the current conflict between?
The government and Oromo people of Ethiopia. The Oromo people constitute over 40 million people and represent Ethiopia’s largest native population. Oromo people have struggled for autonomy under Ethiopian rule and Oromo land comprises the biggest and economically beneficial regions of Ethiopia.
Can I refer to Oromo people as ‘Ethiopian’?
No. Many Oromo people resent the creation of modern-day Ethiopia as is based on the conquest of Oromo lands. Many will call themselves Oromo from ‘Oromia’ or ‘East Africa’.
But aren’t they ‘part of Ethiopia’?
Yes, but not by choice. Ethiopian history has forced Oromo people to forgo their land, language and culture for most of the 20th century and many Oromo still experience subjugation for identifying as Oromo.
The situation of the Oromo people who seek autonomy of their land is similar to the struggle of the Eritrean people who have since become independent from Ethiopian government rule. Usually, Oromo
Okay, tell me more about the current conflict. When did it begin?
The current conflict erupted in April 2014, after announcement of the government’s “Integrated Master Plan” to expand the capital city, known as Finfinne to local Oromo people. The roots of the issue are much deeper, infographics offering a detailed timeline of events are available. See “The master plan for Finfinne “Addis Ababa”: Explained. (please embed infographic)
Is it Finfinnee or Addis Ababa?
Finfinne city (pronounced “Fynn-fynn-nee”) is the original name for Addis Ababa. Finfinnee was rebranded as the new capital city of Ethiopia and renamed Addis Ababa after being conquered by King Menelik 128 years ago..
What does the expansion include?
The “Master Plan” is expected to increase the expansion of the Federal district of Addis Ababa from 54,000 hectares to 1.1 million hectares. The plan is designed to integrate surrounding Oromo districts to become part of the Federal District, which removes any political or regional power for the Oromo people.
Who will be affected by the expansion?
Displacement of up to two million Oromo.
What will be the expected effects of the “Master Plan”?
Too many to list. Some negative effects anticipated by the expansion plans include removing Oromo administration of its own provinces and transferring power to the district of Addis Ababa administration. Other concerns include compromised use of the Oromo language as the language of public service, business and schooling and continued displacement of local Oromo people and culture.
Who can I speak to find out more information?
Journalist, television and newspaper interview requests can be made to (insert email). Please state “media enquiry” in the subject title and include your name, organization, country, contact and nature of your enquiry in the email.