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A call for immediate Amhara administration of Addis Ababa


4 March 2023


PRESS RELEASE


Since Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali and his Oromo Prosperity Party (OPP) came to power in 2018, the genocide, ethnic cleansing, and marginalization of Amharas has accelerated at an unprecedented rate. Tens of thousands of Amharas have been massacred by the Oromo Regional Government under Regional President Shimelis Abdisa and the Oromo Liberation Front/Army (OLF/A) and over one million Amharas have been displaced from areas in western Oromia Region in 2022 alone. The Amhara Association of America (AAA), understanding this as a precursor for a broader genocide campaign and ethnic cleansing, has repeatedly called for the resignation and removal of both Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and Oromia Region President Shimelis Abdisa.


One of the primary goals of the OPP since coming to power has been the full incorporation of Addis Ababa into the Oromia Regional State. In the past five years Amharas have witnessed the suppression of their political and civil rights in Addis Ababa – unable to hold meetings, unable to hold peaceful rallies or protests, and facing detainment, beatings, and enforced disappearance on the basis of their identity. This suppression rapidly accelerated to implementation of Oromizing the city’s cultural and educational symbols, including:


  • Ethnic cleansing of Amharas (and other non-Oromo groups) on the outskirts of Addis Ababa under the newly established Sheger city administration.

  • Banning display of the Ethiopian flag and depictions related to Ethiopian history including previous heads of state.

  • Forcefully imposing the Oromia Region flag, nationalist anthem, Oromiffa language and revisionist history in public schools.

  • Oromo domination of civil and security apparatus.

  • Renaming historical and cultural areas as admitted by Shimelis Abdisa.

  • Banning non-Oromo public events, including the celebration of Adwa.

  • Relocating Oromo celebrations such as such as Irreecha from usual celebration cites in Oromia to Addis Ababa and use these celebrations to call for ethnic cleansing and suppression of Amharas, including through hate speeches by Oromia region President Shimelis Abdisa.

In an effort to minoritize Amharas and fully annex Addis Ababa, OPP has also implemented a demographic engineering project. The OPP has resettled thousands of Oromo farmers from remote areas in Somali and Oromia Region borders, with a publicly stated objective of changing the demography of Addis Ababa, as publicly stated by the then Oromia Region President Lemma Megersa. The OPP has admitted to blocking, on multiple occasions, Amharas who reside in Amhara Region from entering Addis Ababa and such restrictions have continued. Similar campaigns were conducted in other historical Amhara lands including Shewa (Addis Ababa, Dera, Nazareth, Debre-Zeyit, etc) and Wollega. OPP is at the moment implementing a campaign of demolition of houses of non-Oromos with an apparent objective of displacing them to Amhara Region.




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