Why Resist the Addis Abeba Master Plan?
Why Resist the Addis Abeba Master Plan? - a Constitutional Legal Exploration
Tsegaye R. Ararssa, Special to Addis Standard (@RArarssa)
When,in mid April 2014, the government in Ethiopia announced its readiness to implement what it called the “Addis Abeba Integrated Regional Development Plan” (the “Master Plan” for short), which proposes to annex most of the city’s surrounding areas belonging to the National Regional State of Oromia, it provoked an immediate reaction from university students across the state of Oromia. But through the instrumentality of its security forces (such as the Federal and State Police, the Army, and the Special Forces), the government responded with brutal repression of the protests.
Fuelled by anger triggered by the reckless words and utter disdain expressed in the course of a televised discussion between the Addis Abeba City Administration and the mayors and other executives from the surrounding towns over the Master Plan, and informed by a history of killing, mutilation, dispossession, and political marginalization (all of which continue unabated), the protests were more a spontaneous reaction than a planned resistance. In a series of campus-based and street protests that barely lasted for two weeks, countless innocent Oromos were killed and jailed.