Today’s protest was organized by the Oromo American Community inSeattle,Washington. Among the participants were members of the Ogaden American Community, who joined in solidarity with their Cushitic brethren’s against injustice and government brutality.

Last week Oromo students staged peaceful demonstrations across several universities in the Oromia region against what they called “Integrated Development Master Plan for Addis Ababa.” a plan that would expand theterritoryofAddis Ababa, which could displace Oromo farmers leaving them without livelihood. In response the government security forces opened fire killing 40 civilians and injuring hundreds, it’s hard to verify these figures as there are no independent media outlets inEthiopia. However, according to eyewitness similar incidents took place in other parts of Oromia region.

These incidents took place amid U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s visit toEthiopiato “encourage democratic development”, few days prior the Ethiopian authorities arbitrarily arrested six bloggers and journalists. A clear message that Ethiopian government has no respect for human rights.

Similarly, the Ogaden which is the second largest territory under Ethiopian occupation has quite some time been a no-go zone as the Ethiopian government imposed a total humanitarian, economic and media blockade, where international humanitarian aid organizations and international independent media outlets have all been denied access. As a result the Ogaden has become a humanitarian crisis far worse than any other region, an act many human rights groups classified a hidden genocide.

It’s not the first time that these communities stood in solidarity, last week both communities held a joint meeting inMinnesotaas was few months ago in Europe andCanada.

Abdirahman Hollywood

Qorahay Media Journalist Group

Seattle,Washington

 

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