According to a media report, just last month alone, 600 Oromo farming families were evicted from Sululta, one of the towns in Oromia affected by the Addis Ababa Master Plan of the Ethiopian Federal government. The Master Plan evictions in Sululta came in November 2015, just before the latest escalations of Oromo protests as Oromo students in particular, and the Oromo public in general, engage the Federal government to stop the Addis Ababa Master Plan as well as the overall land-grabbing campaigns being undertaken by the Federal government in the name of “development” across Oromia. The report about the Master Plan evictions of 600 Oromo households in Sululta contradicts the Ethiopian Federal government’s stated position that the Addis Ababa Master Plan is still in its drafting phase awaiting public deliberations. Last year, during the April-May 2014’s #OromoProtests, the government promised to open the Master Plan for public deliberations only to forego that phase of the policy-making altogether. Protesters say the government’s promise of public deliberations are only tricks to buy time to fully implement the Master Plan and other land-grabbing campaigns across Oromia.
Here’s an excerpt from the DW report:
One Oromo farmer from Sululta, a town part of the ‘integrated master plan’ located 26 kilometers (16 miles) to the north of Addis Ababa, spoke to DW on condition of anonymity. He claimed that in late November alone, the government evicted 600 farming families on the grounds that their land was needed for the construction of a factory. When asked if they had received fair compensation and a new home, the farmer told DW that the money given to them was ‘very meager,’ and that the families had so far not been given a place to relocate to.