Oromo Protests have spread to southern Oromia since last week to “stop the leeching tycoon and monopolist Alamoudi,” according to the protesters. Al Amoudi is a famous monopolist of many businesses in Oromia – including gold mining, cement factory (Derba quarry), tanneries and farms. Al Amoudi is one of the richest persons in Africa and the world, according to the U.S.-based Forbes magazine.
Al Amoudi’s companies are criticized for failing to share profits with indigenous communities they work around (especially, in the gold mining in Guji Zone and the Derba cement quarry in Shawaa), and for failing to give back to the community in general; other business owners in Oromia, especially local small-business owners, also accuse Al Amoudi’s companies for receiving preferential treatments from the government and for engaging in predatory business practices to monopolize sectors of the economy. No where is this predatory practice evident than the dairy business; Oromo smallholding dairy farmers in Shawaa, especially those around Finfinne/Addis, were recently attacked in a vicious way by falsely propagating, through state-owned and government-affiliated media, that the milk from these smallholding dairy farmers causes cancer – this was done, in part, to promote Al Amoudi’s dairy company, Shola Milk, and also to drive the Oromo smallholding farmers out of their land through bankruptcy. Oromo Protesters say such abusive and predatory business practices must stop.
The government is also blamed for evicting thousands of Oromos, without compensations, to make land available to Al Amoudi’s companies whenever they request for it – especially in the gold mining region in Guji and the Derba quarry in Shawaa. In addition, Al Amoudi’s companies are said to have no regard for the environment; for instance, Al Amoudi’s leather/tannery and flower/horticulture companies in Oromia release toxic cancer-causing chemicals without any environmental treatment.
In many ways, Al Amoudi epitomizes what’s wrong with the current federal arrangement of Oromia in Ethipia, according to the Oromo Protesters; Al Amoudi is given the green light to “develop” in Oromia by the Federal Government in Addis Ababa – which itself is controlled by Tigrean elites of the TPLF/EPRDF ruling party; in many, if not all, cases, the business arrangements between the Tigrean-headed Federal Government and Al Amoudi are not transparent to the Federal Regional State authorities of Oromia.
The following is a report on the ongoing Oromo Protests against the “leeching tycoon and monopolist Alamoudi” in the gold-rich Guji Zone of Oromia; the protests have been staged since the mid of last week (starting around February 4, 2016, according to media reports). The government, as usual, relied on brute force to respond to the protests; the latest report says at least 1 Oromo person was killed, and 3 Oromo persons were critically wounded by the government’s special force, Agazi; the picture of one of the wounded Oromo is given below.
VOA Reports: Hiriira Bulee Horaa (Gujii, Oromiyaa) …
Some of the graphics from the protesters …