Ethiopia: Ruling party announced full rollback on Addis Ababa ‘master plan’ after deadly protests

The ruling party of Ethiopia’s largest region, Oromia, announced full roll back on the proposed master plan of Addis Ababa and its surrounding towns.

The announcement came after weeks long protests that left dozens dead.

The draft integrated development plan for Addis Ababa and nearby Oromia districts [see Amharic version here] triggered protests in mid-November in western and central Oromia towns.

The draft plan, commonly known as ‘the master plan’, was also the cause of the deadly 2014 protests as it is perceived as an annexation of Oromia territory and facilitator of massive displacement of Oromo farmers with meager compensations. The draft plan was put on hold subsequently.

Activists suspect, however, it was being implemented covertly. Last October’s legislation on urban administration, enacted by the regional council, is considered part of such covert move.

Students and locals took part in the protests which covered the past eight weeks at different scale.

The central and western parts of the region had been the epicenter of the protests which reached its peaked in mid-December. Sporadic protests continued at several areas and schools making it the longest uprising in two decades.

Map shows 32 deaths listed by the opposition Medrek on Dec. 16
Map shows 32 deaths listed by the opposition Medrek on Dec. 16

The Oromo People Democratic Organization (OPDO) which governs the region and part of the national ruling party EPRDF, have been holding a series of public consultations as well as cadre meetings in the past weeks in a bid to contain the crisis.

The three-day summit of the 63-member OPDO Central Committee, concluded yesterday evening in Adama city, decided a full rollback on the matter.

In its press statement, the party announced the ‘master plan’ would be scrapped and the contentious sections of the urban legislation will be revised. It also pledged to seek immediate implementation of the Constitutionally stipulated special interests of Oromia on Addis Ababa.

The leadership further pledged to ensure rehabilitation for those affected by the protests.

Activists claim the weeks long protests left 140 people dead. Government officials dispute the figure but have yet to release their own report.


Daniel Berhane

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