Ethiopia Makes Historic ‘Master Plan’ U-Turn

Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn has backtracked on 'master plan' to expand Addis Ababa. (Photo: Google Images)

Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn has backtracked on ‘master plan’ to expand Addis Ababa. (Photo: Google Images)

Mathias Muindi is reporting a controversial plan by the Ethiopian government to expand the capital, Addis Ababa, is set to be scrapped after a key member of the ruling coalition withdrew its support. Muindi writes:

“The expansion plan sparked deadly violence in the central-southern state of Oromia, which surrounds Addis Ababa.

Rights groups say that at least 150 protesters have died and another 5,000 have been arrested by security forces. Similar protests in May 2014 left dozens of protesters dead.

Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn had vowed on 16 December that his government would be “merciless” towards the protesters, who he described as “anti-peace forces”.

However in a surprising move, the Oromo People’s Democratic Organisation (OPDO) said on 12 January that it had resolved to “fully terminate” the plan after a three-day meeting.

Rejection of official plans by government members is unprecedented in Ethiopia.

It is also historic, as it could be seen as acknowledging the legitimacy of the protests.”

Protesters were railing against the plan because many saw it as a guise for uprooting rural ethnic groups including the Tigray and Amhara groups.

Read more at BBC Africa.

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