The unfolding humanitarian crisis in Ethiopia

and that's the way it was

For the past couple of weeks, the Ethiopian government has been killing dozens of people, many of them students and farmers, protesting a plan to expand the country’s capital, Addis Ababa, into surrounding rural areas of the country’s Oromia region. The Oromo, who inhabit Oromia and are the largest of Ethiopia’s almost innumerable (seriously, there are more than 80 of them) ethnic groups, are concerned that any expansion of the city will inevitably lead to the seizure of Oromo farmland and settlements by the state. They may have a point, or at least reason to be suspicious, given that their community has been systematically marginalized and abused by the Ethiopian government since the 1990s. And that’s “marginalized” by Ethiopian standards, in a country where, despite a rapidly growing economy, the median per capita income is still among the lowest in the world.

Oromia (in red) inside Ethiopia (

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