By Keffyalew Gebremedhin – The Ethiopia Observatory (TEO)
ESAT on November 30 reported that three students were feared dead at Haramaya University in Harar, Eastern Ethiopia. This is a consequence of the beatings by army commandos and police of unarmed students peacefully protesting TPLF land grab.
Students speak of occupation of the university’s campus by a swarm of security forces that have literally likened it to a battlefield. Not even those in the dormitories were spared, with the police commandos breaking dormitory doors to physically assail those inside – not participating in the protests on campus grounds.
Protesters are demanding that the TPLF regime halt implementation of its land grab under the guise of a master plan for Addis Abeba. Students say this is a poisoned chalice, the sole objective of which is to grab the prime urban and rural lands from the surrounding Oromo people. This has been confirmed by research works that for the last ten to twelve years the dislocated people have suffered destitution, family breakdowns, helplessness, losses of health and deaths.
The implementation of this is led by the notorious murderer and corrupt TPLF official Abay Tsehaye, who started his career in eliminating Ethiopians in 1994 with the killings of several hundred Gambelans. His mission was not any different from today: grabbing their lands and distributing them to TPLF civilian and military officials, as the TPLF has done in it in 2005, after it was rejected by the disputed election at the time.
As politico-military dealer on stolen lands, early this year Abay Tsehaye was caught on tape in Hawassa, confirming that he is the force behind the Addis Abeba master plan threatening to continue it without any let. It was immediately after that a Somalilandpress printed his story, echoing the TPLF “boss caught in “Mengistu-like rant”.
Enjoying the wealth and the good life this has given him, a little over a year after the massacre of 40-70 students at Ambo University in April/May 2014, at Hawassa he vowed in public that anyone, students and Oromo officials, who try to stand on the way of the plan would be severely dealt with. True to those words, Abay is again in his killing and imprisoning spree of Ethiopian youth, and its students studying in the nation’s schools and universities.
The response of Oromo students to this brigandage has been quietly continuing to oppose the land grab plan. When the regime accelerated its push and evictions to implement the plan, anger rose and students in several parts of Oromia restarted their opposition, and yet peacefully marching in school compounds demanding the regime its occupation of lands by force and deceits.
An Oromo organization known as National Youth Movement for Freedom and Democracy (NYMFD) aka Qeerroo, on October 21, 2015 put out its position, which states:
“The Ethiopian Federal government had attempted to pass this so-called Addis Ababa Master Plan in 2014 to control and to incorporate several big towns, such as Ambo, Jimma, Mattu, Nekemte, Ghmbi, Waliso, Adama, Shashemene, Haromaya and others…It is imperative that the entire Oromo people throughout the world not only strongly condemn, but also stand in unison and resist and prevent it from being implemented. Qeerroo Bilisummaa, therefore, is determined to stand on the way of this evil plan and fight for the right of our people, and hereby declare the following seven-point resolutions.”
Point number One of the seven articles declares:
“We members of Oromo youth and Qeerroo hereby declare to wage and intensify an Oromia-wide protest of the Oromo people opposing the so-called Master Plan of the TPLF led Ethiopian regime currently approved by the so-called Caffee Oromiyaa which claims to represent the Oromo people. We will strongly support the voices of the Oromo youth recently manifested at Lake Arsadi (Bishoftu) Irreecha festival and at Malkaa Ateetee Irreecha event in Burayyuu through various traditional songs and slogans denouncing the Master Plan and uphold the resolutions informally passed by Oromo youth on those events.”
On November 27, the Voice of America (VOA) reported strong student protests in Western Ethiopia in Wollega. The level of violence the state used has shocked residents of Mendi, Guliso and also in Ginchi. Their siding the students has also brought beatings to the residents and parents.
In sum, yes, the regime has responded in the only way it knows to this problem driven by its desire to disposes citizens, to whom it administered beatings and torturous kickings of the students, according to news reports from various sources. Its severity has forced some students in dormitories to jump from second and third floors and as a consequence suffered severe accidents, some of them now in critical condition.