The Oromo Protests that have been going on in the Oromia Regional State of Ethiopia for almost two months now is getting the attention of international media. The Oromo Protests are protests by Oromo students and the Oromo people against the expansion of the Ethiopian capital, Addis Abeba, into towns and counties in the Oromia regional state.
As yesterday (08/01/206), more than 20 international news media have reported about it. The report comes after the Human Rights Watch (HRW) disclosed that more than 140 Oromo people have been killed by the Ethiopian government forces during a peaceful protests against government’s plan (Master Plan) to expand the capital city, into areas in the Oromia regional states. Oromo students from elementary, high school and universities throughout the Oromia region went out to the streets opposing the Master Plan that they fear would evict more than two million Oromo farmers from their land.
The International community and the international media paid very little attention for the Oromo Protests that has been around for two months now. With the consistent and unreserved endeavors/efforts of Oromo social activists mainly based in Diaspora, the Oromo Protests are being reported by the international media and the international community is taking notice of it.
Big international media such as BBC , Washington Post, Aljazeeramerica, VOA, Yahoo News, Forbes, RFI, NRK, Newsweek,Sputnik, Africa Insider have reported the Oromo Protests to bring the current situations of the Oromo people to the attention of the international community.
In Ethiopia, there are no independent media that report about the crimes committed against humanity by the Ethiopian government. There is no or little freedom of expression in Ethiopia although it is enshrined in the constitution of the country. Journalists and bloggers are jailed for writing and informing the wrong doings of the government.According to Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), Ethiopia is one of the ten worst jailers of journalists in the world.
Most information about the Oromo protests reach the public via social media particularly facebook. Oromo activists in Oromia and the Diaspora shared information, photos and videos about the protest on their facebook pages. People also get information from two diaspora based Televisions namely the Oromia Media Network (OMN) based in USA (Minnesota) and based in USA Washington DC. However, the government jammed these news channels many times from reaching the Ethiopian public, but they defiantly kept coming back to the air.