A week after what many observers described as heroic show of solidarity by Feyisa Lilesa when he showed protest sign as he crosses marathon finishing line at Rio Olympic, Ebisa Ejigu showed protest sign today as he crosses marathon finishing line in Quebec, Canada.
According to RunningMagazine report, Ebisa Ejigu finished the race in 2:30:40 hours. The report added that Ebisa has a personal best time of 2:12:03 in his career.
From the report, it is not the first time for Ebisa Ejigu to take part in athletics events in Canada. In May and June of this year, he took part in Mississauga Marathon and Toronto Waterfront 10,000 meters race respectively. Originally from Ethiopia, looks like Ebisa Ejigu is based in Toronto since June of this year.
He showed protest sign, which is nearly becoming an emblem of Oromo protest, in opposition of brutal killings of civilians by the ruling Tigray People’s Liberation Front Party in Ethiopia. In the last nine months alone, an estimated 1000 civilians are killed in two of Ethiopia’s most populous regions, Oromia and Amhara.
Although the international community does not seem to know much about Amhara protest owing to inadequate, and sometime inaccurate, coverage by mainstream media, the Amhara region, like Oromo region of Ethiopia, has been subjected to violent killings and repression.
In recent months, the ethnic based movements seem to be forging strong solidarity to resist repression by Tigray People’s Liberation Front government which represents only less than 6% of the entire population. Recent information on CIA archive seem to indicate that Amhara and Oromo speaking groups of Ethiopia represent about 29 and 34 % of the entire population respectively – which makes them two of Ethiopia’s largest language speaking groups.
Rio Olympic marathon silver medal winner, Feyisa Lilesa, refused to return back to Ethiopia for fear of government reprisal and is seeking asylum. Ethiopians raised well over $150,000 in just a few days to support Feyisa Lilesa as he pursues his asylum seeking process.
Perhaps Ebisa Ejigu,like Feyisa Lilesa,is unlikely to return back to Ethiopia for fear of persecution by the regime in Ethiopia.