Ethiopians protest in Washington DC, London against killings in Oromo region

Washington DC Protest. Photo : from Samson Michailovich FB page

July 17, 2020

Tens of thousands of Ethiopians took to the street in Washington DC and London to protest the ethnic and religious-based killings in the Oromo region of Ethiopia.

In Washington DC, protesters marched to the department of the secretary of state and condemned the killings of hundreds of innocent citizens in the Oromo region of Ethiopia by an organized Youth group who are said to have received orders from some activists and radical ethnic Oromo political leaders in the opposition.

The protestors want Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s government to strengthen the measures against criminals to enforce the rule of law in the country in the interest of ensuring the security and safety of Ethiopians in the Oromo region of Ethiopia.

Tewodros Kabtimer was one of the organizers of the protest in Washington DC. He told ESAT that the turnout was good and that protestors condemned, as a single voice, the massacre in the Oromo region.  He also said that protests said they are on the side of Abiy Ahmed in his action to enforce the rule of law in the country.

Carrying Ethiopia’s popular and historical flag, the protestors also called for the demobilization of ethnic-based special forces(Oromo regional state have trained about thirty rounds of special force recruits, and all the regions have their own special forces). According to local reports, there were instances whereby the security forces collaborated with the killers. There were also those who watched indifferently when the radical groups unleashed their attacks including beheading an elderly man in his late 70’s. 

London _ Protest
London Protest. Photo : Samson Michailovich FB

Similarly, thousands of Ethiopians in London, United Kingdom, demonstrated at the Marble Arch calling for the Ethiopian government to take action against those who disseminated hate and incited ethnic-based violent killings in the Oromo region. Multilingual messages were conveyed calling for unity, peace, and security of the country.  They also called for Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s government to hold accountable those who are responsible for the killings.

The Ethiopian government said it has arrested over 5000 people in connection with the incident including Jawar Mohammed, founder, and owner of Oromia Media Network, and Bekele Gerba who is Deputy Chairman of Oromo Federalist Congress – an opposition group. Jawar is implicated in the death of the killings of at least 86 people, also in the Oromo region of Ethiopia, in late October 2019.

Meanwhile, radical ethnic Oromo nationalists have organized a protest in several cities in North America and Europe. But their demand is different; “Release Jawar Mohammed and all Oromo political prisoners.” 

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