In Ethiopia, anger over corruption and farmland development runs deep

Guardian | 19 January 2016

by William Davison in Wenchi
Property burnt down by protesters on Solagrow land in Chitu. (Photo: William Davison)
Two years ago, on the edge of Chitu in Ethiopia’s unsettled Oromia region, local officials told Chamara Mamoye his farmland might be developed when the small town expanded. He hasn’t heard anything since.  “Losing the land would be a big problem for me, but if the government forces us, we can’t do anything,” the father-of-five says outside his compound.
Last month, Chamara, 45, saw the bodies of two protesters lying on the road after demonstrations rocked Chito. The dead were among up to 140 people killed by security forces during region-wide protests triggered by claims of injustice and marginalisation from the nation’s largest ethnic group, the Oromo.
Bolstered by US-based social media activists, the protest movement coalesced around opposition to a government plan to integrate the capital, Addis Ababa, with surrounding Oromo towns. After weeks of protests, the ruling coalition in the Oromia region said last week that it was cancelling the planned expansion.

– See more at: http://farmlandgrab.org/post/view/25682-in-ethiopia-anger-over-corruption-and-farmland-development-runs-deep#sthash.CePhrxYo.dpuf

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