Update on unrest in Ethiopia

Supporters and followers of LUCIA may have noticed that things have been rather quiet at LUCIA recently. We thought it would be helpful to explain a bit about what is happening in Ethiopia at the moment. Over the last 2 years there have been episodes of civil unrest in some areas following protests from the Oromo community against the government.

The government in Addis Ababa wanted to enlarge the city encroaching into farmland belonging to the Oromo people – the so-called Masterplan. However, the Oromo (between 30-40% of the population) objected to this and there have been protests and demonstrations leading to arrests and unfortunately fatalities. Although the government have now withdrawn their expansion proposal the Oromo protests have continued and recently escalated as long standing frustrations over their political and economic marginalisation and treatment by the government have surfaced.  More recently, other ethnic groups have become involved and protests have spread.

There is now a State of Emergency in Ethiopia which will last for at least 6 months. The implications of this for the population are serious: social media is closed and engaging with foreign organisations has become more difficult. LUCIA is uncertain how this will affect our work but we have already noted difficulties in communication with at least one of our NGO partners.

We remain committed to supporting the Ethiopian people who need our help and will continue to fund-raise to do this. However, at the current time we have limited information about our current and proposed projects and need to be sure that the funds we raise through our generous donors will get to the people and places where it is most needed. We will continue to try to get as much information as we can and keep you informed.

If you would like further information about the current situation you may be interested to follow these links:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-36940906

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/oct/21/1500-people-arrested-in-ethiopia-in-two-week-state-of-emergency

 

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