Ethiopia: Despite Oromo protests, Addis master plan continues
The Addis Ababa master plan will continue despite protests from some Oromo opposition, an OPDO official told local media in the capital. The OPDO now believes the “master plan” will benefit Oromos economically in the long run, according to the official who requested to remain anonymous because he was not authorized to give details. He also said the plan will not hurt local Oromos linguistically because “Most Oromos living in the outskirts of Addis Ababa are already multi-lingual, which will give them advantage in the workforce.”
OPDO led by new chairman Muktar Kedir has become more influential since the passing away of Prime minister Meles Zenawi. Previously, many top OPDO leaders openly displayed opposition to the master plan, which was a plan that required expansion of Addis Ababa toward Oromia towns.
But now, after Oromo protests sparked by diaspora based websites led to riots, OPDO is fully disassociating itself from the protests, according to the source. “OPDO feels it’s anti-expansion agenda was hijacked by foreign forces” the government source added.
In addition to Addis Ababa, the government is planning expansion of Dire Dawa, the second biggest city in Ethiopia. Such expansion will include new industrial zones and it is expected to benefit the economies of both neighboring Djibouti and Somaliland.