Addis Ababa master development plan: A program for development or for ethnic cleansing?


It is the legitimate authority of states to prepare and implement development plans. In the democratic society, preparation and implementation of development plans necessarily imply consultations and consent of the local communities affected by the development plan. Such plans should not be unilaterally prepared and coercively imposed on local communities. Any imposed development plan is incompatible with fundamental human rights and freedoms. Thus, the article aims at identifying whether or not the so-called ‘Addis Ababa Integrated Master Plan’ is a true and elaborate development plan. A real development plan ensures that the intended development project does not result in destruction of the livelihoods and cultural integrity of the local communities living in the project area. The author also considers possible explanations for the Ethiopian Government’s refusal to listen to the continuous protests of the Oromo people against the ‘Addis Ababa Integrated Master Plan’. In the particular context of regional development aiming at the hidden ethnic cleansing, the intent to destroy a certain group’s cultural identity cannot be declared openly by the government but it can be seen in the relevant long-term policies, governmental patterns of actions and facts of everyday life. The article examines from the historical perspective the long-term successive Ethiopian governments’ policies and relevant facts to reveal the state’s intent to destroy the Oromo identity in Addis Ababa and its suburbs. If the Oromo are evicted from the ancestral land their economic life, social networks, language, cultural traditions and norms will be destroyed, and the Oromo in the area of the ‘Addis Ababa Integrated Master Plan’ will eventually disappear as a cultural group with a distinct ethnic identity.

About the authors

Degefa Aberra

Addis Ababa University

P.O. Box 1176, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia


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