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08 Mar 2019 | 07:46 PM UTC

Ethiopia: Protests in Oromia continue on March 8; further rallies set for March 10 /update 1

Ethiopia News Alert

Protests continue throughout Oromia region March 8 to denounce housing policies; further rallies announced in Addis Ababa March 10

TIMEFRAME expected from 3/8/2019, 12:00 AM until 3/11/2019, 11:59 PM (Africa/Addis_Ababa). COUNTRY/REGION Oromia, Addis Ababa

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Demonstrations continued throughout the Oromia region on Friday, March 8, to denounce the government's housing distribution plan. The Addis Ababa City Administration Savings and Houses Development Enterprise (AASHDE) announced a plan to distribute housing to thousands of people in the capital and Oromia region via an electronic lottery draw, thereby excluding many who had previously qualified for housing. Protesters in Oromia region also criticized the Addis Ababa municipal government's role in housing selections, arguing the body is acting outside of its geographical jurisdiction.

Further such protests are likely in the coming days and weeks, including a protest in Addis Ababa on Sunday, March 10, at Meskel Square. American diplomatic authorities have advised embassy personnel to avoid traveling via Bole International Airport (ADD) on Sunday. A heightened security presence and associated transportation disruptions are to be anticipated in the vicinity of any demonstration.


Thousands of people protested throughout the Oromia region, notably in Jimma, Ambo, Awaday, Bale, and Adama beginning on March 6, to denounce the housing distribution plan, which will lead to the expulsion of thousands of people. The Addis Ababa municipal and central governments have not commented on the protests as of March 8. 


Individuals present in the Oromia region are advised to monitor the situation, avoid any large gatherings and demonstrations due to the risk of violence, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities or their home government.


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