April 27, 2010

Ethiopian community demonstrates in Toronto

Ethiopian community demonstrates in Toronto

April 27, 1:52 AMAfrican Politics ExaminerFrancis Muli

Ethnic Oromo and Ogaden Canadians in the Greater Toronto Area, protested against an Ethiopian government delegation that was in the city over the weekend.

In their home country Ethiopia, the Oromo make up the largest single ethnic group. These cushites are also present in other East African countries such as Kenya, Somalia, and Djibouti.

In the late 1800s, Abyssinia (Ethiopian) emperors forcibly colonized the Oromo homeland.

Like the Oromo, the Ogaden are also cushites. They trace their homeland in the area between Somalia, Djibouti and Ethiopia. The community came under Ethiopian rule in the mid 1930s after violent supression.

These two communities have largely been marginalized by successive Ethiopian governments since then. Their most pressing grievance is the continued violation of their human rights.

Some Oromo groups demand independece while others have embraced inclusion in today's Ethiopia. At the forefront of their independence struggle is the Oromo Liberation Front.

The Ogaden National Liberation Front established in 1984 also fights for autonomy.

The Toronto demonstration was peaceful on all accounts. The group made it clear that they stand for peace and democracy; they described the Ethiopian government as fascist killers. Also on their list of quarrels was the Canadian government's financial support of the current Ethiopian regime.

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