The following article was published in the Winter edition of the Index of Censorship magazine. According to a description of the magazine posted on indexoncensorship.org, Index on Censorship is a nonprofit that campaigns for and defends free expression worldwide.
Ethiopia in crisis, closes down news
by Ismail Einashe
As Ethiopia declares a state of emergency, Ismail Einashe explains some of the history to the current situation
For Oromos, Irreechaa is their most significant cultural event, and even though they are evenly split between Christians and Muslims, they all share ties to the original Oromo faith, Waaqefanna.
But at this year’s festival there was a stampede and attack by the Ethiopian police. The numbers killed are disputed – the government said 52 were killed, but activists from the Oromo Federalist Congress claim 678 people died.
And since pictures of the festival goers who were killed were published internationally, the state has shut down all access to the outside world.
Behind the tragedy at Irreechaa is a long history of the Ethiopian state repressing Oromos, said Dr Awol Kassim Allo, an Ethiopian lecturer at the UK’s Keele University.
“What is going on now in Oromia is a massacre in the name of emergency …”