(By Jawar Mohammad)
The TPLF state media has announced Addis Ababa Master Plan will be implemented soon. I have seen documents pertaining to this matter. Here is my take:
- 1) The regime claims this master plan is for Addis Ababa city only. That is the controversial Integrated Master Plan of Addis Ababa and surrounding towns have been disentangled and split into two. In other words Addis Ababa has given up on a joint master plan with its neighboring Oromia towns and forging ahead with separate plan. Yet...
- 2) A cursory review of the 'new' plan shows it isn't that new. For a starter, the land that is incorporated in this plan that's supposed to be just for city of Addis Ababa is way larger than the current & constitutional limits of the city. There are localities and districts (according to the constitutionally stipulated jurisdictions of both the Oromia state & the AA city council administration) laying in the current Oromia proper like Gelan, Semit, Jamo etc which are surprisingly made part of the city and covered in the "new master plan". In short, There's is huge tract of land from surrounding Oromia villages that have still been incorporated into Addis Ababa. In other words, this master plan expands the city limit violating the existing boarders and aims to remove hundreds of thousands of farmers, just as previously planned.
- 3) Just as the earlier 'integrated' master plan, this 'new' plan states that the city will get water from Oromia (Gefersa, Laga Dadhi, Aqaqi) and dry waste will be dumped in Sandafa as well. It assumes the city will continue to use these resources and services free of charge. But there is no agreement between Oromia and the city administration.
- 4) The regime promised to resolve the constitutionally guaranteed Oromia's Special interest over Addis Ababa by this past October. Yet that has not been materialized yet. Trying to implement a 25 year Master Plan for Addis Ababa before resolving this thorny issue is tantamount to inviting further complications.
- 5) In general, this 'new' master plan is different from the integrated master plan only in name. They have tried to make it look different. They said the previous plan was based on Frances city of Lyon while the new one is based on Seoul city of Korea. Yet the same people who devised the previous plan are behind this one. Abay Tsehaye is the man who is pushing it. Mathiwos Asefa the manager of the 'integrated plan' is again manager of the 'new' plan. The old plan was supposedly scrapped in January 2016. In their own admission its takes years to develop a master plan that lasts 25 years. Which means they did not develop any new plan but renamed the same old bloody one.
The bottom line is Finfinne (Addis Ababa) is at the heart of Oromia, geographically, politically, culturally and economically. Any plan developed for the city without the participation and approval of the Oromo people and Oromia state for the city is bound to adversely affect Oromo people, economically, culturally and politically. Hence, it has been and it will be rejected and resisted. Similarly any plan contested by the Oromos and bound to fail harming residents of the city. Thus, before you embark on any fancy talk of Master Plan, sit down and resolve the Master Problem...Oromia's historical and constitutionally affirmed right and interest over the city of Addis Ababa.