Ethiopia: Anger as officials demolish hundreds of houses

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The Ethiopian government has begun the demolition of thousands of houses in the Oromia region, which it says were illegally constructed.

Around 500 homes have been destroyed in Legetafo and Legedadi, situated on the outskirts of Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa. However, the government plans to demolish 12,000 houses in total, prompting anger among homeowners who have lived in the areas for years.

Ethiopia to demolish thousands of houses

The government’s plan to demolish thousands of homes is being widely criticised by activists and rights groups. The UN Special Rapporteur for Adequate Housing, Liliana Farha, has also expressed her concern over the demolitions and says she will be investigating the issue to ensure housing rights are maintained.

“The rapporteur will be investigating this issue and reminds all actors involved that forced evictions constitute an egregious violation of the right to housing,” she tweeted this week.

Some residents claim to have land deeds for their properties and say they have been paying taxes to the government for their properties for many years. While activists argue it is irresponsible for the government to demolish houses now after allowing them to be built and people to live in them for so long.

However, the government insists the houses were illegally built during a time when the previous administration was weak due to widespread demonstrations in the Oromia region. Officials have warned illegal homeowners there will be no discussion or compromise over the issue.

Featured image: Google Maps

About Aaron Brooks

Aaron Brooks is a UK journalist who wants to cut out the international agendas in news. Spending his early years in both England and Northern Ireland he saw the difference between reality and media coverage at an early age. After graduating from the University of Chester with a BA in journalism, his travels revealed just how large the gap between news and the real world can be. As Editor-in-Chief at East Africa Monitor, it’s his job to provide a balanced view of what’s going on in the region for English-speaking audiences.