This is another installment of Hadiya Journey’s continued documentation of the earliest resistance the oppressive ruling party of Ethiopia, EPRDF, faced in the country. The Hadiya people were alone at the time in opposing and wining against EPRDF at the time and paying the price for their unyielding peaceful democratic actions. It can be said that the Hadiya struggle and the sacrifices people paid was, therefore, the forebearer of the #OromoProtest of the Qeerroo / Oromo People and others of much later years. The previous article can be found here.
The Hadiya zone is one of the areas of strongest opposition to the ruling Ethiopian Peoples’ Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) government. Two opposition parties from the zone-the Hadiya National Democratic Organization (HNDO) led by Beyene Petros and the Hadiya People’s Democratic Organization (HPDO)-each won a seat in the federal parliament (the Council of People’s Representatives) and the opposition won a majority of seats from the Hadiya zone in the regional parliament (Derkson, Elections around the World, “Elections in Ethiopia,” no date; Voice of America, “Ethiopian Election Information: August 2000 update, August 2000).United States Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services, Ethiopia: Information on the Hadiya ethnic group, 10 January 2001, ETH01002.ZAR, available at: https://www.refworld.org/docid/3dece1ea4.html [accessed 30 November 2019]
In the May 2000 Ethiopian elections for national and regional parliaments, voting in the Hadiya zone had to be postponed because of the high level of violence in the area. The HNDO reported that in the first three months of 2000 over 150 of its supporters and activists had been detained by government security forces (EHRCO, “EHRCO’s 1st Report on the May General Election,” 10 March 2000). At the time of the 14 May 2000 elections The Associated Press reported, “Government forces killed seven people in Hadiya zone, where opposition to the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front is very strong . . . Five people died when security forces threw a grenade into a protesting crowd. Two more were killed when police opened fire on another crowd” (The Associated Press, “Reports of continued heavy fighting as Ethiopians vote in general elections,” 16 May 2000).United States Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services, Ethiopia: Information on the Hadiya ethnic group, 10 January 2001, ETH01002.ZAR, available at: https://www.refworld.org/docid/3dece1ea4.html [accessed 30 November 2019]