Ethiopia: Massive protests in Oromia region suspend gold mining operations

Ethiopia: Massive protests in Oromia region suspend gold mining operations

Massive protests in the Oromia region of Ethiopia have forced the government to revoke a gold mining license for MIDROC Gold.

Protests began in April when the government renewed the mining license for MIDROC gold. The license had been suspended last year after a similar wave of protests. Oromia has been at the centre of several waves of protests in Ethiopia since 2015 which also included the northern Amhara region.

Residents of Shakiso and Adola, towns in the Guji zone of Oromia have said the gold mine is reponsible for numerous health issues including birth defects, respiratory problems and miscarriages, according to the Addis Standard.

Two protesters were killed by Oromia's security forces on May 8th in Shakiso, with the suspension of the mining license announced the next day.

In February, social strikes were called by youth movements (Qeerroo) demanding the unconditional release of political prisoners from the 2015 and 2016 protests, observed for three days and including the blockade of roads.

image: twitter/OiPlatform6