Tasmanian Ethiopian Association chairman said oppression of ethnic groups by the country’s ruling EPRDF created animosity between tribes.

By Stephanie Newington (The Mercury) |

Ethiopian immigrants have raised concerns for marginalized groups in the African nation at a rally outside Parliament House in Hobart.

Tasmanian Ethiopian Association chairman Dessie Assefa said oppression of ethnic groups by the country’s ruling political coalition, the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), created animosity between tribes.

“They are oppressed politically, financially, culturally,” Mr Dessie Assefa said.

About 50 people attended the rally today, holding Ethiopian and Australian flags and photographs of the violence in Ethiopia.

Tasmanian Ethiopian Association secretary Tadiyos Mandefro said the Oromo and Amhara people were the most oppressed groups in Ethiopia.

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“People are attacked because of their ethnicity. Our people are in crisis,” he said.

Mr Tadiyos Mandefro said the Oromo and Amhara people are targeted the most.

“We are here to lobby the Tasmanian Government to address the Federal Government to raise these issues with Ethiopia,” he said.

“It is the only way we will be heard.”

Ethiopian immigrant Ayani Wondimagegnew said human rights in his homeland “do not work”.

“[If] people question the government, they are answered with a bullet,” Mr Wondimagegnew said.

Mr Mandefro said the rally was also to help the public understand what was happening in Ethiopia.

Continue reading this story on The Mercury
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