Often, local politicians loosely employ labels like “Naftagna,” to insult minority communities from southern Ethiopia, who happen to use Amharic for commerce in Oromia towns. Previous comments by local Oromo politicians threatening to remove “settlers” or ban non-Oromo languages and outlaw interethnic marriages have had a major impact on the psychology of minorities in Oromia and contributed to deadly acts of terror. Instead of healing these wounds, the Oromia government media and opposition media continues to broadcast politicians using similar inflammatory language and terminology. The Oromia region media also announced recently that it will waste money of its taxpayers by adding the Swahili language to its broadcast, instead of reaching out to discriminated minorities or using various languages of taxpaying Ethiopian minorities living inside Oromia.
Unlike the Rwandan genocide over two decades ago, ethnic cleanings in Oromia and other regions of Ethiopia did not occur that long ago. WCHR urges the Ethiopian and Oromia region governments to take urgent and appropriate measures to stop CoronaVirus-related xenophobic fake news from spreading farther and causing more violence.