A burnt out truck, assumed to be set fire by protesters, lies outside the village of Wolenkomi, western region of Ethiopia on December 17, 2015. Tensions have been riding high between the population of Oromia, and the Federal Government of Ethiopia. The population of Oromia are unhappy with the current “Master Plan” which is overtaking Oromo lands surrounding Addis Ababa. The protests have been ongoing for the past three weeks, with government responding in force with live ammunition. The Government also claims death tolls of around 5, the unofficial figure made by protesters has reached up to 40+. / AFP / ZACHARIAS ABUBEKER

Addis Ababa – The government has reportedly scrapped a contentious plan to extend Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa into the surrounding territory of the Oromo people, after it provoked widespread protests and a deadly crackdown by security forces.

The pro-government media outlet Radio Fana on Wednesday reported the government’s decision to drop the so-called “master plan.”

It said the decision was made after a meeting of the central committee of the Oromo People’s Democratic Organization (OPDO) one of the constituent parties of the national ruling coalition, the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF).

Ethiopia is an ethnic based federation, with three other parties the Southern Ethiopia Peoples Democratic Movement (SEPDM), Amhara National Democratic Movement (ANDM) and Tigray People’s Liberation Front ( TPLF) also being part of the EPRDF.

Since last November protests have been raging across the Oromia region, Ethiopia’s biggest state which surrounds the capital city, over what demonstrators said were plans to take more farmland from the Oromo people, under the guise of integrating them into the development of Addis Ababa.

The clashes have since left dozens of people dead, with activists and human rights agencies accusing security forces of employing violent tactics to suppress the protests.

The Oromos, who make up about a third of Ethiopia’s nearly 100 million populations, have had a contentious relationship with the central government for many years.

Many accuses the central government of marginalising them, politically, culturally and economically. The government denies this. It has acknowledged that the protestors have some real grievances, but has also accused them of being infiltrated by terrorist elements which are trying to destabilise the country.

Africa News Agency