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This Interactive Map Plots The Sites Of Possible Ethiopian Government Assassinations

How many protesters have been killed during the recent uprisings in Ethiopia? A new map helps us visualize the carnage.


How many protesters have been killed during the recent uprisings against the Addis Ababa master plan?

Two weeks ago in their in-depth primer on the Oromo protests for Okayafrica, Hassen Hussein and Mohamed Ademo wrote that 40 people had been killed in the government crackdown. Human Rights watch estimates that 140 Oromo protesters have been killed since November 2015. One thing’s for sure, the Ethiopian government’s figure of 5 deaths is, to put it mildly, too low.

Endalk on Global Voices has used the StoryMap tool to plot 111 reported killings, and counting, onto a map of Ethiopia. As much as they are about identity and standing up against repression, the demonstrations are, at their heart, a protest against the expansion of Ethiopia’s capital city into Oromia. It’s helpful, then, to see the killings laid out geographically alongside photos of the deceased. Seeing photo after photo of the mostly young men who have been disappeared, shot and hanged really drives home the high stakes of dissent and the current state of free speech in today’s Ethiopia. (Note: Okayafrica.com is blocked in Ethiopia.)

Endalk writes in the interactive map’s introduction:

Students in Oromia, Ethiopia’s largest regional state, have been demonstrating against the government’s so-called developmental “Master Plan” to expand the area of the capital Addis Ababa, into Oromia. Students and other citizens, along with many Ethiopians living abroad, believe the move will result in direct persecution of the Oromo ethnic group, which has been systematically marginalized by the government over the last two decades, despite representing Ethiopia’s largest ethnic group.

Check out the map on Global Voices. Or in full-browser mode here. A warning: some of the images are very graphic.

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Photo by Don Paulsen/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Hugh Masekela's New York City Legacy

A look back at the South African legend's time in New York City and his enduring presence in the Big Apple.

In Questlove's magnificent documentary, Summer of Soul, he captures a forgotten part of Black American music history. But in telling the tale of the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival, the longtime musician and first-time filmmaker also captures a part of lost South African music history too.

Among the line-up of blossoming all-stars who played the Harlem festival, from a 19-year-old Stevie Wonder to a transcendent Mavis Staples, was a young Hugh Masekela. 30 years old at the time, he was riding the wave of success that came from releasing Grazing in the Grass the year before. To watch Masekela in that moment on that stage is to see him at the height of his time in New York City — a firecracker musician who entertained his audiences as much as he educated them about the political situation in his home country of South Africa.

The legacy Masekela sowed in New York City during the 1960s remains in the walls of the venues where he played, and in the dust of those that are no longer standing. It's in the records he made in studios and jazz clubs, and on the Manhattan streets where he once posed with a giant stuffed zebra for an album cover. It's a legacy that still lives on in tangible form, too, in the Hugh Masekela Heritage Scholarship at the Manhattan School of Music.

The school is the place where Masekela received his education and met some of the people that would go on to be life-long bandmates and friends, from Larry Willis (who, as the story goes, Masekela convinced to give up opera for piano) to Morris Goldberg, Herbie Hancock and Stewart Levine, "his brother and musical compadre," as Mabusha Masekela, Bra Hugh's nephew says.

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