Ethiopia: Businesses, transportation disrupt in Oromo region

ESAT News (July 18, 2017)

Businesses and transportation continue to shut down in many districts in the Oromo region in protest against new tax assessments as the presence of security forces continue to build up.

In Ambo, schools and businesses remained closed while major highways leading to Addis Ababa and Wollega were shutdown. Reports say there is a huge security deployed in Ambo.

In Ginchi town, protesters attacked a minibus that was operating ignoring the strikes. Similarly, transportation and businesses remain closed in Woliso. A well known big market in Gole Oda, East Hararghe, did not open today.

Small business owners and vendors complained that the recent assessment of taxes by authorities based on “estimated sales” were arbitrary and that the assessors have overestimated their sales.

Authorities have recently assessed taxes on businesses with annual sales of upto 4,300 dollars. The move has faced rejection and triggered strikes and shutdowns of businesses and transportation especially in the Oromo region of the country, a region that has seen deadly anti-government protests last year.