Egyptian ambassador to Ethiopia Abou Bakr Hefny met late last week with Ethiopia’s state minister of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to discuss the situation of the Oromo people, an ethnic majority group, in Ethiopia and Egypt’s stance towards them.
The Egyptian Foreign Ministry released a statement on Sunday in which its spokesperson Ahmed Abou Zeid said that Hefny stated during the meeting that Egypt doesn’t intervene in the internal affairs of other countries.
Several media outlets reported on Sunday that the Ethiopian Foreign Ministry summoned Hefny; however, the statement said that the request came after a video showing members from the outlawed Oromo Liberation Front sharing a stage with what Ethiopian media described as Egyptians. The Oromo people are an ethnic group that primarily live in Ethiopia and neighbouring countries.
Earlier this month, about 55 Oromo people died in a stampede while they were protesting. Ethiopian activists claimed that the security forces opened fire on them. The protests of Oromo citizens started in November 2015, when the government planned to expand the boundaries of the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa. The Oromo people claimed that this would lead to forced evictions and the demolition of their culture and language.
Earlier in July, two Oromo who were seeking asylum in Egypt set themselves on fire in front of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), after they held a protest demanding their right to asylum. The sole mission of the UNHCR is to determine the status of refugees in the country and safeguard the rights and well-being of refugees