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Legetafo Legedadi house demolitions leave thousands homeless

Legetafo Legedadi is one of the eight towns surrounding Addis Ababa established by the Oromia Regional State as a new Special Zone Surrounding Finfinne in 2008. On Tuesday, the city administration started demolishing houses in the city which were deemed as illegally built. So far thousands of houses have been demolished and 12,000 marked for demolition in the coming days. Former residents of Legetafo Legedadi are criticizing Mayor Habiba Siraj’s decision to demolish their houses for green area projects. According to the residents, they have been legally residing in the area before Legetafo Legedadi City Administration was established. Mayor Habiba insists that the houses are illegally built on areas formerly marked for building projects by the administration. Dr. Milkessa Midega, Head of Oromia Regional Rural Land Administration and Use Bureau, also said that the demolishment is according to the lease proclamation. Dr. Milkessa also noted that the administration gave the residents a one-year warning prior to the demolishment. Similar actions by city administrations are underway in Adama, Shashemene, and Mettu.