ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia – The Ethiopian government has begun demolishing thousands of houses they say are illegal in the Oromia region in the outskirts of the capital, Addis Ababa.
The government said it intends to tear down 12,000 houses that were built illegally on government land, taking advantage of widespread unrest in the region over the past three years. But residents allege that they were paying taxes to the government on the properties.
The U.N. Special Rapporteur for Adequate Housing, Liliana Farha, said she is concerned about the planned demolition of the houses, in neighborhoods called Legetafo and Legedadi.
Jawar Mohammed, a prominent activist in Ethiopia, said it is because the government has not provided adequate housing that people build what are called 'Moon Houses,' houses built illegally overnight in the moonlight.