Oct 30, 2018

Oromo: Feyisa Lilesa Back in Ethiopia After Exile

Ethiopian runner Feyisa Lilesa got international attention at the 2016 Rio Olympics marathon. Crossing the line in second place, Lilesa held his hands crossed over his head in a symbol of solidarity with the protesters from the ethnic Oromo population in Ethiopia after brutal government crackdowns against them. The return of the silver medallist has been made possible following the recent positive developments in the country, after the appointment of Ethiopia’s first Oromo head of State, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.

The article below was published by the BBC:


Ethiopian runner Feyisa Lilesa, famous for his protest at the Rio Olympics in 2016, has returned home from self-imposed exile in the US.

The marathon runner crossed the line in second place with his arms above his head in solidarity with protesters from Ethiopia's ethnic Oromo population, who had been suffering a brutal crackdown from the government.

The silver medallist's return has been made possible following the appointment of new Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.

Mr Ahmed, the country's first Oromo head of state, has carried out sweeping reforms since coming to power in April.


Photo Courtesy of Jeso Carneiro @Flickr