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Aid donors announce investigation into tribal evictions in Ethiopia

Representatives of some of Ethiopia’s biggest aid donors have announced that they will send a team to the southwest of the country to investigate persistent reports of human rights abuses amongst the tribes living there.
Survival International, the global movement for tribal peoples’ rights, has exposed how the tribal people of the Lower Omo Valley are being persecuted and harassed to force them off their land to make way for cotton, oil palm and sugar cane plantations.

Bulldozers clearing Mursi land in Mago National Park, where communities are being evicted from their land to make way for sugar plantations. © E. Lafforgue/Survival
Bulldozers clearing Mursi land in Mago National Park, where communities are being evicted from their land to make way for sugar plantations.
© E. Lafforgue/Survival

Many other organizations have published similar reports.
The plantations are made possible by the Gibe III hydroelectric dam, which is itself the subject of huge controversy.
The dam, which is nearing completion, will have a serious impact on the livelihoods of 500,000 tribal people, including those living around Kenya’s Lake Turkana.
It is also projected to have catastrophic environmental consequences for the region, which is home to renowned UNESCO World Heritage sites on both sides of the border.
Survival and other NGOs have repeatedly denounced the eviction of hundreds of Bodi and Kwegu and continue to receive reports that people are being intimidated into leaving their lands for resettlement camps.
The Ethiopian government has not sought or obtained the indigenous peoples’ free, prior and informed consent to move from their lands, in breach of the guidelines for resettlement drawn up by the Development Assistance Group (DAG), a consortium of the largest donors to Ethiopia, including the US, the UK, Germany and the World Bank.
Daasanach are being forced off their land to make way for infrastructure development such as this giant pump at Omorate, which will facilitate irrigation of the plantations. © E. Lafforgue/Survival
Daasanach are being forced off their land to make way for infrastructure development such as this giant pump at Omorate, which will facilitate irrigation of the plantations.
© E. Lafforgue/Survival

DAG provides significant financial assistance to the local administration responsible for the forced evictions.
DAG has decided to return to the Lower Omo later this year to investigate the situation, even though the evictions continue regardless of past donor visits, the findings of which have often not been published.
This decision follows mounting worldwide concerns. European parliamentarians from Italy, Germany and the UK have asked questions in the European Parliament, and MPs in the UK and Germany have raised their concerns with various ministries. Parliamentary questions have also been tabled in the UK.
In February the US Congress ruled that US taxpayers’ money not be used to fund forced resettlements in Lower Omo.
Following a lawsuit brought by Friends of Lake Turkana, the Kenyan courts have ruled that the Kenyan government must release all information about the deals it has made with Ethiopia about buying electricity generated by the Gibe III dam.
Earlier this year, a UNESCO report recommended that Lake Turkana be inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
Source:-survivalinternational.org

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  1. All this injustice will cease when Oromia becomes an independent nation. Stay tuned for the date of the Declaration of Independence. It will be in July 2014. We are waiting for our Gojame brothers and sisters in the completion of the liberation of their nation. We plan to celebrate the liberation of Gojam and Oromia together.
    Now going back to the book I told you I have been putting together. Here are some of the facts about my Oromia mentioned in my upcoming book.
    Eight of the 11 members of the 1962 football squad that won the 3rd African Cup were all Oromos. The three exceptions were Mengistu Worku and the brothers Italo/Luciano Vassalo. The rest were Oromos from Hararghe, Arsi and Gore. They were forced at gun point to change their names as if they were Tigrayans. I have included the interviews their mothers gave to our most educated Oromo reporter in the 1980’s. All those Tigrayan names you see in history books are fake names.
    The other fact from history I am going to expose to the world in my book is the incidence that took place immediately after the British stormed Makdela in 1568. After General Napier killed the Gojame king at that mountain fort and on his way back to the Red Sea, he was confronted by our fearless Oromo leader Berru Aligaz. Berru grilled Napier to find out who gave him the permission to come all the way to the mountain fort to kill the outlaw King Wolde Mikael. Napier told Berru it was the Tigrayan chieftain Kassa who gave him the go-ahead. Then Berru had him sign an ultimatum that he or anyone from Britain will never attempt to enter Oromia and the surrounding region again. I have located the document in the British archives wherein they both signed the agreement.
    Do you know that Haile Selassie’s mother was half Italian and half Somali? I have found copy of her birth certificate in the Italian vault. They poisoned her right after Haile Selassie was born to protect his father from the wrath of his master king. That was why Haile Selassie abandoned the country to his cousin Mussolini and pretended to have fled for his life in 1946. That was all a hoax perfected between him and Mussolini. And who liberated our people from Mussolini and his fascist army? If you answered Oromos, you got it right. Ababo Araga, Garaso Dukhi and Hordofaa were the ones who liberated our people from the Italians. Wait for my book and you will thank me for exposing the real and factual history of my people. I am almost finished. By the way, some prestigious universities around the world have read the draft and decided to use it in their history curriculum. I am quite sure that it will be nominated and win many accolades and prizes such as the Pulitzer et al.

  2. The new Oromia president Muktar Kedir is backed by anti-oromo groups sent from prime minster office to create more misery in Oromia.
    The group killed Alemayehu Atomssa so they can take full control and intensify misery by evicting us from ancestoral farm lands. Muktar Kedir already put his close family members in key government positions and gave them huge farm lands by evicting farmers near Adama.

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