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Dutch, Israeli Farms in Ethiopia Attacked by Protesters

  • Flower plantations damaged in anti-government demonstrations
  • Reports of militias clashing with army in parts of Amhara

by William Davison | Bloomberg News

A Dutch-run flower farm in northern Ethiopia was among a series of foreign-owned plantations attacked by anti-government protesters as unrest in the country spreads.

File Photo
File Photo

A “large group” of people invaded Esmeralda Farms Inc.’s farm 13 kilometers (8 miles) south of Bahir Dar city in the Amhara region on Aug. 29, causing about 7 million euros ($7.8 million) of damage, country manager Haile Seifu said by phone Thursday. Flower farms in the area owned by Israeli, Italian, Indian and Belgian companies were among nine commercial properties damaged in the protests, which continued on Aug. 30, he said.

“They were so aggressive, there were also soldiers who couldn’t control them, so we just ran away, as it’s life or death,” he said from the capital, Addis Ababa. “They came actually at once through our compound, through our fence, through our main gate, so everybody left.”

Authorities in Ethiopia have killed more than 500 people since June, according to human-rights groups, to suppress protests by the two most populous groups, the Oromo and Amhara. Analysts say the demonstrations present the biggest challenge to the government’s authority since it came to power a quarter of a century ago. The economy grew faster than any other in Africa over the past two years, International Monetary Fund data shows.

Nigusu Tilahun, a spokesman for the Amhara government, said he wasn’t immediately available to comment, while a call to Communications Minister Getachew Reda wasn’t answered.

Militias Clashing

Militias are also clashing with the army in parts of Gojam and Gondar areas of Amhara, with 10 people dying Wednesday in Metemma on the Sudan border, and four in Debark to the north of Gondar city, said Yared Hailemariam, executive director for the Association for Human Rights in Ethiopia, which is based in Belgium.

The military is also patrolling Bahir Dar and shooting at protesters, he said by phone from Brussels. Unless the government changes its approach, the unrest may worsen, he said.

“In both Oromia and Amhara region people are saying enough is enough,” Yared said. “They are demanding regime change.”

(Updates with report of violence in parts of Amhara starting in paragraph after Militias Clashing subheadline. An earlier version of this story corrected the spelling of the city’s name in the second paragraph.)

2 Comments

  1. The companies are ready to sue their insurance companies in Ethiopia for not paying the claims for the damage the companies sustained in the hands of Ethiopian terrorists, which might result in bankrupting the insurance companies unless the insurance companies decide to settle the claims within the next few weeks.

  2. Ethiopia has no government but a traitor gang in power, since 2.5 decades back. As part of the new Global Colonization algorithm (globalization), USA/UK/Multinationals and international institutions such as WB/IMF/UN procured and sustained this traitor junta in power. They did these because just like with the other Eastern states this very old and highly proud people/nations had to be demolished and give away their resources.

    But, if multinationals were operated/owned by genuine humans, they would not have had made any agreement and business deal with this criminal gang, TPLF. This way of grabbing land and other economies of the poor is much more inhuman than slavery/colonization.

    Flower and other multinational companies in Ethiopia should go away and may come back for a humanly business deal after Ethiopians establish a genuine own government.

    You have been wrong and you better be regretful of that than unjustly wronging the justice denied rather humiliated Ethiopian poor. Not the countless human death but loss of the euro’s/dollars overwhelmed you! Shame on you, Multinationals! That is absolutely inhuman!

    I would like to close my remark with the following fact not prophecy:’ there will never be global peace in this technology era unless humanity stops the Bush formula: scrambling for the global economies using multinationals!!!’

    STOP! STOP! STOP it now!

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