Home | News    Sunday 20 May 2012

Ethiopia denies forcing thousands off land


By Tesfa-Alem Tekle

May 17, 2012 (ADDIS ABABA) - The Ethiopian government has rejected growing accusations that it is forcibly relocating tens of thousands of indigenous people in the country’s south west in order to lease the land for commercial agriculture, mainly to foreign investors.

Gambella region of Ethiopia (Getty)

Earlier this year, the US-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) said the Ethiopian government, under its "villagization" program, has forcibly resettled an estimated 70,000 indigenous residents from the western Gambella region to new villages where there is inadequate food, farmland and access to healthcare, and education.

HRW claim resettlement has been carried out forcibly and those who refuse it face assault and arbitrary arrest at the hands of state security forces. These are allegations which Addis Ababa denies.

Government spokesperson, Shimels Kemal on Wednesday told Sudan Tribune that the accusations are “baseless” and are part of politically motivated smear campaign.

Kemal said the land being leased is only in areas that are currently agricultural, uninhabited or sparsely populated.

He conceded that relocations have taken place in the area, but said this had been done in consultation with the local populous and with their consent.

The relocated people received assistance in establishing a new lives according to Kemal.

The Ethiopian government argues that the resettlement program is part of its strategy to ensure pastoralist areas of the country benefit from development and provides them with the necessary socio-economic infrastructures.

The programs have so far seen the relocation of some 20,000 households in the Gambella region and over 100,000 have also been resettled in Benshangul and Somali regions.

The Ethiopian government has plans to resettle some 1.5 million people by 2013 in Gambella, Afar, Somali, and Benishangul-Gumuz regions, in order to establish large-scale plantations there.


Comments on the Sudan Tribune website must abide by the following rules. Contravention of these rules will lead to the user losing their Sudan Tribune account with immediate effect.

- No inciting violence
- No inappropriate or offensive language
- No racism, tribalism or sectarianism
- No inappropriate or derogatory remarks
- No deviation from the topic of the article
- No advertising, spamming or links
- No incomprehensible comments

Due to the unprecedented amount of racist and offensive language on the site, Sudan Tribune tries to vet all comments on the site.

There is now also a limit of 400 words per comment. If you want to express yourself in more detail than this allows, please e-mail your comment as an article to comment@sudantribune.com

Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.
  • 20 May 2012 09:32, by Ruach

    Why relocating the local population in Gambella,Benashengul/Gumuz,Somali and Afar?Is it because these people are diverse countries?It will be worst in Gambella and Benashangul/Gumuz Kilils as these people are percieved as South Sudanese and Sudanese respectively.Gambella is the land of South sudan,but was legally sold to Ethiopia by stupid Arabs exchanged with Kassala which belong to ethio/Eritrea

    repondre message

  • 20 May 2012 09:36, by Hotep

    Even Ethiopia which means Khemet or black is harassing its indigenous population of Ethiopia. Simply because the rulers changed color through bastardization and now play the role of their fathers the invaders.

    repondre message

  • 21 May 2012 12:10, by SimonGK

    The government of Ethiopia is hiding the pact as said by HRW. people are relocating with their baseless investment that is not benefiting the region. because they are exporting its product rather open a factory that can create a job opportunity and benefit the local people.

    repondre message

  • 30 July 2012 18:12, by danaray79

    I am really impressed by this blog! Very clear explanation of issues is given and it is open to everyone. thanks for posting this work of yours..this is very good! Buy Essay.

    repondre message

Comment on this article

The following ads are provided by Google. SudanTribune has no authority on it.

Sudan Tribune

Promote your Page too

Latest Comments & Analysis

False escape of Peter Biar Ajak from South Sudan to America 2020-08-07 15:58:45 By Steve Paterno In a dramatic fashion, Peter Biar Ajak, a South Sudanese political dissident, wrote an opinion article in World Street Journal (WSJ), published on July 23, 2020, the same day he (...)

How we can construct a shared vision for South Sudan’s future? 2020-08-01 09:21:58 David Nyuol Vincent To craft a shared vision for the future of South Sudan is difficult but not impossible. To surpass the perilous situation in which we are in now, we need to learn to (...)

Establish capable security force in Darfur 2020-08-01 07:43:40 By Mahmoud A. Suleiman The Darfur region is destined to continue bleeding. Those who believe in that openly say whether Omer Al-Bashir is still in the rule of Sudan or deposed, the region of (...)


Latest Press Releases

S. Korea supports UN communities building resilience project in Sudan’s Blue Nile 2019-09-09 09:26:41 UNDP Sudan September 5, 2019 (KHARTOUM) - An agreement was signed on 5th of September between the Korean Ambassador, His Excellency. Lee Ki-Seong and Dr. Selva Ramachandran, Resident (...)

Sudanese lawyers and Human rights defenders back calls for civil rule 2019-04-26 10:22:06 Press statement by 55 Sudanese lawyers and Human rights defenders on Sudan Sit-in and Peaceful Protest Khartoum -24/04/2019 We, the undersigned (55) Sudanese lawyers and human rights defenders, (...)

South Sudan’s Lafon youth condemn killings of civilians by Pari community 2019-04-03 21:54:29 Press Statement on the Fighting between Pari/ Pacidi and Lotuko/Lokiri on 24/3/2019 Release by The Lafon County Youth Union: We, the Lafon County Youth Union hereby condemn the atrocities and (...)


Copyright © 2003-2020 SudanTribune - All rights reserved.