Ethiopia – government crackdown in Omo region intensifies

Retrieved from: www.survivalinternational.org

“Survival has received disturbing reports of a crackdown on tribal people opposed to Ethiopia’s program to remove them from their lands in the Omo region and force them to resettle in villages.

The authorities have organized community meetings to inform people of their controversial plans to lease out tribal lands to state and private companies for conversion into large-scale sugar cane, cotton and biofuels plantations.

After one such meeting, a group of Bodi and Chirim tribal people were shown where they are to be resettled. However, after seeing the place, they refused to be moved. The government responded by calling on the security forces to attend a follow-up meeting. When they still refused to move, four young men were rounded up and jailed.

Some Bodi felt so intimidated that they said the government could take the land for sugar, because they ‘could see that death was very near for them if they said no.’

Members of the Suri tribe have also been arrested in the town of Tum for opposing a plantation run by a Malaysian company, which has swallowed a large part of their land where they graze their cattle.

Many Suri say the arrests are a show of force, to intimidate them into not opposing the plantation. ‘We lived there in peace, in the heart of Suri land, the place where all of the Suri cattle were grazing during both the rainy and dry seasons. Now, in this place there is a plantation, owned by a rich Malaysian company.’ said one young Suri man.

‘The Malaysian investors and the government trained 130 soldiers who were given 130 machine guns. If Suri become aggressive towards the farms the soldiers are to kill Suri men, our sons,’ said a Suri woman.”

Read more: Survival

 

1 Response to “Ethiopia – government crackdown in Omo region intensifies”


  • Its not fair sending natives away from their land. That land have been passed on to them by their forefathers and thus they are not easily convinced to vacate them.

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