20 years after Rwanda - Ethiopia's 'slow genocide' in the Om

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20 years after Rwanda - Ethiopia's 'slow genocide' in the Om

Unread postby zeru » 07 Apr 2014 09:20

A 'slow genocide' is unfolding in Ethiopia - one driven by greed rather than hatred. With Chinese and World Bank finance, massive dams and plantations are robbing the Omo Valley's 500,000 indigenous people of their land and water. The UK 'sees no evil'.If current plans to create new plantations continue to move forward, Lake Turkana could drop as much as 16 to 22 meters.New satellite imagery shows extensive clearance of land used by indigenous groups to make way for state-run sugar plantations in Ethiopia's Lower Omo Valley. According to Human Rights Watch and International Rivers, virtually all of the traditional lands of the 7,000-member Bodi indigenous group have been cleared in the last 15 months, without adequate consultation or compensation. HRW has also documented the forced resettlement of some indigenous people in the area.The land clearing is part of a broader Ethiopian government development scheme in the Omo Valley - a United National Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Site -including dam construction, sugar plantations, and commercial agriculture.500,000 indigenous people left without waterThe project will consume the vast majority of the water in the Omo River basin, potentially devastating the livelihoods of the 500,000 indigenous people in Ethiopia and neighboring Kenya who directly or indirectly rely on the Omo's waters for their livelihoods."Ethiopia can develop its land and resources but it shouldn't run roughshod over the rights of its indigenous communities", said Leslie Lefkow, deputy Africa director at Human Rights Watch."The people who rely on the land for their livelihoods have the right to compensation and the right to reject plans that will completely transform their lives."Forced relocation and land clearanceA prerequisite to the government's development plans for the Lower Omo Valley is the relocation of 150,000 indigenous people who live in the vicinity of the sugar plantations into permanent sedentary villages under the government's deeply unpopular 'villagization' program.

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