Ethiopia, Stop Forcing People Off Their Land!
- By: Judith B.
- Target: Tefera Deribew, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Ethiopia
Thousands of people are being forced out of their homes to make way for commercial agriculture. They receive little or no compensation for the loss of their land and homes, and are forced into villages without the basic facilities for new people.
Because of the timing of the relocations, at the beginning of the harvest, and because no food or health resources have been made available for these people, malnutrition, illness and starvation are becoming endemic.
Resistance doesn't help when you are relocated, often being met with threats, violence and arrest, according to Human Rights Watch. The thousands already moved are just the beginning; the Ethiopian government plans to relocate 1.5 million people by next year.
Tell the Ethiopian government to suspend this program immediately and not reinstate it until the government has developed the infrastructure to consult and support the individuals it wishes to move.
We the undersigned ask that the Ethiopian government stop the forcible relocation of people in Gambella and other areas immediately. There is no infrastructure to support these people after the move and they are not being consulted or compensated for the loss of their land and homes. At the moment, these relocations constitute human rights abuses.
Once full infrastructure is in place, radically adapted relocation plans might be feasible. At the moment, they are not possible without putting your people's lives in danger and disregarding their basic rights. We ask that Ethiopia put its people first as a matter of urgency.