Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Ethiopia's Villagization Program

Human Rights Watch issued a highly critical press release on 16 January 2012 concerning Ethiopia's villagization program. It alleged that the government is forceably relocating about 70,000 people from western Gambella to new villages that lack adequate facilities. You can read the entire press release titled "Ethiopia: Forced Relocations Bring Hunger, Hardship".

The government of Ethiopia has denied the charges. A 17 July 2012 Reuters article by Aaron Maasho titled "Ethiopia Forcing Thousands Off Land--US Rights Group" quoted government spokesman Bereket Simon: "There is no evidence to back the claim. This programme is taking place with the full preparation and participation of regional authorities, the government and residents." The government added that the program is intended to lease land for purposes of technology transfer and to boost agricultural production.

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