(Oromocentre, Melbourne, 05 February 2012) In recent years, investigations and reports carried out by independent organizations have described the steadily worsening human rights picture in Ethiopia. A 2007 report from the UN committee that monitors the implementation of the International Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD) was “alarmed” to find that security forces have been “systematically targeting” certain ethnic groups. It cited evidence of “summary executions, rape of women and girls, arbitrary detention, torture, humiliations, and destruction of property and crops of members of those communities.”
According to Care2.com analysis, the new January 2012 Human Rights Watch (HRW) report about Gambella confirms what the Oakland Institute (OI) and its partner organization, Solidarity Movement for a New Ethiopia (SMNE), uncovered in several recent reports on Ethiopia, where indigenous people and local communities are being coerced and forcibly moved from their lands to make room for large-scale agricultural plantations. The report criticizes the Ethiopian government policy of forced villagization–the resettling of indigenous people from land that is being leased for commercial agriculture. Many of the estimated 70,000 people being relocated are Anuak pastoralists.