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‘Nightmare’ for Ethiopian Pastoralists as foreign investors buy up land

By: David Smith, The Guardian

Pastoralists 2Thinktank accuses Ethiopian government of stirring ethnic tensions as Suri displaced to make way for large plantations. Ethiopia’s policy of leasing millions of hectares of land to foreign investors is encouraging human rights violations, ruining livelihoods and disturbing a delicate political balance between ethnic groups, a thinktank report has found.

The US-based Oakland Institute says that while the east African country is now lauded as an economic success story, the report, Engineering Ethnic Conflict, “highlights the unreported nightmare experienced by Ethiopia’s traditionally pastoralist communities”.

A controversial “villagisation” programme has seen tens of thousands of people forcibly moved to purpose-built communes that have inadequate food and lack health and education facilities, according to human rights watchdogs, to make way for commercial agriculture. Ethiopia is one of the biggest recipients of UK development aid, receiving around £300m a year. Read more



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