April 4th, 2012 Print Print Email Email

As variously confirmed by international media outlets including the German Radio, Voice of America and other Ethiopian media sources 22,000 Ethiopians of the Amara ethic origin have been forcibly expelled and their property expropriated within the last few weeks from places like: Guraferda, Benji Maji Zone, in Southern Ethiopia.

While the parents of these victims are originally from the central and northern provinces of Wello and Shoa, a number of them were born in that same location. These individuals were resettled in the area as part of the resettlement program following the devastating drought of the 1980’s.

Citing Tesfaye Tariku – Secretary General of the All Ethiopian Unity Party, the Amharic Newspaper – “The Reporter” reported on March 25, 2012 that 72 of the thousands evicted are now being sheltered in the all Ethiopian Unity Party office in Addis Ababa. The paper states that the 72 people first headed to the Trinity Cathedral Church at Arat Kilo looking for sanctuary but were kicked out by the guards”.

It is also reported that these victims were told to “go back to their native region” by the local government authorities who take direct order from the ruling group EPRDF/TPLF led by PM Meles Zenawi.

This clearly shows that the action is a deliberate political exercise on the part of the regime to change the ethnic composition of the area to make it “governable” through the divide and conquer policies which has been implementing in earnest since 1991.

For those who have been closely following the situation in Ethiopia, it is clear that this is not the first time that the Amara Ethnic group, among others, has been targeted and attacked by the ruling party and its supporters. In 1990s, brutal force was used by security forces and groups loyal to the regime to cleanse the Amara from Harrar, Arsi, Wollega and the like. Hundreds had been brutally murdered.

This sustained and systemic attack against the Amaras is once again on its ugly footing. As was the case in previous attacks, this time too, the federal government thus far has done nothing meaningful to stop this ethnic cleansing or bring legal action against those who perpetrate such horrible crimes.

The facts on the ground indicate that there is now a well-founded and alarming fear that the basic safety and security of those who may resist the current forced expulsion could be highly in danger. As well, the expulsion could be expanded even further.

Therefore SOCEPP- Canada calls upon all Ethiopian groups in Diaspora and the international community to:
• Pressure the Ethiopian authorities to immediately stop the forced expulsion of citizens, return their confiscated property including their land.
• provide immediate and sufficient relief aid
• Guarantee their safety and security, and
• initiate a full and independent investigation into this forceful expulsion and bring the perpetrators to justice
We call upon the government of Canada and members of the international community to give this grave human rights abuse a serious attention and put on notice the ruling group in Ethiopia that such ethnic based forced eviction is a serious threat to all humanity and will not be tolerated.

- Genocide watch
- Human Rights Watch
- Amnesty International – Ottawa

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