April 7, 2012

Amhara expelled from southern Ethiopia

Filed under: Azeb Mesfin,Meles Zenawi — ethiopiantimes @ 4:07 pm
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Ethiopia’s Southern Region government has over the past two weeks expelled more than 20,000 ethnic Amhara settlers, it can be revealed.

The regional authorities reportedly ordered the settlers to return to their ‘home’ in Bench-Maji Province.

Southern Region Governor Shiferaw Shigute declined to comment on the issue, while his aide said the regional government was not aware of the expulsion.

However, a letter obtained by this reporter indicated that Mr Shiferaw had ordered the eviction to prevent the Amhara from dominating the region.

The local government also confiscated the Amhara’s farmland and property and paid them a meagre $3 (50 Birr) for lunch during their departure.

Thousands of evicted residents arrived in Addis Ababa and the authorities kept them on separate compounds, while some 600 others were taken to a location some 130km out of the capital.

Ethnic Amhara settled in the Southern Region 20 years ago, mostly as labourers, but were later permitted by the local government to own land and property.

The Amhara, reputed as a powerhouse of Ethiopian politics, form about 26 per cent of the country’s population and are estimated to be around 20 million.

Ethiopia’s Southern Region is home to over 50 minority groups and often experiences sporadic ethnic tensions over resources and power.


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