April 10, 2013

Government-uprooted families begin to return to settlements in Benishangul

Filed under: Ethiopia — ethiopiantimes @ 8:03 am
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FENOTE SELAM, Ethiopia – Over 3,500 Ethiopians who were removed from Benishangul-Gumuz region recently and were being temporarily sheltered in this town were once again being transported back to their settlements, the Ethiopian Satellite TV (ESAT) reported on Tuesday.


The Ethiopian farmers who were removed from the region for being Amhara were once again in tears as police cordoned off their area suddenly, and ordered them to board buses.

Targeting members of the Amhara ethnic group has been the preoccupation of the regime for a long time, and the forceful eviction of the farmers from that part of their country had sent shockwaves across Ethiopian communities around the globe.

The eviction sparked anger and condemnation across the Ethiopian Diaspora while opposition parties both at home and overseas denounced the government action as inhuman and criminal.

The prominent opposition figure, Yacob Hailemariam, on his part equated the crime with ‘ethnic cleansing,’ and warned those party and government authorities linked to the mass deportation of citizens within their own country could be taken to the International Criminal Court.

He cited a similar case in Rwanda in the ’90s for which he was a UN Senior Attorney and said those responsible for “ethnic cleansing” were sentenced to life in prison.

“No matter how much time will go by, those responsible for ethnic cleansing in Ethiopai will face justice and suffer life in prison like their Rwandan counterparts” the former business law proressor said.

The uprooted who talked to ESAT were expressing their fear and concern that they may be condemned to severe government reprisals once they are taken to their settlements in the Gumuz wilderness.

“We have no guarantee that we will be safe but we have no choice either to disobey their orders,” ESAT quoted one farmer as saying


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