Tuesday, April 14, 2015
We Say the Land is Not Yours: Breaking the Silence Against Forced Displacement in Ethiopia
Over the past six years, the Oakland Institute has been at the forefront of exposing the social, economic, and environmental impacts of foreign land grabs in Ethiopia. This work has been based on extensive fieldwork and research on human rights abuses against and forced evictions of indigenous populations in the Lower Omo and Gambella regions; detailed briefs on the impacts of specific land development projects, such as the Saudi Star Rice Farm and the Malaysian Koka plantation in Lower Omo;studies on the intersection between forced evictions and foreign aid by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the UK Department for International Development (DfID) and the World Bank; and more. These reports have led to numerous media articles, galvanizing public attention towards these issues, and legislative “wins” in the US, including specific language in the 2014 and 2015 Appropriations Bill that ensures US development funds to Ethiopia are not used to support activities that directly or indirectly involve forced evictions in Gambella and lower Omo.