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It is confirmed: Ethiopians are compulsorily displaced from their land holdings from Benshangul

Ethiopian News
April 1,2013

Displaced people from Gurafarda- Image source De Birhan

Toronto – Ahmed Nasir, president of Benshangul regional state, confirmed the news that settled farmers are displaced from Benshangul region of Ethiopia. In an online interview with “Ethio Civility” Forum, which is run by supporters of the regime in the diaspora, Ato Ahmed gave a rather arrogant TPLFish response to questions posed by the chat room operator.

While admitting a moderate figure of 1700 cases of eviction of settled farmers, Ato Ahmed claimed that the eviction is enforced on those settlers who illegally settled in the region by clearing forests. His claim of illegal settlement is in total contradiction to news report published in Amharic by local newspaper Addis Admas on March 25,2013. Evicted farmers informed Addis Admas that they lived in the region for more than 9 years and were recognized by the appropriate local authorities, issued with identification cards and paid taxes.

Without a sense of shame, Ahmed Nasir told civility room operator that he has arranged a meeting with regional authorities, from which the settlers are said to have originated before their settlement in Benshangul, and the purpose is to discuss about the situation of the displaced farmers: the cart before the horse.

Theoretically, Ethiopian constitution stipulates rights of citizens to live and work in any parts of Ethiopia without any restrictions in which case even the term “settler” might not sound appropriate. As many Ethiopians have argued, the regional government does not have a constitutional right to displace settled farmers who have been living in the region and paying taxes.

From Ato Ahmed’s interview one can clearly understand that apart from stepping on constitutional rights of citizens, the regional state made no logistical and humanitarian arrangements to implement its compulsory eviction. Those evicted are in the middle of nowhere with their children and there are even reports of 59 deaths of evicted farmers and their families due to car accident following the eviction, which the regional president denied.

Ethiopia is divided into federal states instituted based on ethnicity and language. Many sources indicate that the eviction is specifically targeted on Amharic speaking Ethiopians which Ato Ahmed denied. He said the displaced people are Amharic and Oromigna speaking peoples.

This is not the first forced eviction. Amharic speaking Ethiopians were displaced from Gurafarda in the southern part of Ethiopia and Amharic service of Voice of America has reported about it.

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  1. As long as we have an ethnically constituted regional structure where a few cronies have more privilege than the other displacement of citizens will continue. In Somali regional state for example the regime is totally controlled by a few ogaden sub clan alienating the majority of Ethiopian Somali. In concept the nation/nationality question does mean the equality of all nation/nationalities in Ethiopia. Not the replacement one oppressor by another one. Ethiopian could live freely and their rights recognised in foreign countries including western than their own country. This is totally unacceptable and we should all work for the change of this ignorant government that simply deny the reality. Prime Minister HMD is worst than even the previous late dictator, Meles Zenawi because he has no clues as what to do. In a recent interview he gave to the Al-Jazera he totally deny the reality in Ethiopia by simply say no no no when the journalist clearly challenged him. Even a white woman was more informed about what is existing in Ethiopia. Today we are being led by a man who simply dancing with religious zealot every day. Ethiopia need Arab style revolt as soon as possible otherwise we would wake up in country changed beyond our dream.

  2. I really disappointed with the gov’t of Ethiopia and to tell frankly, no government to serve peoples of Ethiopia especially the Amhara Speaking peoples/Amharas. And no one can convince me that it was/is not done so far since EPRDF seize the power!!!!!!!!!

  3. Ms Borkena, while good to exercise your free speech, you must not abuse the net. As far as i know you,as a room mate, you have no single source back home and you are not even a journalist by profession. You cant decieve people in the name of freedom. So stop it, before its too late,

    Kind regards,


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