Ethiopian in Legal Battle over Aid

Daily Mail/Press Association

A legal battle has been launched by an Ethiopian citizen who claims to be the victim of human rights abuses linked to a “brutal” resettlement programme the UK has helped to fund in his country.

The man, who can only be referred to as “O”, won permission to seek a declaration from the High Court in London that the British Government has acted unlawfully by providing overseas aid without assessing – or having a proper assessment process for – Ethiopia’s human rights record.

The application for judicial review arises from an Ethiopian government programme for resettling individuals from rural communities in new and larger “communes”, known as the Commune Development Programme (CDP) and also as “villagisation”.

Today, Mr Justice Warby ruled that O had an arguable case against the UK’s secretary of state for international development that should go to a full hearing.

The judge said it was O’s case that he had fled to Kenya, leaving his family in Ethiopia, following “brutal treatment” in 2012 in the course of being subjected to the CDP.

The judge said: “The claimant alleges he is far from being alone in suffering in this way and refers to evidence gathered by human rights organisations and NGOs of widespread human rights abuses in Ethiopia in the context of the villagisation programme and otherwise.”

O maintains that UK development assistance money provided to the Ethiopian government “contributes to such violations”. Read more…

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