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Ethiopian gov.t responds to activists’ campaign to rescue Gedeo

As Ethiopians launched a serious campaign to rescue displaced ethnic Gedeo from humanitarian disaster, Abiy Ahmed’s administration is responding to it.

Ethiopia_ Displacement _IDPs
Displaced people from Gedeo region of Ethiopia
Photo : NRC

Photo : File
March 16,2019

It is not even a week now since Ethiopian activists exposed humanitarian crisis that displaced ethnic Gedeo people are living in the Southern Parts of the country.

Today, the Office of the prime minister released a statement which talks, in detail, about the kind of support that government is making.

And one of the things that the statement claims is that most of displaced Ethiopians in connection with violence in Guji and Gedeo area have returned to their places of residence except 13,000 people displaced from East Guji who declined to return.

The statement bears striking difference from what activists have been revealing over the past several days. A report by Ethiopian Satellite Television this week said that about five people, ethnic Gedeo, are dying due to hunger.

A shocking picture of a woman, seemingly on the verge of death from famine, stirred a social media campaign both to put pressure on the government to act on it and also to solicit support from Ethiopians living in different parts of the world.

Ethiopians accused Abiy Ahmed’s administration that nearly 1,000,000 ethnic Gedeos displaced from their place about eight months ago following ethnic based violence are ignored and that government was not providing them with humanitarian food aid.

The Minister for peace, Muferiat Kamil, who is also chairperson of the party that governs the affected region, made a statement today claiming that displaced people were not ignored for eight months.

She, however, said that they were not receiving food aid as much as they should and the reason was security problem in the region; armed groups operating in the region, Guji area, were intercepting the supply of humanitarian food aid and diverting it to their own consumption.

Meanwhile, Diaspora based Ethiopian Humanitarian Aid, Global alliance for Ethiopians, with the leadership of Tamagne Beyene, former comedian and talk show host, launched an online fundraiser on GoFundMe and raised more than $850,000 in a matter of two days. The online campaign intends to raise $US 1,000,000.

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