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Ethiopia: Forced Relocations Bring Hunger, Hardship

Author: Human Rights Watch, Published on: 17 January 2012

The Ethiopian government under its “villagization” program is forcibly relocating approximately 70,000 indigenous people from the western Gambella region to new villages that lack adequate food, farmland, healthcare, and educational facilities... State security forces have repeatedly threatened, assaulted, and arbitrarily arrested villagers who resist the transfers...The areas from which people are being moved are slated for leasing by the government for commercial agricultural development...The government says the “villagization” program is [voluntary and] designed to provide “access to basic socioeconomic infrastructures” to the people it relocates and to bring “socioeconomic & cultural transformation of the people.”

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