The Ethiopian government is evicting up to 90,000 of its own people from their land to lease to foreign investors to grow crops for export. And they are doing this at a time when 4.5 million Ethiopians in the south-east of the country face starvation.
Survival International has charted the government’s theft of the country's most productive farmland, using so-called “nationalisation of land” to further the interests of a corrupt élite.
The government deems the Omo valley people 'backward' and in need of modernisation. In other words, from independent farmers they will become landless labourers - either working for foreign interests or building a series of dams. This is an ecological disaster in the making that will deprive the land of its annual irrigation.
Survival International’s Director, Stephen Corry, said: "The
The Ethiopian Minister for Mines clarified his government's investment policy when he said that the country's deposits of gold, silver, copper and other metals and minerals are "totally open" to foreign investors, with "no restrictions" at all.
Prime Minister Meles Zenawi cynically defends these rapacious policies and says those who accuse foreign companies of land grabbing are ill-informed, saying: “We do not want to admire the beauty of our country while we starve.” Zenawi and his EPRDF party are a corrupt élite who stole the 2005 election. In a wave of protests, 30 people were killed and 80,000 students rounded up; many oppositionists are still in jail.
This opposition movement, driven temporarily underground, will re-emerge as
The establishment of a popular democracy in