Tag Archives: Gambella

World Bank told to investigate links to Ethiopia ‘villagisation’ project, forced removals

By William Lloyd George, March 19, 2013. Source: The Guardian

 Anuak village in southern Ethiopia. The World Bank is under fire for links between its funds and relocation of Ethiopians. Photo: Alamy

Anuak village in southern Ethiopia. The World Bank is under fire for links between its funds and relocation of Ethiopians. Photo: Alamy

An independent panel has called for an investigation into a World Bank-funded project in Ethiopia following accusations from refugees that the bank is funding a programme that forced people off their land.

In a report, seen by the Guardian, the inspection panel – the World Bank’s independent accountability mechanism – calls for an investigation into complaints made by refugees from the Anuak indigenous group from Gambella, western Ethiopia, in relation to the bank’s policies and procedures.

The refugees claim the Protection of Basic Services (PBS) programme funded by the bank and the UK Department for International Development (DfID), is contributing directly to the Ethiopian government’s “villagisation” programme, introduced in 2010. The programme seeks to move people to new villages, but residents say this is done with little consultation or compensation, and that these sites lack adequate facilities.

In a letter sent to the panel in September, the refugees say some people have been forcibly relocated from their land, which is now being leased to foreign investors.

“These mass evictions have been carried out under the pretext of providing better services and improving the livelihoods of the communities,” says the letter. “However, once they moved to the new sites, they found not only infertile land, but also no schools, clinics, wells or other basic services.”
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Filed under Africa, Corporate Globalization, Food Sovereignty, Indigenous Peoples, Industrial agriculture, Land Grabs, World Bank

Corporations, investors grabbing land overseas

Note: More evidence that a switch to biofuels will lead to land grabbing, human rights violations and increased corporate control across the world.

-The GJEP Team

By Brian Bienkowski, February 12, 2013.  Source: Environmental Health News

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As a growing population stresses the world’s food and water supplies, corporations and investors in wealthy countries are buying up foreign farmland and the freshwater perks that come with it.

From Sudan to Indonesia, most of the land lies in poverty-stricken regions, so experts warn that this widespread purchasing could expand the gap between developed and developing countries.

Investors from seven countries – the United States, United Arab Emirates, India, United Kingdom, Egypt, China and Israel – accounted for 60 percent of the water acquired under these deals.The “water grabbing” by corporations amounts to 454 billion cubic meters per year globally, according to a new study by environmental scientists. That’s about 5 percent of the water the world uses annually.

Most purchasers are agricultural, biofuel and timber investors. Some of the more active buyers in the United States, which leads the pack in number of deals, include multinational investors Nile Trading and Development, BHP Billiton, Unitech and media magnate Ted Turner, according to the study published last month.
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Filed under Africa, Bioenergy / Agrofuels, Climate Change, Corporate Globalization, False Solutions to Climate Change, Food Sovereignty, Indigenous Peoples, Industrial agriculture, Land Grabs, Latin America-Caribbean, World Bank

Anuak demand accountability from World Bank for contributing to human rights abuses

By Ahni, October 11, 2012. Source: Intercontinental Cry

Anuak from Gambella, Ethiopia. Photo by julio garcia on flickr. Some Rights Reserved

Indigenous Peoples in Southwest Ethiopia have implicated the World Bank in grave human rights abuses that are being carried out as part of a resettlement programme headed by the Ethiopian Government.

The government is currently working to resettle approximately 1.5 million peoples across the country by 2013. “Villagization” is supposed to be a voluntary process that offers increased access to basic services and improved food security. However, according Anuak who reside in the Gambella region, nothing could be further from the truth.

The Anuak say they are being dispossessed of their fertile, ancestral lands and forced into new villages where there is little access to food or arable land. They also report a daunting list of abuses that are being carried out by the Ethiopian National Defense Forces (ENDF). These abuses include intimidation, beatings, arbitrary arrest and detention, torture in military custody, rape and extra-judicial killing.

In a letter to the World Bank Country Director for Ethiopia, one person detailed his experience, Continue reading

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Filed under Africa, Indigenous Peoples, Land Grabs, Political Repression, World Bank