Friday, September 07, 2012

Ethiopian man threatens action over UK 'link to abuse'

(Sept 07, 2012, BBC)--An Ethiopian farmer could sue the UK government after claiming a project that received funding from Britain led to human rights abuses.

The man - known as Mr O - told his British lawyers he was evicted from his farm, beaten and witnessed rapes as part of a "villagisation" scheme. Mr O's lawyers say the programme receives funding from the UK Department for International Development (Dfid).

Dfid said it does not fund "any commune projects" in the country. Ethiopia is among the biggest recipients of UK aid and in July 2011 received £38m ($61m) during the country's worse drought in a decade. The UK government is also one of the main partners in Ethiopia's Protection of Basic Services programme, money from which lawyers for Mr O claim is helping to finance forced resettlement.

'Men were beaten'
Mr O - whose identity has not been revealed - lived in the Gambella region, which is one of four areas in Ethiopia subject to villagisation. About 1.5 million people are being resettled.

The married farmer, who has six children, told lawyers at London firm Leigh Day & Co his family were forced from their farm in Novermber 2011 by soldiers from the Ethiopian National Defence Force (ENDF). His lawyers said he claimed that "several men were beaten, women were raped and some people disappeared" during the resettlement. Read more from BBC »

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Shame shame full sympathise with the people suffering under villagelisation or what ever it is. It is the character of Ethiopians and its government and ruling junta. The donor Country is not responsible. But it shows when everything fails people can appeal to the sympathy of British for help with their down trodden plight. May hell loose on such country that live in darkness in spite of having 'Bible' light the world far so long.

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