April 8, 2013
Ethiopian People’s Congress for United Struggle (Shengo)
To Navanethem Pillay – Chair, Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)
Recent developments in Ethiopia indicate that thousands of ethnic Amharas have been forcefully evicted from the Benshangul Region in Western Ethiopia. Overnight, masses of unassuming people including vulnerable women and children have been uprooted and forced to leave their livelihood in the most callous circumstances. This forced eviction was confirmed by credible international news
agencies including the Voice of America.
This is not the first time that such forced and ethnic based eviction was carried out targeting the Amharas in Ethiopia. Last year thousands were also evicted from Maji Guraferda a location in Southern Ethiopia in a similar action taken by the local authorities. According to a leaked memo the horrendous ethnic based forced eviction was ordered by the president of the southern region Mr Shigute.
Shengo is appalled by such inhuman and illegal act perpetuated with the full knowledge of the ruling EPRDF. To date the government has taken no steps to stop such ethnic based forced eviction. Shengo is very concerned that whatever the pretext, this current eviction is part of a systemic policy of “ethnic cleansing regions in Ethiopia”.
We contend that this action could constitute crime against humanity as defined by the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.
As such, we urge your office to give the situation a very urgent and immediate attention investigate and avert further human tragedy.
Ermias Alemu, (Dr)
Cc Genocide watch
Human Rights Watch
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