Ethiopia’s Anuak confront World Bank over ethnic cleansing


Anuak children in Gambella, Ethiopia. Leaders of the Anuak indigenous ethnicity in Ethiopia’s southwest say their people are being dispossessed of their fertile, ancestral lands and forced into new villages under military control. The government is currently working to resettle approximately 1.5 million people across the country by 2013. The “villagization” program—funded by the World Bank—is supposed to be a voluntary process that offers increased access to basic services and improved food security. However, Anuak leaders charge that there is little access to food or arable land in the new villages, and that the relocations are being carried out at gunpoint. The government of Ethiopia is meanwhile awarding land left and right to foreign investors.

Photo: Gill Penney

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