Response to the Report Entitled “Engineering Ethnic Conflict: The Toll of Ethiopia’s Plantation Development on the Suri People”  

14 Nov 2014

The Ethiopian Embassy in London has noted with dismay that a report containing wild allegations against Ethiopia, has once again been published by the Oakland Institute (OI). As usual, OI’s report is characterized by outright lies, distortions and exaggerations.

Oakland Institute’s previous reports have been repeatedly refuted by independent investigations undertaken by development partners and NGO’S operating in Ethiopia that have the full grasp of the reality on the ground.

 In its report, OI alleges that the allocation of land for commercial farming activities in Bench Maji Zone, south western Ethiopia has caused clashes between two communities which left over 50 people dead. Incongruously, it accuses the Government of Ethiopia of “engineering” the clashes leaving the reader wondering how to piece together the allegations it makes against the government.

Ethiopia has 76 million hectares of arable land and has so far utilized only 16 million hectares out of that. While much of this is being used by small holder farmers, there are large swathes of vacant land that are suitable for large scale farming. Currently, the government has at its disposal 3 million hectares of vacant land out of which it has so far allocated about 400,000 hectares for large scale agricultural development. It is a clearly stated policy of the government to only earmark unoccupied land for large scale farming. Indeed there is no political or economic rationale to displace small-holder farmers for the purpose of expanding commercial farms. The validity of OI’s allegations must therefore, be scrutinized in view of these realities on the ground.

The political and economic transformation unfolding in Ethiopia today is an all- inclusive and participatory development, which seeks to improve the livelihood of all nations and nationalities of the country. The ongoing development and modernization drive in Ethiopia has resulted in improved access to education, shelter, clean water, health facilities and other social infrastructures in all parts of the country. This is particularly true of those parts of Ethiopia which were considered peripheries and were marginalised under previous regimes. Clearly, like their compatriots in other parts of the country, the Suri (Surma) are also fully entitled to benefit from development. OI, however, seems to be thinking that those parts of Ethiopia should forever stay in the same socio-economic condition as they have always been.  The people of Ethiopia, from whichever part of the country they may be, are capable of making decisions for themselves and don’t require self-appointed guardians living thousands of miles away to make decisions for them.

The report was timed to coincide with the Inaugural Conference on Land Policy in Africa which is being held in Addis Ababa from11-14 November 2014. OI failed to understand why the conference is taking place in Ethiopia. Ethiopia was selected as a venue for the conference because of its sound land and resource management strategy that is currently under implementation. Ethiopia has no lesson to learn from OI about Environmental protection and the preservation of indigenous cultures …etc, since these are cardinal principles that are enshrined in the Ethiopian Constitution. The fact that OI has chosen to stand in diametric opposition against every positive feature of Ethiopia’s socio-economic development process indicates that it is on a mission of a malicious campaign.

OI’s ultimate objective is to drive a wedge between Ethiopia and its development partners and slow down the pace of rapid economic development. We live the judgement to the public as to why this group has targeted a country that is highly acclaimed for its pro- poor development agenda and the achievements it has made so far. We call on members of the international community not be swayed by this unfounded allegation but continue to support to Ethiopia, which is working relentlessly to make poverty history.

***ENDS***

 

For further information, please contact the Embassy’s Press Office on 020 7838 3880/3; info@ethioembassy.org.uk

Statement
Prev Article Next Article

Latest News

Browse all
Remarks by H.E. Dr Hirut Kassaw, Ethiopia's Minister of Culture, Tourism, and Sport, on the occasion of the official handover ceremony of locks of hair belonging to Emperor Tewodros II.
20 Mar 2019
Remarks by H.E. Dr Hirut Kassaw on the Occasion of the Official Handover of Locks of Hair Belonging to Emperor Tewodros II
The Minister of Culture, Tourism and Sport, Her Excellency Dr Hirut Kassaw Wondim, visited and held discussions with the British Library in London in her first engagement as part of a wider visit to cultural institutions in the United Kingdom.
19 Mar 2019
Minister signs MoU with British Library on Debut Visit to the United Kingdom
An agreement has been reached on the manner and style of the hand-over to Ethiopia, of locks of hair belonging to Emperor Tewodros II. It has been agreed that an inclusive hand-over ceremony will be held at the museum on 20 March, where H.E. Dr Hirut Kassaw, Minister of Culture and Tourism, will receive the human remains from the museum’s…
18 Mar 2019
UK’s National Army Museum to hand over locks of hair belonging to Emperor Tewodros II of Ethiopia
Yesterday, at approximately 08:44am local time, (05:44 GMT) an Ethiopian Airlines aircraft Boeing 737-800MAX, flight ET 302 en route from Addis Ababa to Nairobi, tragically crashed. 11 March has been declared a national day of mourning for the victims. A book of condolence has also been opened at the Embassy.
11 Mar 2019
National Day of Mourning Declared for Victims of Ethiopian Airlines Flight ET 302
We are delighted to host a special exhibition of historic and cultural artefacts at the Ethiopian Embassy in London, to commemorate the 123rd Anniversary of the Battle of Adwa from 9 - 17 March 2019.
8 Mar 2019
Event: Remembering Adwa
National Army Museum የአፄ ቴዎድሮስ ፀጉርን ለመመለስ መወሰኑ በሁለቱ ወዳጅ አገሮች መካከል እየጎለበተ የመጣውን የመግባባት መንፈስ ከፍተኛ ደረጃ ላይ መድረሱን እንደሚያመለክት በለንደን የሚገኘው የኢፌዴሪ ኤምባሲ አስታውቋል።
5 Mar 2019
የአፄ ቴዎድሮስ ፀጉር ወደ ኢትዮጵያ ሊመለስ ስለመሆኑ፣
The Ethiopian Embassy welcomes the unanimous decision by the Trustees of the National Army Museum to return locks of hair belonging to Ethiopia’s Emperor Tewodros II. For Ethiopians everywhere, a display of jubilant euphoria is to be expected when the hair is returned to its rightful home in Ethiopia.
4 Mar 2019
Ethiopia Secures Repatriation of Remains of Emperor Tewodros II
ለንደን የሚገኘው የኢትዮጵያ ኤምባሲ ከዳያስፖራው ጋር ውይይት ለማካሄድና በጋራ መንቀሳቀስ የሚቻልበትን ሁኔታ ለመፍጠር የአንድነትና የሰላም ድልድይ ግንባታ መድረክ አዘጋጅቷል፡፡
27 Feb 2019
የአንድነትና የሰላም ድልድይ ግንባታ መድረክ በለንደን
The Ethiopian Embassy in London cordially invites all members of the Ethiopian community in the United Kingdom to an open forum held, in the spirit of togetherness, to foster greater peace and unity within the Diaspora. The Forum will be held on 16 March 2019 from 2pm.
26 Feb 2019
Diaspora Forum: Building a Bridge for Peace and Unity
Investors hoping to explore one of Africa's fastest-growing economies can now acquire easy access to reliable and up-to-date information with a new online investment guide to Ethiopia. The iGuide highlights areas for reform in the country’s investment environment, thus helping the government understand investor needs.
19 Feb 2019
Ethiopia launches online investment guide to stimulate FDI
PM Abiy led an Ethiopian delegation on a three-nation European Tour, in Italy where they met the President and the Pope, Davos where the Prime Minister addressed global leaders at the World Economic Forum and Brussels for meetings with the EU Commission.
13 Feb 2019
Prime Minister Abiy receives further support for reforms in latest whistle-stop tour of Europe