Ethiopian Minister Visits the Displaced Amid Mounting Criticism of Neglect


March 15, 2019 ( -- Ethiopian Minister of Peace Muferiat Kamil visited internally displaced people in Gedeb district, Gedeo zone, in Southern Ethiopian region, amid mounting criticism of not doing enough to tackle the problem.

The minister told the displace people who are sheltered at the Gedeb stadium that the government will increase its efforts to find lasting solution for the problem.

Ethiopian News Agency estimates that there are more than 96,000 displaced people currently sheltered at the stadium.

The current Ethiopian government is being criticized for not giving the attention the grave situation demands - the ethnic-motivated attacks and the displacements that followed in multiple areas, but especially the southern Ethiopia region. For example, according to some reports, the Prime Minister is yet to visit any displaced people camp to raise the awareness.

Ethiopia is currently home to millions of internally displaced people. According to some reports, in 2018 and early 2019, the rate of displacement has exceeded that of any other country in the world.

What is alarming is that some aid agencies are behind the scenes complaining for not being allowed to assist these people in some areas.

The Ethiopian government is also accused of returning some of the people fleeing violence, including killings, rape, and torture, into the areas the fled from without adequate protection.

Here is what Relief Web said in 2018: "Over the past week, local authorities and humanitarian partners in Gedeo zone (SNNP region) have reported the arrival of over 15,000 displaced ethnic Gedeos originating from Guji zone of Oromiya (Kersha, Hambella Wamena, Birbisa Kojowa woredas). They had been returned to West Guji by the authorities in August, after having fled their homes in April – June due to massive, targeted violence. Since this return, instead of actually resettling in their homes, they lived in collective sites in the urban centres of their places of origin, not able to move to their farms due to persistent insecurity, as well as destroyed or occupied properties. Due to a surge in insecurity and violence, they are now fleeing again."

Despite the repeated assetion of a new level of openess and transparency by the government of Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, it is unknow why a problem of this magnitude is being handled in such a manner. It is also unknown, why the Ethiopian government failed to protect millions of its citizens, while declaring the protection of human rights the cornerstone of its policy.



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