Government security forces are violently forcing indigenous peoples to leave their traditional lands to make way for extensive development plans. Government officials have carried out arrests, beatings and detentions against residents of the Lower Omo valley that questions or resists the development plans. A new report from Human Rights Watch shows hoe the Ethiopian government is forcibly displacing pastoralist communities in Ethiopia’s lower Omo valley without any form of compensation or consultation. The displacements are being made to make way for state-run sugar plantations that are state-run. The government plans for the Omo valley includes the construction of the controversial Gibe III hydropower project that will supply downstream sugar plantations with water through irrigation canals. The Human Rights Watch report shows how plans for these canals and sugar processing factories will cover 100,000 hectares of the land in the Lower Omo valley that is home to pastoralist communities. Land that the pastoralists depend on for food security but also land that is connected to the traditional pastoralist way of life and identity.
Reports have shown that investors have not been utilizing land allocated to them by the Ethiopian government appropriately. The Ethiopian Ministry of Agriculture will therefore need to re-evaluate the current status of land in the possession of investors before allocating further land for investors.