Lower Omo: Local Tribes Under Threat
Ethiopia has been the focus of aggressive foreign agricultural investment, leasing out nearly 3.6 million hectares of land for commercial farm ventures from 2008-2010. This investment has corresponded with widespread human rights violations. Most egregiously, the Ethiopian government's villagization program will displace 1.5 million people by 2013--with the five administrative regions that have the largest share of foreign investment the hardest hit. The forced relocation of hundreds of thousands of indigenous people from their lands to make room for foreign investors has destroyed livelihoods and rendered small-scale farmers and pastoralist communities fearful of their own survival, as rapes and killings involving security forces have been reported in Lower Omo and Gambella regions.