November 10, 2014 (Vice News) — Ethiopia, one of the world’s hungriest countries, is selling off vast chunks of its land to foreign investors who are growing food products for export — and those who get in the government’s way are being killed or silenced, according to a new investigation.
Under the country’s controversial “villagization” scheme, huge populations of farming communities are being moved out of their homes on land eyed for development and into new settlements built by the government. Residents not lured out by promises of better infrastructure and services are often forced to go against their will, and resistance often brings violence or intimidation into acquiescence or exile, US-based rights group the Oakland Institute says in a report due for release on Monday.
Now, for the first time, pictures obtained exclusively by VICE News appear to show evidence of the widespread atrocities and abuses being reported by farming communities and minority groups across the country.
The pictures were sent to the Institute in April 2012, and are said to depict a massacre carried out by government officials and members of the ethnic Dizi group on behalf of the Ethiopian state against the Suri, one of Ethiopia’s many ethnic indigenous farming groups, in the market town of Maji in February that year. Read more…