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Omo: Local Tribes Under Threat

Omo: Local Tribes Under Threat

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Published by LeakSourceInfo
February 2013
February 2013

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Published by: LeakSourceInfo on Feb 09, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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 The author o this feld report is not mentioned by name to ensure that access to local communities is not undermined andto allow or uture feldwork.Design: amymade graphic design, amymade@gmail.com, amymade.comEditor: Anuradha MittalCover photo: Mago Park, on Mursi territory, where the tribes have had to leave their homes.For photo credits, please email ino@oaklandinstitute.org.Publisher: The Oakland Institute is a policy think tank dedicated to advancing public participation and air debate on criticalsocial, economic, and environmental issues.Copyright © 2013 by The Oakland InstituteThe text may be used ree o charge or the purposes o advocacy, campaigning, education, and research, provided that thesource is acknowledged in ull. The copyright holder requests that all such uses be registered with them or impact assessmentpurposes. For copying in any other circumstances, reuse in other publications, or translation or adaptation, permission mustbe secured.Please email ino@oaklandinstitute.orgThe Oakland InstitutePO Box 18978Oakland, CA 94619 USAwww.oaklandinstitute.org
Welekibo, a Suri warrior, has been on the run or months romthe sniper attacks o the Ethiopian army, which is pursuinghim in the orest surrounding Tulgit, in Ethiopia’s Omo Valley,near the Sudanese border.Welekibo’s crime: he is leading the resistance against thegovernment’s major land lease project that will orceullyseize hundreds o thousands o hectares o ertile land romthe local indigenous populations and use it or state arms orrent it to oreign corporations at low prices.Despite promises o development, previously detailed byan Oakland Institute report,
the government’s land leasescheme has led to orced resettlement and human rightsviolations o the Mursi, Suri, and Bodi agro-pastoralist tribesat the hands o the Ethiopian Deense Forces (EDF). Thereare also serious concerns about the impact o this “rapiddevelopment” on the environment and the livelihoods o the 500,000 indigenous people that rely on the waters o theOmo River and the adjacent lands, as well as Lake Turkana.
It’s pure robbery! The corruption has reached the highest levelsof government; the lands are sold to the rich and powerful of  foreign countries, everyone just helps themselves
!” afrmedWelekibo when I spoke to him on July 3, 2012 in the orestaround Tulgit.The Suri have always lived on this land. Until the 1990s noroads led to them, exempting the Suri rom the “development”schemes emanating rom Addis Ababa. But that has changednow. Speaking to the locals, I gather that today hundreds o Suri are in jail in Tum, and around 150 people have been killedin the conict over land over the last year.
Welekibo, the main leader o the Suri tribe, and the most amous rebel o Tulgit in the Omo Valley.
We are not beggars. We just want to be left in peacewith our cows. We drink their blood and milk and soon we will not be able to have enough to survive
—Welekibo, Suri warrior

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