Hunter-gatherers in Ethiopia killed by settlers

By agency reporter
October 8, 2014

Members of a hunter-gatherer tribe are reportedly being hunted down and killed by settlers who are invading their lands in southwest Ethiopia.

Survival International, the global movement for tribal peoples’ rights, says the Chabu, who number just 1,500, are some of Africa’s last hunter-gatherers. They live in a remote part of Ethiopia’s forest highlands, to the northwest of the Lower Omo Valley.

Settlers from other regions in Ethiopia have been penetrating into the Chabu’s ancestral home. This has led to heightened tensions and conflicts over land.

Violence has escalated to such an extent that independent experts are calling the situation one of “emerging genocide.”

At least 24 Chabu have reportedly been killed by settlers in the past month, and many more have been forced to flee their homes.

In one incident, a Chabu mother was reportedly killed while caring for her young son, as he lay dying following an attack.

Although the government has sent army units to the area, they have done little to stop the violence, and one important Chabu regional representative has been arrested.

The Chabu have been fighting to be recognised as a distinct people or nation within Ethiopia, a status that affords them greater protection under the country’s constitution.

Settlers and local government officials, who wish to steal the Chabu’s land, have thwarted these efforts, says Survival.

[Ekk/4]

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