Public meeting in Melbourne with Mr Obang Metho, Executive Director of the SMNE a non-violent, non-political, grassroots social justice movement of diverse Ethiopians; committed to bringing truth, justice, freedom, equality, reconciliation, accountability and respect for human and civil rights to the people of Ethiopia and beyond.
Mr. Obang will discuss about land grabs in Ethiopia and the ongoing Human Rights situation in Ethiopia. The awful grabbing of fertile land going on in Ethiopia is not just rhetoric, fear mongering or in one’s imagination; but instead, it is real and happening at a ferocious pace all over Ethiopian and Africa. It will change Ethiopia forever and the major damage has already been done. These opaque transactions, which essentially give title to Ethiopian land for up to 99 years, are being done without consultation with those people most affected. Unless Ethiopians people and peace loving people throughout the world act quickly to stop this, we will not reverse the major damage.
Part of the discussion will focus on the recent drought, famine and the fact that it is consider to be the worsted drought in 60 years and nearly a sixth of all Ethiopians are on some form of food assistance, only expected to worsen during the coming months due to food shortages, but at the same time, Meles is minimizing the numbers even while regularly expecting food aid from the West. When such food aid is received, it is often given as a reward to his political supporters or is withheld as a punishment to those resisting.
Along the same lines, Meles is nearly “giving away” Ethiopia’s most fertile land to foreign countries and companies for leases of 99-years or more even though Ethiopians cannot own their own land. Virgin forests are being cleared in order to make the land ready for these new large-scale “foreign farms.” We, Ethiopian cannot be silent during this abusive exploitation. Our family members have been displaced while foreigners are thriving. One can see that what this TPLF/EPRDF regime wants is the land and resources but not the people. Come and join the discussion.