Apr 112012

Zenad­dis — Pres­i­dent of the South­ern Nations Nation­al­i­ties and Peo­ples Regional State (SNNPR) Mr Shiferaw Shigute dis­missed reports of the evic­tion of eth­nic Amha­ras from the Bench Maji Zone as baseless.

Shiferaw Shigute who has been silent on the issues since he ordered the evic­tion of hun­dreds of eth­nic Amhara house­holds from the Gura Ferda dis­trict said over 25 thou­sand eth­nic Amha­ras still live peace­fully in the Zone.

A let­ter signed by Mr Shiferaw stated that those who set­tled in the dis­trict after August 2007 should be sent back to where they came from. Shiferaw told jour­nal­ists that the Regional Admin­is­tra­tion has issued a direc­tive that orders peo­ple who set­tled in the Zone After August 2007 to leave the Zone.

He indi­cated that those who were evicted were trans­ported to Bahir Dar in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the Amhara Regional State admin­is­tra­tion. The regional admin­is­tra­tor  has been keep­ing silent on the issue.

The set­tlers, that have sub­sisted in agri­cul­ture, have been in the Gura Ferda as early as 1985. In a move most human rights advo­cates dubbed eth­nic cleans­ing, more set­tlers are expected to be evicted in the com­ing months.

In a VOA Amharic inter­view the president’s sec­re­tary said he was not aware of the evic­tions . And a team has been sent to the area to inves­ti­gate the mat­ter. Mean­while the evicted house­holds have been scat­tered in var­i­ous regions in Addis, Debre Berhan, Nekempte and other areas.

Law experts have con­demned the move say­ing it con­tra­venes the country’s con­sti­tu­tion. Arti­cle 32 of the Ethiopian Con­sti­tu­tion states that any Ethiopian has the right to lib­erty of move­ment and free­dom to choose his residence.

The evicted peo­ple said they were forced to leave prop­er­ties behind them as local offi­cials told them they should leave the prop­er­ties they acquired in the South right where they belong. Those who man­aged to sell their cat­tle did so at a cut rate price.

Mr Shiferaw Shigute is the third pres­i­dent of SNNPR. He was in the posi­tion since March 2006 when the then admin­is­tra­tor, cur­rent min­is­ter of For­eign Affairs, Haile­mariam Desalegn was given a posi­tion in the Fed­eral gov­ern­ment. He is vice chair­man of the South Ethiopia Peo­ples Demo­c­ra­tic Move­ment (SEPDM) which is part of the umbrella EPRDF. He is also mem­ber of the House of Federation.

  One Response to “Shiferaw Shigute dismisses report of eviction”

  1. i don’t think shiferaw is men­tally healthy.i am sure he is a lier. hon­estly EPRDF is my best party than all the oppo­si­tions right now but guys like this man should not be a part of this country.He should be ques­tioned hardly for what he did.

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