The World Bank has denied responsibility for the violent evictions of an indigenous group by a major client, the Ethiopian government, and declined to press for compensation for families that have been forced from their homes.
Inclusive Development International, a U.S.-based human rights group, denounced the bank’s decision not to seek compensation for the Anuak, an indigenous community in western Ethiopia, and charged that the bank has “whitewashed damning evidence of widespread human rights violations” in order to sidestep blame. (Read More)
Bank absolves itself of responsibility and denies redress to victims
(March 2, 2015) – The World Bank has whitewashed damning evidence of widespread human rights abuses in connection with its flagship program in Ethiopia, Inclusive Development International said today. The evidence, obtained during the course of an internal investigation, appears to have been shelved in order to exonerate the bank and one of it biggest clients of responsibility for mass forcible population transfers that occurred between 2010-2013. To set the record straight, Inclusive Development International today is releasing leaked transcripts of interviews conducted by the World Bank’s Inspection Panel during its investigation mission in the Gambella region of Ethiopia.(Read More)
Response to Inquiry Dismissive of Abuses
(Washington, DC) – The World Bank should fully address serious human rights issues raised by the bank’s internal investigation into a project in Ethiopia, Human Rights Watch said in a letter to the bank’s vice president for Africa. The bank’s response to the investigation findings attemp
ts to distance the bank from the many problems confirmed by the investigation and should be revised. The World Bank board of directors is to consider the investigation report and management’s response, which includes an Action Plan, on February 26, 2015. (Read More) Continue reading “World Bank: Address Ethiopia Findings”
Ethiopia’s Stifled Press
By Editorial Board February 9
WHILE ENJOYING its status as an international development darling, Ethiopia has been chipping away at its citizens’ freedom of expression. The country now holds the shameful distinction of having the second-most journalists in exile in the world, after Iran. That combination of Western subsidies and political persecution should not be sustainable. (Read More)
Hopes that Ethiopia’s government would ease its crackdown on dissent ahead of the May 2015 elections were dashed in 2014.
Instead the government continued to use arbitrary arrests and prosecutions to silence journalists, bloggers, protesters, and supporters of opposition political parties; police responded to peaceful protests with excessive force; and there was no indication of any government willingness to amend repressive legislation that was increasingly condemned for violating international standards, including at Ethiopia’s Universal Periodic Review at the United Nations Human Rights Council. (Read More)
South Sudan: African Union Peace and Security Council stands in the way of justice in South Sudan
The African Union’s (AU) Peace and Security Council has failed the thousands of South Sudanese victims who are waiting for truth and justice by not making public the report of the Commission of Inquiry on South Sudan, said Amnesty International today. (Read More)
[JURIST] Amnesty International (AI) [advocacy website] on Friday urged [press release] Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe to address human rights concerns in Zimbabwe and other parts of the African continent. AI wants Mugabe to utilize his position of Chairperson of the African Union (AU) [official website] to stabilize areas that have been characterized by recent conflict that has displaced millions of people. Netsanet Belay, AI’s Africa Director for Research and Advocacy, stated, “[t]here is an urgent need for the AU to take more concrete steps to effectively address the massive human rights violations resulting from the many conflicts taking place in several parts of the continent.” Mugabe will hold his position of Chairperson of the AU for at least the next year. (Read More)
A November 2014 investigationreport by the World Bank’s accountability mechanism, the Inspection Panel (IP), found the Bank to be non-compliant with its own policies, including on indigenous peoples rights, on a project providing budget support to the Ethiopian government to increase access to basic services in Ethiopia. The report, which was leaked to the media in late January, responded to a September 2012 complaint submitted to the IP by indigenous people from the Gambella region (see Update 86, 82). In the submission, they claimed to have been severely harmed by the Bank project, due to its alleged links to a government ‘villagisation’ programme in the same region that has led to “forced evictions”. The Bank’s management in November 2012 refuted the connection: “the allegations raised … are matters that are not related to compliance with Bank policy”, however, the IP found the request eligible for investigation in February 2013 (Read more)