Ethiopians ‘driven out in land grabs’
by Staff Writers
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (UPI) Feb 8, 2013
Thousands of Ethiopians are being driven off ancestral lands that the government’s selling to foreign investors buying vast swathes of farmland, a U.S. watchdog reports.
Amid a new rash of land grabs in Africa by foreign governments or business groups seeking to produce food for export, the Oakland Institute of California says that Ethiopia, one of the world’s poorest states, has leased 1.5 million acres of prime farmland to companies from India, Malaysia and elsewhere.
The institute, an independent policy think tank that specializes in food and land issues, says the crisis is likely to worsen as the foreign companies move in and start operations.
It said the Addis Ababa government plans to lease as much as 15 percent of the land in some regions of the land-locked East African country, which has long been beset by drought, famine and war.