Obang Addresses Women’s National Democratic Club

Solidarity Movement for a New Ethiopia (SMNE)


April 2, 2014

The reason I am with you today began on December 13, 2003[i] when Ethiopian National Defense Forces, accompanied by militia groups they had armed, began a massacre of leaders of my own ethnicity, the Anuak, in the resource-rich Gambella region of southwestern Ethiopia. Within three days, 424 of the leaders and most educated within a marginalized community were brutally killed, countless women were raped and nearly 10,000 fled to neighboring South Sudan for safety. Many still remain.


Obang Metho

Obang Metho


Human rights violations continued along with the widespread destruction of schools, clinics, crops, homes and granaries. Over the next few years, nearly two thousand Anuak were killed. Why? The government contracted with a Chinese company to begin drilling for oil on indigenous Anuak land. Now, in the last few years, Human Rights Watch has reported that over 70,000 people from the Gambella region have been evicted from their prime agricultural land in order to lease it to regime, foreign and crony investors. The same story is repeated in other parts of Ethiopia….


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