Prevent Genocide International - Ethiopia (Gambella Region)
Global News Monitor (Current Month)

News Monitor for Gambella Region of Ethiopia
December 2003 to February 2004

Ethiopia ratified the Genocide Convention on July 1, 1949, the first nation to ratify the Convention.
Ethiopia incorporated the crime of genocide into domestic penal law in 1957 as
Article 281 of the Ethiopian Penal Code (see text)
Ethiopia ratified the Geneva Conventions of 1949 on October 2, 1969 and ratified the Additional Geneva Protocols of 1977 on April 8, 1994.
Ethiopia did not sign and has not yet become a party to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.

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July 7, 2002 Itang District, Gambela State. Over 60 killed in attacks on 19 locations displacing over 8,000 people

www.ethiomedia.com 16 July 2002 REPORT Ethnic cleansing and genocide against the Anuak in Gambela state, Ethiopia By Nyikaw Ochalla July 16, 2002 The ongoing massacre of unarmed Anuak civilians at Itang and its surroundings by the armed forces that claim to fight the regional and federal regimes in the country is devastating the entire Gambela state and the war is feared to escalate across the region. The massacre of the innocent women, children, men, and elderly at Itang district is a part of an indirect ethnic cleansing and genocide by both the government in power and the armed rebels movements against the indigenous Anuak people in their own territories. This grave human rights violation and the abuses perpetuated against the indigenous Anuak and many other ethnics in the country is rapidly reducing the number of the Anuak people and is therefore putting the ethnic survival at stake. The Ethiopian authorities indirect ethnic cleansing and genocide war against the indigenous Anuak population through policies and neglect of their security and stability is intensifying and devastating this marginalized and neglected indigenous territory. They are the most socially, politically and economically marginalized and disadvantaged groups among the Ethiopian society. The state of Gambela peoples has been suffering from long years of neglect and marginalization by successive regimes including the current regime that trades in the name of principles of democratic governance, fundamental freedoms, and respect for human dignity and human rights. Inequalities and injustices against this people prevail without limit. They are considered second class citizens in the country to which they belong and are discriminated against because of their ethnic origin and race. The Ethiopian authorities embarked on partial disarmament policies targeted against the Anuak ethnic groups marking the beginning of ethnic cleansing and genocide policies perpetuated against the Anuak population who greatly desire peace and stability. While the Anuak farmers were disarmed, their traditional foes, the Nuer remained armed and in possession of deadly weapons in the region brining fear to the Anuak population. The government of Meles Zenawi’s ethnic cleansing and genocide policy is evidenced by the ongoing conflict between the armed Nuer rebels and Anuak and the Majaneger-Anuak conflict that resulted in property destruction, and the displacement and death of over 150 innocent civilians (Anuak and Majanger) in late 2001. The regime deliberately ignored the public call for immediate investigation and inquiry to bring those responsible for instigating ethnic conflict that resulted in death of innocent civilians, untold suffering of the displaced communities and property destruction. Even now the regime has failed to respond to the killing of civilian Anuak population at Itang and its surroundings by armed forces belonging to Thwat pal group supported by OLF and Eritrean government. The OLF and its allies are contributing greatly to the ethnic cleansing and genocide policy of the Ethiopian authorities by providing military training and support to the most wanted individual to face trial for his human rights atrocities he committed against the same Anuak ethnic group while in power in the Gambela during the military regime. Moreover, the OLF with the military support and training from the Eritrean government is inflicting untold misery on the non-Oromo territories and people. The Gambela state and its people cannot afford any war in this region which has been neglected and marginalized for centuries. The ongoing massacre of Anuak farmers at Itang district is the terrorism act of Thwat pal who is receiving military training and support provided by the OLF and its allies in pretext of his fight against the regional government in Gambela but in reality to eliminate the Anuak from the face of the earth. To return the favor, the terrorist Thwat group is devastating the Gambela indigenous state by allowing the OLF to fight their liberation war for the Oromo people in this non-Oromo territory. The OLF and its allies are responsible for the terrorist military training and support they provide to the most wanted individual for his human rights records. Also they are responsible for making the non-Oromo state a war torn area against their liberation fight to liberate the Oromo people who are enjoying peace and stability in their territories. The Ethiopian authorities are responsible for its partial and failed disarmament policies that discriminate against the Anuak community and made the Anuak ethnic defenseless and victims of aggression. While the government disarmed the Anuak, the Nuer community in Akobo and Jokau areas remained armed. Moreover, the government of Meles Zenawi is responsible for the untold human tragedy and agony perpetuated against the Anuak ethnic group. Evidence indicates that the Federal army was at the scene with little effort to intervene between the armed groups and innocent civilians at Itang district where the ethnic genocide and cleansing took place. Hence, we call upon A. The international community and governments engaging in the region to respond to the endless suffering of the Gambela civilian population; in particular, those victims of terror and aggression. B. The United Nations, European Union, Organisation of African Unity, and all concern institutions and bodies to take all diplomatic and necessary measures to investigate the ethnic cleansing and genocide committed against the Anuak ethnic in the indigenous Gambela state in the western part of the country. C. Peace loving governmental, non-governmental, and human rights organisations to put pressure on the Ethiopian authorities in Addis Ababa to carry out an independent investigation into the death of innocent children, women, men, and elderly peoples in the Itang massacre and the conflict between the Anuak and majanger which remains unreported both at the national and international level. D. The international community, and indigenous peoples organisations to urge the Ethiopian authorities to respect all international treaties, protocols, and conventions with regard to minority and indigenous peoples and territories, E. The international community and organisations to hold the OLF and its allies responsible for the terrorism military support and training they provide to ethnic Nuer-Thwat Pal group to be used against ethnic Anuak cleansing and genocide, F. International community to hold the Ethiopian government responsible for instability and insecurity in the region and account for the death of innocent civilian children, women, men, and elderly people of the indigenous population, For further information and inquiries, Please contact Nyikaw Ochalla at E-mail, ochalla@hotmail.com or call him on +44(0)7754565512. ETHIOMEDIA.COM - ETHIOPIA'S PREMIER NEWS AND VIEWS WEBSITE © COPYRIGHT 20001-2003 ETHIOMEDIA.COM. EMAIL: webmaster@ethiomedia.com

www.ethiomedia.com August 2002 DISINFORMATION AND LIES CAN NOT SOLVE GAMBELLA’S PROBLEMS A response to Nykaw’s accusations By: Lunyjock Gatwech, August 2002 - The conflict between the Anyuaks and the Nuers in Gambella Region of Western Ethiopia has been going on and off for the last eleven years. Several attempts made to resolve the impasse have met with little results. The biggest challenge is the attitude of Anyuak elite, who refuses to accept the Nuers in the region. They have monopolized the political power, which they regrettably use to frustrate any genuine effort to bring a lasting solution. Every time a clash breaks out between the two ethnic groups, the ruling elite quickly blames external forcers such as SPLA/M, OLF, EPRDF, and more recently “Thowath Pal’s rebels”, even though the evidences point otherwise. By doing so, the very people who control the Government machinery, defeat the real efforts to seek lasting internal solution. The Articles posted on the Ben’s website by Nykaw Ochalla, and a previous interview on the BBC focus on Africa are nothing but typical Anyuak elite reaction to what is clearly an internal and localized problem. In the interview and the article “Ethiopian Citizen”, Nykaw has accused the Nuer of “killing innocent Anyuaks” by arms supplied by the OLF. In the last article “Ethnic Cleansing and genocide against the Anuak in Gambella, Ethiopia”, Nykaw went further to the extend of accusing the Nuers in collaboration with the EPRDF, OLF and “Thowath’s rebels “ of “ethnic cleansing and genocide” against the Anyuaks. I doubt whether he understands the meaning and the implications of such words. What ever the case may be, the alliance he alleged against the Anyuaks is as incredible as absurd. If it happened at all, it would be as odd as the alliance of communists and capitalists against the Nazi-Germany during the Second World War. But then, fate brought the two enemies together because their common survival was at stake. Here what could bring together EPRDF and OLF to such a strange bedfellow alliance against the Anyuaks has to be a miracle, if not illusion. It just doesn’t make sense. Another fact that one needs to know is that the Anyuaks are not more than 100,000 on both sides of Ethio-Sudanese border. Why in the world would anybody need such a huge coalition against such a small population? Shouldn’t the Nuer on Ethiopian side be enough to do the job if one needs to harm them (Anyuaks)? The more you answer these questions, the more you uncover Nykaw’s pack of lies intended to misinform the Ethiopian public and the British authorities from whom he seeks to secure a political asylum. Whether Nyikaw wrote the lies intentionally or not, we have the responsibility to straighten the public opinion that he has misinformed. As the Nuer proverb says “lies repeated over time, assume truth”, we can’t allow him to continue this campaign of lies and disinformation. Let the readers and the wider public hears what happened at Itang, Gambella and Abobo. On the morning of July 7, 2002, clashes broke out between the Nuers and Anyuaks at Itang town, some 50 kilometers south of the regional capital, Gambella. It was sparked off by Corporal Biy Obuoya, (an Anyuak Itang police station’s commander) who beat and later shot at a group of Nuer civilians who came to the station seeking justice following a quarrel over a soap. Immediately following the first shots, the woreda’s council’s secretary general, Mr. Omot Ogula (an Anyuak too) fired his gun at the vicinity of Itang Health Centers, more than half a kilometer away. Then a fierce gun battle involving mainly the police and officials from both ethnic groups ensued, resulting in heavy casualties on both sides. Evidences suggest the sudden attack by the Anyuaks was not coincidental, but a well planned premeditated action to get rid of the Nuers in the region. Following earlier meeting at Nekempte in which a new structure to devolve power to Woredas and to create new zonal parliaments according to ethnic composition was discussed, negative agitations were ripe among the Anyuaks alleging that the Nuer would be given their land. Consequently, some Nuers who have settled near the vicinity of Anyuak villages, including those who arrived recently from Akobo following their displacement by armed bandits from south Sudan were served with written orders by the regional Government to vacate. In a clear attempt to spark off clashes, Anyuak gunmen abducted between 35 and 40 Nuers’ heads of cattle around Itang. Arms from police stores and depots, including four heavy machine-guns brought from other Anyuak Woredas had been distributed to the Anyuaks at and around Itang Town. Some of these machine-guns have caused heavy casualties even among the Anyuaks themselves. Concerned and alarmed by these events, the Nuer Political Leaders made several attempts to persuade the regional President to arrange discussions and to call a general meeting of the Regional Council. But all in vein due to refusal of the President. These evidences clearly indicate the level of preparedness on the side of Anyuaks to attack the Nuers. Subsequent events further shade more light on the extend at which the Regional Government and the Council were involved. On July10, 2002, an exclusively Anyuak meeting was call by the Regional Council (chaired by the Regional President, himself and Anyuak). All other ethnic groups including the Nuer were not only bar from attending, but also prohibited from entering the Council’s compound by armed police. What transpired during the meeting may be controversial. What is clear though is that the killing of the Nuer by Anyuak youth started immediately. Regrettably killing of Nuers in Gambella town is not new. It happens every year following what any one may considers a minor student stone throwing. The last one occurred in May 2002, where two innocent Nuers were murdered in the bush following student clashes at a football match. Ever time it happens no one dare to make investigation leave alone charging the culprits. Things have been like that in the last eleven years. What is new now though is that, the killing occurred in the middle of the town, just a few meters away from the Regional Council’s Office and in broad daylight. This once again set off an inter-ethnic revenge killing that caused the lives of eight more people on both sides. The most ugly incidence was yet to come though. On July 24, 2002, the regional council security chief Mr. Anyang Ajalbura went to Elia (an Anyuak village near Itang but not affected by the clashes), and had a meeting with the villagers. Again here what was discussed can be argued. But the next day a bus traveling between Gambella and Itang was attacked near the village resulting in two dead (one was an highlander) and nine wounded. The culprits are known Anyuak policemen wearing uniforms. At the same day some hundreds kilometers away from the trouble spot, a bus carrying Sudanese refugees to Pinyudoo refugee camp was stopped by Anyuak police on Aluewro bridge, Abobo Wereda and thirty four Sudanese Nuers, including a new born, were ordered to get down and taken to police station. At night they were all massacred and their remains found mutilated beyond recognition. These victims were neither Ethiopians nor involved in the clashes. The only reason they were murdered was that they were from the Nuer Ethnic group. I wonder what noun would Nykaw give to such action of his kin. For the rest however, this is a clear case of ethnic cleansing and genocide against the Nuers. One life is too many to loose for me, whether an Anyuka or a Nuer. This senseless conflict has already caused several lives on both sides. But for extremists like Nykaw what matters is Anyuak live. Others don’t fit to his definition of humanity. That is why he made no mention of the Nuer casualties including the poor refugees murdered only because they happened to speak in Nuer. Is this not too much for a man who claims asylum alleging right violation? But Nykaw’s attitude conforms with Anyuak extremists attitude on the ground who are bent to clear Gambella from Nuers. He once reflected it in an article he wrote for Cultural Survival Magazine vol. 25, Issue 3, 2001, entitled OIL DEVELOPMENT IN ETHIOPIA, A THREAT TO ANYUAK OF GAMBELLA, in which he explicitly implied the Nuer were brought to Gambella recently by the Government ( I don’t know which government he means). Elsewhere in the same article he referred to well kwon places inhabited largely by the Nuers, like Jokaw, Adura and Akobo, as exclusively belongs to Anyuaks. This simply implies the Nuer don’t belong in Gambella and have to be get rid of. “The government gave the Nuer access to grazing land along the Ethiopian-Sudan border creating conflict between these culturally and linguistically interrelated traditional enemies. Recent reports indicated that more than 20,000 armed Nuers have crossed into Anyuak territories they never previously threatened and have settled on the bank of Gilo River. Many Anyuaks have lost their land and now live as refugee following clashes.” That is a great piece of creative work, but only good for fiction. He could have perhaps added more color to it, by mentioning he fled the country because his land was also “seized by the Nuers”. Of course these are all lies and disinformation, which no one but the uninformed can be impressed. To come back to the Gambella clashes between the Nuer and the Anyuak, I believe the defense forces took the right decision by disarming the police and the official who were wreaking havoc on the people and security of the whole region. What did Nykaw expect the army to do? Just sit back and leave guns in the hands of dangerous police who mount roadblocks to kill innocent civilians? The Police were trained, armed and maintained by taxpayer’s money. But rather than guarding the public safety and security, they turned against it by hunting down and killing a particular section of the population. Such a police is a gorilla within a state. It’s dangerous and fits only in prison. However now that the Federal police has completed its investigation and arrested some suspects, it’s time to let the results be made known to the public so that big mouth and extremist like Nyikaw shall rest in peace. Which side is responsible for the mess has to be known and made clear. I also would like to see some of the Federal officials who sat back and watched the situation deteriorated, leading to current crises and loss of lives, be brought to book. The officials ignored critical warning. They should be held equally accountable for loss of lives and properties, resulting from their inaction. In conclusion, in the last eleven years Gambella has been in turmoil. The Anyuak elite who controls the most important Government positions has only contributed to the deterioration of the situation. They watch and even encouraged their kin to murder with impunity. In the last two years alone the Anyuak have clashed with Majangier and the Nuer. In both cases the instigators and the perpetrators are Anyuaks holding key positions. Too many people have perished for nothing. It’s time for Anyuak elite to look inward and accepts its failures in good faith, and tries to act like a government, not like Anyuak chiefdom. This of course will need serious self- examination by the rulers if they expect others like the Nuer and Majangier to join them for a search of genuine solution. No amount of lies, disinformation and denial will change the situation. Only the truth shall bring a positive change. If not, we will still be talking about the same thing year in, year out. Amides all these mess however, it’s the common man in whose name we swear to rule that will continue to suffer. [Opinions in this article are solely that of the writer.]

Ethiopian Human Rights Council 6 Sept 2003 www.ehrco.net 55th Special Report September 6, 2002 Great destruction caused in conflict between Agnuak and Nu-er Tribes Introduction EHRCO has, in its reports, repeatedly called on the government to find peaceful solutions to conflicts that break out between tribes from time to time. Since enough attention has not been given to the causes of these conflicts, a new conflict has flared up recently between the Agnuak and Nu-er tribes that live in Gambella National Regional State. During the conflict, great destruction has been caused both to human life and property. This development indicates the seriousness of the problems. . .[The report lists the names of 41 persons killed (including 3 children), 31 wounded and lists 19 localities from which 8,780 persons were displaced] . Conclusion As shown in detail in this report, great damages have been caused to human life and property in the conflict that broke out as of July 7, 2002 between the Agnuak and Nu-er tribes in Itang town, Gambella National Region. Regional officials and the defence forces had hardly made any effort to contain the conflict at its earliest stage. This failure on the part of the appropriate authorities has contributed towards the worsening of the conflict that has caused a lot of damage. The conflict between the two tribes has not subsided and is still raging so much so that it has been a cause of great concern to other tribes in the area. The Ethiopian Human Rights Council calls on the government to give close attention to the issue, and, 1. in full realization of the fact that, the conflict flared up because members of the Nu-er tribe lost a seat of representation in the Gambella National Regional State, facilitate conditions under which representatives of the Nu-er tribe could, in a democratic manner, participate in the political life of the region, 2. see to it that individuals, government officials and armedmen who are accountable for the human lives lost and the properties belonging to individuals destroyed and the people who were injured in the conflict should be brought before the law. 3. see to it that appropriate compensation is paid to the damages caused to people and their property and to the victims as a result of the conflict, and facilitate conditions under which the displaced persons would be rehabilitated. For full text see www.ehrco.net/reports/special_report55.html

IRIN 3 Oct 2002 Over 60 reported dead in tribal clashes ADDIS ABABA, - Fierce clashes between rival ethnic groups in western Ethiopia have left more than 60 people dead and forced thousands to flee their homes, an Ethiopian human rights organisation said. According to the Ethiopian Human Rights Council (EHRCO), the fighting broke out in July between the Agnuak and Nuer tribes who live in Gambella National Regional State, bordering Sudan. It is one of the most remote parts of Ethiopia. “During the conflict great destruction was caused to both human life and property,” EHRCO’s head office in Addis Ababa said. The Nuers claim that their rivals – the Agnuak – have deliberately prevented them from gaining political representation after their vice president died last year. He still has not been replaced. According to EHRCO, the Nuers attacked the Agnuak, burning down dozens of houses in eight local districts. Some 8,700 people were forced to flee their homes. EHRCO says the fighting has still not subsided. “The failure on the part of the appropriate authorities has contributed towards a worsening of the conflict that has caused a lot of damage,” it added. It also warned that the final death toll could be much higher as full details have still not been received. EHRCO argues that the federal government in Ethiopia should step in to ensure that the Nuer tribe regains some kind of political representation in Gambella. It also called for local officials who are found to be complicit in the violence to be brought to justice.

www.ethiopiafirst.com 7 Oct 2002 GENOCIDE ON THE NUER CONTINUES, NYKAW ADDS INSULTS TO INJURY By: Lunyjock Gatwech, October 7, 2002. Killing and Maiming of innocent Nuer civilians have continued in Gambella unabated despite Army intervention, while an Anuak extremist spokesman Nykaw Ochalla, from U.K has continued to add insults to injury by blaming the victims. Though tactic of blaming the victims has been the mode of operation of various extremist groups known to have inflicted the worst genocides around the World, it’s the first time in Gambella that such extremists have managed to coordinate their propaganda in the air with deadly actions on the ground. This is a clear indication of a further step upward in this senseless conflict that has consumed many in the last eleven years. As soon as the conflict broke out between the Anuaks and the Nuers in and around Itang Town in July 2002, Nykaw immediately went on air (on BBC) to condemn what he called “genocide and ethnic cleansing” perpetrated by the Nuer on Anuak, with the collaboration of the EPRDF government and OLF. He has since written two articles post on the Ben’s website. In the last article “Culture of Violence and Complaint”, the writer spends a chunk of it painting the Nuer culture as violent, though all evidences point to the other side. In an interesting twist however, the writer turns around to invite the same people he branded evils to rally for his crusade against the EPRDF government. Understandably he makes no mentioning about the terror and violence his kinsmen are perpetrating on the Nuer civilians in and around Gambella at the moment. Since I wrote my article in response to one of the writer’s article in August, many more deadly attacks have rained on the Nuers resulting in many casualties. News of some of the attacks has filtered to international media like IRIN. But most of them have passed unnoticed despite the physical presence of Ethiopian News Agency (ENA) and Walta Information on the ground. So before proceeding to repute Nykaw’s baseless accusations, I would like to update the readers on the recent attacks on Nuers in and around Gambella town. August 30, 2002 -Two adults Nuer men were stabbed several times by a group of Anuak youth in and around Gambella’s main market. The victims escaped with injuries, some of the assailants were later on apprehended by the army. -Same day a group of Anuaks including policemen attacked a Nuer settlement at Ochom (about 10 kilometers from Gambella town) killing two and wounding four. On of the assailants’ side, a policeman lost his life. Credible information indicates that the attackers were transported from Gambella by a motorboat allegedly supplied by an Anuak Church. September 17, 2002 -A hand grenade thrown on to a passenger Isuzu truck, full of Nuers traveling to Lare in Jokaw Woreda, killed two instantly and wounding 18. One of the victims later died in Hospital from his wound. The attack took place at the Mobil fuel station in the middle of Gambella town and was surprised when walta information reported it as if it took place in Lare, Jokaw Woreda. The culprit who was also wounded in the process was later on apprehended by the army and allegedly confessed that he was part of a bigger group organized to eliminate the Nuers. The plan was originally envisaged to attack the Nuer during the Ethiopian New year celebration. He has also allegedly named the Regional Anuak officials who provided him with the hand grenade. September 25, 2002 -On the early hours of Wednesday a hand grenade was thrown into a dormitory at the Teachers’ training College wounding six ethnic Nuer Sudanese refugees, one of them seriously. The assailant (s) is (are) still at large. -Same day a group of Anuak coming as far as Abobo woreda attacked the Nuer settlement at Ochom for the second time, wounding four people, but killing 35 sheep, six cows and unspecified number of goats. Four households were burned down. Among the assailants, unspecified number was killed or wounded. October 3, 2002 Five Nuer men who went to cut bamboo for roofing on the road to Anfilo Woreda of Oromia region were Ambushed, killing two, and wounding one. Two escaped unharmed but identified their attackers as Anuaks. The perpetrators are still at large. October 4,2002 -A group of Nuers collecting firewood at the northeastern periphery of Gambella town was attacked killing one. The rest escaped unharmed. These attacks show not only further escalation of the genocide and ethnic cleansing perpetrated on the Nuers, but also the extend of organization and determination on the side of Anuaks to get ride of the Nuers from Gambella. As we can see it from above, a new element of warfare has been introduced, that is a terrorist like tactic of bombing civilians. Despite these atrocities perpetrated against them with the compliance of the Regional government, Nuer responses have remained spontaneous and isolated because they have expected much from the intervention of the Army and the Federal Police. As we can clearly see above, the actions of these entities have not stopped the violence. If anything at all, they have turned the conflict from a fight between two sides to unilateral slaughtering of one side. They either have no capability or the will to stop it. As a result the Nuer rural folks whose relatives have fallen victims to this violence are getting more and more impatient. I would not be surprised therefore, if some of them should try to take law into their hands and mount a proactive defense or even going to offensive of their own. Having updated the readers on the conflict and showed which side is perpetrated the violence; I must say that Nykaw’s article, “Culture of Violence and Complaint”, is not only a reflection of his hatred against the Nuers, but also an insult to the victims who are still dying today. The writer started the complaints on the radio and inter net, and then turned around to condemn others who responded against him. If he had expected us to keep silent while being attacked from the airwaves as well as on the ground, then he must be way behind. Those days when the Nuer were attacked by his kinsmen and remained silent are gone. We are at a technological age now, thanks to inter net. The world must hear what is going on in Gambella Region. The Regional power mal-distribution is one of the most important problems at the center of the conflict raging today in Gambella. But in my opinion it’s not who occupies the top job of the Regional presidency per se that is the problem. Any one among the five indigenous ethnic groups can occupy it at a time. Neither is the fact that the Anuaks occupy the Regional Presidency, security chief, police commissioner, Attorney General and the high court presidency is a problem per se, but the way these key positions are used, is the problem. In the last eleven years these positions have been used to the detriment of others, particularly the Nuers. The Nuer areas have been neglected and completely cut out of development. Nuers have been killed by Anuaks with impunity. Several of such examples can be found in Mr. Nyang Batiok’s article posted on the same website in August. Nuer leaders who dare to question these problems are immediately thrown to jail with no due process of law. Mr. Gatkuoth Diew, the former secretary general of Gambella Peoples Democratic Unity Party (GPDUP) and his four other colleagues languished in jail this way, for three odd years, only to be told it’s enough. No charges, no convictions. Equally important is also the regional council representations. Yes, the Anuaks have six out of nine Woredas in the region, while the Nuers have two. But representation in Ethiopia is made according to population, not by landmass. According to the last census, the Nuers make up 40%, while the Anuaks 30% of the regional population. Based on this fact, the Nuers should have more representations than the Anuaks. But as Nykaw admits it in his article, the Anuaks have 29 seats while the Nuers 19 in a 54-seat Regional parliament. Can anybody tell me this is a fair representation? No it’s not, and unless this is rectified, it’s not logical for the Anuak dominated Gambella Peoples Freedom Party (GPFP) to claim majority in the Parliament. When this is corrected however, should the Nuer representatives who will form the majority in the parliament opt to choose GPFP to lead them, then that will be consistent with practice of democratic. The Nuers were left out from the Regional Government during the transitional period not because they got involved in “criminal activities” as alleged by Nykaw, but because of a deliberate stick and bullet policy pursued by Gambella Peoples Liberation Movement (GPLM). No sooner than the GPLM assumed power in the region, following the fall of the Dergue Military Government in 1991, then elimination of educated Nuers commenced immediately. This campaign to eliminate educated Nuers was sometimes conducted covertly, but in most cases openly, like the late Deng Dung who was gunned down in day time at Gambella Bus station; and Simon Chuol Thong and Biel Kailech who were taken out from the prison and murdered. The killers are known in most cases but no one dares to ask them. Some of them of them are now officials in the Regional Government and are playing role in the current violence. It’s also an open secret that the GPLM did also kill several hundreds highland settlers in Okuna Kijang, Abobo Woreda during the transition period. I am therefore shocked to see Nykaw claiming that the GPLM was included in the transition because it had “a clean record of human right”. What about those Nuers victims whom Nykaw knew by names and the settlers massacred by the GPLM militia? Are they not human beings? The EPRDF out of political expediency might have included the GPLM murderers in the transitional Government, but that is up to them. For us we know what GPLM was, a collection of blood thirsty, ill disciplined and alcohol driven bunch of killers who could not spare even their leader. Their leader Agua Alemu, after allowing his militia to kill with impunity, they turned their guns against him and murdered him at his home in 1992 following disagreement over ration. If these are the jewels of the writer, well I doubt if he was not one of them. Nykaw also tells us a consensus was reached in 1997 to fill the top three Regional posts of President, vice and Secretary by an Anuak, a Nuer and a Majangier respectively. That is fair enough since democracy sometimes works with compromises. What he does not tell us and perhaps intentionally, is why the post of the Vice President has remained vacant since the Nuer occupant died in 1991. The reason is that the Anuak elite wants to choose a leader for the Nuers. The Nuers nominated their former party’s (GPDUP) secretary (now the chairman), who happens to be also the Regional head of Trade, Transport and Tourism Bureau as well as a member of the Regional and Federation Councils, to occupy the post on their behalf. But the Anuak led regional Government says, “he is not good enough”. “We know who can represent you” and nominated a Nuer guy who was dismissed from the party due to corruption and misconduct. The Nuer refused sighting previous consensus, agreements and the Constitution. Up to now the issue has not been resolved and the post remains vacant. Such a ploy to position the most useless and rejected Nuers in high position of Government has been used again and again by the Regional Government to keep out competent Nuers. The current impasse on the Vice Presidential post is part of that trick. Also the Nuer guy whom Nykaw claims to have joined the GPLM during transition was a walking dead due to chronic alcoholism. He was hardly walking when he was recruited as Nuer representative. The GPLM leaders knew he was hopeless, that is why they did not kill him when other educated Nuers including his cousin, Deng Dung, were murdered. Such useless Nuers are the one usually paraded as Nuer representative and revolutionaries by the Regional Government. By so doing, the Regional Government kills two birds with one stone. While it effectively keeps out the Nuers from the Government activities, because those selected usually don’t care much except for their salaries and their addictions (usually alcohol), it at the same time thwarts criticisms and questions arising with regards to Nuer representation. This is a cruel tactic that even the colonialists did not use. But the Nuers seem to have learnt a good deal, the hard way and have now refused to be taken for a rough ride again. One of the reasons usually given by the Regional Government to neglect the Nuer areas is insecurity. There is no doubt the violence in South Sudan sometimes spills to the other side. The Nuer areas are particularly prone to attack by Lou Nuer tribes and Murle from across the border. But it’s the Regional Government together with the Federal Government who has the responsibilities as well as the capacity to stop these attacks. What we have seen in the last few years however is the Regional Government denying insecurity when there is, and claiming when there is none. For instance they always divert development funds meant for the Nuer areas sighting insecurity when there is in-fact a relative calm. But when a real insecurity occurs and the victims or their representative’s appeal for assistance, they decline saying it’s a lie, there is no problem. A typical case is the Akobo Woreda’s issue, in which more than 20000 people have been displaced for the last two years but denied of assistance saying there is no problem. So insecurity is the main tactics use by the Regional Government to deny the Nuer areas development. This scenario reminds me of an Amharic proverb which says, “When they wish to eat a vulture, they call it a guinea fowl”. In order to justify what his kinsmen are doing on the ground, the writer shopped around and came up with unrelated incidences allegedly committed by what he termed “ethnic Nuer Sudanese refugees”. He also went further to suggest an International dimension to the conflict. I totally reject those notions. The clan fighting from across the border suggested as one reason for the Anuak-Nuer conflict is irrelevant for the current conflict. It has nothing to do with the Anuak community. Only the Nuer community is affected so far. But then the writer’s motive is far more sinister than that. He appears to prove the point that, his kin’s action is in revenge for atrocities (incidences) allegedly committed by ethnic Sudanese Nuers as far back as 1980s. That would of course explained why the Sudanese Nuer refugees are also targeted in this conflict. Nonetheless clashes between refugees and local communities are neither rare nor confined to ethnic Nuer as alleged by the writer. We have seen them in Ethioipia as well as in other countries. For instance, between 1984 and 1987 there were series of clashes between the SPLA forcers and local Ethioipian Nuers in Akobo and Jokaw Woredas that killed more than two thousand civilians. Like wise the same forcers clashed with local Anuaks in Pinyudo in 1990, killing more than 70 civilians. The commanders and the bulk of the SPLA forces were and are still none ethnic Nuers. Similar scenarios had been witnessed between refugees and local communities in Serralion, Guinea-Conakry and Sudan. I would also think the writer is aware of the recent clashes between Asian immigrants and local Britons in Birmingham. So I don’t see any specific reason to single out any particular ethnic group, be it the Nuer or others to be branded as evil. Due to many reasons refugees and local communities can clash and it’s up to the host Governments to make sure everything is okay. But then Nykaw should have been in a better position to understand the reasons why refugees clash with locals because he once had a taste of it. In 1980s while studying at Addis Ababa University, under UNHCR program as Sudanese refugee, the writer provoked a fight with local Piassa boys at a drinking bar. He then took to his heel for the safety of the University compound leaving behind Cham Akuay, a brilliant fourth year law student at the time, studying under same program, to be beaten to death. Was it not for the action of the writer, this boy would have lived today and perhaps assist the two communities to find a solution for the current conflict since he was half Nuer, half Anuak. Amid all these violence however I have always been wondering what is that, that makes the Anuak elite so bitter about the Nuers. There is no apparent convincing reason at the moment. They control the Regional power and its resources and if any body has a grudge, it should have been the Nuers who have not benefited from the new dispensation in Ethiopia so far. Then I found one reason tugged in one sentence of the last paragraphs of Nykaw’s article where he declares, “A decade is too short for ethnic Nuer to gain control over large territories as far as Naser, former Anuak heart land in the Sudan”. This sentence more than any other, explains why things are like that in Gambella. I don’t want to go to the argument as to why and how Anuaks’ and Nuers’ east ward migration occurred in the last century, but surely if the current violence in Gambella is meant to get back land abandoned by Anuak ancestors 100 years ago, then we are in for a much bigger problem yet to come. Personally however, I don’t think it would be possible, for many reasons to turn back the clock of history. On the other hand if the Anuak’s intention is to stop the Nuer migration to semi-urban centers like Gambella and Itang, then this is not the way to do it. History teaches us that no Government in the World has ever succeeded in stopping completely rural to urban migration. But there are always ways one can slow it down and in this case one way of doing it is by making the Nuer areas livable by providing security and social services. Here, the role of a responsible Government is indispensable. Unfortunately the current Anuak dominated regional government dose not think that way. It instead unwittingly exacerbates the problem by completely neglecting the Nuer areas. This of course is forcing more and more Nuers to move to certain areas where there is relative security and social services such as schools and health institutions. A typical example again is Akobo Woreda where the people have been displaced for the last two years and now live scattered in Jokaw, Itang and Gambella. They have been literally begging the Regional Government to assist them with security and food in order to return home. The response has always been a flat no. Incredibly a few days before the onset of the current conflict, these same displaced people were served urgent order by the regional president to vacate Itang Woreda. Again their request was, provide us with security and food to return home. Again the reply is a flat no. If any body can argue that it’s not the responsibility of the Government to protect its citizens, then one must be living in another world, not the same world we are in today, where the USA has to go several thousands kilometers to hunt down al-Qaida in revenge of it citizens killed in the World trade bombing. Constitutionally the Regional government is the first line to protect its citizens, but if that comes beyond its capacity then it can make the Federal Government to intervene. Currently the regional Government is not making any effort in this respect. It neither willing to resettle these displace people in their original places, nor does it wish to assist them temporarily where they are at the moment. But when pressed hard, it gives a flimsy excuse saying it has no information of the situation in Akobo. I wonder who can provide them with such information. This is just another lousy way of the regional Government to trying to push away its own responsibility thinking other people would believe it. Reading between the lines of Nykaw’s article, I can sense for sure that he is on to something bigger than what is currently happening in Gambella. Utterances like “Gambella is under Ethiopian occupation” and “Gambella was a British Colony” are surely prelude to claims of succession. If that is the case however, I want to lend a piece of advice to my friend Nykaw Ochalla. We Nuers hold 40% and you 30% of the regional vote. In the last eleven years we have seen what you people are capable of doing. So we are not too keen to join you in any adventure be it democratically or otherwise. May be you should take a look at this factor before embarking on any adventure. In conclusion the problem in Gambella is bigger than individual failures. It’s about a secretive well-organized side trying to get ride of others using Government resources it controls with absolute monopoly. Last year they instigated violence with Majangier that resulted in the death of many innocent civilians. This year is their turn with the Nuers and the conflict is causing many lives and breeding hatred that may last longer, there by pulling the two communities further apart. Who knows next year may be the turn of the smaller ethnic groups like the Opo and Komo or even worst, the highlanders themselves because these extremists are so obsessed of making Gambella an enclave of one “pure ethnic group”. It’s therefore, in the interest of all including the Federal Government to stop this madness. If we can’t stop it now, I am afraid it may spiral out of control and probably harm the National interest as a whole. In this whole mess, the pity is that, the elite in their safety of towns instigate the violence, while the poor rural folks bear the brunt. [Opinions in this article are solely that of the writer.] .

mid-September 2002 Gambella

IRIN 18 Sept 2002 Five killed in grenade attack ADDIS ABABA, - Five people have been killed in a grenade attack in western Ethiopia, local sources told IRIN on Wednesday. The attack took place early on Tuesday morning after the grenade was thrown into the back of a pick-up truck in Gambella. It is believed the attack is part of an increase in violence between rival ethnic groups fighting over scarce resources. Bitter fighting has erupted over the last few months between the Anyuak tribe and the Nuer in an area called Itang. The UN Emergencies Unit for Ethiopia (EUE) says that fertile land along the riverbanks in the region has increased tensions. “Conflict is increasing in Gambella since early 2002,” the EUE said in a recent report after an assessment team was sent to the region to monitor food needs. “Present conflict is largely contained between the Anyuak and Nuer in Itang,” it said, adding that any distributions of food and non–food aid must be carefully handled to ensure current tensions were not inflamed. Gambella, although extremely fertile, is one of Ethiopia’s most isolated regions and home to three large refugee camps for Sudanese fleeing their war-torn country. The United Nations already has imposed restrictions on travel to the region and declared Itang off-limits to staff.

November 27, 2002 Fugnido Refugee Camp, Gambella

IRIN 2 Dec 2002 33 killed in refugee camp violence ADDIS ABABA, 2 Dec 2002 (IRIN) - At least 33 Sudanese refugees have been shot dead in violent clashes at a refugee camp in western Ethiopia, humanitarian organisations said on Monday. The refugees, who fled fighting in their own country, were killed after fighting broke out at Fugnido refugee camp in Gambella on the border with Sudan. According to aid organisations and the UN’s High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the majority of the victims are believed women and children. “UNHCR were the first to reach the scene of the massacre with Ethiopian soldiers," a senior UN source told IRIN. “They counted 33 bodies including 18 women. One woman was six months pregnant.” UNHCR said it would be holding an investigation into the shootings which occurred on the evening of 27 November. Senior humanitarian sources blamed the violence on a bitter dispute between the Anuak and Dinka tribes over who runs the camp administration. Reports say the shooting was sparked by an official of the refugee camp committee – an Anuak - who opened fire indiscriminately on a group of refugees. Fugnido is the largest camp for Sudanese refugees, providing food and shelter for some 28,700 people. Half of its population are Nuers, a third Anuaks and around 11 percent Dinkas. UNHCR and World Food Programme (WFP) staff have been evacuated from the camp to Gambella town for their safety. The situation is still reported to be tense. “Emergency talks being held to try and resolve the crisis and see that those responsible are brought to justice,” humanitarian sources said. Camp officials are also looking at separating the refugees to prevent future rival ethnic clashes. Ethnic tension has been escalating recently, although fighting has traditionally been between the Anuak and Nuer tribes. The Gambella region is one of the remotest in Ethiopia. There are currently some 81,000 Sudanese refugees in Ethiopia – many of whom have fled years of civil war at home.

IRIN 3 Dec 2003 UNHCR, gov't pledge to track down refugee camp killers ADDIS ABABA, 3 Dec 2002 (IRIN) - The Ethiopian government and the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) pledged on Tuesday to bring to justice the perpetrators of a massacre of Sudanese refugees. In a statement released after the killings at Fugnido refugee camp at Gambella in western Ethiopia, they agreed to set up a joint body aimed at bringing the guilty to book. The move came after the death toll from the shooting rose to 41. Violence flared on 27 November at the camp when gunmen from the minority Anuak tribe reportedly attacked a group of Dinka refugees, killing 33 and leaving nine wounded. “The UN refugee agency's representative for Ethiopia met with his counterpart from the government's Administration for Refugee and Returnee Affairs (ARRA) immediately once reports of the massacre reached Addis Ababa," UNHCR said in a statement. “They agreed to set up a joint government/UNHCR body to help ensure that the perpetrators of Wednesday's [27 November] massacre are brought to justice." “They also agreed to initiate reconciliation initiatives involving both the refugees and the host population, as well as non-governmental organisations, the army and police,” the statement said. UNHCR blamed “long simmering” tensions at the remote camp which borders Sudan. It said the camp is unfenced and weapons are readily available – many from across the border where the civil war has raged in Sudan for the last two decades. “The refugees' affiliations with various factions of the anti-Khartoum Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) are said to be fuelling the dispute,” UNHCR said. It also said tribal violence was mirroring political tension in the region and that grazing rights had also fuelled the trouble. “Prior to Wednesday's massacre, Ethiopia's federal government had invited Ethiopian representatives of the four ethnically-tied political parties present in the area to Addis Ababa for peace and reconciliation talks in an effort to quell tensions in the region,” the statement added.

www.ethiopiafirst.com 3 Dec 2002 Gambella can’t afforded another massacre any more By: Nwat Gur Abela Gilo - We are saying very clearly and very loud to peace lover organizations, institutions and individual around the world including Ethiopian Government that enough is enough, no more, no more killing and maiming of innocent Anyuak civilians by armed Sudanese refugee any where in Gambella. This is an unacceptable when Sudanese Anyuak or Ethiopian Anyuak killed by armed Sudanese Refugee no fair full investigation to be conducted neither by UNHCR nor by Ethiopian Government. In 1990 at the same refugee camp in Pinyudo, they killed almost 700 innocent Ethiopian Anyuak civilians, most of them where women and children, at that times there were no words said neither by UNHCR nor by Ethiopian Government for it own citizen. Losing a human being life from both sides is a big loses for us, please no more, no more. On October 2, 2002 the same incident happen at Itang Wereda and surrounded areas, have left more than 60 people dead and forced thousands to flee their homes. According to different sources including the Ethiopian Human Rights Council (EHRCO), the Nuers attacked the Anyuak, burning down dozens of houses in eight local districts. Some 8,700 people were forced to flee their homes. The failure on the part of the appropriate EPRDF authorities has contributed towards a worsening of the conflict that has caused a lot of damage. Last week on November 27, 2002 at least 33 Sudanese refugees have been shot dead in violent clashes at a refugee camp in Pinyudo (Pokwo), western Ethiopia. Now according UNHCR, said it would be holding an investigation into the shootings, which occurred on the evening of 27th November 2002 at that refugee camp. The UNHCR has choose this incident that important than the one occurred in 1990 when over 700 Anyuak women and children shot dead by Armed Sudanese Refugees in front of their faces. Why is this now? It is very clear that the UNHCR want make the Ethiopian citizen (Gambellan) to look bad in the media war through out the world. Have the UNHCR done “Gurtong” for the victims of 1990 massacre that took a lot of life in Pinyudo? “Gurtong” is the name of a traditional ceremony where two parties to a conflict settle a dispute in which lives have been lost through a peaceful discussions, the un-sharpening of the a spear symbolising forgiveness and reconciliation. “Gurtong” translates into ‘blunting the spear’ as a sign of reconciliation after some bad blood, usually murder, had occurred between clans, sections or ethnic groups. We want the UNHCR to settle the case of 1990 massacre traditionally before the people whom lost their love one- fathers, mothers, daughters and sons. Investigations are at an early stage, and we are not even sure there is any link with OLF alliances Thwat Pal terrorists or not. By any means the truth will out sooner or later and we shall know exactly who was responsible, but the chilling fact is that Gambellan are extremely helpless in the face of Sudanese Refugee Crisis. As a result, all the vows about fighting HIV/AID or famine in western Ethiopia will keep sounding hollow in a situation where you don't know whether these Refugees are Gambella liberators or South Sudan freedom fighter (SPLA/M rebels) or both. To make this conflict very clear and left an opinions for the conflict solutions, on October 30, 2002 we call upon to urge the Central Government to conduct a full fair investigation of the killing of innocent Anyuak civilians in Itang Wereda and surrounded areas, and human right violations by Sudanese refugee in Gambella State for the sake of peace, for the sake of freedom in the region. Much has been said about the suffering of Gambella people with a myriad of problems. Also the history of nature of the conflict between the two ethnic groups namely the Anyuak and the Nuer in the last decades. To give the readers a clear point of view I want to take you to the history of the conflict how it is started:- the administration of justice in the Sudan has been unfair and inconsistent since the early days of Anglo-Egyptian condominium and probably prior to that time whenever a southerner came into contact or under the control of the Muslim law. Quite frankly, Arab and European alike in the Sudan have victimized the Africans. Ravaged by successive waves of invaders the Southern Sudanese ethnic groups have always been in a defensive mode, intending to defend their land, their customs, and their way of life. The history of the Southern Sudanese ethnic groups is one of external force, brutality, and enslavement. When Yambio, the powerful king of the Azande, resisted the penetration of his country, he was murdered and the chiefs of Azande lost control of their territory. Throughout the South Sudan, the attempt to destroy the ethnic cohesion, to upset the peace between ethnic groups, and to harass the legitimate authority took its toll on the area. Punitive expeditions were undertaken by the Anglo-Arab Condominium against the Anyuak, the Nuba and the Beir ethnic groups for opposing the imposition of taxes without representation. Migrations crisis follow, Nuer clans encroached on the territory of neighboring communities and repelled or absorbed populations too weak to resist. The famine of 1835 to 1838 thus incited some Nuer clans, the Jikany and the Gaajak, to go east toward the Sobat River, in Anyuak and Shilluk lands. The Sudanese Anyuak of the region were pushed to the border of present-day Ethiopia, Gambella Regional State – Akobo and Jikawu Wereda. As for the Shilluk, other victims of the Nuer, they themselves had raided their northern neighbors during the umm lahm famine of 1684. Settled in the 16th century around Malakal under the authority of their “King,” the Nyikang, the Shilluk first evicted the Funj cattle herders of Sennar. Likewise, the political void created by a successive crisis in the heart of the Shilluk kingdom eased the advance of the Nuer. Before Sudanese refugee crisis in 1980’s, Nuer clans have been migrating to Anyuak land, the Akobo and Nyiwum (Naiser) in very few numbers. Since 1981 because of the war between the SPLA and the Government of the Republic of the Sudan, many Nuer are migrating to Gambella, primarily in search of safe haven and in the process of doing so, they infringe upon the property/user right of the Anyuak peasant farmers. Conflict, in recent decades, has been taking a more devastating shape and form. This has to do with the increased availability of modern firearms. With the emergence of SPLA as fighting force in Southern Sudan, force inimical to the Government of the Sudan continuously supply arms to Nuer militias. Nuer militias in turn permit the easy flow of arms to Gambella primarily through the Sudanese Nuer who are always at liberty to move back and force across the border carrying out a lucrative arms trade. The shifting relationship between the Government of the People’s Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and the Government of the Sudan facilitated the flow of arms into Gambella. When the Government of Ethiopia and the Sudan are at loggerheads with each other the former allowed the SPLA was evicted. The SPLA soldiers usually left the area in such a chaotic manner that they left large caches of arms behind them. On June 10, 2002 the National Defense Forces in Gambella and central government revealed later, after denied a lot of reports about OLF and Thwat Pal terrorists activities in the state from Ato Okello Nyegilo, the president, that OLF members, trained and equipped by the Eritrean belligerent government have been infiltrating western Ethiopia to undertake terrorist activities in Gambella and Oromia State. The OLF and Thwat Pal terrorists trained and equipped by the EPLF led government in Asmara to fight a proxy war and divert the attention of the people from development. On 18th June 2002 the Government released a report said OLF and Nuer (“Thwat Pal”) terrorists which had been deployed between Akobo and Abobo areas in the Gambella state to carry out terrorist activities have been captured including their leaders. The total numbers were 227 of the 231 OLF and 16 Nuer. Some 20 terrorists who attempted to escape have been killed, it said, adding that the defense forces have also seized weaponry and other valuable materials. Since Sudanese refugee crisis in Gambella to present-day, people of Gambella had suffered general in economical development, social justice and political structure. Since then the killing and maiming of innocent Anyuak civilians have been continued by arms Sudanese refugee and follow by Sudanese Nuer, for example, recent one at Pinyikawu village by arms Sudanese refugee believed to be they are from Ochom Screening Refugee Camp in August 2002. Apart from the Sudanese refugee crisis and a myriad of problems, Gambella people are facing a very big problem, HIV/AIDS. According to the report that released in September 2002 by David F. Gordon, formerly National Intelligence Officer for Economics and Global Issues. A copies of this assessment can be downloaded from the NIC public website at www.odci.gov/nic or obtained from Karen Monaghan, Acting National Intelligence Officer for Economics and Global Issues. It said Gambella State and Amhara State are the most at highest rate for HIV infection and death in Ethiopia. For all Gambella people, it is very clear that every time they seem to make some advancement, it’s like they take one step forward and three steps back. In so far as Gambella concerned the role of Government is suppose to be focus on a maximum effort to exploit all the natural resources of the State for the benefit of Gambella people. This effort can’t succeed unless the border is secure. Law and order capabilities must be strengthened no matter what the cost. In this 21st century all Gambella people should felt, smiled or tested the sense of Ethiopian citizen, not the sense of 2nd class Ethiopian citizen. In last decades Gambellan people have been fighting in every single war to defend theirs freedom and their lovely country’s freedom - Ethiopia, since Italy war to border conflict with Eritrea. They have been died at war front, they have been sending their son and daughter to serves theirs country and they have been paid a taxes for the support of their Government still their rightfulness not respected. More over Gambella State is the most socially, politically and economically marginalized and disadvantaged among the states in Ethiopia. One of the factors is insecurity along the border, refugee crisis due to civil war stricken Southern Sudan. In the last few years Sudanese refugee violent our common human rights, and then Government was blame for that. Simply we are asking the Government of Ethiopia to bring our rights and our fundamental freedoms back to our hand and to our community peaceful. Now we are appealing to all of you and yours organizations or yours institutions including the Ethiopian authorities in Addis Ababa to carry out the following solutions to end the suffering of innocent Gambella people for the sake of peace, for the sake of freedom in Gambella: The State militia should be well-trained, armed deployed in border areas teamed up with Federal troops; The killing and maiming of innocent Anyuak civilians if keep continue, it will trigger ethnic cleansing and genocide war against the indigenous Anyuak civilians. Therefore we suggesting all Sudanese refugee camps have to closedown and then reallocated the refugee somewhere else immediately; Introduce a system of population registration to determine who is citizen and who is not; Establish check points along the Ethio-Sudanese border to be manned by members of the communities trained for the purpose of checking unauthorized cross-border movement across international boundaries; Most importantly, initiate development projects along the border designed to enhance the people’s stakes so that they pay all sacrifices to safeguard their interest; Disarm the entire population while at the same time permitting the bearing of personal arms for self-protection. Some of these may not be practical in the short to the medium term. But some of them like banning unauthorized bearing of arms and arming an officially recruited and trained militia to be deployed in the border areas can be done almost immediately. The establishment of federal garrisons in strategic places to support the militia can also be done almost immediately. Most importantly, focusing on development projects that would equally benefit citizens of the state is likely to require considerable planning genuinely involving all stakeholders. But work must start without any further delay. Finally, we asking a simple question, whether Government of Ethiopia will stand up and keep fighting for social justice and human right of its own citizens including Gambellan? Now we are call upon the Government of Ethiopia to expand its playing the role of mediator and logistical support to efforts for peaceful accommodation of inter-groups differences, including in the processes of targeting border security, humanitarian and development assistance to those communities that are making good-faith efforts to live in peace with their neighbors. [Opinions in this article are solely that of the writer.]

UNHCR 10 Dec 2003 www.unhcr.ch United Nations High Commission for Refugees (Geneva) PRESS RELEASE FUGNIDO, Ethiopia, December 10 (UNHCR) – More than 28,700 Sudanese refugees are caught in a tense situation in Ethiopia as security concerns are still preventing international relief agencies from sending staff into Fugnido camp, where 41 Sudanese refugees were killed in ethnic clashes recently. Since the spate of attacks started on November 25, UNHCR staff and other aid workers have been ordered by UN officials in the capital to keep clear of Fugnido camp in south-western Ethiopia. The camp is home to over 28,700 refugees and is the largest of five refugee settlements in Ethiopia's Gambella region, which hosts a total of 85,000 Sudanese. Calling for more security in the area, UNHCR spokesman Kris Janowski said in a press briefing in Geneva Tuesday, "The clashes in Fugnido highlight the need for ARRA [the Ethiopian Administration for Refugee and Returnee Affairs] and the Ethiopian government to ensure the basic principles of refugee protection and monitoring." Last week, the Ethiopian government sent senior officials and ARRA staff into Fugnido to meet the refugees and try to calm the situation. The authorities have also reinforced Ethiopian troops based in the area, who are patrolling the camp. But the situation remains tense. Over 200 terrified refugees have fled Fugnido and sought refuge in a compound housing the offices of UNHCR and ARRA, just outside the camp. Their huts have reportedly been looted in their absence. Fugnido's schools have also been looted of furniture and other materials, with losses totalling more than $11,600, according to Save the Children, a non-governmental organisation that oversees education in the camp. So far, 46 children have been identified as having lost one or both parents in the recent clashes. In one particular attack, 33 Sudanese refugees – including 18 women, one of whom was heavily pregnant – were killed when refugees from the Anuak tribe, armed with AK-47 rifles, descended on a group of ethnic Dinkas. Tensions in the camp have been linked to tribal and political conflicts among the host community in this remote corner of Ethiopia. The refugees' affiliations with various factions of the anti-Khartoum Sudanese People's Liberation Army (SPLA) are also said to be fuelling the dispute.

www.waltainfo.com 11 Dec 2003 Constitutional Amendments In The Newly Emerging Regions Said Vital For Ensuring Peace and Development Addis Ababa, December 11, 2002 (WIC)- The Ministry of Federal Affairs disclosed that constitutional amendments recently introduced in the newly emerging regional states were vital to ensure their peace, stability and development. State Minister, Dr. Gebreab Barnabas, told Walta yesterday that the constitutional amendments that the Benshangul-Gumuz, Gambella, Somali and Afar regional States have recently introduced were timely and indispensable to enhance development endeavours. According to Dr. Gebreab, the new constitutions will ensure fair resource allocation and sharing, fair representation and decentralization of power to the grass root level. The State Minister who pointed out that lack of accountability and transparency were the major problems in those regions also said that these important principles were clearly enshrined in the new constitutions allowing law enforcement bodies to take immediate measures when they hold some one accountable in the transparent system. "The amendments reflected the objective realities of each region emphasizing their special peculiarities. One is not the carbon copy of the other," he added. The new constitution was envisaged to avoid disputes between different interest groups and nationals on resources and representations thereby enhancing and facilitating their development, he said. In addition, he said, the dissolution and reorganization of some of the parties with common goals and agenda will contribute to their economic growth by ensuring peace and stability in their regions. Previously the state governments in those regions were easy prays for anti-peace elements because of the disunity among political parties and different interest groups, it was learnt. The recent reorganization and institutionalization of the Federal police force, he said, will be of paramount importance to the proper handling of riots and clashes between different groups in the country in general and in the newly emerging regions in particular. According to him, regulations on the relationships of regional and federal police forces, the role of the federal police in ensuring peace in the country and the way it should handle security problems are being revised with a view to ensuring clarity of work procedures. However, he said, the revised regulations and procedures will take effect following large-scale institutionalization of pertinent police and law enforcement departments.

www.waltainfo.com 16 Dec 2003 Political Parties In Gambella Said Ineffective Gambella, December 16, 2002 (WIC)- The Ministry of Federal Affairs said political parties operating in Gambella Regional State have been ineffective in their political and administrative leadership in the last five years. Addressing a conference organized to facilitate the creation of a united front of three political parties in Gambella today, State Minister Dr. Gebre-ab Barnabas said that the parties were promoting only their own interests in disregard of that of the people. According to Dr. Gebre-ab, the creation of a united front in the region is a timely and necessary step for the restructuring of the leadership based on democratic principles and for enhancing development endeavors. The united front, once realized, was expected to promote the rule of law and democracy and focus on the alleviation of economic and social problems in the region, he added. According to him, the new front should also bring the former leaders of the parties to justice and reaffirm that no one is above the law. The State Minister also expressed EPRDF's readiness to support the "Unity initiative" of the parties and their struggle for in enhancement of democracy in the region. Interim Vice President of the Regional State Ket Tuach, on his part disclosed that the creation of a united front was indispensable to fight anti-democratic practices and dependency tendencies in the region. The two-day conference is expected to approve the legal framework and programme of the united front and elect the leaders of the front, it was learnt.

Note: New Political Party Established In Gambella Gambella, March 21, 2002 (ENA)- A newly established political party named the Gambella Peoples Democratic Union Party (GPDUP) has begun activities in the Gambella State. GPDUP has officially started its activities soon after it received legal status from the National Electoral Board (NEB) on March 8, 2002, its chairman, Gordan Kong said. GPDUP has more than 1,500 members and opened its office in Gambella town, the chairman told ENA.

UNHCR 10 Jan 2003 www.unhcr.ch United Nations High Commission for Refugees (Geneva) PRESS RELEASE Aid workers return to violence-hit Ethiopian camp; hundreds relocated Refugees at Ethiopia's Fugnido camp have received jerry cans, blankets, plastic sheeting and basic kitchen utensils from returning aid workers. © UNHCR/B.Neeleman ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, Jan 10 (UNHCR) – Aid workers returning for the first time to Ethiopia's Fugnido camp, the scene of deadly ethnic clashes last November, have found refugees living in desperate conditions, and have relocated more than 500 of them to another camp. Ethnic fighting had erupted in the south-western Ethiopian camp on November 27 between the Anuak refugees on the one hand, and the Nuer and Dinka communities on the other, leaving 42 refugees dead and scores of others wounded. For security reasons, aid workers were not permitted to go to the volatile camp until recently. Staff of the UN refugee agency who visited Fugnido camp for the first time in weeks said the situation was still tense. They found a number of refugees, mainly from minority ethnic groups that were particularly affected by the clashes, living in desperate conditions – lacking basic supplies and with no shelter from the severe, hot and dry weather at this time of the year. The visiting team immediately distributed to them plastic sheeting for shelter, jerry cans, blankets and basic kitchen utensils. According to UNHCR staff, a number of refugees from the minority ethnic Anuak community have abandoned their huts in the camp and are living among the local Ethiopian community – who are also ethnic Anuak – for fear of reprisals for the refugee killings. The Dinka community, also a minority in the camp, are equally fearful for their safety and have also left their part of the camp to join the Nuer community, the majority ethnic group in the camp established close to the Sudan/Ethiopia border. On December 28, a total of 531 refugees were moved from Fugnido camp to Bonga camp aboard eight buses organised by UNHCR and ARRA (Administration of Refugee and Returnee Affairs), the Ethiopian government department that oversees refugee matters. Bonga, home to nearly 17,000 Sudanese refugees of the Uduk community, is located 160 km north-east of Fugnido. Among the refugees relocated to Bonga is a group of nearly 200 who had fled into a compound housing UNHCR and ARRA staff in Fugnido after the November clashes. They are mainly Shuluks, Nubas and Equatorians, minority groups in the camp that were anxious for their safety and had asked to be moved elsewhere. Fugnido camp, re-established in 1993, is home to more than 28,700 refugees and is the largest of five refugee settlements in south-western Ethiopia's Gambella region, where a total of 85,000 Sudanese are sheltered. The camp was first opened in 1988 but closed in 1991 in the aftermath of the civil war that broke out in Ethiopia. The recent clashes in Fugnido erupted over control of the camp's minority committee, among other issues. Tensions reportedly mirror tribal and political conflicts among the host community in the remote corner of Ethiopia. The refugees' affiliations with various factions of the Sudanese People's Liberation Army (SPLA) are also said to be fuelling the dispute, along with disagreements over grazing rights. Last week, UNHCR senior staff met with the Ethiopian Minister for Foreign Affairs in Addis Ababa and appealed for added security in and around Fugnido camp. They made a similar appeal to the Regional State President of Gambella during a visit to Gambella this week. UNHCR staff also visited seven refugees held in police custody in Gambella in connection with the recent killings in Fugnido. The refugees are among a group of more than 70 people, mainly from the local community, being held by authorities for their suspected involvement in the armed clashes.

Annual Reports covering the year 2002

U.S. Committee for Refugees (USCR) www.refugees.org Jan 2003 ETHIOPIA World Refugee Survey 2003 Country Report [excerpt] "Uprooted Ethiopians Ethnic violence drove an estimated 15,000 Ethiopians from their homes during 2002. Nearly all newly uprooted populations remained in the country, and most returned home by the end the year. Approximately 90,000 Ethiopians remained internally displaced at year’s end, including about 75,000 still uprooted as a result of Ethiopia’s 1998–2000 border war with Eritrea. Increased tensions over lack of food and disputes over scarce water resources erupted into violent clashes between rival ethnic groups that left dozens of people dead in Afar and Oromiya States during the year. In July, Ethiopian authorities provided financial compensation to approximately 18,000 internally displaced persons to vacate some 10 camps near Addis Ababa, the capital, many of which authorities later leveled. Most of the displaced families quickly spent the compensation money provided by authorities and had no alternative but to return to the camps that remained or resettle in new locations. Demonstrations over the results of local elections spiraled into bloodshed between Ethiopian security forces and ethnic Sheko and ethnic Mezehenger populations in the southwestern Ethiopian town of Tepi during March–April. The violence killed more than 150 civilians, uprooted nearly 5,000 others, and destroyed some 1,000 homes. An additional 10,000 persons fled their homes in Gambella State, in western Ethiopia, during clashes between rival ethnic Nuer and Agnuak populations that left more than 60 people dead in July. About 75,000 of the approximately 300,000 persons who had been uprooted during the border war with Eritrea remained internally displaced in northern Ethiopia’s Tigray and Afar regions at the end of 2002. Although security in Tigray and Afar improved considerably during the year, most displaced people could not return home because pervasive landmines severely limited access to farm and pasture land. Damaged health clinics and water systems also presented risks to many war-displaced Ethiopians wanting to return home, particularly children. The war-displaced population, including demobilized soldiers and Ethiopian nationals deported from Eritrea, received limited water, shelter, and health and education services from international humanitarian agencies. They struggled to survive on monthly food rations provided by the World Food Program (WFP). “The war displaced are already at great risk as one of the most vulnerable groups in Ethiopia, and are in need of longer-term initiatives to improve their situation,” a UN report concluded in October." http://www.refugees.org/world/countryrpt/africa/2003/ethiopia.cfm

Amnesty International Ethiopia Covering events from January - December 2002 Armed conflict In continuing regional conflicts, Ethiopia supported the Alliance of Eritrean National Forces armed group, while Eritrea supported Ethiopian armed opponents – the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) fighting in Oromia region, and the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) fighting in the Somali region in alliance with the OLF and Al-Itihad Al-Islamiya (Islamic Unity). In these and other lesser conflicts in Ethiopia, civilians were frequently the victims of arbitrary detention, extrajudicial executions, and torture, including rape, by government forces in reprisals for attacks and casualties. There were some incidents of intercommunal fighting resulting in dozens of deaths and the displacement of thousands of people. Scores of people of the opposed Nuer and Anuak communities were killed in Itang town in Gambela region in the southwest in July 2002. Some arrests were made in connection with the killings but no one had been brought to trial by the end of the year. Ethnic clashes among Sudanese refugees in Fugnido camp in Gambela region in November left over 40 dead and scores wounded.

www.state.gov 31 Mar 2002 Ethiopia Country Reports on Human Rights Practices - 2002 Released by the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor March 31, 2003 RESPECT FOR HUMAN RIGHTS Section 1 Respect for the Integrity of the Person, Including Freedom From: . . . b. Disappearance There were some reported cases of disappearances perpetrated by the Government during the year; however, none appeared to be politically motivated. In nearly all cases, security forces abducted persons without warrants and detained them in undisclosed locations for varying lengths of time ranging from weeks to months. . . . There were reports in July that Anuak warriors abducted 32 Nuer IDPs from a bus taking them to Fugnido; the Government made little progress in its investigation of the disappearances, and the whereabouts of the 32 IDPs were unknown at year's end (see Section 2.d.). http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2002/18203.htm

Reports Analyzing events from July to Dec 2002

www.ethiopiafirst.com Oct 2002 ETHNIC CONFLICT IN GAMBELA STATE By: Nyikaw A. Ochalla Though many contribution on the subject have been made in the past and would expect many more to come in the future as a way to curve the wide gap of mistrust and actual bloody conflict I feel obliged to again contribute on this important issue; mainly on issues which writers using fictitious names intend to misguide the international community at large and the Ethiopian community in particular. In the attempt with little regard to human value and dignity the individual writer is mobilizing innocent civilian Nuer tribesmen to destabilize the entire Gambela nation. The most justification for political power and many more that are emerging would be under scrutiny in this short article. Finally, I would briefly comment on the role the Ethiopian government in the past, present, and future in an attempt to bring the two communities together and how successful this has been and would be in conflict resolution mechanism of the Ethiopian authorities. The intention here would be entirely to comment on Lunjock’s arguments who has no single interest in peaceful settlement of this escalating ethnic conflict. I also will approach this by correcting the negative views on the conflict. Firstly, the genesis of current debate over crucial issue of inter-ethnic relationship between Anuak (indigenous) and Nuer in the marginalized and neglected indigenous territories in south west tip of Ethiopia toward the Sudanese border is rooted to subsequent articles published since August 2001. It has apparently become clear from the content, use of language and form despite using different names to hide his true identity that single individual has been taking Nuer tribesmen on a bloody journey. As many would agree with me including Nuer elite themselves the content of both articles since August 2001 fall short of call for peaceful settlement of ethnic conflict between these linguistically and culturally interrelated societies and far from an agenda of ethnic Nuer who share common social and economic hardship with their Anuak counterparts as a policy of the Ethiopian authorities. Perhaps, it is a clan and family strategies that claims to represent ethnic Nuer on his/their struggle against Anuak. The list of names such as Deng Dung, Simon Chuol, Biel Kailech and many more which appeared in the recent article and pervious ones, are a family blood group belonging to Kuang Tut Lam, Ethiopian Ambassador to Japan. It would not be prejudice then to associate these articles of similar content, language and form with Kuang or anyone related to him. On his part evident suggest that Kuang has very little regard for human life including his fellow Nuer tribesmen. Medical Student who studied as a Sudanese refugee at Gondar medical institute and the only medical Dr in the Gambela State, one would doubt very much his contribution far away from his community including the Akobo Nuer claimed to be under insecurity threat. The following issues are of important for comment in order to further correct the negative views presents by Lunjock and his associates. A. Population. The issue of population overnight increase of ethnic Nuer has been the reasons for downfall of some political elite in the past and would serve as a major political tension in the future if not corrected. In my last article “Culture have violent and complaint” I have made it apparent the fact that there is no supportive theory of ethnic majority rule in any nation state in this modern world. The current Ethiopian system is a parliamentarian system base on the concept of constituency. If proper democratic rules were followed the number of Anuak in the Gambela council would not only be 29 as stand at the present, but would increase dramatically. The simple reason being the fact that the Anuak not only entirely occupying districts such as Gambela, Itang, Abobo, Gog, Jor, and Dimma, but also do still compose major number of both Akobo and Jokau districts at present. That in itself defeats the argument of numerical increase of Nuer tribesmen in less than a decade and occupying even less than a district in the real sense. Even assuming that Nuer tribe are highly fertile and ignoring other factors that balance the rapid population increase such as death rate, external and internal migrations etc. it is unlikely that such an increase can be reach in this short period of time. The crack of the matter is that if any increase of Nuer population is to be considered in Gambela it is not because of high birth rate among the Nuer in this ethnic heterogeneous districts-Akobo and Jokau rather due to the presence of Sudanese ethnic refugees in the nation the majority of which are ethnic Nuer. B. Land/territories What is currently happening in Gambela today is not different from similar violent act carried out against the Anuak civilians in Akobo, Jokau, and Nasser. The recent Akobo massacre stands a better focus for better understanding of the current conflict in Gambela town and its surrounding. Even, the writers who hide their/his real name(s) and perhaps mainly from Akobo district that might have been participant/s in the 1980s Anuak massacre would admit the similarity between these conflicts. They carried out an organised terror activities killing, displacing and burning Anuak villages. That is far from enough. They went on to the extent of renaming Anuak villages; a policy used by colonial forces. They have no shame at all. The argument that the Anuak would like to dislodge the Nuer from entire Gambela State fall short of the wider belief of Anuak peaceful nature and character. Had that been the case, they would have defended these territories including Nasser in Sudan. There would be no Nuer on Anuak territories that they also are inhabitants today- Akobo and Jokau. The Nuer elite themselves could be a witness of peaceful nature of Anuak ethnic even in the history of Ethiopian occupation. During the military regime despite usual Anuak displacement and forceful eviction from their traditional land by the group, the Anuak who at beginning came in contact with the Ethiopian forces invited minority Nuer tribe to join them and share the regional administration. Thwat Pal was a young student among the Anuak community when he was invited and later on nominated for high post by the majority Anuak group in the youth association. The districts governors during the military regime who were entirely ethnic Nuer lived among the Anuak peacefully and indeed guarded by Anuak themselves. The following were administrators in the Anuak districts without any Nuer presence. These are Thwat Pal(Gog), Mark Choul(Abwobo), Joshua Opal Lual( Itang), and Simon Nibib(Gambela). The above were all Nuer. Even, being minority of the time while ruling over the Anuak there was no complaint from Anuak during the period. If any, were targeted against the Ethiopian authorities. Is that what the Nuer want to do again? Well let us stop being shadow of each other. C. Ochom settlement I am so surprised for the so-called Lunyjock who has no shame to call Ochom as Nuer settlement. It is only someone who has no knowledge of Gambela that will accept such claim of Nuer settlement at Ochom. While working for UNHCR I knew Ochom as screening centre for Sudanese refugees. If Ochom has turn out to be Nuer settlement, then one would immediately conclude that the majority ethnic Nuer at both Pinyudo and Dimma camps are far from being Sudanese by nationality. For it was those ones that fail the screening who have refuse to return to Jokau or Akobo and are causing insecurity threat to the Anuak villages around. Perhaps it is the advice of people like “ Simon Gatwech Pibor, Lunyjock Gatwech, and Nyang Baitok” who are behind the scene. D. Determination to destabilized the Gambela nation It seems that the writer of the recent article-Lunyjock has no political back ground what so ever as I could understand from the fact that he cannot even know political parties in Gambela correctly. I have not heard of any political party by the name “Gambella Peoples Freedom Party”. In any case, the determination of the so called elite as Lunjock to destabilized the State of the Gambela peoples is very clear from his writings. He seems to have waged an outright war without cessation as he stated “ ---- unless this is corrected, its is not logical for the Anuak dominated GPFP to claim majority in the parliament. When this is corrected however-----“. Further more, he seems to encourage more blood shade in the State as in his statement “ ---- rural folks whose relatives have fallen victims to this violence are getting more and more impatient. I would not be surprised if some of them should not try to take law into their hands and mount a proactive defence or even going to offensive of their own”. The above quotes and many more are evidences that elite as Lunyjock is determine to escalate the ethnic conflict between the Anuak and Nuer. What he fails to understand is the fact that he is not going to escape from the responsibility of instigating ethnic violent despite the fictitious names he has been using. I would advice him to come up openly if he is for peace between the two communities. Perhaps he is afraid of losing his job at home or abroad as he has no clear stand on the Ethiopian politics. E. Rural Urban migration On the rural-urban migration, I share the notion that it is hard to curve the rural-urban migration. Individuals for various reasons do migrate to urban or cities. However, what Lunyjock Gatwech call rural urban migration in structure and form cannot fall under rural urban migration. Migrating to Itang or Gambela town precisely fall under the rural urban migration. Whereas migrating to Itang village, Ochom or any other Anuak village cannot fall into rural urban migration by any standard. An individual who intend to migrate to an urban area has specific goal in mind such as better life and opportunities. These could either be found in Gambela or Itang towns not in Pumoli or pinykeu village. I believe Lunjock Gatwech would agree with me that many Anuak farmers at those villages are not far better than their counterpart Nuer in any village Jokau or Akobo. Why then decide to migrate from a village to village similar to what you had left behind? Secondly, having commented on the issues raised by Lunyjock, I would like briefly to comment on the Ethiopian government response to this ethnic conflict that is devastating the Gambela nation. What are taking place in Gambela State seem to little interest the Ethiopian authorities. So far their response is not to resolve the conflict but to create a situation where they can have strong hold in the State by system of divide and rule. While the government is very well aware that Ochom was a screening centre for Sudanese refugees, the government has turned a bland eye on the claim of the Nuer on the area. Even, while the government claim to have disarmed the inhabitants of the area in 1997 and the recent police disarm ant they seems to encourage the illegal Nuer to posses guns and as a result the Nuer have advance in displacing the Anuak from their villages along the Baro (Openo) river. On the other hand, the government is preparing for Gambela leadership evaluation as a way forward to resolve the ethnic conflict in the area. Information suggests that such kind of evaluation technique will not resolve the conflict rather will increase violent among the community. The federal government has its own agenda, which will be soon be revealed. Whether that will mean bringing minority Nuer on top of the indigenous Anuak or installing their own administration is yet to be seen. Any solution which the government is going to propose after this much damage on both communities in general and on Anuak ethnic community who are displaced from their original villages would have a very significant effect in the peace and stability in the nation. Any solution would include the removal of ethnic Nuer from Ochom village and all those villages they illegally occupied at Itang districts. As I mentioned in the above, rural urban migration short not be mixed with forceful settlement on the indigenous land. Finally, the role of peaceful co-existence in the Gambela State is the responsibility of all ethnic groups. It is only by recognising that we have common enemy and problems that we will move forward. If we continue to naively submit to the enemy, than we will be doing the same mistakes of those who fight injustice and cruel human treatments across the international border. It is high time for many of us to wakeup and consolidate our effort in claiming our rights in any form. [Opinions in this article are solely that of the writer.].

Bonn International Center for Conversion Nov 2002 www.bicc.de Capacity Building for Tackling the Misuse of Small Arms and Light Weapons in the IGAD Countries SALIGAD www.saligad.org A Proposal for a Preliminary Assessment of the Viability of Undertaking a Study on the Problem of Small Arms Trafficking in the Gambella Area back to top "In the regional state of Gambella the Anyuae and the Neur are in a permanent state of conflict over the issue of territorial control. The bone of contention are the rich alluvial plains and the fishing grounds of the Baro River. Since the Anyuae and the Neur tribes within Ethiopia have kith and kin across the border in southern Sudan the tribes in Ethiopia can count on support from their respective fellow tribesmen from across the border. A very important feature of the Anyuae and Neur conflict is the fact that the contested territory lies adjacent to the provinces of southern Sudan, where war between North and South has been waged for decades. Liberation fronts and other rebel groups receive armament from groups whose interests lie in a destabilized Africa. Necessary armaments are supplied in generous quantities. Relevant actors in liberation fronts or other types of rebels use the trade of their virtually unlimited supply of armaments as a means of additional income. According to a recent study on traditional mechanisms of conflict management in the Anyuae Society, undertaken by Yacob Arsano, it was shown that traditional mechanisms were by and large effective in the management of intra-Anyuae conflict, and virtually non-effective in conflict situations outside the Anyuae society. The Neur seem to have the upper hand because of the asymmetrical distribution of firepower." http://www.saligad.org/fieldwork/gambella.html

IRIN 24 Jan 2003 Violence on the increase in remote Gambella region ADDIS ABABA, 24 Jan 2003 (IRIN) - Dozens of people have been killed amid spiralling ethic clashes between rival groups in Ethiopia's western Gambella Region, on the border with Sudan. Although the area has traditionally been witness to tribal violence, the ferocity and scale of attacks are now causing serious concern. Just two months ago, at least 40 people were killed in a refugee camp. Now the United Nations Emergencies Unit for Ethiopia (EUE) is urging action to try and break the ever-growing cycle of violence. Much of the fighting has been between two ethic groups – the Nuer who live close to the Ethio-Sudan border and are pastoralists - and the Anyuaa, or Anuak, tribe. In a detailed study of the region, the EUE blamed several factors for the increase in attacks which culminated in the massacre at Fugnido refugee camp – one of three in the area. “These include control over scarce natural resources such as water and grazing land, the question of majority population in the region and what language should be taught in school, and, a general feeling or apprehension among Anyuaa that they are being dominated by the pastoralist Nuers who enter Anyuaa territory in search of grazing land and water,” the UN unit said. But, it recognised that without peace in war-torn southern Sudan, the conflict in Gambella was likely to continue. “As a long-term solution throughout Gambella region, it is of paramount importance that peace and stability be re-established in southern Sudan,” author Abraham Sewonet added in the report, released after a six-day field visit in late December. “Development initiatives along the Ethio-Sudanese border would contribute to minimising uncontrolled influxes of people from Sudan into Gambella town,” he said. “Meanwhile, strict arms control along the Ethio-Sudanese border could be an important factor in minimising conflict and causalities in the future.” Clashes, which have seen thousands forced from their homes, have been breaking out with increasing regularity over the last year. The EUE has also called on aid agencies helping victims of the conflict to ensure that any food or non-food support is totally transparent to avoid accusations of bias. The Ethiopian Human Rights Council (EHRCO) has also expressed concern over the fighting in the region. It argues that the federal government in Ethiopia should step in to ensure that tribes gain some kind of political representation in Gambella. It also calls for local officials, who are found to be complicit in the violence, to be brought to justice. The EUE likewise argues for local organisations to play a role in securing peace and breaking the ever-increasing cycle of violence. “Traditional conflict resolution mechanisms should be included in the peace talks and processes,” the EUE report said. Around 182,000 people live in Gambella Region. The Anuak make up some 27 percent with the Nuer representing the majority group, with 40 percent of the population. But the Anuak question the legitimacy of the Nuer who they say are usurpers who have crossed the border form Sudan. Clashes between both tribes were usually resolved through village elders who would arrange for blood money to be paid in the form of cattle if villagers had been killed. “Gradually, however, these traditional conflict resolution mechanisms have started to erode for various reasons,” the EUE said. In schools, the Nuer language is no longer taught sparking further resentment among the ethnic groups. A ready supply of arms from the civil war in Sudan and arms dumps left over from the former Ethiopian regime have exacerbated the scale of the violence. Attempts have been made to try and disarm groups, but it has proved difficult with the Nuer as they are pastoralists. The EUE argues that under the next census, which is due to take place in 2004, the various tribes in the region should be clearly identified. It may then become easier to determine what languages is taught in schools. But until a long term solution is found the violence is likely to continue.

www.uneue.org UN Country Team in Ethiopia 3 Jan 2003 Ethiopia: Breaking the cycle of conflict in Gambella region [Excerpt] By Abraham Sewonet, UN-Emergencies Unit for Ethiopia 1. Introduction and background Gambella National Regional State is situated in the south-western part of Ethiopia. The region borders with Benishangul Gumuz and Oromiya regions to the North, the Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples' Regional State (SNNPRS) and the Sudan Republic to the South, Oromiya and SNNPRS to the east and the Sudan Republic to the west . . . 2.3. Current conflicts and consequences Recently and particularly since early 2002, ethnic conflict and clashes have increased in Gambella region. The present conflict is largely waged between the Anyuaa and the Nuers in Itang woreda. While the underlying cause is accredited to reasons mentioned above with particular emphasis on struggles for arable land along the riverbank that the Anyuaa normally farm, other conflicts have occurred in recent times, including clashes between the Sudanese Anyuaa and Dinka in Fugnido refugee camp that caused 42 causalities among the camp dwellers5. Late in 2001 and early in 2002, there were also conflicts between Anyuaa and Mezengir in Gog and Abobo woredas and between Mezengir and Sheko in Yeki woreda of SNNPR that extended to Godere in March 2002. The various conflicts have caused displacement in many parts of Gambella region. Even though DPPC, ICRC and some charity organizations have made food and non-food contributions, this assistance is said to be insufficient. The situation in Ilea village, Itang woreda where more than 10,000 Anyuaa IDPs are concentrated, deserves close follow up. 3. Conclusions and recommendations Four important factors are responsible for the escalating ethnic conflict in Gambella region. These include control over scarce natural resources such as water and grazing land, the question of majority population in the region and what language should be taught in school, and, a general feeling or apprehension among Anyuaa that they are being dominated by the pastoralist Nuers who enter Anyuaa territory in search of grazing land and water. Even though the 1994 population census shows the Nuers as the majority population in Gambella region, the Anyuaa object to the census results. For the next population census in 2003/2004, it will be important to identify who is of Ethiopian nationality and who is not. Once the breakdown of the population is determined, it may become easier to decide what languages should be taught in what schools in the region. As a long-term solution throughout Gambella region, it is of paramount importance that peace and stability be re-established in Southern Sudan. Development initiatives along the Ethio-Sudanese border would contribute to minimizing uncontrolled influxes of people from Sudan into Gambella town. Meanwhile, strict arms control along the Ethio-Sudanese border could be an important factor in minimizing conflict and causalities in the future. Traditional conflict resolution mechanisms should be included in the peace talks and processes. Current local political tribal organizations such as the Anyuaa Development Association and the Nuers Development Association could play a major role in peace and reconciliation discussion process. Some NGOs in Gambella such as the Agency for Cooperation and Research in Development (ACORD), have substantial experience and untapped potential to continue working closely with local community members and elders. Peace talks and panels could be organized to bring the two groups together. Educating the young generation on the importance of traditional conflict resolution mechanisms is equally important. The conflict-displaced population in Ilea of Itang woreda need close follow up. As the conflict is a very sensitive issue, any food and non-food assistance should be targeted in a transparent manner or else the assistance itself might cause further conflict. This could be done by involving all stakeholders such as local and international NGOs, UN agencies and churches, as well as Anyuaa and Nuers communities (Hedlund, Sewonet & Beyene, 2002). www.uneue.org/Archive/DownloadableReports/ Gambella1202.pdf

January - February 2003, including Political activity by Ethiopian Emigre groups in Minnesota, USA

Gambella People's United Democratic Front (GPUDF) January 6, 2003 Press Release From Gambella People's United Democratic Front (GPUDF) January 6 , 2003 We the founding members of Gambella People's United Democratic Front (GPUDF) met on January 1, 2003 at Radisson Hotel, University of Minnesota, and thoroughly discussed the current "TPLF" government undemocratic and divisive policy in Gambella and Ethiopia. We the founding members agreed to form a democratic organization that is capable to unite our people and cement the differences between them created by the "TPLF" regime. At the end, the conference adapted 11 articles and 54 sub-articles of the organization program. The conference also adapted the organization emblem and banner. To further the struggle of Gambella People's United Democratic Front (GPUDF), the conference adapted the following resolutions: On Political Vision Since taken over the Ethiopian government leadership, the "TPLF" (EPRDF) has inflected historical damage to the integrity of the country and the unity of its people. Today more then ever, the country faced with severe famine and poverty. This tribalist government practice unbalance national resources allocation and economic development policies. The "TPLF" (EPRDF) government ethnic based political system had subjected its subordinate to severe political repression through the use of divide and rule policies. The victims of this anti people and undemocratic policy of "Woyane" in most cases, has been the less politically and educationally developed areas in the country, such as Gambella. The EPRDF government eliminated genuine political oppositions in Gambella and elsewhere in Ethiopia. It did not abide by its own constitution, and unwilling to accommodate diversity of political views. Worst of all, the "TPLF" government practice the policy of betrayal against the Ethiopian citizens in favor of foreign nationals thereby, insulted the Ethiopian citizenship. This historical crime committed by state against its own citizens is a first kind in civilized and modern nation history. Since, the "TPLF" (EPRDF) regime refused to give a room for a peaceful alternatives, we the founding members of Gambella People's United Democratic Front are determine to restore our god given right through means of political resistance. To this end, we will pursue the following vision of struggle: 1. To actively struggle for the creation of democratic Ethiopia that based itself on strong federated union, and that the new Ethiopia must be free from one ethnic domination, diverse nation as it is with political dispensation that provides equal opportunity and justice for every Ethiopian, a democratic Ethiopia in which governance is based on popular will of the people and the rule of law. 2. To actively engage in struggle to achieve total liberation of our people from all forms of political, economic, and social repression through popular uprising and disobedient to the "TPLF" government undemocratic policies. 3. To mobilize our people for struggle aim at attainment of the right to self-rule government in Gambella, strive for the pursuit of universal happiness, freedom of development of self and society, and peaceful co-existent among Gambella people and that of Ethiopian as whole. 4. To solemnly pledge and make our respective peoples to be more vigilant to forestall this diabolical activity of the "TPLF" (EPRDF) regime. 5. To use diplomatic means with the supports and coordination of international community supporting justice, democracy, and human rights. 6. To pursue any other means, including peaceful solution with the government under the auspices of regional and international mediation. On Coordination of Struggle The lack of coordinated and unified struggle between Ethiopian political opposition, and the absence of clear visionary struggle has seriously damaged the opposition and strengthen the "TPLF" (EPRDF) government. Based on this, Gambella People's United Democratic Front (GPUDF) will pursue the following policy: 1. To maintain healthy relations with all democratic forces opposing the "TPLF" (EPRDF) government on the basis of equality, mutual respect and peaceful coexistence without interference in each other affairs. 2. To fully support the national struggle for the liberation of Ethiopia from the "TPLF" (EPRDF) regime. 3. To support national foreign policy that base itself on Ethiopia sovereignty and national integrity; a policy that is free from influence and interference of external affairs, and work with them to ensure economic development of the country and that of Gambella. 4. To fully engage in civic and national unity organizations aspiring for the country political liberation from the yoke of oppressive regime of "TPLF" (EPRDF) government. 5. To wage a unify struggle against the "TPLF" (EPRDF" human rights violations committed against the people of Gambella and other Ethiopian. 6. To support the struggle waged inside the country by democratic forces both within and outside the government to bring democracy, justice, and equality to Ethiopia. Gambella People's United Democratic Front (GPUDF) Central Committee. http://www.tisjd.net/gambella.htm Website of the "Tigrean International Solidarity for Justice and Democracy"

www.mcgillreport.org 14 Jan 2003 Media for Global Citizens by Douglas McGill www.mcgillreport.org THE MINNESOTA ANUAK: A LOST AFRICAN TRIBE OF THE MIDWEST By Douglas McGill January 14, 2003 Rochester, MN -- The images on the gruesome video are all too familiar to anyone who watches television news from disaster-prone Africa: a filthy hospital packed with desperately sick, young men lying listlessly on cots, their bodies broken and thin, their bloody bandages flecked with flies, their eyes despairing. We are sitting in a tiny apartment living room in Austin, six men scrunched close on a sofa and two folding chairs. The air is sweet with Ethiopian incense. In the nearby kitchen, African women prepare a meal as the men discuss the crisis shown on the video. One of the men, Omot Ochan, explains that the images show the survivors of a July 7, 2002, attack on his native tribe in northern Africa. According to the United Nations, which runs several refugee camps nearby, 69 men, women and children were killed that day; 39 were seriously wounded, and 8,700 left homeless and starving. Nearly all the dead and wounded are members of the Anuak (pronounced AN-you-ack) tribe, the indigenous people of remote western Ethiopia. In some shots in the video, the wounded men wince as they turn over to show bullet holes gaping in their sides. The men in the Austian apartment wince as they watch the screen. Like the men in the video, they are members of the Anuak tribe, but they escaped the violence in their land to come to Minnesota in recent years. Today they are meeting frequently to discuss how to help their relatives back home as the Anuak suffer an especially intense bout of tribal killings and ethnic cleansing. They have formed a group called the Anuak Relief Committee to support and raise money for those left wounded or homeless by the July massacre. The committee, which also acts as an informational clearinghouse for the Anuak community in Minnesota, is based in St. Paul and has members from southeastern Minnesota and the Sioux Falls, S.D., area. I look out the apartment window in Austin and see a group of American teenagers tumble out of an SUV and rush into a McDonald's restaurant. We're a long, long way from northern Africa. Yet in this living room in Austin, the fates of Minnesota and Africa intertwine. After all, some of the Anuak men have been here for more than five years and are U.S. citizens. What they are trying to do now is get the U.S. government to intervene to save their families back home. Random Killings Southern Minnesota is home to the world's largest community of Anuak refugees, which numbers about 1,200. Most arrived in the area in the mid-1990s, after the 1991 government change in Ethiopia triggered chaos in the remote western part of the country where the Anuak tribe lives. "Our people are like the Indians in the United States," Ochan explained. "We are the indigenous people of western Ethiopia. We want to be independent and to run our own lives. But the Ethiopian government is suspicious of anyone who wants to be independent, and we have suffered from that." Everyone in the Austin apartment, which is not far from the Hormel Foods plant where several Anuak people work, has a horror story to tell from the early mid-1990s, when they fled Ethiopia, first to Kenya and then to Minnesota. "There was nothing to eat and nothing to buy," said Obang, who now lives in Rochester and asked that his full name not be used so that he could protect family members who still live in Ethiopia. "You could see many people dying in the street. You didn't know who your enemy was. If you saw a man with a gun, it could be an Ethiopian soldier, a Sudanese rebel, or someone from the former military. If they didn't like you, they could shoot you. So we ran." According to accounts the Minnesota Anuak gave, in the two years following the takeover of the new Ethiopian government in 1991, the government sent troops into the Anuak's fertile and oil-rich territory to take control. Random killings, and sometimes massacres of the Anuak ensued. Thousands fled through the Ethiopian jungle, where many died from lion attacks, into refugee camps in northern Kenya. Obang's journey began when he woke up one morning to the sound of gunfire and screaming. "I saw the soldiers shooting and I ran," he said. Knife's Edge "I was trying to think what to do, but there was nothing in my head. I could feel the bullets going between my arms and legs and around my head. I saw my friends fall down from the gunshots all around me. One was crying in the river where he had been shot. I crawled down to the river and I got into the water and the mud and I held him and I carried him. We stayed in the water for four hours before we could get away. Many people were injured and dying. Since that day, I have never worried about something they call dying. I never worry about what's coming because it's not in my power to change." After living two years at the Ifo refugee camp in northern Kenya, a tent city of 70,000 where, at its worst, dozens of people a day died of simple infections and diarrhea, Obang was granted refugee status. The International Organization for Migration, an international aid group based in Geneva, relocated him. He worked as a dishwasher at a Chicago Hilton hotel and as a meat cutter at the John Morrell & Co. slaughterhouse in Sioux City, Iowa, before taking a job assembling computer cabinetry at the Crenlo Inc. factory in Rochester. Obang studies English and is taking graduate-equivalency classes and studying English in Rochester. He hopes to attend college here one day. He became a U.S. citizen last fall. Most of the Anuak refugees in Minnesota, like Obang, spent two or three years at the Ifo refugee camp before immigrating to the United States. They came to Chicago, St. Paul, Sioux City, and other Midwestern cities before following jobs into smaller cities like Austin, Rochester and Willmar. "The United States is special," Obang said. "The best thing is that citizens give their opinions to the government, and the government listens to them. That's freedom. So we are asking the U.S. government to help the Anuak." Through USAID, the U.S. government sent $58.8 million in foreign aid to Ethiopia in 2002, and has requested a budget of $77 million for 2003. Making receipt of this foreign aid contingent on the Ethiopian government's improved actions toward the Anuak is their goal, Obang said. Frantic Phone Calls As the smell of garlic from the kitchen intensifies toward the dinner hour, the horrible videotape turns and turns. The tape was made by a Minnesota Anuak who was visiting his family just after the July 7 massacre. It shows the remains of two Anuak villages, Elea and Pinyman, burned to the ground; once clusters of round straw huts, the villages now are nothing but black circles burned into the ground. Inside the circles are the shattered ceramic urns and gourds that once stored corn flour and oil. A mass grave is shown at one point as the video's narrator explains there was no time to bury victims in individual graves. In western Ethiopia where the Anuak live, life still balances on a knife's edge. Every nightfall brings the dread of another possible massacre. So every night here in Minnesota, after finishing their jobs at the meatpacking plants or factories, the Minnesota Anuak frantically telephone loved ones in Gambela, the Ethiopian town where many of the homeless have congregated. They collect the latest news. They have done this every day since July, buying fistfuls of telephone cards, with a different person calling home each night and then all the next day sharing the news. The Anuak Relief Committee has met in emergency session in a different apartment every weekend since July to strategize how to raise money, how to raise awareness of the Anuak's plight outside of Africa, and how to find other ways to help. Among themselves, the Minnesota Anuak have raised $20,000 to send to friends and family who survived the July attack, Ochan said. The money is wired to a bank in Gambela, where a friend on the telephone can immediately confirm that the money has arrived and been deposited. The group has also launched a letter-writing campaign to the U.S. government, to the Ethiopian government, and to Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and other human rights groups to raise awareness of the troubles in their land. In these letters, the Anuak call upon the Ethiopian government to conduct a full investigation of the conflicts and to strongly consider relocating the refugee camps, the source of the recent violence, to the fringes of Anuak territory. So far, there has been no substantial reply. Endangered Culture The best source of information about the Anuak tribe is Cultural Survival, a 30-year-old research and activist organization based in Cambridge, Mass. Founded in 1972 by Harvard anthropologist David Maybury-Lewis and funded then by the U.S. Agency for International Development and the Ford Foundation, the group since 1981 has published a half-dozen reports detailing the Anuak's tragic story. The report titles alone tell much of it: "Ethiopia's Policy of Genocide Against the Anuak," "Anuak Displacement and Ethiopian Resettlement," "Oil Development in Ethiopia: A Threat to the Anuak" and "Armed Struggle and Indigenous People." In 1986, Cultural Survival put the Anuak on its list of "endangered cultures," citing the Ethiopian government's clearance of Anuak land for resettlement as the major threat. Many Anuak were dying, the report said, when farmers tried to fight off Ethiopian soldiers with only their rakes and spears. Estimates of the number of Anuak living today range around 100,000, with perhaps one-tenth of that number having fled the country and now living in exile. As the indigenous people of western Ethiopia and southeastern Sudan, the Anuak have reaped much greater than its share of the sorrows brought by the civil wars, droughts, and famines that have plagued both countries over the past 30 years. The tribe's rich but remote territory has absorbed wave after wave of refugees from its eastern, western and northern borders. From the north and the east, the Ethiopian government has sent more than a million famine victims to resettle on Anuak land since the early 1980s. From the west, hundreds of thousands of Sudan civil war refugees have poured in. These waves of settlers and refugees have overrun and destroyed much of the Anuak's traditional farming, hunting and fishing grounds, and brought to a boiling point deep tribal rivalries that had long remained at a simmer. Thanksgiving Day Massacre The current crisis erupted in the refugee camps. Most of the camps' refugees are members of the Nuer tribe of Sudan, with whom the Anuak have had bitter relations for more than a century. The July massacre, according to the telephone reports gathered by the Minnesota-based Anuak, started with a garden-variety Anuak-Nuer shouting match, but turned deadly when a gang of Nuer left and then returned to settle things with AK-47 assault rifles. Tragically, a Thanksgiving weekend massacre, which resulted in 33 deaths, was possibly caused by Anuaks taking revenge for the July slaughter. "After so many years of being killed, and being killed, and being killed, it may be that an Anuak just burst," Ochan said. "We don't know the full facts yet. But after the July massacre, the Anuak may have thought, 'Unless we do something, they will just kill us again and again.' But now, of course, more violence is all the more likely to happen. It's so tragic." At the meeting in Austin, the young children of the somber adults run through the cramped living room on their way to a bedroom, where, laughing and giggling, they jump up and down on the bed. In the living room, where the serious talk is happening, every one of the adults has a lot going on besides the troubles back in Africa. After all, they have lived in their new country for more than five years and some of them, like Obang, are even citizens. They lead lives indistinguishable from millions of Americans. Yet these days, dark images of death are impinging on the paradise the Anuak are trying to create for themselves in Minnesota. Delivered by videotape or by telephone calls back home, these nightmares violently thrust the past into the present, bringing urgent tasks and responsibilities. "We have finally escaped to America," Ochan said. "But when we see our families back home getting killed we say, 'Maybe we should have stayed and suffered with them. Maybe that is the right way.' It's easy to feel hopeless. But we will keep on. We believe that if we can express and share our suffering with the world, we can make some change." [ Douglas McGill.com is a "former reporter for The New York Times, and a London and Hong Kong bureau chief of Bloomberg News" now teaching journalism at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul and write a column called "Global Rochester" for the Rochester Post-Bulletin in Rochester, Minnesota. "If you would like me to speak to your group or would like to share information, contact me at: doug@mcgillreport.com."

ICRC 21 Jan 2003 ICRC News 03/09 Sudan: ICRC reunites children with families The ICRC's Sudan delegation last week flew five children from Malakal, in Upper Nile state, to Pochalla, in Jonglei state, where they were reunited with their families after three and a half years of separation. The children – from the Anuak tribe – had been abducted in 1999 near Pochalla, an area held by the Sudanese People's Liberation Movement (SPLM). In May 2000, they were found in Pibor and placed with two foster families in Malakal, an area under government control. After tracing their parents, the ICRC flew the children, with the consent of all concerned, from Malakal to Khartoum on 12 January. The following morning, the children were flown to Lokichokio, Kenya and in the afternoon on to Pochalla. One of the most painful aspects of any conflict is the fact that some families are dispersed by the fighting. This is the first time in many years that the ICRC has been allowed to reunite people with their loved ones across government/SPLM lines. Further information: Yahia Alibi, ICRC Khartoum, tel. ++249 11 476 464

UNHCR 21 Feb 2003 www.unhcr.ch United Nations High Commission for Refugees (Geneva) PRESS RELEASE Terrified refugees at Ethiopian camp could be relocated soon ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, Feb 21 (UNHCR) – Three months after ethnic clashes at an Ethiopian camp left scores of Sudanese refugees dead, the government of Ethiopia has identified a new site for 24,500 refugees who want to be moved out of the tension–filled Fugnido camp. The UN Security Co–ordinator is now visiting the proposed site to make sure it is safe for staff of the UN refugee agency and its partner non–governmental organisations (NGOs) to work there. "Everything hinges on the security situation," said Peter Okoye, UNHCR Deputy Representative in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa. "The Ethiopian government has pledged that adequate security will be provided, but the UN Security Co–ordinator is now looking at what the situation is really like on the ground." At present, the entire region around Fugnido is off–limits to UN workers because of the ethnic conflict. Moving the refugees became critical after a spate of ethnic clashes over five months last year killed 107 refugees in Fugnido camp in western Ethiopia. The worst violence occurred on November 27, when the Anuaks clashed with the Nuers and Dinkas, leaving 42 dead and 46 children orphaned. A number of suspects have been charged with the killings and brought to court. The clashes within Fugnido reflected tensions between the same ethnic groups in the local community outside the camp. With a history of revenge killings dating back to 1995, all the ethnic groups involved agreed that relocating the Nuers and Dinkas was the only practical and feasible solution. This move would leave nearly 8,000 Anuak refugees at Fugnido, where they are happy to stay as they are surrounded by a local community of Anuaks. The proposed site of the new camp is Odier, in western Ethiopia, 56 km from the border with Sudan. Odier was chosen because of its accessibility, proximity to administrative and security establishments, and most importantly, because the refugees themselves wanted to move there. Odier is surrounded by 3,000 Ethiopian Nuers who have pledged that they will protect both the Nuer and Dinka refugees if they move there. In January, a combined mission by UNHCR and the Ethiopian refugee agency, ARRA, concluded that "it is unlikely that there will be external attacks" at Odier as there had been at Fugnido. The mission also found that the 108–hectare site at Odier has adequate water resources and a good supply of grass, bush and trees, such that environmental damage should be minimal. The UN refugee agency will need $1.8 million to develop the site into a refugee camp. Meanwhile, some terrified Nuer and Dinka refugees at Fugnido camp have already returned to Sudan, fearing another attack by the Anuaks. This week, Mahmood Syed Hussain, head of the UNHCR office in Gambella, near Fugnido, toured the camp and reported that a number of huts had been abandoned and that the refugees had taken their doors and windows with them when they left. "They have returned to Pochalla, a border town in southern Sudan, where they will wait to return to Ethiopia once the new camp is established in Odier," said Hussain. He did not know how many refugees have returned to Sudan in the last month. To best protect the remaining refugees, "we firmly believe the move to Odier is the best option, and we just hope that we will be able to proceed quickly," said Okoye.

June to Sept 2003 Two more ethnic clashes in Gambella state leaving 38 dead, including 13 Dizzis and 4 Surmas (June 23 to August 17) and 1 "Agnwak" and 21 Surmas (September 30, 2003).

Ethiopian Human Rights Council 15 Oct 2003 www.ehrco.net [Excerpts] Another Ethnic Conflict in Bench-Maji Zone 66thSpecial Report 15 October 2003 Introduction In an ethnic conflict which flared up in Toom, Jebba and Surma weredas of the Bench- Maji zone in the year 2003, 40 people had been killed and a considerable amount of property was looted and destroyed. The residents of the locality in the zone are in serious anxiety because of the ethnic clashes that have escalated lately. It is to be recalled that in July 2001 a serious clash has occurred in those areas. As a result 31 people were killed 5 were wounded, 152 homes were burnt down, 1300 people were displaced from their homes and 166 heads of cattle were looted. This was reported in the 59thSpecial Report of EHRCO that was issued and disseminated in February 2003. The Cause of the Present Conflict The Dizzi, Menit and Surma tribes live in Maji, Jebba, Toom and Surma weredas. The Menit and Dizzi tribes live in Maji, Toom and Jebba weredas, whereas the Surmas live in Surma wereda. EHRCO had learnt that the surmas used to live near the Sudanese border in areas called Tirmatid and Mardur. However, as they are nomads, they do not live in a fixed place. They also used to live as pastoralists different in areas in Surma woreda. Recently, the Surmas have encroached the areas that are known to belong to the Dizzi and Menit tribes. And the main cause for this encroachment is the absence of government soldiers that used to guard the boarder with the Sudan and Kenya during the Derg regime. This fact made the Surmas vulnerable to attacks and looting from heavily armed Sudanese nomads who overstep the Ethiopian boarder and forced them to leave their localities and migrate to Jebba and Toom weredas. (Page 2) The Surmas who migrated to these weredas had attacked the Dizzis and the Menits and taken over the latter's villages. This has caused repeated clashes between the Dizzis and the Surmas. Though local government authorities repeatedly asked the Surmas to evacuate the areas they took over from the Dizzis and the Menits, they persistently refused to do so. The reason for their refusal was that they had been exposed to attacks by the “Bume” tribes from the Sudan as there had been no government soldiers assigned to guard the Ethio- Sudanese border since the present government took over political control. So, even recently the Surmas have alleged that they became victims of attacks by an organized group originating from the neighboring countries. As an evidence to their allegations they show uniforms and bullet cartridges left by the fighters of the Sudanese People Liberation Army (SPLA). The Surmas repeatedly appealed that if the government can give them guaranties that it will stop the attacks from external forces, they will evacuate the areas that belong to the Dizzis and the Menits and move back to their former villages. However, as there were no measures taken by both the regional and the Federal governments, the situation has tuned from bad to worse. It has been learnt that the tradition of the Surmas is another cause of conflict between the Surmas on the one hand and the Dizzis and the Menits on the other. According to Surma culture, a Surma man has to give more than 10 heads of cattle, two guns and other goods to the parents of his fiancé as a dowry. So, a Surma man who wants to get married would go and loot cattle from the Dizzi and Menit villages. In the process, one or two people of the Dizzi or Menit tribes are usually killed. And in retaliation, the families of the victims would kill any member of the Surma tribe. This has long been the situation between the tribes. These factors have contributed to the worsening of the problem. There have also been occasional conflicts between the Surmas and the Agnwaks who live in the neighboring Gambella Regional State. In a conflict that flared up between the Surmas and the Agnwaks in August (2003) 21 people have been killed, scores of others were wounded and property was looted. The Conflict and the Casualties Between the Surmas and the Dizzis In the months of March and June 2003, the Surmas in Surma woreda at a place called Tulkit killed two individuals of the Dizzi tribe. The victims are:- 1. Seid Mohammed: - 20 years old, shot to death in March in Surma wereda at Tulkit. 2. Tsuni Wurmuna: - 36 years old, shot to death in early June in Surma wereda at Tulkit. EHRCO learnt from government officials in the area that on the 23rdof June 2003 around 8:00 am. a Dizzi by the name of, Kidad Gacha, who is the chairman of the Beru Kebele shot and killed two men and a woman with her child and wounded another man who were all members of the Surma tribe for reasons that remain unknown. This incident created (Page 3 ) resentment among the Surmas and led to an all out ethnic clash. According to information gathered by EHRCO, the list of people who were killed in the conflict from both tribes is presented in the table below. No Full Name of Victim Age Details 1 Kudbu Mulu 65 A Surma shot to death on June 1, 2003 by Kidad Gacha, chairman of Beru kebele. Wild animals ate the body and only the remains could be found. 2 Hunate Dalul 70 A Surma shot to death on June 1, 2003 by Kidad Gacha chairman of Beru kebele. Wild animals ate the body and only the remains could be found. 3 W/O Kassine Chelemkeyz A Surma shot to death on June 1, 2003 by Kidded Gacha, chairman of the Beru kebele. Only part of the body could be found 4 Babu Akuh 2 Shot and killed while on his mother’s back by Kidad Gacha, chairman of the Beru kebele. The body could not be found as it was totally eaten by wild animals. In addition to these, a Surma by the name of Ato Arkiyo Dirbalon was shot and wounded by the same individual. Incensed by this, the Surmas starting from 23 June mobilized and invaded the Beru Kebele and launched a heavy attack on the Dizzis. They looted property and especially they broke into the house of the kebele chairman who is said to have killed the four Surmas and took 7 goats and a machine gun. The residents of the kebele fled the attacks and went to the town of Jebba and reported the situation to the Woreda police. The police went to the place the same day and tried to stabilize the situation by talking to representatives of the Surmas. The Surmas requested the police that they should hand over to them the kebele chairman who has killed four Surmas on the 23rdof June 2003. Otherwise, they will continue attacking the Dezzis. The kebele chairman disappeared for a few days but was apprehended by the police. As the kebele chairman was not handed over, Surmas launched a new wave of attacks on the Dizzis starting from 24 June 2003. According to information gathered by EHRCO, the names, age and sex of people killed by are shown in Table 2. Table 2 People Killed in Beru Kebele NO Name Age Sex Details 5 Lidu Yelu 70 M A farmer shot to death by two bullets on 24 June 2003. 6 Babayka Gostu 15 F A young girl shot to death by 16 bullets on 25 June 2003. A long stick was found inserted in her vagina 7 Damena Zeku 37 M A member of the Surma tribe killed by the Dizzis on 26 June 2003 8 Arkaw Wetalo 36 M A farmer shot to death on 26 June 2003 (Page 4) 49 Adsar Ardi 40 M Shot to death in the back by two bullets on 28 June 2003 at 8:00 A.M 10 Binku Kuri 40 M Shot to death in the right hip on 28 June 2003 11 Akukulu Burd 35 M Shot to death in the left hip on 28 June 2003 12 Gasa Eyame 25 M Shot on the head and killed on 28 June 2003 13 Aku Mula M Shot to death at a place called kera on 29 June 2003 14 Kuri Regassa 30 M Shot to death on 30 June 2003 at 4:00 PM in Beru kebele at a place called Dibsen. 15 Kashu Kiyam 24 M Shot on the back and killed on 30 June 2003 16 Tsedeke Kulu Burji 28 M Shot to death 30 June 2003 17 Kache Gache 26 M A Dizzi who is the brother of the chairman of the Beru kebele who had killed four Surmas. The Dizzis themselves killed him on Aug. 2003 for he was the brother of the man who initiated the conflict that resulted in the killings of Dizzis. From 24 June 2003 up to 19 Aug 2003, a total of 17 people were killed in the conflict. Of this, 13 are from the Dizzi tribe and 4 are from the Surma tribe. As a result of the conflicts that kept flaring up now and then, many farmers were displaced from their homes in Toom and Jebba weredas since July 2002. 1116 Dizzis that were displaced from Saay and Kolu kebeles are temporarily settled in a vacant field near the town of Toom. These people have been getting relief food from the government. An EHRCO team has visited these displaced people. Table 3 shows the number of these displaced persons and their general situation as per the information provided to EHRCO team by the displaced persons. Table 3. People Displaced From Kolu and Saay Kebeles FROM KOLU KEBELE Heads of families No of household Total Age M F Tot. M F Tot. M F Tot. 0 –5 years - - - 51 31 82 51 31 82 6–17 years 1 2 3 54 31 85 55 33 88 18-55 years 66 30 96 13 71 84 79 101 180 Above 55 years 6 4 10 1 3 4 7 7 14 Total 73 36 109 119 136 255 192 172 364 FROM SAAY KEBELE 0-5 years - - - 88 64 152 88 64 152 6-17 years 2 3 5 127 129 256 129 132 261 18-55 years 98 47 145 47 133 180 145 180 325 Above 55 years 10 1 11 - 3 3 10 4 14 Total 110 51 161 262 529 591 372 380 752 Total no. of displaced people from the two kebeles 183 87 270 381 465 846 564 552 1116 (Page 5) 5The Surmas confiscated all the property that belonged to these displaced people. A few of the displaced people have built houses in their new place of settlement near the town of Toom whereas the majority of them live in tents provided to them by the government. They have been given a monthly ration of 15 kilos of wheat or maize per head since they settled in the new place. The ration was lowered to 12 kilos per head as of May. Conflict Between Agnwak and Surma Nationalities According to reports that reached EHRCO: • The guard of a camp in Dima Wereda was shot dead by unidentified gunmen on 28 Sep. 2003. • On the next day, an Agnwak woman living in Surma Woreda, Naimeri kebele was killed by the Surmas and her killers took her belongings away. • Angered by this, armed government militiamen of the Agnwak nationality killed 21 Surmas who were engaged in gold mining. This happened on 30 Sept. 2003 in Surma wereda, Naimeri kebele. According to the information provided to EHRCO by the Commander of the Bench-Maji Zone Police the militiamen went to the gold mine and killed the Surmas who were working in the gold mines after telling the other people to go and watch TV. Afterwards, the militiamen buried the bodies in a well dug for mining gold. The names and addresses of the victims are presented in Table 4. No Name of Victim Age Sex Details 1 Barmillegna Kijaw 35 M A farmer from Surma wereda Moga kebele 200 Birr and 6 bullets belonging to him was taken away. 2 Sinokiyo Jikaw 40 M A farmer from Surma wereda Moga kebele. His 200 Birr was taken away. 3 Rekuya Dimerlogo 17 F A woman from Surma wereda Moga kebele. Her 90 Birr was taken away. 4 Jarken Koreberi 9 M A child from Surma wereda Moga kebele 5 Birgna Koreberi 40 F A house wife from Surma weredea Moga kebele 6 Molle Dongalle 15 M A farmer from Surma wereda Moga kebele 7 Talamu Akilugu 30 M A farmer from Surma wereda Moga kebele. A kalashinkov with 24 bullets belonging to him was taken away. 8 Ziwugna Telimu 50 M A farmer from Surma wereda Moga kebele. His 120 Birr was taken away 9 Namirya Bana 40 F A housewife from Surma wereda Moga kebele. Her 60 Birr is taken away. 10 Bayu Oriyamare 40 M A farmer from Surma wereda Naimeri kebele. His kalashinkov with 11 bullets was taken away. 11 Naguy Oriyamare 12 F A resident of Surma wereda Naimeri kebele 12 Bermule Oriyamare 18 M A resident of Surma wereda Naimeri kebele 13 Bargango Naberia 35 M A farmer from Surma wereda Naimeri kebele 14 Banabume Naberia 25 M A resident of Surma woreda Naimeri kebele. His 15-gram gold was taken away. (Page 6) 615 The wife of Banabyme Naberia (No 14 in table 4) 24 F A resident of Surma woreda Naimeri kebele. Her 8 years old boy. 16 Nagrari Marakolle 25 M A farmer from Surma wereda Naimeri kebele 17 Kongo Benta 35 M A farmer from Surma wereda Naimeri kebele. His Kalashnikov gun was taken away 18 Kune Ewa 12 M A resident of Surma woreda Naimeri kebele 19 Keretegu Tuya 20 M A resident of Surma woreda Najmeri kebele shot to death by several bullets in the chest. 20 Arkiyo Batana 22 M A farmer from Surma Woreda Moga kebele shot to death by several bullets in the stomach. On the same day of those killings, Kibegu Dengndole, 25, a man from Surma woreda Moga kebele managed to escape the attackers after sustaining a wound on the chest. Conclusion It is becoming common to see Ethiopian tribes who have lived in peace and harmony for ages, killing each other for the slightest of pretexts. EHRCO had issued repeated reports on these ethnic conflicts. And it had always appealed to the government to take precautionary measures before these conflicts worsened. EHRCO urges in this Special Report to all those concerned to share its concern about the ethnic conflicts that recently broke out in Bench Maji Zone in Toom, Surma and Maji woredas and give due attention and help in bringing an end to such violence before more serious and devastating conflicts occur. Therefore, the government is expected to take urgent measures to bring together the different nationalities in the area with a view to helping them deliberate and seek amicable solutions by identifying the causes of the conflicts. In addition to this, the government: • has to protect the people in the area from attacks of forces from neighboring countries by assigning guards to the country’s borders with the neighboring countries near the Bench Maji zone. • has to bring to justice those illegal armed men who have been murdering and attacking innocent civilians. • has to take appropriate measures to help resettle those who are displaced because of the conflicts. • especially has to take an urgent legal measure on the Agnwak militiamen who murdered and buried in a well 21 Surmas who were working in a gold mine in September 2003. (Page 7) 7Finally, EHRCO calls upon the government to bring to justice the perpetrators of the above mentioned human rights violations and conduct studies on the causes of the conflicts and take corrective measures. EHRCO also urges individuals, governmental and non-governmental organizations and representatives of international organizations to transmit their calls by writing to the government bodies listed below so that the human and democratic rights of citizens is respected and rule of law prevails.

Mid November 2003 Fugnido Refugee Camp

{This report is too vague about dates, events, numbers killed and wounded and ethnic identity of the victims]
The International Herald Tribune 21 Nov 2003 www.iht.com The refugees who can never go home Bruce Leimsidor IHT FUGNIDO, Ethiopia It seemed a bit too quiet when our UN jeep rolled into Fugnido one recent morning. The town, with its few dozen mud-spattered cinderblock shops, round straw huts and rutted streets, should have been bustling with activity at this hour. But only a few days before, a feud between rival tribes in the sprawling camp for Sudanese refugees nearby had resulted in a bus hijacking. Over 20 refugees were missing and presumed dead. Then a grenade had been thrown into a truck carrying refugees, with more fatalities. People were staying in their huts or going out quietly to work in the fields, avoiding the town. The positive developments for peace in the 20-year Sudanese conflict that were being discussed at distant conference tables had little resonance here. The progress in the peace negotiations served only to increase our sense of urgency. We were there as consultants to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees to help determine which of the Sudanese refugees were in particular danger or had little hope of ever returning home safely. Of the some 60,000 Sudanese refugees in Ethiopia, at least 5,000 won't be able to return home safely in the foreseeable future. They are victims of tribal hatreds and political strife that will not be resolved by a peace between north and south Sudan. Resettlement abroad is their only hope. Yet with peace on the horizon, Ethiopia and other host countries were already thinking of sending the refugees back home. The United Nations will urge that these repatriations be voluntary, but Ethiopia, which has long used the refugees as pawns, knows it can disregard UN guidelines with impunity. It has done so before. In Fugnido, preoccupation with day-to-day survival made it difficult for the refugees even to imagine peace. The violence, deriving in large part from antagonisms that long predate the Sudanese civil war, is likely to persist whatever the developments in the larger conflict. And now the hopes for peace have further decreased the chances for any investment in camp security. Our jeep rumbled through the outskirts of the town and into open country. Within a few minutes we were in the refugee camp. No gates, no guards, no checks. Arms and agitators could enter the camp at will. The SPLA, the major South Sudanese rebel organization, infiltrated the camp unencumbered to assassinate political enemies and kidnap men and even young boys. When we met with the leaders of the tribal groups, they described a desperate situation. At one of the meetings, we noticed a thin, nervous man with sad, frightened eyes. His situation is typical of those who live in danger in the camp and have no hope of returning safely to Sudan. Abraham had been a teacher in Pibor, a south Sudanese provincial capital. When the town came under Sudanese government control, he was arrested and charged with being an agent of the SPLA. He escaped to a town under SPLA control, but was eventually arrested there for resisting the rebels' militarist policies. He escaped again, and this time made his way with his family to Fugnido. Abraham is safer in Fugnido than he was in Sudan, but not by much. Shortly after he arrived, the SPLA came to bring him back to Sudan by force. Warned by neighbors, Abraham and his family hid in the bush for three days. They have now been living in fear in a refugee camp supposedly under the protection of the Ethiopian government and the UNHCR for over two years. The Ethiopian authorities, informally allied with the SPLA, seldom intervene with the rebels. UNHCR staff responsible for refugee protection come to Fugnido only a few days each month. Abraham cannot depend on their protection and never leaves his hut alone. We thought that Abraham and the other refugees we managed to see in Fugnido would soon be resettled. But shortly after our mission, a shooting spree among rival tribes left more than 40 refugees dead. Fugnido was declared a danger zone. Further identification of refugees who had no hope of returning to Sudan was suspended. Now, even if Abraham survives the day-to-day dangers in the camp, a peace accord will probably deliver him directly into the hands of the SPLA. Peace for Sudan does not mean peace for Abraham and thousands like him.The writer, a professor of immigration studies at Ca' Foscari University, Venice, has served as a consultant to UNHCR in Africa.

news source abbreviations

AFP - Agence France-Presse
All-Africa - All-Africa Global Media
AI - Amnesty International
Al Jezeera - Arabic Satellite TV news from Qatar (since Nov. 1996, English since 2003)
Anadolu - Anadolu Agency, Turkey
ANSA - Agenzia Nazionale Stampa Associata - Italy
Antara Antara National New Agency, Indonesia
AP - Associated Press
BBC - British Broadcasting Network
DPA - Deutsche Presse-Agentur
EFE - Agencia EFE (Spanish), www.EFEnews.com (English)
HRW - Human Rights Watch
ICG - International Crisis Group
ICRC - International Committee of the Red Cross
Interfax - Interfax News Agency, Russia
IPS - Inter Press Service (an int'l, nonprofit assoc. of prof. journalists since 1964)
IRIN - Integrated Regional Information Networks (UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (Africa and Central Asia)
IRNA -Islamic Republic News Agency
IWPR Institute for War & Peace Reporting (the Balkans, Caucasus and Central Asia, with a special project on the Yugoslav war crimes tribunal)

JTA - Global News Service of the Jewish People
Kyodo - Kyodo News Agency, Japan
LUSA - Agência de Notícias de Portugal
National Native News
NYT - New York Times
UN-OCHA - UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (ReliefWeb)
OANA - Organisation of Asia-Pacific News Agencies
Pacific Islands Report - University of Hawai‘i at Manoa
Pacific News Service nonprofit alternative source of news and analysis since 1969
PANA - Panafrican News Agency
Peace Negotiations Watch
 (PILPG) Weekly News monitor since Sept. 2002
PTI - Press Trust of India
RFE/RL - Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty ( private news service to Central and Eastern Europe, the former USSR and the Middle East funded by the United States Congress)
Reuters - Reuters Group PLC
SAPA - South African Press Association
UPI - United Press International
WPR - World Press Review,
a program of the Stanley Foundation.
WP - Washington Post
Xinhua - Xinhua News Agency, China

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