The Ethiopia government has commissioned China to build a railway track between Addis Ababa and Djibouti, which is passing through Somali territory under Ethiopia rule. The new railway line is being constructed in a way that is obstructing the free movement of the nomadic people living in the area and their livestock. The railway line is being built on a very high raise track that is making impossible for livestock to cross over with no crossing point provided. The railway, which divides the area almost in half has already cut off the traditional routes within the territory.

Initially when the Addis- Djibouti Railway was commissioned in 1896, both France and Ethiopia reached an agreement with the Somali people which guaranteed their wellbeing and way of life. However, since then the rights of the Somali people are no longer respected and they have no say in what is happening in their own territory.

Furthermore, to complicate the matter and create an environment of fear and division, the Ethiopian regime is actively encouraging inter-communal conflicts between the Somali people, the Afar and Oromo peoples so that it can distract them from asserting their rights to their respective territories from Addis Ababa which disregards their needs and rights.

ONLF calls the international community and Human Rights organisations to stand up for the voiceless nomads in the area in order to protect them and their precarious environment.

Issued By
May 1, 2014


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