For the last few years a major project has been underway in Ethiopia to construct the Gibe III dam, the contract for which has been awarded to a European (Italian) company. While offering opportunities to generate significant amounts of carbon-free energy, it is also estimated that this project could result in the resettlement of over 1.5 million people.
According to the Ethiopian constitution, and international law, local populations have the right to ‘full consultation’ regarding projects that affect them and their livelihoods. However, testimonials gathered by researchers at Survival International indicate that the indigenous populations in the Lower Omo area have not been consulted about the mass resettlement they are facing, and allegations have also been made of violence used against them. The Ethiopian Government strongly denies these claims.
The US Congress recently introduced a provision to ensure that US funds cannot be used to support forced resettlements in the Lower Omo area.
Does the Commission provide any funds to authorities active in the Lower Omo area that could be used — directly or indirectly — to support resettlement?
If so, how is the Commission reacting to these potentially very serious allegations of forced resettlement without consultation?