|Ethiopian activist alleges gov't plan to cede land to Sudan |
Addis Ababa, 05 Aug, 2004 - Prof Mesfin Woldemariam [renowned human rights activist] has issued a statement on the government's decision and preparations to give some part of Himora [northwestern Ethiopia] and its environs to Sudan. Prof Mesfin said there is substantial evidence that shows the land belongs to Ethiopia.
Residents of Himora, who are very much concerned on the agreement reached to give some part of Himora and its environs to Sudan, have started calling for help to avert the situation.
Prof Mesfin said this issue was raised in parliament during Emperor Haileselassie's regime and brought a fist fight in the house after some MPs supported Sudan's claim for the land and others opposing it. He said those who supported Sudan didn't had enough knowledge to support their motion. Prof Mesfin said the same issue was raised during Dergue's regime and a delegation of university lecturers which was led by him went all the way to London to carry out a research on the issue and found out that the land belongs to Ethiopia, and Sudan's claim was buried once and for all.
However, he said it is very hard to understand now why the Ethiopian government is ceding such a vast and fertile land to Sudan when thousands of youths perished and billions of birr worth of resources destroyed for a small village, Badme [the bone of contention in the border row with Eritrea]. He said could it be a bribe to Sudan? No one knows.
Source: Ethiop, Addis Ababa, in Amharic 4 Aug 04