299/05 Anuak Justice Council / Ethiopia Summary of Facts 1. The communication is submitted by the Anuak Justice Council, through Obang Metho the Director for International Advocacy, Anuak Justice Council which was prepared by the International Human Rights Clinic, Washington College of Law, in Washington D.C., the United States of America against the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, the Respondent State, a party to the African Charter since 1998. 2. The Complainant avers that the Respondent through its agents, the Ethiopian Defence Forces has been engaged in massive discrimination resulting in serious human rights abuses and violations of the people of Anuak ethnicity. They claim that the abuses by the Ethiopian Defence Forces include the massacre of over four hundred and twenty-four (424) civilians, the wounding of over two hundred (200) civilians and the disappearance of over eighty-five (85) civilians in the Gambella region in the three day period of 13th to 15th December 2003. The Complainant states that the abuses have continued against the Anuak since that period including extrajudicial killing, torture, detention, rape and property destruction throughout the Gambella region resulting in one thousand (1000) Anuak deaths and that, over fifty-one thousand (51,000) Anuak have been displaced within the Gambella region. 3. The Complainant adds, that the Republic of Ethiopia has violated its legal obligations to uphold the rights and principles of all Ethiopian citizens, and has violated its obligation to uphold the rights and protections enshrined in the African Charter under Articles 4, 5, 6, 12, 14 and 18. 4. The Anuak Justice Council requests the African Commission to grant provisional measures Rule 11 and declare them binding on the Ethiopian government. 5. The Complainant states that the Anuak are an indigenous minority group living in south-western Gambella region of Ethiopia and that despite their dominance in the region, the Ethiopian government has a long history of marginalising, excluding and discriminating against them. The Complainant claims that due to Gambella's natural resources, the Ethiopian government has resettled over sixty thousand (60,000) highlanders, who had almost completely destroyed the Anuak way of life within Gambella. 6. The Complainant avers that the Anuak believe that oil in the region should belong to them, while the Federal Government argues that under the Federal Constitution all mineral resources belong to the Ethiopian State. The complainant adds that the Ethiopian Defence Forces are stationed throughout the Gambella in order to identify and destroy disparate groups of armed Anuak known collectively as shifta that have attacked highlander civilians. 7. The Complainant submits that the December 2003 massacre was sparked by the killing of eight (8) highlander refugee camp officials and propelled the Ethiopian Defence Forces into a broad-based assault on Gambella's Anuak community. The Complainant states that despite the fact that nobody was immediately found responsible for the death of the eight people, there is no indication that the Ethiopian government had undertaken an official investigation into the ambush of the refugee camp officials thus blaming the Anuak community for the attacks. 8. The Complainant avers that the violence in the Gambella region has continued since December 2003 and remains a serious threat to Anuak citizens as well as other ethnic groups in the region. The Complainant allege that the Ethiopian Defence Forces search for shifta has become the pretext for bloody and destructive raids on numerous Anuak villages since the December 2003 massacre on the Gambella town. The Complainant further allege[s] that unarmed Anuak within Gambella are currently being killed by Ethiopian Defence Forces without due process or the use of judicial proceedings without even making an effort to distinguish Anuak civilians from the shifta they claim to be looking for. 9. The Complainant further allege[s] that many Anuak have been detained in prison without charge both in Gambella and Addis Ababa which accounts to about one thousand (1000) detained to this day. The Complainant also adds that a substantial group of Gambella's educated Anuak have been imprisoned or forced into exile and that many have been charged with offences relating to alleged collaboration with Anuak insurgents and put on trial but none of the leaders are yet to be convicted. 10. The Complainant further alleged that in rural areas the Ethiopian military continues to burn homes, destroy crops, burn food stores, disrupt planting cycles, and destroy agricultural equipment of the Anuak to prevent them from sustaining themselves. The Complainant asserts that as recently as January 2005 the Ethiopian government threatened Anuak elders in Gambella that anyone attempting to tarnish the reputation of the Ethiopian government over the massacres would be dealt with. 1

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