Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Africa's Peoples 'The Most Threatened in the World'

From OneWorld Net

Over half of the top twenty countries in the world where people are most under threat of genocide or mass killing are in Africa, says Minority Rights Group International . The spread of cross-border conflicts has emerged as a major destabilising factor in Africa and sees states such as Somalia, Sudan, Ethiopia, Chad and the Central African Republic dominate the top twenty list of MRG's 2008 global ranking of Peoples under Threat.
Chad has risen fourteen places up the rankings table since 2007. Widening inter-communal violence in the eastern part of the country has seen civilian communities targeted in the fighting between 'black' toroboro militias and Arab fighters - a cruel replica of the ethnic conflict now familiar across the border in the Darfur region of neighbouring Sudan.

Ethiopia also figures prominently in the major risers - sporadic conflict in the Ogaden region bordering Somalia has led to widespread criticism of the Ethiopian military's treatment of ethnic Somalis. UN reports have also highlighted human rights abuses against the Anuak minority group in Gambella state.

States widely considered to be stable, such as Kenya, have been catapulted up the table - disputed elections in December 2007 exposed the tribal fault-lines in Kenyan society where competing political interests over-lapped with ethnic differences.
"Lesser known indigenous groups in Kenya such as the Ogiek have suffered as militias, profiting from the general insecurity, have attempted land grabs" says MRG's Executive Director.

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