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THE NATURE AND FUTURE OF HUMAN RIGHTS PRACTICE IN THE RESETTLEMENT CORNERS OF ETHIOPIA: RESETTLEMENT AREAS OF BENISHANGUL GUMUZ REGIONAL STATE [Abstract ID: 0704-01]
Resettlement involves the relocation of people into a new environment. In Ethiopia, resettled occurred under different periods of government as a major developmental agenda. The aim of this research was to assess the status of civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights in resettlement spots of the BenishangulGumuz Regional State, western Ethiopia. The target areas of the study were the three main state-sponsored resettlement corners--namely Bambasi, Pawi, and Assosa area districts--in the period of the military Derg regime in the 1970s. A purposive sampling method through snowball sampling technique was employed for the collection and compilation of balanced and detailed data. For primary data collection, researchers conducted in-depth interviews, focus group discussions, checklists, group interviews, and informant interviews with settlers, host community members, and government officials. For the purpose of this study, 58 knowledgeable individuals were interviewed in-depth. Secondary data analysis from various stakeholders and archive documents were also used. The objective of this study is to add information about the areas of study, which has often been marginalized, to the existing knowledge from other papers and publications about the region, which has been very diverse. The researchers focus on the livelihood of the 1970s state-sponsored resettles in BenshangulGumiz Regional State, and not on the livelihood of the host community. The study finds that resettles experienced frequent violations of civil and political rights like losing life, segregation, blackmailing, underrepresentation in regional council, humiliation, conflict vulnerability, denial of life with dignity, aggressive and ignorant political responses, systematic discrimination, and psychological instability. In regard to social, economic and cultural rights, resettles experienced an unmitigated disaster on property, unlawful job discrimination, unjust unemployment, cultural dishonor, discrimination based on sexuality, eroded sense of ownership over their environment, social injustice, dispirited feeling towards the future, identity crises, untreated mental illnesses such as bipolar disorder, deep-rooted mistrust, self-condemnation, transitional anxiety, forgotten socio-economic programs evaluation, and with psychological, social, and legal poverty.