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Countering Land-grabs by Establishing a Database of Customary Land Ownership Rights of Indigenous Peoples

Published in 2013, Dugo, Habtamu, Eisen, Joanne, Jaatee, Malkamuu, Oromo Studies Association - Archived on August 20th, 2013

Title: Countering Land-grabs by Establishing a Database of Customary Land Ownership Rights of Indigenous Peoples
Authors: Malkamuu Jaatee, Habtamu Dugo and Joanne Eisen
Published: Oromo Studies Association (OSA) – Presentation at Annual Conference 2013
Language: English
Keywords: Land-grabs, Property Rights, Deeds, Indigenous peoples, and Documentation

Without modern deeds and documentation, indigenous peoples cannot prove ownership of their ancestral lands. This paper describes a proposal that will create land ownership records/deeds for indigenous people by recording their land boundaries using GPS technology. The recording process will begin in areas that are at highest risk for land grabbing and the data will be stored out of country. This should strengthen the position of those who have only informal title to their land and who do not have the ability to prevent land grabbing. We expect that short term benefits will include the promotion of Oromummaa, the development of Oromo leadership, the continuing education of the people about their rights and the right to Free, Prior and Informed Consent [FPIC] and the intimidation of prospective land grabbers by alerting them to brewing resistance. In the long term, if court proceedings are required, measurement of ancestral property and documentation of ownership offer a higher chance of a successful outcome. We show how the changing concept of FPIC and financial failures of previous land grabbing schemes may be contributing to an eventual slowing of the land grab process. Until that time, indigenous leadership should promote the timely local actions required to protect the people from despotic treatment.

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The Oromo in Exile: Creating Knowledge and Promoting Social Justice

Published in 2011, Jalata, Asafa, Societies Without Borders - Archived on March 31st, 2012

Title: The Oromo in Exile: Creating Knowledge and Promoting Social Justice
Author: Asafa Jalata (University of Tennessee, Knoxville, USA)
Published: Societies Without Borders Vol. 6, No. 1, 2011, pp. 33-72 (40)
Language: English
Keywords: Oromo, Oromia, Indigenous Peoples, State Terrorism, Genocide, Colonization

This paper explains how some Oromos who were forced to leave their country, Oromia, by successive colonial Ethiopian governments and live in exile have been organized in foreign lands to liberate their people and country by supporting the Oromo national movement. By demonstrating how global and regional forces have collaborated in the colonization, continued subjugation and dehumanization of the Oromo people, the paper illustrates how the Oromo people have lost their cultural, political, and social rights that are enshrined in the UN Universal Declaration of human rights and the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and how they are still facing state terrorism and genocidal massacres. The financial support from powerful Western countries as well as the support from China to the Tigrayan-led Ethiopian government is threatening the survival of the Oromo people in the 21st century. In response to these gross human rights violations, Oromo activist intellectuals and other Oromos in the Diaspora are engaged in creating knowledge and promoting justice for their downtrodden people on global level.

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