An agricultural investor in Gambella was arrested for protesting the invasion and occupation of his farm land by refugees arriving from South Sudan, fleeing conflict. Adege Nigussie has been growing cotton and oil foods in Gambella’s Itang zone since 2010 in a 2,000-hectare of land that he leased using 21 million birr credit from the Development Bank of Ethiopia and his own savings, according to the report in the Amharic Reporter Sunday’s edition.
Adege, who hails from northern Ethiopia, was drawn to the region when the local government started promoting the fertile bush land for commercial farming. However, the thousands of refugees from the South Sudan crossing the border into the region every month are severely taxing overcrowded refugee camps and the village’s farming land. Adege was arrested while he was in his farm after confrontation with local administration when he contested that the refugees should not be made to settle in his farm in which he spent more than 140 million birr, or he should be given due compensation, his wife Beza Demeke told the Reporter. She said this happened on Tuesday and he still behinds bars in the region and has not yet brought to the court.
Adege in the past complained that the Gambella regional authorities endorsed the construction of new camp on his farm.
The region’s president, Gatluak Tut Khot told the paper that he does not comment on a matter that is under investigation.