Advocating for the rights and well-being of the Anuak ethnic group, primarily in Ethiopia but also
throughout the world, is at the heart of the Anuak Justice Council’s mission. Each member of the board of directors, as
well as other volunteers, are involved in this endeavor.
Obang Metho is an Anuak Canadian and is the Director of International Advocacy for the AJC. He began advocating for the Anuak
before the December 13, 2003 massacre and before the formation of the AJC. He founded the Gambella Development Agency in 2000
in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, to promote improved conditions in his homeland. In the months leading up to the massacre on December
13, beginning as early as February 2002, he began to document events and human rights abuses and contacted key Anuaks in the Gambella
region to do the same as signs of impending problems increased.
Within a week of the first massacre on December 13, 2003, members of the (not yet formed) AJC contacted officials at the US State
Department, the Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Oxfam Canada, the Ethiopian Human Rights Council Organization, Amnesty International,
the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the Ethiopian Ambassador, Kofi Annan, the European Union, Genocide Watch, and
Survivors Rights International. Some of these letters have been made public and may be read at www.mcgillreport.org/anuak_genocide_links.htm.
Since that time, Human Rights Watch, World
Relief, the International Working Group for Indigenous Affairs, Cultural
Survival, the South African representative to the United Nations, Unicef, Physicians
for Human Rights, several US senators, and others have also held audience with the AJC’s Director of International Advocacy.
Members of the AJC have spoken before the UN High Commission for Human Rights, have met with the World Organization Against Torture
in Geneva, have held audience with the top UN officials for human rights in New York, have been interviewed by the New York Times
and the Washington Post, maintain regular contact with the foreign affairs aides of several US senators, have given staff briefings
to members of the US House of Representatives, USAID, US Refugee, CIA, and others, have met with top officials in the European
Union, Sweden and Norway, have met with the Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs and a representative from the Canadian International
Corporation Affairs, and maintain regular contact with top EU officials. It is due to their influence that two letters
from US senators were sent to the Prime Minister of Ethiopia decrying the genocide and calling for a fair investigation and that
the US ambassador in Ethiopia personally visited Gambella following the massacre.
In addition to advocating for the Anuak before world governments, the AJC provides periodic updates
on the current human rights abuses that are ongoing in the Gambella region. These reports provide a powerful corroboration with
the recently released report by Human Rights Watch.