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Thirteen Years After the Massacre of the Anuak and Still No Justice for Any of Us!

December 13, 2016. (Vancouver, BC, Canada)--Today is December 13, a day which will remind the Anuak of the painful loss of their loved ones in Gambella on the same date in 2003— thirteen years ago. 

It is a Day of Remembrance that is not easy for the Anuak, wherever they are in the world. It is a time that brings back memories of the horrific killing of 424 Anuak in less than three days. Destruction, pillaging and other egregious human rights abuses accompanied the slaughter of these precious lives. It signaled the beginning of a three-year period of regime brutality and intimidation that resulted in the death of nearly fifteen hundred more Anuak. This is a huge percentage among a very tiny ethnic group numbering only about 100,000 people worldwide. Thousands more Anuak fled to refugee camps. At the core was the Tigre People's Liberation Front (TPLF) regime’s plan to exploit the oil found on their indigenous land. The TPLF is an ethnic minority regime in Ethiopia makes less than the 6% precent of the Ethiopian population and it controls over 90% of the Ethiopian economy.       Read...


The Anuak Justice Council, a 501(c)(3) organization, is a representative voice for the Anuak community worldwide. Our mission is to advocate peacefully for the rights and security of the Anuak wherever they live.

The Anuak are a small minority group in Ethiopia and Sudan, residing mainly in the Gambella region of southwestern Ethiopia. They have been the predominant landowners in the region for several generations, enjoying relative peace and coexisting with other minority groups, although tensions with the Ethiopian government over land ownership have existed for decades. The current regime in Ethiopia has not acted favorably toward the Anuak and over the last decade has become an increasingly oppressive reality for the Anuak.

On December 13, 2003, members of the Ethiopian military and other ethnic groups massacred more than 400 people in the town of Gambella. Since that time, the Anuak have continued to suffer genocide and other on-going crimes against humanity.

In the months following the December 2003 massacre, many Anuak expatriates felt scattered and powerless in their efforts to raise awareness of the oppression against their people and to help family members in immediate danger. Compounding this frustration was the lack of coverage of this tragedy by the international press.

As the atrocities continued, the urgent need for an organized voice for the Anuak became apparent, and in response to that need the Anuak Justice Council was formed. Representatives from the AJC have presented testimony to governmental bodies in the UN, the US, Canada and the European Union.

The AJC has also formed partnerships with international law groups to bring legal pressure to bear against the current Ethiopian regime in international court, and through contacts with other human rights organizations has been instrumental in initiating extensive investigations into the alleged crimes of genocide. Noteworthy among those investigations is the report by Human Rights Watch, a report that strongly implicates the Ethiopian government as a perpetrator of genocide.

The hope of the Anuak Justice Council is that with the help of pressure from the international community, a process of negotiation with the Ethiopian government can begin that would lead to a peaceful solution to the violence in Gambella, and ultimately to a safe and secure homeland to which the scattered Anuak can return.