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World Bank told to investigate links to Ethiopia 'villagisation' project
By William Lloyd George in Addis Ababa
Bank's accountability panel says complaints by Ethiopians of forced evictions in Gambella should be looked into
An independent panel has called for an investigation into a World Bank-funded project in Ethiopia following accusations from refugees that the bank is funding a programme that forced people off their land.
In a report, seen by the Guardian, the inspection panel – the World Bank's independent accountability mechanism – calls for an investigation into complaints made by refugees from the Anuak indigenous group from Gambella, eastern Ethiopia, in relation to the bank's policies and procedures.
The refugees claim the Protection of Basic Services (PBS) programme funded by the bank and the UK Department for International Development (DfID), is contributing directly to the Ethiopian government's "villagisation" programme, introduced in 2010. The programme seeks to move people to new villages, but residents say this is done with little consultation or compensation, and that these sites lack adequate facilities.
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