Ethiopian farms again under attack of rebels

Rebels destroyed several flower farms in Ethiopia last week. In Ziway, where the largest rose production site in Ethiopia is situated, everything is still under control.

The flower farms that were destroyed by rebels are located in the areas of Sebeta, Sadama and Tulo Bolo, close to the Ethiopian capital Addis Abeba. Also companies with other economic activities, including a textile factory and a crane sugar production company, were attacked.

A large production site with hundreds of hectares of roses, is located in Ziway, approx. 150 kilometers south of Addis Abeba. According to a grower in Ziway who wants to remain anonymous, this area is still under control. A FloraHolland employee states that growers in Debre Seyt, a big production area, and in Bahir Dar, where farms were distroyed a few weeks ago, also can continue to grow flowers.

The Ethiopian police and army are safeguarding the regions and flowers are transported to the airport by armed convoy. Roadblocks and unrest are obstructing the situation in a considerable part of the country. As a result, the flowers arrive at the airport with some delay. The grower in Ziway is highly concerned about the state of affairs in the upcoming days and calls the Ethiopian situation alarming.

The Dutch Ministry of Foreign Trade confirms that the situation in Ethiopia is troublesome. Last Tuesday Africa Juice, a Dutch producer and exporter of tropical juices, was attacked. Several people got wounded. Most of the employees fled into the fields.

At the adjacent farm Maranque Plants, part of the Beekenkamp Group, the village population stopped the rebels. The cutting production facility of 16 hectares is currently facing roadblocks obstructing any transport to the Addis Abeba airport. The company expects to take up its exporting activities to Holland again this weekend.

Africa Juice and Maranque Plants are situated in Oromia, located 80 kilometres from Addis Abeba.