Famine Strikes Ethiopia Again by Teodros Kiros (Ph.D)

September 26th, 2009 Print Print Email Email

In May 29th, 2009, I wrote:

“ A mother is seen struggling to feed a famished baby from the nerve center of her being. There is no milk to flow to the dried lips of a dying baby. The mother cries bitterly, and the baby cries even more. Mother and baby have no more tears to shed. Their puffed eyes are pregnant with unshed tears. To her left is a five year old, eating his lips, squeezing life out of them. He struggles to open his eyes and see his baby sister on the brink of death. The baby cries no more. The mother crawls with the dead baby with her shaking hands. The five year old tries to follow but famine had already incapacitated him. He cries for the last time, for he knew his baby sister is no more.”

(Abugida, May 29th, 2009)

This image long engraved in my soul has now returned to the East African land of famine. It is there now, framing millions of famished African bodies. Nothing has changed, except that the mothers are more and their dying babies are much, much more.

The UN has reported that 24 million people are saturating the media world with emaciated bodies, forced on our senses. Those ravished by famine are incapable of refusing to be seen, reluctant to exist in this inhumane way, and the famine fatigued world will shut the screen right on their faces, a defiant act of erasing their existence.

In the meantime the shameless Ethiopian tyrant and other African tyrants will fly the world boasting economic growth, highways and buildings as markers of development without purpose, growth without goals, a future without plans. They deny that famine has returned, and that they are ready to contain it with donated money, all that they need is more money. This language has long naturalized itself to our offended ears. We have heard it in Ethiopia for the last 5000 years, and we will hear it forever.

Famine, however, continues to interrogate pseudo development. Its victims are the crying babies and the milk less mothers. Its victims announce themselves to the reluctant world annually. They remind the world that they are here for now, may be for a week, a month, and if lucky a year. Long after they are gone, some of their children will take their place, and come back to say to the world, we are here again, and we will be there, until after the causes of our non-being are fulllly addressed.

What we need now is a truly democratic regime, led by a new thinker, with a vision of containing famine permanently. Infact, a new party must soon develop a policy on famine and present it to the Ethiopian public to gain its support and use this vision to unseat the existing regime by any means necessary.

The existing gangs, as usual, will steal the next election, again. That is no reason to discourage out imagination and will to think about containing famine permanently. Indeed the best thinking is done during the times of defeat. This is the time to really forge a new party with a policy on development. The victims of famine say we are here. Look at us, when you do not want to. Hear from us, when you pretend that you are not.

We are watching your inauthenticity. We are laughing at your ideas of development on our backs. We might die now. But our children, those who survive, like the five-year-old boy, who witnessed the death of his sister, will inherit our struggles and fight for their rights.

I urge our economists to develop an idea of development, development with a purpose, a goal and a plan for the future. Attacking this regime is a necessary condition to expose its politics of intimidation. Developing an idea of justice without famine is to defeat this regime with a better idea, and expose its poverty of ideas to the thinking world.

We must act now. The Ethiopian intelligencia must busy itself with a party program, the inner core of which must be the question of famine.

  1. መሰረት
    | #1

    Hunger stirkes!! Again, ** Sigh** “I urge our economists to develop an idea of development, development with a purpose, a goal and a plan for the future.” I liked this part of the article. I am sick and tired of listening how this government is bad, how we need to form another party( which by the way might not turn out to be the saviour we all seem to expect), there should be something the people of Ethiopia all over the world can do. We should call a meeting not only in support of the government or opposition party. it doesnt matter who is in power to the people who are dying because they dont have anything to eat. It is a shame to expect foreign aid year after year. Lack of good governance is the root of hunger, this is obvious but still, we should be able to exchange ideas on what can be done, with our without the government involvement.

    | #2

    I have viewed Prof. Kiros’s article in this page and become unsettled on the issue specifically the last and concluding paragraph on the need to prevent the Ethiopian famine. Let me borrow the exact wording of the professor and re-cite as saying ” We must ACT NOW. The Ethiopian intellegencia must busy itself with a party program, the inner coreof which must be the question of famine.” Such statement seems right in its prima face stage since, it put the plain truth outwardly to all concerned Ethiopians. But to make the famine issue as a “central focus” of the various political parties is dangerous as the professor’s article suggested so otherwise. Here is why:

    During election, any party in power, in this case WEYANE/EPDRF, is the one who will benefit from such project in wo ways. The FIRST one is to cover its failur in the administration of good goverment thus to get more international humanitarian aid. The SECOND is to weaken the progress of opposition parties’ effort in challenging on the upcoming election. Therefore, NO opposing political party should involve on the effort to circumvent the famine. The proper way to help our people is to select important people within the diaspora and in Ethiopia who had experience to the manage the project of famine preventation. In a nutshell, to make the famine issue as a central party program as suggested by Prof. Kiros) is, very dangerous idea because the government can easily manuplate to the its advantage and the parties will not focus on challenging the government in power. This is not to mean that the people should be starved so that Weyane will be recognized as a bad government but to suggest that the opposition parties should focus on their party program both not to be excluded by the famine project as well as government’s effort to weaken them. Remember also that famine aid from Western nations always include materials and money. This by itself will goive the government several pretexts to charge opposing political parties either corruption or theft – an easy way to disrupt their opposition. I sincerly await other diverse opinion on this issue.

  3. abebe
    | #3

    ur name likes to be eritrean if so non-of ur business

    | #4

    You assumed or characterize my nationality to be Eriterian. But I am not Eriterian and there is nothing wrong even if I was. I urge people to share their opinion on the subject so that my and Professor Kiros’ different opinion could be settled. However, your comment is not educational for anyone visiting issues on this website nor advanced constractive criticism. The less than (10) ten words you have thrown against me is an ample proof that you are a person of low concious/illiterate and, really you need to find someone who is willing to indoctrinate you both in conciousness raising, manner of communication and general ignorance. Finally my name was drived from Quara – the birth place of Emperor Tewodos II thus used QUARAGNAW as my pen name. GOOD LUCK
    How dare to write such statement against me even before you

  5. royal
  6. ባሳምን ዛሬ
    | #6

    ከዕለታት አንድ ቀን ሃገራችን ጠንካራ ብልህ መሪ ,ከዚያም ቀጥሎ ጥሩ ደራሲዎችን ;ታሪክ ፅሃፊዎችን ;ብልህ ኢኮኖሚስቶችን ; እንዲሁም ሌላ ሙያዎች ያላቸውን በተጣራ መልክ ማፍራትዋ አይቀርም : እስከዚያው ድረስ ግን በግምት ውሳኔ መስጠት; በመጥፎ ዳኝነት መኖርን ;ማፍረስና መገንባትን መቀበል ዓለብን :አለበለዚያ ምንም ምርጫ ያለን አይመስለኝም : ሙዚቃዎቻችንና ድራማዎቻችን ላይ ምንም ትኩረት አለመስጠታችን ከማንኛውም አብልጦ እንደጎዳንና ወደ ድንጋይ ዘመን አካባቢ እንደመለሰን ሁኔታዎች ይመሰክራሉ::

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