Woyanne holds up food aid for opposition members unless they join the ruling party – Reuters

November 17th, 2009 Print Print Email Email

Ethiopia should investigate allegations that local officials are keeping food aid from opposition members to force them to join the ruling party ahead of national elections, a British aid minister said on Tuesday. (more…)

Ethiopia should investigate allegations that local officials are keeping food aid from opposition members to force them to join the ruling party ahead of national elections, a British aid minister said on Tuesday.

An opposition coalition last week said its members were being refused places on a long-running food-for-work scheme for more than 7 million hungry people to force them to join the governing party before the elections in May next year.

“I have heard allegations from the international community about distribution of food aid and the (food-for-work) programme and I have already raised those accusations with the deputy prime minister,” Gareth Thomas, Britain’s state minister for development, told a news conference in Addis Ababa.

“These allegations should be investigated thoroughly. The government said if evidence is produced that they would investigate and that was encouraging.”

Thomas said Britain had made no decision to suspend aid to Ethiopia — one of the world’s poorest countries — but that it could take “tough decisions” if necessary.

Britain donated 71 million pounds ($119 million) to the food-for-work scheme this year, making it the second largest donor after the World Bank.

The Ethiopian government says 6.2 million people will need emergency food aid this year and has appealed to the international community for help. With 7 million also on the food-for-work scheme, that means that more than 13 million of Ethiopia’s 80 million people rely on aid to survive.

Ethiopia’s national elections will be held on May 23. (Reporting by Barry Malone; Editing by Jon Hemming)

  1. Chris
    | #1

    Woyane is buying airbus as a thank you gesture to its European backers (Germany, England and France) and to annoy USA for the cool diplomatic situation. Ethiopian Airlines has always purchased its planes from Boeing. Why do you think woyane switched now? This is a thank you note for the Euro diplomats in Addis who are currently bullying the opposition into submission. Ethiopians must start to accuse these people as an accomplice to genocide. And make it clear that any agreements made between woyane and any third party may not be honoured in the future democratic Ethiopia.

  2. Guest
    | #2

    UK showing its usual face, they appear to be concerned and just whereas practically they are propping up a dictator in all aspects.

    This is the dawn of the implementation of the newly signed election code. We will see how Hailu is going to react to this because this has much to do with the constituencies where he supposed to have some support. Woyane has already forced more than 4 millions of people to join it in the past five years. This also should give opposition an important issue to rally the people during the campaign. The Ethiopian people are being harrassed and humiliated by Woyane thugs they were forced to swallow their pride, held in contempt, and ruined all along to survive. There is no doubt that the people are ready to redeem themselves at the election and pay Woyane its due.

  3. JIGSA
    | #3

    if the current corrupt regime continue deny food aid donated by doner countries,the doners has to look a way to distribute the food for millions of hungry ethiopians by themselves so that is the only way to insure the food reached to the needy.it is a disturbing news denying delivery of food for the hungry by brutal regime of melesse zenawi in ethiopia.

  4. adam
    | #4

    weyane will use food to buy loyalist and will buy guns to fight us ethiopian, we ethiopian must fight those weyane tplf thugs. http://eppfonline.org/index/

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