Ethiopia ‘using aid as a political tool’ – By Mark Tran a must watch video.

August 5th, 2011 Print Print Email Email

BBC report alleges the government is withholding aid from opposition supporters and committing human right abuses Development aid in Ethiopia is alleged to have been withheld from those opposed to the government. These are longer-term funds aimed at poverty reduction, not the emergency aid currently needed to help those affected by the famine.

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A joint undercover team from BBC’s Newsnight and the bureau of investigative journalism at London’s City University, travelled to Addis Ababa, the capital, and the south, posing as tourists. They spoke to farmers in the south who supported the opposition. The farmers said they were deprived of fertiliser and seed for their crops. The team also found evidence that people had been tortured for their political beliefs. An opposition politician described scenes of torture, men hung upside down, immersed in water and given electric shocks.

The Ethiopian embassy in London refuted (pdf) the allegations.

The Newsnight report on Thursday contained interviews with women who said they had been raped by soldiers and men who said they had been tortured in prison. The women were among the growing number of Ethiopian refugees fleeing the worst drought in the Horn of Africa in 60 years.

One Ethiopian grandmother of four, who arrived at the Dadaab refugee camp in northern Kenya last month, said how soldiers killed her son in front of her and than jailed her for one-and-a-half years during which she was repeatedly raped. Another woman at Dadaab who had been accused of being a supporter of the Ogaden National Liberation Front, a rebel group, said soldiers stamped on her stomach when she was eight months pregnant, killing her child.

The charges echo those carried in a report by Human Right Watch (HRW) last year, which said local officials routinely deny government support to opposition supporters and civil society activists, including rural residents who need food aid.

The report said foreign aid-funded “capacity-building” programmes are used by the government to indoctrinate schoolchildren, intimidate teachers and purge the civil service of people with independent political views.

HRW said political repression was particularly pronounced leading up to parliamentary elections in May 2010, in which the ruling party, led by Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, won 99.6% of the seats. The report was based on interviews with more than 200 people in 53 villages across three regions during a six-month investigation in 2009.

Farmers told HRW how they were denied access to agricultural aid, micro-loans, seeds and fertilisers because they did not support the ruling party. One farmer in Amhara region was quoted as saying: “[Village] leaders have publicly declared that they will single out opposition members, and those identified as such will be denied ‘privileges’. By that they mean that access to fertilisers, ‘safety net’ and even emergency aid will be denied.”

Ethiopia is heavily dependent on foreign aid, receiving $3.9bn in 2009. The World Bank and donor nations provide direct support to district governments in Ethiopia for basic services such as health, education, agriculture and water, and support a “food-for-work” programme for some of the country’s poorest people. The EU, the US, Britain and Germany are the largest bilateral donors.

Following the Newsnight programme, the UK international development minister, Stephen O’Brien, said: “We take all allegations of human rights abuses extremely seriously and raise them immediately with the relevant authorities, including the Ethiopian government, with whom we have a candid relationship. Where there is evidence, we take firm and decisive action. The British aid programme helps the people of Ethiopia, 30 million of whom live in extreme poverty. We demand full accountability and maximum impact on the ground for support from the British taxpayer.”

The Ethiopian embassy in London said in a statement: “The Ethiopian government refutes absolutely the allegation that there is a policy or practice of extra-judicial killings, arbitrary arrest and routine torture by the police, prison officers and other members of the security services and the military. The Ethiopian National Defence Force (ENDF) fully understands the importance of serving the cause of the people.”

On the charge that aid is being denied to opposition supporters, the embassy said the claim had been refuted, not just by the Ethiopian government, but by the donors’ assistance group (DAG), a consortium of 26 donor governments and international organisations, after it had made thorough investigations.

Britain gave £214.3m in aid to Ethiopia in 2009-10. In its operational plan for Ethiopia, covering the next four years, the Department for International Development said: “The Ethiopian government is capable and committed to growth and development, and is a proven partner in making rapid progress towards the millennium development goals. But its approach to political governance presents both substantive challenges to sustainable development and reputational risks to partners.”

  1. baby
    | #1

    Thank you Mark Tran for perfect investigation of the ethiopian human right abuse and valutions.After i graduted in agriculture college in mid-80´s i used to work in different international NGOs in ethiopia espically on the southern part the country in kambete, omo shelko, walayta, Eastern-harrage and North-Tigray espically the T.P.L.F affilitaed NGO -reliefe society of Tigray (REST).Therefore, i wateched the whole video of investigation which is 100% right report but the guy/ reperesentive of T.P.L.F try to defende the really truth of ethiopian government , this is the way how thea lie the TPLF. when i was working in Tiragy every body should have to lie because that is the main pricipale of the T.P.L.F. Now currently the Ethiopian government have fear about the famine in ethiopian which is hide from the world and day and night the ethiopian government said the famine in samalia but i am 100% confident that the famine also in ethiopia espically, the whole ogaden, eastern and southe part of the countery and middle parts.Therefore, the human right abuse and refuse to get right to food are the main pratice of the government.

  2. Sheger
    | #2

    Man how many times we have to talk about this? This are not Ethiopian Government as such.

  3. Sheger
    | #3

    You can call it a country without a Government if you wish.

  4. Annonymous
    | #4

    The final bell is ringing for TPLF. It reminded me about the 1984 famine.

  5. bimm
    | #5

    Tigre people Liberation Front, TPLF, have used donated food aid as a weapon of subjugation even when they were in the bush. At the time they were seen as ‘liberation forces’ fighting against the Derg.

    Now the barbarity of these ethno-fascist group is being exposed by the world community at large. The lie factory they have grown up and they have developed to perfection cannot help them. the TPLF lie, lie and lie tirelessly, as if convinced that if they tell their lie again and again people will believe them.

    The woyane repression using food aid goes hand in hand with their wider tactic of intimidation, harassment, murder, imprisonment, kidnaping which they have been employing tirelessly through out the 20 years they stayed in power.

    This report by the BBC is one nail in the TPLF coffin.

  6. The Eritrean one!
    | #6

    I hope all Tigryans can wake-up and tell every Ethiopian, Somalians, and Eritrean that they have nothing to do with what Meles and his boss Bereket Simon are doing to the innocent people of the horn of Africa as representatives of the Ethiopians people. As instruments of western world Meles and his boss Bereket Simon are hell bent to destroy all communities of the horn of Africa. Weyane and their sympasatheirs may continue to fatten their stomach but they must be reminded their bellies are full of innocent people of Ethiopia, Somalia, and Eritreans. If they think Tigry state is far away from Somalia, Eritrea, or the average Ethiopians then they are dreaming— the dream of ignomoniacs!!

  7. Enanu
    | #7

    How did they find the victoms. Were they ONLF provided witnesses? Just want to know how they operate around their main agenda!

  8. Chabo
    | #8

    Thank you Mr Mark Tran for bringing the truth into the open.Our people are deeply grateful.This is the truth that the regime goes to great length to hide.But this is the truth we live with and the truth which we are keen that the world should know.

    I hope that the plight of our people would puncture the conscience of many including the regime’s enthusiasts and friends particularly in corridors of power in London and Washington.

    We have been trampled underfoot by a very oppressive minority regime for the last twenty years mainly because of the massive support that the regime enjoys notably from British and American governments.History records their collboration with such tyranny and their silence towards its egregious rule as one of utter shame and disgrace.
    By the way,.

    By the way,where are the Jonatahn Dimblebys of the British press who have kept quite in the face of untold suffering of our people in the hands of a friendly regime to the British political establishment?

  9. Sheger
    | #9

    Enanu, they just talk to people randomly I believe besides I don’t know why it has to be just the people of the south.
    If you know what I mean? As if like……..

  10. aha!
    | #10

    This the straw that breaks the camels back as it did for the down fall for Emperor Haileselassie’s regime on the grouds of draught and famine, I presume, with the underlying revolution of the liberation movements of Marxist inclination, leaning towards the oppression of nations and nationalities rather than class struggle for land reform and workers rihts. This liberation movement spearheaded by TPLF and/or EPLF created a constitution of ethnic and secessionist politics and/or policies with underlying totalianism of ethnic federalism and secessionism. With the TPLF Politbuero at the helm of this constitutional frame work and the teletafi parties as direct supporters and loyalist oppostion parties are implict supporters of the constitution and even signatory to the Charter of the constitution. What is in contention with the current regime is not only autocratic rule but also ethnocratic rule/ethnic dictatorship with the totalianism of the derg regime, which are anathema to humaniterian, economic and political crises and inability to impose democracy and capitalism and/or mixed economy, and the inability to mitigate draughts and famine as well as reduce poverty with long tem aid funds. Such frame work of the constituion has curtailed the implementation of democracy and capitalism and/or mixed economy as pratices in the west European countries and North America, to say the least there is no balanced branches of the government.

    While the report is of par execellence that has never been puth forth by opposition political leaders, nor by Investigative Journalists from within, the dignitaries that pop up as opposition leaders represting the silent majority of Ethiopians, are either involved in the split of Kinijit or are in support of the current frame work of the constitution, which need to be dismantled to restore the original provinces into federated states of which Eritrea may want be a part of Ethiopia. Then and there the long term aid funds would go a long way for human development, economic development, infrastructural, and cultural development from the perspective of developing Ethiopia according to ecological regions than by ethnic regions of self-rule and separate but unequal development of nine ethnic regions.

  11. ጀግናው
    | #11

    አረ ገታ ይቅር በለን::

  12. ananymos
    | #12

    full of fabricated lies. first of all it is agains the law to do documentry in disguise of a turist. I do not really know what the agenda of the british people when it comes to ethiopia. they always want to tell the world the negative side of Ethiopia. we ethiopians are not their strategic enemy but I always wonder why do they(BBC)report this kind of trash things. I doubt if those journalists were not paid by some elements to make this kind of fabrication. the surprising thing is why do they care about other people, I thing they are trying to create chaos and havoc in the area, jealos of the the peace and order the goverment was able to maintain. any ways the country is moving forward not to retreat back any more, it they want they can ask their government to forget the so called development aid and stay away ethiopias business. the NGOs who call them selves friends of Turkana and opposiing the construction of Gilgel Gibe3 are british discendants who controlled Kenya, the people who are agains the renaissance dam are same. my country People You need to wake up!

  13. Tazabi ke Australia
    | #13

    Why can’t the interviewer let the ambassador finish?
    This is another stupid allegation to bring havoc to Ethiopia. I mean, be it with the EPRDF or any future governing body. It looks the journalists worked to conspire against Ethiopia and its people. Could this be a paid up scenario by the sha’abiya stooges to portray Ethiopia is just like that, and divert the currently developing sanction on them? Hmm only time will prove.
    In any case, the BBC has been and is working hard to bring “revolution #3″ following famine or related issues. Diverted report on GibeIII, on Nile, on the war of Ogden,on the 1984 famine, etc.etc.. We, as Ethiopians, are now aware of the hiden agenda of some of the staff members of the BBC. And so WE NO MORE CARE ON WHAT YOU REPORT. You will soon ask for apologies, to cover your ass, like you did few months ago.

  14. Stickman Games
    | #14

    Governments everywhere need to be kept in check. The same goes for Malaysia. Sad case.
    Play Stickman Games

  15. Oda Tulu
    | #15

    This vindicates the cruel robbery of aid money by the TPLF tribal gangs during the 1984 famine in Tigray.

    Thank you deeeply Mr.Mark Tran

  16. Anonymous
    | #16

    hilfe meine gelbte land ethiopia von weyany

  17. tesfaye
    | #17

    hilfe meine gelbte land ethiopia von weyane

  18. Anonymous
    | #18

    God is helping the people of Ethiopia. the truth can’t be kept hidden 4ever. BBC is working as a messenger of God.

    The people will be free.

  19. Samuel
    | #19

    The TPLF mafia were always puzzled by the silence of the Ethiopian people under the Derg rule. One thing they did not understand is that for the most part of Ethiopians the Derg was an improvement on the Monarchy except for the time of the Red Terror. The Red terror, however, had diffenet dimensions to it. No one was clean at the time. EPRP had declared urban guirrela warfare. No government would sit silent under those conditions. The TPLF is conducting the same tactic like the Derg even when there is no urban guerilla activity. Today they have disseminated diversionary prophets to hood wink the international community. Look at the response of this pathetic deputy Ambassader. He lies through all his orifice with out shame. My blood was boiling when I watched him blame other organizations for the suffering all the people interviewed. The ball is in our court. The TPLF believes that the Ethiopian people are not couragious enough to rise against them as they concluded from the Derg era. But trhe history is diffenet today. Thiis is not an Ethiopian government representing the Ethiopian people, it is a Tigrean government occupying the center of power. The sooner we realize that the better.

  20. aha!
    | #20

    Samuel, you are right in stating the conditions during the Derg regime in retrospect, when the derg regime was engaed in urban guerella warfare with EPRP, but you failed to mention that the Derg was simultaneously engaged with the liberation movements spear headed by TPLF and/or EPLF, which are inclined into the oppression of nations and nationalities, rather than class struggle, which led to the creation of the current constitution with ethnic and secessionist politics and/or policies with the underlying totaliarianism of the Derg regime and its own inclination of Marxist ideoloy. That is the whole mark of this regime and its direct and implied supporters of parties to this regime and silent majority you are talking about have been silenced but not silent then as they are now.
    No one condones the humanitarian crises inflicted by both, but in retrospect the Derg regime was engaged in in warfare with the liberation movements spearheaded by TPLF and/or EPLF to maintain the unity, territorial integrity and sovereignity of Ethiopia, which in the process of disintegration agaist the tenacity of the ethnic groups to live together in harmony as in the past. That is the hurdle for silenced but not silent majority of Ethiopians trapped into ethnic and secessionist politics and/or policies with underlying totalianism, ethnic federalism and secessionism, with looming humanitarian, economic and political crises. It should not be what the prime minister or what the abasador says that should be the constitutional frame work, serving as the opprating system with its tools that should cause concern or “boil you blood” yedem meflat.

  21. Sheger
    | #21

    Aha and Samuel, I can correct you both but to much talk about our country. Are any of you guys marred?

  22. Sheger
    | #22

    I am a lady by the way don’t think of it some gay talk. I use the name Sheger because it sounds like Shega or Saba or a lady’s name. Oh no no no I remember, they couldn’t pass me with real name at Abugida. What ever the case, may be better for me.

  23. wilqonna
    | #23

    Gross human right violation and dispecable crime,Zinawian have been committing on Ethiopians.And standing together to completely oust the criminals out of ethiopia is a must to do for all Ethiopians.The blood and khat addict a well known robber,Zinawi has now reached the apex of all sorts of crimes,including deleberately blocking food aid to the needy ones that are now perishing at a faster pace.

    Mubarak is bedridden and anxiously waiting for his final verdict from the citizens he suppressed and oppressed for the last forty years without thinking what would happen to him when the citizens would rise up;likewise,Zinawi is currently active in demolishing the lives of Ethiopians as being more crazy and mad than he was before mainly becaue this crime-addict vagabond has reached the stage where he could not pass a day without drinking the blood of Ethiopians;therefore,what should be done about this wicked criminal is what Ehtiopians can do to stop him from what he is doing at the moment than waiting for nature to take its course on him.All Ethiopians must redouble their effort to completely remove the most hated criminals from Ethiopia and hold hand in hand to celeberate the most eagerly sought freedom.

    But,first thing first;collaborative sprit must be in place to build syenergy in order to accelerate the downfall of the system that Zinawin built and ran for the last twenty years;it is their narrow world that Ethiopians are foced to live in,it is in Zinawians hellish world that Ethiopians are being looted and murdered,and it is in hte world of Zinawian mafias that Ethiopians are held hostage;hence,Ethiopians must focus on capturing the crime boss,Zinawi and his associates and prtners anywhere they are found and handover them to international criminal court for a trial to receive the maximum possible punishment that is tantamount to the type and quantity of crimes that Zinawian robbers have been committing on Ethiopians for that past two decades.

    Zinawi will always held accountable and responsible for the death of Ethiopians in Ogaden and must Zinawi face a trial wherever he is found.This is what Ethiopians talking about and must do to save other fellow Ethiopians from further suffer at the hands the grand robbers,Zinawians.

  24. samy
    | #24

    Shame on you ,TPLF.Your soul will burn after you died.

  25. Selamu
    | #25

    “”"”"”full of fabricated lies. first of all it is agains the law to do documentry in disguise of a turist. I do not really know what the agenda of the british people when it comes to ethiopia. they always want to tell the world the negative side of Ethiopia. we ethiopians are not their strategic enemy but I always wonder why do they(BBC)report this kind of trash things. I doubt if those journalists were not paid by some elements to make this kind of fabrication. the surprising thing is why do they care about other people, I thing they are trying to create chaos and havoc in the area, jealos of the the peace and order the goverment was able to maintain. any ways the country is moving forward not to retreat back any more, it they want they can ask their government to forget the so called development aid and stay away ethiopias business. the NGOs who call them selves friends of Turkana and opposiing the construction of Gilgel Gibe3 are british discendants who controlled Kenya, the people who are agains the renaissance dam are same. my country People You need to wake up!”"”"”"

    Look this idiot. “The British are jelouse of our peace and developement?” Dammit, what kind of hard core idiots are the Weyane Cadres. Moron, British is the 3rd largest donor to your government… I do not waste my time……

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