August 11th, 2011 Print Print Email Email

As a concerned world rushes to bring help to millions of famine victims in the Horn of

Africa, the brutal regime of Meles Zenawi, which is more to blame than the drought for

the dire situation, has opted to keep silent or to minimize the impact of the tragedy in
Ethiopia. Previous regimes in Ethiopia had also opted for hiding devastating famines
(1973, 1984) and caused hundreds of thousands of unwarranted deaths.

Despite the attempt by the Meles regime and its acolytes to minimize the famine and claim
it is present only in “remote border areas and refugee camps”, the famine spreading like
an epidemic and is presently seriously affecting the regions of Tigray, the Afar, and
Amhara. Somali, Borena, Guji, Burji and Geleb peoples and region. Many millions (at
least five million) are in need of urgent help and are being endangered by the cruel
regime’s attempt to cling to its fiction of economic development and surplus grain
production. Actually, the prevailing famine testifies to the bankrupt agricultural policies
of the regime, its corruption (the sale of stored grain to a foreign country), the
marginalization and impoverishment of the peasantry, the sale of land the size of Belgium
to foreign firms and the chasing off farmers from their lands, etc…are more responsible
for the famine than the almost proverbial drought. Add to this the regime’s bloody anti
insurgency campaign in the Ogaden where the famine has been sued for political and
military ends. Experience (1984) has also proved that the ruling front is known for
massively swindling food aid (and also using it for political purposes) and it should not be
trusted this time around with money and food aid. It should be noted that the Meles
regime has been aided and supported by the USA and the European Union despite its
totalitarian policies, massive repression and gross violations of human rights.

The EPRP condemns the Meles regime for exposing our people to this catastrophe once
again and for trying to cover it up in various ways. It calls on the international bodies to
help the famine victims in the Horn of Africa but to make sure the vultures in power do
not lay their hands on the food aid. The grain stored for emergency situation like the
present famine has been depleted, sold, used up by the regime. In Ethiopia, many more
people than in Kenya and Somalia are starving (consider also that inflation in July shot
up to 39% and food prices increased by more than 41%) but the silence is deafening. Let
us break the silence, condemn the cruel regime and effectively and directly help the
famine victims.

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