The Era of Great Famines is Far From Over –Not Yet! By Shewarega Assefa

May 16th, 2016 Print Print Email Email

Alex de Waal, executive director of the World Peace Foundation at Tufts University, Op-ed on May 8 on the online version of` NY times titled: Is the Era of great famines over?

A month ago he travelled through the northern and central regions of Ethiopia and was overwhelmed by the effort of the Ethiopian government in dealing with the famine that affected about a fifth of the country’s population. He claimed that Ethiopia has been transformed from a symbol of a country plagued by a recurring famine which saw 600,000 people perish in the 1984 draught that “turned the name Ethiopia synonym for shriveled, glazed-eyed children on saline drips….” to a country that is effectively dealing with a famine that affected about 20 million people. Quite a remarkable progress!

He went in detail how peace, greater transparency and prudent planning helped the regime fend off starvation. The narration seems to have been copied right out of the regime’s image building and deceptive propaganda that fostered humanitarian assistance and development funds keep on pouring into the coffers of the government in an unprecedented scale for the past quarter of a century.

The prevailing famine, for him, affecting close to 20 million people only dealt a dent to the miraculous growth of GDP, by slowing the growth down to a mere 8.5% for 2015 and 2016 from a high of more than 10% growth of 2014. This rosy growth rate –concocted from tortured numbers by the government and echoed by IMF and other donor countries –is a facade retched up by the regime as part of the image building scheme, corroborated by donners. A growth, no doubt, created a few lords of poverty who have enriched themselves at the cost of a vast swath of the population visibly suffering from the corrosive anxiety of poverty.

A polarized growth which can be palpably felt in Addis by mere observation of a flock of beggars that conspicuously swarm the modern buildings mushrooming in the city.

One couldn’t agree more with the writer’s conclusion that “there is no record of people dying of famine in a democracy.” And also with the assertion that “politics creates famine, and politics can stop it.”

An assertion copied from the experience of other countries and pasted to the Ethiopian situation where neither democracy nor a political system capable of stopping famine exist. Experts closely monitoring the situation assert to the contrary: Ethiopia has a totalitarian government lacking the will and the capacity to mitigate the impact of recurring famine endemic to the country.

Ethiopia is not a democracy. Unless, of course, Alex believes the bizarre claim that the regime won the election by a 100% in the last sham election, 96.6% in the previous one, where journalists and opposition politicians have been summarily imprisoned and some brutally tortured and/or murdered. The writer conveniently misses to mention the annual country reports of gross human rights violation by the US state department, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty international.

In today’s Ethiopia, a handful of ethnocentric freaks hailing from a minority ethnic group obscenely possess power and wealth running the country with a bandit system. I fail to see how the very undemocratic system where transparency and accountability are missing could effectively help stave off the dire situation of famine that is killing children at worst, or permanently damaging their life by malnourishment, at best.

All the factors mentioned by the writer to have contributed for the government to fend off starvation miserably fail to apply to the Ethiopian situation. Undoubtedly, prevalence of peace and political stability significantly contribute to growth and development, having a cascading effect of augmenting the living standard of the people. However, unless one defines peace to mean solely an absence of war with bordering countries, warranting internal peace has never been the hall mark of the government of Ethiopia. Even border skirmishes continually happen on virtually every corner of the country.

Lasting peace only prevails where freedom exists.

In the absence of freedom to speak, write, organize, and of genuine elections peace would only be a mirage –as is the case in Ethiopia. Obviously, the movement of people to look for a better livelihood is also severely curtailed in the absence of freedom. History tells us that there has never been true peace in a totalitarian government and the regime in Ethiopia is no exception! In today’s Ethiopia the government can only be equated to an apartheid system where a minority from one small ethnic group entirely controls the government. Peace may seem to prevail for those powerful oligarchs who are protected by all the might of the government with full support of the western world –who are blindsided by the service they are getting to fight terrorism in the neighboring Somalia. The case is not true to 90% of the population, though.

Unlike Alex’s claim, the system of government in Ethiopia today is neither accountable nor transparent. The staggering amount of funds that have been pouring to the country to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars have never been put to the full use of their intended targets. Sadly, this has been going on with a full knowledge of the donners and the so called development partners. Despite their awareness of how development funds and of aid money that have been rampantly siphoned off by a corrupt system, donner countries have carried on applying the same policy of catering for dictators –turning a blind eye dovetailed with being part of the corrupt system.

To make matters worse, the Ethiopian government use these abundant funds to hire a lobbyist group like D.L. Piper to project a presentable image through some bought out politicians and experts, including academicians here in the US whose real concern is the exorbitant amount of money that is rolling into their bank accounts, and warranting a constant flow of funding for some academicians to run projects. The writer in question definitely fits in the above category.

Alex has probably been driven to feeding and distribution sites set by the government to show case their best case scenario of providing services to the victims. Upon his return, he wrote on a venerated newspaper editorial exactly what the government of Ethiopia provided him to write. He showed no care at all to do any fact checking from other sources to substantiate what the authorities are claiming to be a fact in the ground. I was dismayed to read an article taken right from the TPLF deception manual, sugar coated by some universally accepted notion that hardly apply to the Ethiopian situation.

In sharp contrast to Alex’s op-ed page in the NYT where he absurdly toyed with a question of the era of famine being over, based on the Ethiopian experience –not quite fitting the caption of the article; another reporter named Christiabel Ligami, visiting Ethiopia probably at the same time has reported ten days ago on about the emerging hunger stories to the world. Unlike Alex, Ligami wrote unfavorably about the ludicrous effort of the government to censor starvation, lest not to project an image incapable of containing the impending disaster.

How could the two reports be dramatically different after visiting the same country almost at the same time? Where Alex flirted with the idea of the era of famine being over praising the efforts of the government to control the damages of starvation; the other article talked about the glaring drought compounded by the censorship imposed on NGOs and journalists who were forbidden by the government not to report the severity of the situation and the ensuing loss of lives in the affected areas. Ligami stated that journalists were imprisoned for talking to foreigners about the drought.

The variation in the two reports could easily be explained by the sources they used to write the report. While Alex entirely based his observation on the visits he made of food distribution sites that government officials showed him, Ligami gathered his information from journalists and actual victims of the drought.

BBC, The daily Telegraph, NPR, Grham Pebble, the Auckland Institute all seem to concur with Ligami as they have reported that the government has imposed censorship on foreigners, local journalists and even organizations tasked to help the drought victims not to reveal the egregious situation in Ethiopia to the world. In addition, the government’s intransigency, at the onset of the draught, not to accept the advice of UN, FAO and other similar organizations’ request to timely mobilize resources might have also dramatically worsen the situation.

In a BBC interview, one mother was narrating how she lost a son who died of hunger. Immediately after the story surfaced, the regime officials tracked her and forced her to recant her story in the Ethiopian media and said that her son died of an illness, instead. Far from controlling the dire effects of the prevailing calamity and alleviating the deplorable situation from taking a turn to the worse, the government of Ethiopia was obsessively concerned about the image of the country whose economy they have been absurdly claiming to have grown in double digits.

As much as Alex’s extensive dwelling on the prudence of the government in meeting the challenges, he never mentioned the impact of the land policy of the government that has uprooted the indigenous people from their land (without proper compensation commensurate to their loss of a source of livelihood and a sea change in life style) by leasing it at a dirt-cheap price to foreign investors from India and Saudi Arabia. The local people became landless over night without a grazing land for their live stocks or a plot of land to farm, either. Basically, the land was used as a ‘surrogate mother’ where the locals never benefited from such ventures obtained by leasing the womb of their land while Indians and Saudis ship out the produce to their respective country.

Op-eding on influential newspapers like NYT no doubt builds an image that could sway the minds of policy makers by building a false image of facts on the ground. On the flip side, the victims of tyranny lack the financial wherewithal to lobby in the American congress or write the truth on the front pages of those newspapers. But thanks to the pervasive presence of the social media and its wider reach, the conspiracy to silence who are silently dying of hanger has not been successful.

It is a colossal travesty that the writer claims to be the executive director of a world peace organization. My trajectory barely misses its mark, if I predicted the world to remain in turmoil (not at peace) as long as the likes of Alex de Waal continue to do such a shoddy work –warranting the longevity of totalitarian regimes and their own stay at the helm of an organization with no accountability.

Shewarega Assefa

  1. Ittu Aba Farda
    | #1

    Good Ole USA has come forward loaded with critical aid for the unfortunate people who are on the brink of a catastrophic disaster brought about by nature. It is an example we should all emulate and do everything we can to help those glorious people in need. They are in dire straight, We should send donations unabated as long as we can. We should all remember the fact that there are people who go hungry over there every time we have our daily meals. In spite of the fact that I have fundamental differences with the ruling circle back there in the affairs of politics, that does not prohibit me from commending them for what they have done so far in averting the repeat of 1984. Famine and politics should never mix. If and when they do, it will turn into a deadly cocktail where millions would perish. Innocent millions I may add. So I urge every one of you to send donations to those proven humanitarian organization such as the Red Cross and other similar ones. Do it today, tomorrow and until the scourge is gone for good.

  2. AMAN05
    | #2

    Our problem is not the issue whether we are Ethiopians
    or not, the issue is how come the TPLF hold the state
    power while it belongs more to us Eritreans than to it.
    The TPLF doesn’t represent even all Tigray and it is a
    force that came through the barrel of the Gun.
    So the issue had never been of being or not being Ethiopian/s
    but only
    About the STATE power and authority which legitimately belongs
    to Eritrea and Eritreans ……

  3. Olaana Baye
    | #3

    Alex de Waal is neither a journalist nor a professor of peace. I am absolutely sure he is MI6/CIA operative, nothing more, nothing less. I am well aware of his activities in the past in Eritrea and generally in the Horn of Africa. I think it is time to relinquish his position in favor of Reggae Omar formerly BBC and Al-Jazeera reporter, who was a product of Winchester and New College, Oxford. Further more, he has unimpeachable integrity. Alex de Waal is a weasel who is preaching about peace. Who keeps Africa and Middle-East at war, please ask Alex de Waal, “The Magician” of Fernji.

  4. Dawi
    | #4

    Shewarega said:

    [[..This rosy growth rate –concocted from tortured numbers by the government and echoed by IMF and other donor countries –is a facade retched up by the regime as part of the image building scheme..]]

    Few years back Bill Gates was asked how he decides who gets low cost loans or cheaper vaccines and who can afford their own funds etc.?

    People were worried about “tortured numbers” as Shewarega is today. Bill explained that there are other tools besides what African Government provide.

    Techniques like Demographic and Health Survey conducted to determine things like childhood and maternal death rates, new techniques like Satellite mapping of light sources to check and estimate economic growth, human development index, multidimensional Poverty Index uses 10 indicators including nutrition, sanitation and access to cooking fuel and water, using purchasing power parity that measures costs of goods in different countries etc. So we are not in the blind as Shewarega and others tell us.

    Alex studies such things as famine for over 30 years and can not just rely on EPRDF’s “tortured numbers” to arrive to his conclusions; so it is preposterous for the writer to attack the entire article by Alex.

    I think we should all read what was written by Alex and give credit where credit is due.

    Is the Era of Great Famines Over?

    By Alex De Waal
    Politics creates famine, and politics can stop it.

  5. dodo
    | #5

    Alex is a well known paid agent of the TPLFfor over 30 years. He is of course one of the foreign enemies of the Ethiopian peole and we shoud all be aware of it.Prof. Alemayehu has exposed him in a well documented essay- we shoul all read it.Otherwise he is a low class propagandist for the TPLF- a rat pretending to be an elephant – and will soon burst into nothingness, like the rest of the paid stooges.

  6. Tefferi
    | #6


    Let us start with HDI: Ethiopia ranked 174th out of 188 countries in the world.
    Multidimensional poverty index:173 out of 187 countries. should I go on? In all the techniques you mentioned Ethiopia still ranks at the bottom.
    de Waal: “de Waal has been the (un)official historiographer of the Tigrean Peoples’ Liberation Front (TPLF)and written “Evil Days: Thirty Years of War and Famine in Ethiopia”, a book which is basically a hatchet job on the “evil” military Derg regime and its relentless counter-insurgency campaign against the TPLF.
    de Waal delivered the keynote address in 2013 “on the occasion of the first anniversary commemoration of the death of Meles Zenawi”. In his speech, de Waal said, “The second pillar of Meles’s security doctrine was national pride. He condemned what he called ‘jingoism on an empty stomach’”.
    Today 20 million Ethiopians are dying because they have empty stomachs, and de Waal says, “There is no famine in Ethiopia.” Prof. Almariam

  7. Dawi
    | #7



    The silver lining of Ethiopia ranking 174th out of 188 countries in the world was explained by UNDP as follows:

    Over the 15 years Ethiopia has some of the highest growth rates in the world-over 10 per cent in some years. However, Ethiopia’s Human Development Index (HDI) and its relative ranking have not moved appreciably during the past decade. Even though Ethiopia is one of the 10 countries globally that has attained the largest absolute gains in its HDI over the last several years..

    Alex De Waal is off course couldn’t help but admire Meles’s intellect and the associated achievements of that era but, he offers appreciable reasoning for that.

    The following is what he said on Meles/TPLF achievements; friends or foe, particularly an Ethiopian can’t help but admire such holding in high esteem of one of his own.

    [[..The abiding impression left by Meles and the TPLF leadership was that their theory and practice were deeply rooted in the realities of Ethiopia, and that they would succeed or fail on their terms and no others...they did not measure their record or their policies against external standards; on the contrary, they evaluated outside precepts against their own experience and logic. It was a refreshing, even inspiring, dose of intellectual self-reliance...]]

  8. the observer
    | #8

    no body asked ur intellectual advice…talking about bill gates and satellite maps…are you realy ddeep in your heart believe this nonsense…and yyyyyou believe ther is no famine in Ethiopia…men like you make me sick to my stomach..or ypu are a fetal of the government of Ethiopia…the fact is on the ground…by the way on a secon thought you might even be a cadre of the system….oh…never mind you disgust me.

  9. Dawi
    | #9


    I understand you’re one of those hoping on “calamities” to take Arat Kilo over but, I care less for that kind of thinking.

    It is the worst drought in 50 years; The Federal State won’t allow the old kind of “famine” until its last drop of funds is gone. Alex talked about the 1 billion dollars at hand for fuel imports the state has started using; if need be, accessing their full global borrowing limit & diverting development funds is next. HD has indicated that already.

    One doesn’t need to be an insider or a genius to figure out this is an ultimate test for EPRDF’s perseverance; they just can’t afford to fail on this.

  10. Rolf Gautschi , Orbis Trading ETHIOPIA
    | #10

    Most people think Ethiopia is still full of lazy people but I will tell you from experience with the right environment Ethiopians would surprise the world how much hidden potentials is left untapped. The last decade or so had been an eye opener for me and my company. We finally agreed that we can transform Ethiopia to achieve the growth and transformation plan set by the great visionary leader the previous Prime Minster Meles Zenawi .Orbis trading owned by business people from Germany had been performing within Ethiopia for the last three governments.We are proud to say Ethiopia had never been this attractive for foreign investors as it is right now. Nowis the time to grab the opportunity which will be almost impossible to do later on.. Here at Orbis we restructured our company so we can adopt to the new energetic spirit of Ethiopians . We are being the backbone for Ethiopia’s development and transformation plan for the last decade or so.That is why Ethiopian Ex-Prime Minister Meles Zenawi was awarded the first African Green Revolution Yara Prize . The Yara Prize 2005 is awarded to Meles Zenawi, for his dedication and inspirational leadership, for the results achieved in improving food security for his people, and for Ethiopia’s response to UN Secretary General Kofi Annan’s call for a uniquely African green revolution for the 21st Century. With little co-operation and guidance from the west which is needed the most for Ethiopian agriculture sector the farming community within Ethiopia had been the backbone for Ethiopia’s economy until today eventhough the government faced some constructive criticism by some people . Here are some of the constructive criticisms below .

  11. Ensiqiila
    | #11

    Shame! Shame! and Shame!!!

    Alas, Alex De Wall must have been cross-eyed on his mind’s eyes; therefore, he must be ashamed of himself. To begin with, the fascist woyane deliberately tried to cover up and then denied the existence of the death of both domestic animals in great quantities and farmers and their families denied them access to moving out into cities to survive on the help that they would get from fellow Ethiopians. Ethiopians must broaden their knowledge about its operation, how it works, what connection it has international organizations. The Fascist woyane has agents, informers, bribers, and operatives in all levels, in including IMF and other international organization, Fascist Woyane spending millions of dollars as bribes and kickbacks to its foreign agents to maintain its existence at the cost of millions of Ethiopians; no boubt, this man, Alex De wall must be one of the higly active operative Fascist Woyane-paid agent in disguise. When we combat the enemy, it must include fighting against woyanae’s international foreign operatives, such as Alex De wall.

  12. Wodajo
    | #12

    It is known that the TPLF government in Ethiopia spends millions of dollars on buying the services of western lobbysts. The guy Alex de Waal who pretends to be a researcher is part of this well paid network of TPLF lobbyists. The onset of a big famine in Ethiopia has exposed the hollowness and self serving fictitious narrative of the double digit economic growth in Ethiopia. The big famine is also an embarassment to those donors and loaners who have been echoing and selling the false narrative of the TPLF regime. Those guys like Alex de Waal are suffering from the moral and intellectual bankruptsy and are a making a lst dith
    attempt to save the image of the TPLF.

  13. Boru
    | #13

    The task now should be to trace the 60-70 billions the TPLF leaders have collected in aid and loans in the name of the poor in Ethiopia. The famine and abject poverty I witnessed in my recent visit to Ethiopia er evidences that this big sum has not been used to alleviate famine and poverty in the country. Sifting through the Panama Papers should be one of the things we should do to look for traces and evidences. The TPLF guys like Dawi are intoxicated by the `aid dollars` the equivalent of the TPLF petro-dollars. The TPLF petro-dollars (aid-dollars) are also buying the immoral and greedy guys like Alex de Waal. Dawi gets high on the petro-dollars and mixes up issues.

  14. Freedom
    | #14

    Great job Ato Assefa. You are right on the money.

    I urge everyone to read Professor Alemayehu’s response, rebuttal or should I say ass whipping of the irresponsible and amateurish new York times article written by Dr. Alex de Waal. You can find it at Zehabesha or ethiomedia website. Professor Alemayehu was spot on.

    As the Wollo famine lead to the overthrow of Haile Selassie and the 1984 famine lead to the overthrow of Mengistu Hailemariam, the CURRENT FAMIME WILL FOR SURE LEAD TO THE OVERTHROW OF TPLF GOV. PERIOD.
    TPLF rule has lead to more famine related death of Ethiopians than those of Mengistu’s and Haileselassie’s combined.
    Moreover, the death of over 600,000 Ethiopians mostly of tigrea origin due to starvation in 1984 is historically attributed to Mengistu gov. History books tell us that Mengistu wanted the tigrea people to die b/c they were supporting TPLF, his number #1 enemy. Even though that is true nothing is said about the other villain, TPLF. TPLF was stealing the food and money that was pouring from all corners of the world to feed, take care of its own rank and file and buy more and more weapons. TPLF did not care much about the dying tigrean people, they were expendable. It cared more about being rulers of ethiopia. Had TPLF care about its own people, may be half of them would have been saved. Therefore, it is not an exaggeration to claim that in 1984 TPLF is responsible for the death of about 200,00 trigrean and Mengistu about 400,00.

    Dr. Alex de Wall said,
    “As I traveled through northern and central provinces, I saw imported wheat being brought to the smallest and most remote villages, thanks to a new Chinese-built railroad and a fleet of newly imported trucks. Water was delivered to places where wells had run dry. Malnourished children were being treated in properly staffed clinics.”

    It is no brainer that TPLF will take Alex to places they want him to see all staged for show and self aggrandizement. He would be so impressed that he can’t wait to share his amusement with powers that be in USA and Europe. I believe At Mulugeta Gebrehiwot Berhe, one of the 5 2015-2016 fellow at World Peace foundation, is the brain child of Dr. de Waal’s drama.
    From World Peace website.
    “Mulugeta Gebrehiwot Berhe is Program Director of the WPF African security sector and peace operations program, and he leads the WPF project on Peace Missions in Africa. He served as the director of the Institute for Peace and Security Studies (IPSS) of Addis Ababa University from 2009-2011. He holds an MA in Public administration from Harvard Kennedy School, an MBA from the Open University of London, a BA degree in International Management from the Amsterdam School of Business. Until 2001 Mulugeta was a member of the military and political leadership of the Tigray’s People Liberation Front. As a military leader he contributed to the victory over the then Military Junta led by Mengistu Hailemariam and subsequently was in charge of demobilizing over 300 000 combatants of the defeated army. Altogether, Mulugeta has more than 20 years of experience as a senior manager in the Ethiopian public and private sectors. As an expert in Conflict Prevention, Management and Resolution with a focus on East Africa he has consulted with different international organizations including AU, DFID, DANIDA, ECOWAS, GIZ, IGAD, UNMIS, UNAMID, and UNDPA.”

    de Waal continued,
    “In 1999, food shortages in the southeastern part of the country killed 29,000 people. What could have just been a crisis devolved into disaster because the government was at war with Eritrea along its northern border, and foreign donors, appalled that the government would spend its meager resources on fighting, were slow to provide food aid.”

    The war between Ethiopia and Eritrea, 1998-2000, was hailed as the most stupid and irresponsible war of the 20th century. It was started by TPLF for an egotistic purpose of teaching EPLF a lesson. According to TPLF, EPLF in particular and Eritreans in general have been underestimating us, looking down at us, consider us as inferior so we will show them that be are superior than them. War to quench bruised ego led to the loss of over 100,000 Ethiopian most of them non tigrean origin. What as waste of life.

  15. አዲስ
    | #15

    ኢትዮጵያ እየተባለ በ ሚጠራ አገር ዉስጥ : ለ አለፉት ሃምሳ አመታት የተደረጉት : ህብረተስቡ በነጻ ለመኖር : በራሱ ተፈጥሯዊ እና : ሲዎርድ ሲዋረድ ባለው ታሪካዊ ባህሉ መሰረት ላይ ለማደግ ያደረጉትን መራር ትግል ዉጤት : በጉልበት 1992 tplf አኪሩን መላ ለመላ ሰብስቦ ሰብስቦ ዎስዶታል :: የ ዎደፊት የኢትዮጵያ ፕሮብሌም ፕሮግራም የተደረገዉም በዚህ ፖለቲካ ላይ ነው ::

  16. አዲስ
    | #16

    የ ለንደን ኮንፍራንስ የዎታደር ድል አድራጊዎዎች ኮንፍራንስ ነበር? ሌላ ኃይል ከበስተጀርባው አልነበረም :: ኢትዮጵያ ዉስጥ ::

  17. Teferi
    | #17

    @Rolf Gautschi , Orbis Trading ETHIOPIA
    It is mind boggling how the regime in Ethiopia and foreign pimps think and work. I doubt if you even read what you posted here. I advise you to read the links you just posted. How come Yara fail to know the impact of their fertilizer sale on the farmers of Ethiopia? Like you, they have a weak conscience. In case they didn’t tell you the GTP, by the government’s admission, was short of its target. Can these guys not buy a better pimp with a better IQ who can do his own research? The government is full of people like you who parrot what was told to say.

  18. Dawi
    | #18

    [[..I urge everyone to read Professor Alemayehu’s response...]]


    AL Mariam is a prolific writer; for that we should all read him but, it has become hard for me to do even that these days after he sided with Egypt regarding the GERD. He called it “white elephant” etc. however, Ethiopia can earn 2 billion a year when finished not to mention it is a uniting force for our country.

    As someone once said it before, the Prof. should tell us if the origin of the “Al” in his name? ..Is it Al as in Al Gore, or Al as in Al Ahram?..” Perhaps, it is the latter! :-)

    Attacking Alex the Prof. talked about Meles’s credentials once again? I thought he has learnt his lesson by doing that in the past?

    “..Meles, the great “economic theoretician” was trained by a “social anthropologist”! he went on…

    “..I certainly knew Meles was practicing voodoo economics when I wrote my commentary by the same title in May 2011. But I used “voodoo economics” as a metaphor. Little did I know that Meles was indeed trained in voodoo economics by a social/cultural anthropologist. What more can I say!…]]

    Talking about “Credentials”?

    Prof. Al was put in his place by Prof. Tecola Hagos as in the following few years back, little did I know the man is hard headed…..

    “..Who is going to say Meles was any less intelligent because he did not attend the University of Maryland like Alemayehu did. If I were Alemayehu I would not care to mention the University of Maryland especially when I am in the company of individuals who studied at Harvard, Yale, Oxford, or Georgetown….”

    Freedom – the above is what I will call “ass whipping”; a serious one at that!

    Prof. Al, self aggrandizing without a shame won’t stop amusing us and this time he claimed to be the distinguished Prof. of Economics by writing on the latest s anti-Alex paper the following:

    “..I have challenged the T-TPLF, World Bank, USAID and all others to prove up the double-digit growth claims in Ethiopia, or shut up. They have chosen to shut up. You don’t see the World Bank, the IMF, USAID and the rest of the poverty pimps making the double-digit claim anymore because they know it is a damned lie.

    “..I have demonstrated beyond a shadow of doubt, time and again, that the T-TPLF claim of double-digit growth over the past ten years is a crock of statistical horse manure. I challenge de Waal to prove (not merely regurgitate statistics from the talking points handed to him by the T-TPLF and USAID) the veracity of his double-digit economic growth claim!..”

    My god! What more can I say?

  19. ዘረ-ያዕቖብ ወ.ግ.ዓ.ም-ፅዮንThe Eth.
    | #19

    እባካችሁን እየተስተዋለ;

    የባድመ ጦርነት የመጣው ኢሳያስ ሃገረ ጦጣ-ግንባር ሲንጋፖር ትሆን ዘንዳ የኢትዮጵያን ንብረት እንደ በዘመነ ከከፍተኛ የቡና ኤክስፖርት አድራጊ ሃገሮች አንዱ የሆኩበት ጊዝያቶች አይነት ሁናቴ መምጣት አለበት ከሚል miskalkulation መሆኑን አንርሳ!

    “ኤርትራ ትወረናለች ብለን አልጠበቅንም ነበርን” ለሚለው ወስላታ መቀላበድ ተጠያቂው ያ-ጨረር የበላው ከሃዲ ሲሆን, ለጦርነት መምጣትና ለደረሰው ኪሳራ ሁሉ ተጠያቂው ግን ኢሳያስ ነው:: በመጨረሻው ግን ለተጠያቂነቱ ወደ አለም አቀፍ ፍርድ ቤት ዘ-ሄግ (ዴን ሃግ) እንዲቀርብ ከመጣር ይልቅ, ወደ አልጀርስና ዘ-ሄግ እነ መለስና ስዩም እያጀቡት ጭራሽ ብዙ ሽልማቶችን አስሰጡት! ለዚህ ተግባራትም ተጠያቂነቱ በመለስ ላይ ነው የሚያርፈው!በርግጥ በወስላታ ፕሮፓንዳ ነፊነት እነዚያ እነ መስፍንም ይወቀሱበታል:: መስፍን ዘላለሙን የመለስ ማማሰያ ወጥ እንጨትነት ተላልኪነት መሽቀርቀርን እንጂ ለሃላፊነት የሚያበቃ ተግባራትን አከናውኖ ስለማያውቅ በሃላፊነት ሊጠየቅ አይበቃም:: መለስ ከሞተ በኋላም ያው እንደ ልማዱ ለሌሎች አገልጋይነቱን ቀጥሏል::
    በርግጥ መለስ ዘላለሙን ከሻዕቢያ ይልቅ የትግራይን ህዝብ ይፈራ ስለነበረ, የመረብን ዳር ድንባር ከፍቶ በመስጠት ቁጥር የለሽ ትግራዋይ በሻዕቢያ ግፍ እንዲደርስበት አድርጓል:: ይሄ ማሌሊታዊ “ታክቲክ” አሁንም እንደቀጠለ ነው! ማሌሊት ምንም እንኳን እንደ ቀድሞዎቹ “ትግሬን ማድቀቅ ነው!” ባትልም, ግን የትግራይ ህዝብ በጭቆና መያዝ እንዳለባት ዘላለማዊ ውጥኗ ነው! “ትግሬ ከተነሳ …..” ባትልም, ያው “ኣብ ዓድዋ ዘይሕዶሩናስ ኣብቲ ዝብእስያ ኣብዘይፈልጥዎ ሃገር ክርይዱስ እንታይዶስ ከመይዶስ” እውን ከየቃልዑና ምእንታንስ, ያው ወጥሮ መያዝ እና በባዶ ፕሮፓጋንዳ ብቻ ሌሎሽም እንዲጠምዱትና እኛ ላይ እንዳይነሳ ማናከስ ነው, መሆኑ ነው ብልሃቱ! ነፃ አውጭነት ሆይ, ለካስ “አንቺን ብዬ አንቺን አጣሁ የሚባለው እንዴህ ሲገጥም ነው!!

    ትልቅየውን ግን ያው እዚህ ላይ ለመንሸፍ አንደበታችን ተቆላልፎ እምቢ ብሎናል! ግን ያው እርሳቸው ዋናው ቡራኬ ቃላቸው “ገንዘብ ካለ በሰማይ መንገድ አለ!” ነው ይባላል! ሌላ “VALUE” አያውቁምም ይባላል:: አይፈረድባቸውም! ለምን ቢባል, ከሰው ልጆች ጋራ ከተነጋገሩ ከወደ 40 ዓመታት አልፏዋቸዋላ! From the beginning to the end, የሻዕቢያ ገረዶችን, የጀብሃ ሊስትሮዎችንና ዋና ዋና ባንዳዎችን እያደራጁ በእንደኛ አይነቱ ላይ ሲያዋፍሩ ፀሃዩ ሁሉ ጠልቆ እየነጋባቸው! የውጭ ኢንቨርተር ብቻ ሲፈለግ ነግቶ የሚመሸው ያለው በቃ ለዚሁ ነው! The DC-Profs. ደግሞ ይሄ ሁሉ ማሌሊት የምትዘርፈው ያለችው እኮ ለኛ ነበር የሚገባን የሚለውን “HERO” ባንዴራቸውን ይዞው እዛው ዲሲ ውስጥ ብቻ ማውደልደል ሆነና ዋናው “ትግላቸው” ያው ኢትዮጵያም እንደምናያት አለችው! እንግዲህ ምን ይባላል, ብቻ እንዲያው ፅዮን የተሻለን ቀን አምጪ እንጂ!

  20. Tesfa
    | #20

    Mr.Shewarega Assefa, I think ,in the future, instead of commenting on the issue of any would be expert on African affaires, it would be more beneficial to seek some background information about the individual who claims to be expert. For instance if he is a member of CFR.Regarding this matter I find an article that implicates him to be a member of this CFR and something that link him to U.S intelligence.
    Based on what this article states the article of Alex De Waal may not be based on personal interest .It could be he is under cover for the corporate run U.S government to facilitate its interest. Mean while, on the same N.T article Alex De Wall wrote his piece on May 8,2016 I found two comments.One of them a visitor in the Ethiopia who flatly contradict the views of Alex and the other from president and C.E.O. of World Food Program USA who acknowledged the severity of the hunger who appeal for donors to help. Please see below the two links.



    To the Editor:

    Re “Is the Era of Great Famines Over?” (Opinion Pages, May 8):

    While Alex de Waal correctly notes that Ethiopia has made incredible progress since the famine of 1984-85, we can’t dismiss the severity of the drought right now. According to the U.N. World Food Programme, roughly 75 percent of affected households are skipping meals and almost one quarter have sold productive assets like livestock to make ends meet. Meanwhile, Ethiopia continues to host more refugees than any other nation in Africa.

    The government of Ethiopia should be lauded for its efforts to address this historic drought — de Waal rightly mentions the resources it has committed to the relief effort, including the productive safety net system, which has kept 8 million people from falling into hunger. Yet major shortfalls remain that threaten the availability of essential assistance in the months ahead. The international community must demonstrate without delay — the political will necessary to make adequate resources available to address the needs of at-risk populations. If global leaders do not step up, the world could witness the erosion of hard-won development gains in the country.



    The writer is president and C.E.O. of World Food Program USA.

    To the Editor:

    With all due respect, Mr. de Waal is not asking the right question, and he is doing the people of Ethiopia a great disservice.

    I have just returned from Denan, Ethiopia, home to a camp for internally displaced persons. In the Denan camp, despite promises by international aid organizations, food relief had not been delivered in nearly seven months. Many people are lucky to be able to give one meager meal per day to their children. Some get less than that. Perhaps the images are not as shocking as those from the 1980s, but seeing a woman hold a malnourished child who is too weak to walk is an image that will stay with me for a long time.

    It may be that due to somewhat better infrastructure and an improved political situation that the numbers of great starvation and death are not what they once were. But this is irrelevant to the families who are still watching their children suffer.

    The ultimate goal of The Denan Project, of which I’m the president and co-founder, is to help impoverished communities become self-sustainable. But when feeding one’s children becomes a daily struggle, when hunger pains do not lessen, it is not possible to focus on anything else — least of all the semantics of labeling their unspeakable suffering a “great famine” or not.


    Woodbury, Conn.
    Continue reading the main story

  21. Dawi
    | #21

    Professor Alemayehu said:

    In his response to Prof. Alex De Waal report on Ethiopia’s famine:

    [[..I have challenged the T-TPLF, World Bank, USAID and all others to prove up the double-digit growth claims in Ethiopia, or shut up. They have chosen to shut up. You don’t see the World Bank, the IMF, USAID and the rest of the poverty pimps making the double-digit claim anymore because they know it is a damned lie...]]

    To the contrary of the Prof. Al’s claim, the World Bank, IMF and USAID didn’t “shut up” but, reported the following in 2015:

    World Bank – ADDIS ABABA, November 23, 2015 – Ethiopia has witnessed rapid economic growth, with real gross domestic product (GDP) growth averaging 10.9% between 2004 and 2014, which is lifting the country from being the second poorest in the world in 2000 to becoming a middle income country by 2025, if it continues its current growth trajectory.

    IMF 2015 report – The economic outlook remains favorable, reflecting the country’s significant potential, generally sound macroeconomic policies, and the government’s efforts to improve infrastructure and attract foreign direct investment. In the medium term, staff forecast strong growth at 7½ – 8 percent.

    USAID Report – ECONOMY GDP (US$ millions) $47,525 (2013) GDP growth (annual %) 10.5% (2013) 10-year average 11.0% (2013) Merchandise exports (US$ millions) $2,592 (2014) Merchandise imports (US$ millions) $16,612 (2014) Percent of population living under $1.25/day 36.8% (2010) Share of income going to the poorest 20% 8% (2013) OECD average 8% (2013) Share of income going to the richest 20% 42% (2013) OECD average 42% (2013) Youth unemployment (ages 15-24) 8.0% (2013) Annual inflation 7.4% (2014).

    Again – What more can we say!

  22. ሰው
    | #22

    ረሃብ አዲስ አበባ ዉስጥ ::በአዲስ አበባ ታሪክ ዉስጥ ረሃብ ታይቶ ተሰምቶ አይታውቅም ነበር :: ረሃብተኛ ለማግኘት ሩቅ መሄድ አያስፈልግም : አዲስ አበባ ዉስጥ እዛው ቤተመንግስቱ ጓሮ ሞልቷል :: ስለ አኢትዮጵያ ፕሮብሌም የሚጽፉ በአለም አቀፍ ደረጃ እየታደኑ ዎህኒ ቤት እና አማኔል እብዶች ሆስፒታል ዉስጥ አብደዋል ብሎ ለመጣል እየተዘጋጀ ነው :: ዎድፊት ስለዚህ ጉዳይ የምጽፈው ታሪክ አለኝ::

  23. Tesfa
    | #23

    I noticed that the link that implicates Alex De Waal above did not opened as I hoped. This time hope fully it will.Please see below the link.

  24. Megersa
    | #24

    Professor Al Mariam is among the prominent scholars who are persistently exposing the lies of the TPLF and educating Ethiopians. The professor uses his potent intellect and facts to rebut or whip the ass of the ethno-fascist regime of the TPLF. The TPLF guys like `Dawi` can not produce any shred of evidence that debunks the professor and hence resort to personal attacks and demonizations. The World Bank, International Monetary Fund and the other international organizations that offer loans and aid to the TPLF have all lost their credibility and can not be trsted. They are only recycling the cooked or sexed up figures of the TPLF. The big famine that is affecting the lives of 15-20 millions of Ethiopians has laid bare the TPLF growth propaganda. Again, the TPLF is trying to repair the damage the famine has done to its propaganda machine by hiring the services of the greedy and immoral persons like Alex de Waal.

  25. ምሪጌታ
    | #25

    የሰሞኑ ፋሲካ የ እድሜ ልክ ህማማት ጾም ሆነ :: አሉ አክፋዮች

  26. Freedom
    | #26

    Continued from prior post,
    What Dr. de Waal is describing is a HORSE and PONY show.
    The good doc is the hired writer.
    Ato Mulugeta Gebrehiwot berhe is the director.
    TPLF the producer
    TPLF slaves the actors.

    Dr. de Waal said,
    “By 2015, when El Niño brought the worst drought in decades, Ethiopia was better prepared than ever. In the intervening decade, the government had begun programs to help families facing food shortages with various forms of food and cash assistance. It had taken measures to mitigate the effects of droughts, rehabilitating water catchments, reforesting and building roads and clinics, especially in the countryside.
    The government also had money on hand. Ethiopia is a petroleum importer, and the central bank had set aside nearly $1 billion in case oil prices rose, Finance Minister Abdulaziz Mohammed told me. But instead oil prices had plummeted, and within a few months of the drought hitting, the government had spent some $300 million on emergency relief, with more to come.”
    To say Ethiopian gov is better prepared for the current famine is totally ridiculous. It was totally unprepared. The $1 billion dollar in central bank, IF TRUE, was in case the oil price went up. It wasn’t in case famine/drought manifested. The good doc due to negligence, laziness and carelessness did not even mention how much money, IF ANY, was walled in by ethio gov incase our frequent nemesis FAMINE strikes again. So, it wasn’t the ingenuity, cleverness or preparedness of ethio leaders that brought the oil price down, it was the oversupply of oil thanks to US oil producers. Thankfully ethio gov and people got lucky IF the money was used to help our starving people. Had oil price remained high or gone up, the $1 billion would have been used to buy oil in order to run all the illegal businesses of TPLF and its partner in crime, the brutal dictators of the Chinese communist party while many more of our folks die of famine.

    Being lucky is not the same us being well prepared. May be in your fantasy world they are one and the same.
    I have the following questions for the good doc, Dr. de Waal
    1. What are the accomplishments of your organization, World Peace Foundation (WPF) in Africa and all over the world?
    Your foundation was established in 1910 and is currently affiliated with Fletcher school of Law and Diplomacy.
    Your foundation aims to provide leadership on issues of peace, justice and security and provides financial support only for projects that it initiated.
    Since your foundation’s inception in 1910, so many wars, injustices and insecurity had happened. Hence, your foundation had been and continues to be inconsequential since it did not prevent any of the countless wars and injustices since 1910. It rather can be characterized as a self serving organization that enriches yourself and staff by duping the world with false claims of agents and scholars of peace.
    2. How do you and your organization claim to be an expert in African affairs when only one out of the fourteen board members of your foundation is of African origin. This African is of Egyptian origin and is a gynecologist. You organization will most likely use her gynecology expertise and her contribution to the organization’s mission of providing leadership on issues of world peace, justice and security will be nil or negligible.
    The World Peace Foundation (WPF) is affiliated solely with Tufts University’s The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. Your association with tuft university is a lucrative relationship as your graduate program costs $70,000 per year. I am sure WPF board members get paid handsomely for lecturing at the university. I will also bet my bottom dollar that people of African origin make up a very small percentage, perhaps less than 5%, of the student population . Without adequate and diverse representation of people of African origin at the board and student level, it will be very difficult to understands the origin of the complex and multifaceted African problems. If the origin is not well understood, then the proposed solution will miss the mark 100% of the time. It is a CRAPSHOOT and dangerous.

  27. Dawi
    | #27

    Another Prolific writing “Does Ethiopia Need a Constitution?” was posted at Al Mariam’s Commentaries on May 22, 2016.

    This writing conveniently overlooks the history of Ethiopian Student Movement and distorts the history of London conference by making TPLF the only bigwig; Suffice is to mention there was a strong EPLF army with 30 years of struggle under its belt waiting for the inevitability of an exit from Ethiopian union as acknowledged by TPLF that formed an alliance with it to defeat the Derg; OLF was another force that claimed the role of the representative of more than 30% of the population.

    On the table of the London conference then, EPRDF, OLF, EPLF represented nationalist movements. So “T-TPLF” wasn’t the only player that forced all decisions on the destiny of the future Ethiopia as Prof. Al is making it look like.

    OLF was known to draft the “Ethnic Federation” to begin with! And it won’t be hard for one to fathom that the right of “secession” clause has the dirty hands of EPLF written all over it.

    Prof. Al again conveniently forgets the student fight under the banner of “Land to the Tiller” that agitated for radical agrarian reform during the time of HIM. ESM championed the right to self-determination, after all, didn’t it? “..Walelign’s prescription of self-administration up to cessation for the politically marginalized became the rallying factor for the would-be guerrilla fighters including “T-TPLF” who later defeated the Marxist Derg regime..”

    Application of Stalin’s National Question on Ethiopia’s concrete condition certainly did not start with “T-TPLF” as Prof. Al is telling us in this piece then. ESM defended the equality of nationalities and religions before them.

    There is no reason to distort history; we should give credit where credit is due.

  28. Dawi
    | #28

    Freedom said:

    [[..Being lucky is not the same us being well prepared. May be in your fantasy world they are one and the same…]]

    “I am a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it.” – Thomas Jefferson

    “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity”

    Bravo EPRDF!!

  29. Dawi
    | #29

    Prof. Al on “Does Ethiopia Need a Constitution?” said:

    [[..The question is NOT if Ethiopia needs a new constitution.
    The question is, “Does Ethiopia need a constitution?”, since it currently does not have one...]]

    Prof. Al will probably not dare say same to the US Constitution that has all kinds of flows?

    Starting….”The people who wrote the Constitution lived in a small rural country, huddled along the Eastern Seaboard — a large part of which was financed by slave labor. … Many of them believed that it was OK to own other human beings. Almost all of them believed that women should have no role in public affairs. Almost all of them believed people … without property have no role in public affairs.”

    I guarantee you he will find a way of teaching the above racist, sexist and what have you scribbling of the archaic folks in his class without blinking his eyes justifying its draw backs without hesitation.

    Be that as it may, Prof. Al was smart enough to jump to 1964 “civil rights struggle in the U.S” where leaders often used the “metaphor” of the “Five Fingers” to teach the grassroots on the importance of unity and went on to declare.. “Ethiopians can learn from that “metaphor” as they work to create a “more perfect union”.

    How about using the “metaphor” of EPRDF that has established networks to the lowest household level? The most pervasive of which is the so-called one-to-five groupings (Tirnefa) then? I gather G7 is maybe cracking/adapting that “metaphor” as we speak?? Where up to five households are bonded together as the lowest ‘developmental’ cells. BTW, that “metaphor’ is also known to be a good medicine to fend off terrorists for good from any country? :)

  30. Dawi
    | #30

    Cont’d from #29

    Having said that, the Ethiopian Constitution, as all constitutions, must be seen as a living document in constant need of adapting to changing circumstances and to evolving human knowledge. It is therefore crucial to reconsider reforming when necessary.

  31. colenel
    | #31


  32. Shewarega
    | #32

    A baboon would understand a quotation. I simply agreed with De Waals statement which has been widely accepted based on a research done by a Nobel prize winning economists, Amartya Sen. I think it would be too much for you to figure this out.I will leave it at that.
    On the personal notes: yes my dad was a Colonel who served more than 30 years in Eritrea, Tigray and Gonder. He started his career as a member of the Royal Guard. He was damn good fighter. The woyanes will tell you about him because they never made it neither to Debarq nor Dabat while he was the stationed there. If you happen to be in Debarq, he is a legend. Name any major battle in Eritrea, he was there with more winnings than losses. He was just a great fighter earned his rank through his blood. I wish there were as many good Colonels during his time. So don’t reduce his service to ten years, don’t limit him only to Eritrea. I don’t expect you to know the difference between serving a regime and serving a country. I don’t think you are equipped to think rationally.
    I use my real name because I don’t have a family back ground to be ashamed of, why don’t you use your real name? You don’t have a spine to stand for what you believe, I presume. The life of my dad is the story I am passing to my children. I don’t wanna go personal and call you out for who you are because I value the friendship I have with your brother. How did I know who you are?

  33. ስዩም አሰፋ
    | #33

    ስዩም አሰፋ :

    ስዩም አሰፋ : conelel
    What a shame on you, you traying critisized the one who serve his country for his entir life protect his country from woyane instead of concern the idea who wrote shewarega. You are the one who live to eat rather to live with the duality. First of all you need to revil your name if you are with trouth.

  34. ስዩም አሰፋ
    | #34

    What a shame on you, you traying critisized the one who serve his country for his entir life protect his country from woyane.
    Instead of concern the idea who wrote shewarega. You are the one who live to eat rather to live with the riality. First of all you need to revil your name if you are with truth. Colonel Assefa was the one Ethiopia had heroes he sacrifices his lief time,families his wealth as well so please think with your mind instead of your bally.

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