Ethiopia’s OLF says govt continue to rob food aid
Oromo Liberation Front – Press Release
The TPLF Government Continue to Rob Food Aid
September 6, 2006 “” It is a public secret that more than 10 million people are starving in Ethiopia. This is mainly the result of TPLF’s failed economic policies and lack of personal freedom. On the other hand, the government is using starvation as a weapon to silence the poor people and making them to focus on their daily bread than on the larger problem that the country is facing. Western governments and NGOs are responding to the incidence of starvation by providing food aid. Although this is the generosity by donors, our people are not making use of this support. It is the government is using the aid as a political tool.
The Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) has repeatedly recounted that the government of Ethiopia is diverting the aid to feed its own army or sell the food items provided as aid. We have also informed the international community that the government is using food aid to gain political support. They have been distributing food aid only to those who accepted their political program and denying those who question any of their failed policy. This is contrary to what the aid program has been meant for.
What is currently going on at food aid stations in Shashemenne, Wolayita and Finfinne (Addis Ababa) run by Oxfam and Alula Care is a good example. The aid was ear marked for the starved people in the southern Oromia and Somali region. However, with a direct order from the federal government office the aid are being loaded and sold somewhere else. Even though this is not a new phenomenon, the government is claiming that the owners and drivers of the trucks carrying the aid are stealing the aid food. Actually the government agents have been organizing and misdirecting the food aid by paying the drivers a lump sum of money corresponding to the volume of food they are transporting.
The following table summarizes the drama.
No. Plate No. of the truck Driver name Owner of truck Amount
loaded /quintal/ Dispatch No. Exit no. Date of dispatch Money paid
1 3-04879 Sisaay Yilmaa Riyad Ahmad 100 23884
2 3-21792/05501 Indashow Fallaqaa Birhaanee W/ Sillasee 250 23879
3 3-12947 or 3-29471 Nasir Aman Jamal Shikur 120 23900 32377 13/06/2006 6,000.00
4 3-11256 Kamal Umar Tariku Ijiguu 120 23934 32424 17/06/2006 6,600.00
5 3-27594/07740 Samu’el katamaa Tasfaye dastaa 380 23935 32413 19/06/2006 11,800.00
6 3-13303 Kifle Boggale Dani’el G/Tatiwos 182.59 24262 35035 06/07/2006 10,000.00
7 3-13393 Damise Wariye Li’ul Marqos 300 23936 32408 19/06/2006 16,000.00
8 3-22190 or 3-08912 Yared Tasfaye Balay Balachow 250 24305 32475 19/06/2006 11,500.00
9 3-16019 Alam Ara’ayaa Firew Girma 150 24307 32462 19/06/2006 7,000.00
10 3-02601 or
3-07175 Sintayohu Axnafu Shifaa Sharif 286.36 24347
11 3-11757 Alabachow Kabbade Dani’el G/tatiwos 257.93 24319 32494 27/06/2006 10,000.00
12 3-27699 Indale Idiris Dawit Nigus 182.53 24325 35021 27/06/2006 6,000.00
13 3-19456 Addis Habte Lamma Habte 125 24351
14 3-15299 Shamsu Samman Ahmad Indiris 100 24371 32439 21/06/2006 11,600.00
15 3-02940 or 3-06414 Nardos Gizow KidaneG/mariyam 250 24376 32447 21/06/2006 10,000.00
16 3-21161 FasilTasfaye Nuradin Ahmad 200 24386 32476 24/06/2006 6,200.00
The above table shows that more than 3250 quintals of aid have been stolen by the government during the month of June alone. With the current market value of Birr 250 per quintal, the total amount of money stolen from the food aid depot sums up to more than Birr 815, 000 (more than USD 100,000).
We, therefore, request all donors to transport the food aid they provide and devise a mechanism that ensures their food aid reaches the needy people. We also ask the international community, US government, EU and AU to put necessary pressure on Ethiopian government to allow aid agencies to deliver food aid to the victims. It is our conviction that unless the government’s sinister activity is curbed soon the already debilitating conditions of the population in Ethiopia will continue to worsen.
OLF Foreign Relation