Ethiopia Pursuing War of Aggression using Foreign Aid
By: Sophia Tesfamariam
May 6, 2005

Relief Web on 13 April 2005 posted the following on Ethiopia:

Furthermore, in its 25 April 2005 report under the title "ETHIOPIA: UNICEF says malnutrition serious in some places", as if the world was oblivious to Ethiopia's multitude of recurring problems, IRIN said:

"...Ethiopia is facing serious malnutrition in 25 hot spots around the country and is in dire need of funding to avert deaths... The main problem is the critical lack of resources."

Reading such kind of statements on Ethiopia is not new or shocking. What is shocking and disgusting is the fact that nobody is asking why Ethiopia is in this predicament yet again.  The G8 Embassies, as well as the numerous international NGOs stationed in Ethiopia, know very well that the main problem is not "the critical lack of resources" but as many independent analysts, groups and nations have repeatedly stated, it is the misuse, misallocation, and misappropriation of Ethiopia's abundant human, material and other resources by successive Ethiopian regimes, most especially the present Tigrayan minority regime in Ethiopia.  They have all pursued disastrous and unrealistic policies that continue to exacerbate the suffering of the Ethiopian people.

It is shameful to read hourly reports, day in and day out, for weeks, months and years that there is a the "dire need of funding to avert deaths, measles, famine, polio etc. etc. in Ethiopia", while Ethiopia is endowed with fertile agricultural lands, abundant natural wealth and hardworking human resources.

I was also not surprised to read on Walta Information Center (WIC), the official Ethiopian government site, a shamelessly posted news report on 4 May 2005 under the heading "Ethiopia among the largest EU aid recipient countries in world,EU Delegation Head says" which it said:

"...Ethiopia has been one of the main beneficiaries of EU's aid in the world during the past three decades... Head of EU Delegation to Ethiopia, Timothy Clarke said the Union has extended 2 billion Euro support to Ethiopia over the past 30 year making it one of the largest EU aid recipient countries in the world... Clarke said the aid goes to financing food security, transportation and health care development projects undertaken by government, civil societies and NGOs..." 

Add what other government give to Ethiopia which I am pretty sure will add up to be more than $30 billion, but 30 years later, it makes all of us wonder what happened to this "aid". Why is Ethiopia still dependent on foreign aid and food handouts? I leave that for the readers and the Ethiopian people to answer.

It is a matter of public record that, in addition to the European Union, individual countries like the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany and others, as well as international financial institutions such as the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and the United Nations and its related institutions etc. have all provided budgetary and other financial support, aid etc. to Ethiopia for the last 5 decades. Today international donors subsidize 65% of Ethiopia's national budget. Yet, Ethiopia remains the poorest nation in the world and the Ethiopian people are living in desperate conditions, with no light at the end of the tunnel. Where is all the money going? Who is benefiting from the massive amounts of funds that are funneled into Ethiopia each year in the name of budgetary support, humanitarian aid, development aid, and debt relief? Obviously it is not the Ethiopian people.

Today in Ethiopia, 15% of the population is dependent on food aid, and Ethiopia is in the bottom of the ladder, (I believe it is 4th from the bottom or second) according to the human development index published by the United Nations and 15 million are infected with HIV-Aids, which has also earned Ethiopia the shameful spot of being one of the countries on the list that are covered by President Bush's HIV-Aids Initiative.

The Tigrayan minority regime in Ethiopia led by Meles Zenawi, instead of providing the basic needs of food, water and shelter for the people of Ethiopia, following gin the footsteps of its predecessors the regime once again diverting much needed funds for the purchase of fighter planes, arms and artillery in pursuit of its wars of aggression and expansion against neighboring countries such as Eritrea. It is also using it for consolidating its intelligence and security apparatus that is solely organized to intimidate and kill the Ethiopian people in order to suppress their democratic rights. As a result Ethiopia and famine have become synonymous and the Ethiopian people have been used the begging tool.

By the way this has been the modus operandi of all successive Ethiopian regimes, but the street smart Meles Zenawi has made it his primary occupation. Perfecting the art of beggary while pursuing his agendas, utilizing Ethiopian human and material wealth for waging wars of aggression and expansion against Eritrea and other neighbors, Meles has been shuttling from Germany to France, France to England and from England to the United States, begging bowl in hand, asking for additional "quality foreign aid" and debt cancellation, hence making him the most recognized jet set beggar in international halls of government.  So it comes as no surprise to us that today the various governments, NGOs and international media outlets are actively participating in the sensationalization and romanticization (as seen in the recent flurry of "alerts", "news releases", "urgent appeals" etc. etc.) of aid to Ethiopia, in order to evoke guilt and charity from innocent well meaning European and American taxpayers.

To me, the cycle of war and famine in Ethiopia can be broken and development assistance can be properly utilized, only and only if, peace and stability is secured and guaranteed in the Horn of Africa. The speedy and unconditional demarcation of the Eritrean Ethiopian border in accordance with the Eritrea Ethiopia Border Commission's Final and Binding decision as well as its demarcation orders, procedures and instructions is a prerequisite. Then and only then can the people of the Horn of Africa utilize their abundant human and material wealth for productive economic activities.

The rule of law must prevail over the law of the jungle!