Ethiopian Ambassador to South Africa Discuss with Home Affairs Minister and King Zwelithini on the protection of Ethiopian Immigrants

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10 Responses

  1. Meshesha Betremariam says:

    The Land policy of Ethiopia is to be blamed for the mass illegal migration of Ethiopians throughout the world. Food is getting more and more difficult for Ethiopians to find in their own country due to the greed driven land policy of Ethiopia’s federal and local administration officials.

    30 years after images of Ethiopian famine haunted British TV screens, they still shape how we see Africa – and ensure we fail to understand.
    It’s 30 years since Michael Buerke’s harrowing report of a ‘biblical famine’ reached BBC TV screens. Following a year of cynical government inaction and silence, Bob Geldof launched a frenzied celebrity campaign to get aid to the famine-hit regions.

    Money from the public, if not the government, poured into the country. But in the process, the politics of what was happening in Ethiopia was completely erased, and our ideas of ‘charity’, ‘hunger’ and indeed ‘Africa’, were changed in fundamental ways which to this day are difficult to challenge.

    The BBC remains proud of its reporting of Ethiopia’s famine, and certainly it directed public attention to a horrific situation. But it did this at the price of understanding what was really happening in Ethiopia, a problem compounded by Bob Geldof who insisted on seeing the famine as a terrible ‘natural disaster’.

    In fact Ethiopia’s authoritarian government under Mengistu Haile Mariam, heavily armed by the Soviet Union as a key proxy player in the Cold War, was waging a war against Eritrean and Tigrayan freedom fighters. Drought was being used by Mengistu as one tool to starve and defeat the rebel areas.

    Yet when aid started flowing in, it largely went to the Ethiopian government itself, which further used that aid to forcibly displace thousands of opponents. In an excellent article for the Guardian, former BBC journalist Suzanne Franks makes clear just how problematic the aid effort was:

    “Victims of famine were lured into feeding camps only to be forced on to planes and transported far away from their homes. Some estimate the number of deaths from this policy to be higher than those from famine.”

    As Franks says, Médecins sans Frontières refused to play along – a principled position they have maintained in humanitarian emergencies ever since. War on Want sent aid directly to rebel areas, where it was administered by the rebel infrastructures and senior Labour Party figures like Glenys Kinnock continued to support the Eritrean People’s Liberation Front and expose the horrific circumstances they were facing.

    But by and large, aid agencies played along with the politics as the best chance they had of getting aid in. Indeed, the Ethiopian famine played a huge role in the enormous growth of the aid industry over the next few years.

    Unfortunately, I’m not convinced that such a situation would be tackled more honestly today. Partly that’s because the way Ethiopia was treated fundamentally shaped the way we view Africa. Our idea of starving Ethiopians – helpless, passive and in desperate need of Western salvation – became our image of Africa as a whole. Media and governments played a role, but the biggest culprit was the aid organisations themselves, who understood it was untruthful, but found it an incredibly successful way of raising money.

    In a report commissioned several years ago called ‘Finding Frames’, researchers found that this framing of Africa – what they describe as the ‘Live Aid’ legacy – remains incredibly strong today. Swept away is the political context of Africa – the decades of Empire and slavery through to structural adjustment and debt crisis. Also ignored are the many examples of African resistance and success – from the national liberation governments of the 1950 through to Thomas Sankara’s transformation of Burkina Faso up to 1987. Africa’s agency is marginalised.

    The idea that we are a ‘Powerful Giver’ to ‘Grateful Receiver’ continues to dominate the aid discourse today, constantly reinforced by some aid agencies who still insist of perpetuating offensive imagery in order to raise funds.

    It’s important we use the anniversary of the Ethiopian famine not simply to show ‘how far Ethiopia has come’, after all Ethiopian civilisation long precedes our own. Rather we should use it to review our image of, and relationship towards Africa, and refuse to support those organisations which still grow rich on the ‘Live Aid’ legacy.

    .

    • ደቦል says:

      እውነት ቀፎ ነህ! ፈታኝ ክስተቶችን ለራስህ ፖለቲካ ማራመጃነት መጠቀም አድሃሪነት ብቻ ሳይሆን መሃይምነትም ጭምር ነው!!! ለመሆኑ ለሃገርህ ያበረከትከው ነገ አለን???

  2. axumawit says:

    Very sad S.Africans look in wrong place solutions for the problems they still face.

  3. what says:

    @Meshesha Betremariam
    you think like a child! grow up to understand the western distruction methods before you attach your home land where things are improving dramatically with less resources.

  4. Addis says:

    And you wrote this in relation to what? You though this was the right time and situation to pass your political views? People are being burnt alive but no you are stuck in 1984! You are a disgrace. People like you are causing all this misery! Prayers to all those affected.

  5. Dany says:

    Why don’t opposition parties along with EPRDF organize a mass rally at the South African Embassy to condemn the barbaric acts of South Africans against our compatriots .
    Show us at least you are from one country , our beloved country ,despite political differences !!Rise up and Condemn!!
    If you cannot make it together , let the masses go to the streets and SA embassy to condemn the acts freely .

  6. Sol says:

    It is a shame South Africans those who begging the rest for help now are burning innocent hard working people, savage people and government , a police laughing while an immigrants killed, apartheid was too small for them, shame on you South Africans ,

  7. Abadi says:

    I have not words to experce about south african government doing over Ethoipia

  8. tsegsbu says:

    Hi falks,
    I strongly condemned what’s happened to my people in South Africa and in Libya. This is barbaric and savagery perpated in the name of our peaceful religion. I give my ddeepest condelences and lost loveones to their families. We ethiopians are the one who give them trained and armed them how to be independent from their apartheid governmen. HHistory will judge us this is what we deserve to Ethiopian people.

  9. engda says:

    What happened going ,it is painful for concerned Gov’t of South Africa and in Libya . are they govern er? I haven’t the word to express about the condition really .God will make the best.

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