Ethiopia: Foreign aid must not support oppression in the Horn of Africa

Human rights violations are growing worse in Oromia. This is illustrated by the kidnapping and subsequent killings of Oromo refugees by the Ethiopian security forces.

Despite such gruesome violations of human rights, some Western governments have kept on providing technical and financial support to the dictatorial regime, to the detriment of the oppressed.

These simmering, bitter complaints have drawn thousands of Oromo men and women to the streets throughout Europe and North America since August 2013. 

The Oromo have gone through one ordeal of oppression after another since the last quarter of the 19th Century, and the current Ethiopian government has committed extreme human rights violations. Innocent Oromo children, older men and women were massacred by the Ethiopian troops at Kofale in the province of Arsi on 3 August 2013, and Oromo refugees in the neighbouring countries have been abducted and murdered by the Ethiopian undercover security forces.

The Ethiopian government’s ruthlessness has not triggered anger either in the White House or in Downing Street. I am not entirely sure what the Western powers that provide the Ethiopian government with financial aid of $500,000,000 each year did to condemn the Kofale massacre of August 2013.

Besides this, other atrocities have remained concealed from the world. It is such a pity to see the Western democratic countries funding the Ethiopian government despite these incidents.

Aid should not be given to be used as an instrument of oppression. The Western governments bestowing the money ought to, at least, make sure that the donation is spent in accordance with measurable benchmarks of human rights and the will of the subject. This should be augmented by some form of retributive measure. Otherwise, I suppose, disaffection with the West might mature into another, perhaps more costly phase that could exacerbate the worsening instability in the Horn of Africa.

Image: Oroma woman

Credit: Martin Justicia

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Date: 07/10/2013




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