While the movie and record label cartels complain profits are being eroded by file sharers, people in Ethiopia are starving to death. In 2006, RIAA boss Mitch Bainwol ‘earned’ $1472944
Where’s the balance?
An investigation by the Bureau of investigative journalism and BBC and BBC Newsnight reveals communities are being denied basic food, seed and fertilizer for failing to support prime minister Meles Zenawi,” says the bureau.
“Posing as tourists the team of journalists travelled to the southern region of Ethiopia,” says the BBC.
They found villages whole communities starving, having allegedly been denied basic food, seed and fertiliser for failing to support Prime Minister Meles Zenawi (right).
The investigation also gathered evidence of mass detentions, the widespread use of torture and killings by Ethiopian government forces.
Yet Western donors including Britain – which is the third largest donor to Ethiopia – stand accused of turning a blind eye by continuing to provide aid money despite being warned about the abuses.
“The aid in question is long-term development aid, not the emergency aid provided in response to the current drought in Ethiopia and its neighbours in the Horn of Africa,”
Ambassador Abdirashid Dulane, the Deputy Head of Ethiopia’s UK Mission, has rejected the allegations saying that the Newsnight/Bureau report “lacked objectivity, even-handedness”.
The team found villagers eating leaves in order to survive
“The sole source of the story was opponents of Ethiopia who have been rejected by the electorate, and time and again it has been shown that their allegations are unfounded”.
Reporters visited one village in southern Ethiopia with a population of about 1,700 adults.
Despite being surrounded by other communities which are well fed and prosperous, this village, which cannot be named for fear of reprisals, is starving. They were told that in the two weeks prior to our team’s arrival five adults and 10 children had died.
Lying on the floor, too exhausted to stand, and flanked by her three-year-old son whose stomach is bloated by malnutrition, one woman described how her family had not eaten for four days.
A three-year-old boy lay in his grandmother’s lap, listless and barely moving as he stared into space.
“We are just waiting on the crop, if we have one meal a day we will survive until the harvest, beyond that there is no hope for us,” the grandmother said.
“The problem is that Ethiopia commands a strategically important geographic position,says the bureau
‘Western leaders resist speaking up against Zenawi’s repressive regime by invoking stability interests. Besides attempting to depict Ethiopia as a success story of development assistance, EU and the US like to portray their ‘aid darling’ as a partner in the fight against terrorism and a crucial actor for stability in the Horn of Africa,’ says MEP Ana Gomes, who was the chief election observer for the European Union during the 2005 Ethiopian
In another village 30 km (19 miles) away it was a similar story.”This year the UK will hand out £290m, not including the £48m in emergency aid announced last month, a massive 24-fold increase over the past decade. The EU provided £152m last year,” says the investigation.
This year the UK will hand out £290m, not including the £48m in emergency aid announced last month, a massive 24-fold increase over the past decade. The EU provided £152m last year.