| by Thomas C. Mountain
( April 15, 2012, Asmara- Eritrea, Sri Lanka Guardian) While southern Ethiopia and the Ogaden continues to suffer from the worst drought and famine in 60 years the UN’s World Food Program (WFP) has been turning over all its food aid for the region to the Ethiopian military which uses it to feed the paramilitary death squads conducting a counterinsurgency in the region.
|Women collect food aid in the World Food Programme’s urban HIV and Aids programme in Ethiopia. Photograph: Mark Tran- Guardian UK|
The crimes committed by the UN in the Horn of Africa are legion and the WFP is not new to using its aid as a weapon against the people of our region (see WFP; Angel of Mercy or Angel of Death).
Over the past decade this writer has interviewed several UN workers who described how the UN through the WFP has been secretly turning over thousands of tons of food aid directly to the Ethiopian military instead of distributing it to the millions of starving Ethiopians and Ogadenis it was meant for.
The Ethiopian generals in turn use it as payment for the para-militaries, the “Liyu-police” they use as cover to do their dirty work, carrying out ethnic cleansing, mass murder and an ongoing scorched earth program in southern Ethiopia and in the south east in the Ogaden against the population in areas where the insurgency is raging against the Ethiopian regime.
What food is left over is sold by the Ethiopian generals on the black market with the proceeds pocketed, all the while millions are left to starve.
And what is the UN doing about this crime? Their motto seems to be “silence is golden” and silent they remain since they last sent teams to investigate the region in 2007, the reports of which have remained under lock and key in UN headquarters in Addis Ababa.
With the Red Cross (ICRC) and Doctors Without Borders (MSF) both expelled from southern Ethiopia and the Ogaden since 2007 there is no one other than the resistance movement to protest these crimes. Two Swedish journalist who attempted to enter the region in 2011 paid dearly, almost murdered by the Ethiopian death squads and now rotting in an Ethiopian dungeon convicted as “terrorists”.
All the while the real terrorists, the mafia calling itself the Government of Ethiopia headed by its godfather Meles Zenawi is free to carry out it’s crimes aided and abetted by the UN’s WFP, amongst others.
WFP, angel of mercy or devil in disguise? You be the judge.
Thomas C. Mountain is the only independent western journalist in the Horn of Africa living and reporting from Eritrea since 2006. He can be reached at thomascmountain at yahoo dot com.