Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Ethiopian dictatorship uses food aid to punish dissent: HRW

Human Rights Watch has accused the Ethiopian regime of using food aid to punish political opponents.

HRW reports that farmers who do not support the ruling party of Prime Minister Meles Zenawi are rebuffed in their attempts to gain access to loans, fertilizer and seeds.

The NGO added families of opposition members are banned from a food for work project which supports seven million poor people in Ethiopia.

These are particularly heinous acts in a country suffering from chronic food shortages.

Ethiopia is one of the world's largest recipients of foreign aid, receiving over $3 billion from abroad in 2008.

Despite these actions and the de facto dictatorship's repressive crackdown on dissent, HRW noted that foreign aid to the regime doubled between 2004 and 2008.

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