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Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Ethiopian Man Does What We Should Do: Expose Foreign Aid

Ethiopia's Gambella region

It's not just the comic - but in reality tragic - waste of public money from both the Department for International Development (DFID) and the Legal Aid system.

It's also the umpteenth confirmation that the money given to Third World countries as foreign aid helps local tyrants to better oppress their people. And it's one of those very people now who is saying it not only in words but also in actions, so convinced he is of it as to be prepared to sue Britain. "Ethiopian farmer gets legal aid... To sue us for sending aid to Ethiopia: Case that will be funded by taxpayers branded as 'ridiculous' by MPs":
Ethiopian man launches taxpayer funded legal action against British Government despite never having set foot in the country.

Farmer claims ministers are funding a one-party state in his homeland that has helped regime inflict 'brutal treatment' on thousands.

Taxpayers will pay for both the farmer's lawyers and a defence team from the Department for International Development.

Legal action has been branded as farcical, bizarre and ridiculous by MPs angry he was able to lodge court documents before law change...

The 33-year-old Ethiopian – granted anonymity to protect his family – says ministers are funding a one-party state in his country that has breached his human rights. He says foreign aid helped the regime inflict ‘brutal treatment’ on thousands of farmers driven from their land, against the International Development Act 2002.

Taxpayers will pay for both the farmer’s lawyers and a defence team from the Department for International Development, in a case that could cost tens of thousands of pounds. This is in addition to the £1.3billion Britain has sent to Ethiopia since 2010...

Papers lodged earlier this year state he had to leave his family and flee to a refugee camp in Kenya after being beaten and tortured trying to protect his land. The UK has contributed to a £510million Protection of Basic Services fund which has allegedly ‘contributed’ to the programme of displacing the farmers.

O [the farmer] is not personally seeking compensation, but wants the Government to change its aid policies and stop bankrolling brutal regimes. If he succeeds, ministers could be forced to review donations to other nations accused of atrocities, such as Pakistan and Rwanda.
Stopping bankrolling Pakistan would be an excellent idea, as I have written before in this blog, and indeed even better would be to isolate Pakistan as it was done with South Africa.

What is particularly ironic in this story is that it was the drought and famine crisis in the country in question, Ethiopia, that in the '80s inspired Bob Geldof and other pop singers to launch Band Aid, so that Ethiopia became the symbol of these misguided efforts to help the Third World.

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