“Meles Zenawi was hailed last year by Tony Blair as a leading member of a new generation of African leaders, and was praised for his enlightened approach to the continent’s problems. Indeed, the Ethiopian Prime Minister impressed Mr Blair so much that he asked him to become a member of his much-vaunted Commission for Africa.”
Meles, however, is a dictator, murdering political opponents, rigging elections, launching wars against his neighbours and stealing Western aid. Read a full profile here.
“Redeem Ethiopia” reveals the true face of a new colonialism – Western aid:
“In Ethiopia today, thanks to aid, we have a government that totally ignores its own people while it is completely beholden to the interests of those giving it aid. In a sense we have a colony, an aid colony that is administered by locals, but answerable to those who finance it. For Meles, what is at stake is his ability to rule for however long he wishes, sustained by the “development” money he receives from his friends.”
I heard similar arguments while travelling around the occupied territories in Palestine. A number of Palestinians said they desperately needed Western financial support, but much of it was simply directed at maintaining the status-quo and the occupation, rather than a struggle against the colonial masters, Israel and the US.