Is humanitarian assistance used as a political weapon in Ethiopia?
SR News have been recently receiving complains that humanitarian assistance such as Productive Safety Net (PSNP) which is supported by UN and World Bank but managed by the local government is used as a political weapon in view of the fact that beneficiaries are threatened to either attend the Prosperity Party rallies or will not receive PSNP money.
Such accusations of using humanitarian assistance for a political weapon are very emotive. Especially when they are made in the Somali region and Ethiopia — a country that saw more than 1 million of its people starve to death in the 1984 famine.
Recently, political rallies in Kabridahare and Suftu towns are reportedly linked to PSNP distribution where people were threatened that anyone who doesn’t show up for the PP rally will not receive PSNP money. The opposition parties already started accusing some officials of only allowing ruling party members to benefit from a long-running PSNP assistance that is intended for more than seven million people in the country.
Reportedly, Ethiopians are expected to go to the polls to vote in national elections very soon and the opposition started complaining that humanitarian assistance is already being used as a political weapon to force their members to either submit to PP rallies or being denied receiving any assistance especially at a time where the economy of the country was severely affected by COVID19 and ongoing locust invasion which is wreaking havoc in many parts of the country.
We appeal to the donors to investigate this allegation and take appropriate measures to monitor the assistance they give to the government of Ethiopia.
According to the truck drivers who spoke to ETV, lives were lost in the attacks near #Gebregurahca; there is also a truck which was burned and stranded.
They also said when reporting the incident, authorities in Oromia blamed the attacks on #OLF (Shene) armed members and offered no more help.
Genanaw Tibebu, Oromia Police Commission Deputy Commissioner, on his part admitted that the attacks happen, but denied the involvement of Oromia regional state’s Special Forces. The deputy Commissioner blamed the attacks as committed likely by former members of the security forces who deserted & anti-peace elements.
Furthermore deputy Commissioner Genanaw blamed those spreading false information for political gains. He also denied truck transports were discontinued and the police were in pursuit of the anti-peace elements responsible for the attack.