Adis Ababa: As per CIA documents, there is evidence that money meant for aid in famine-struck Ethiopia during 1984-85 was diverted to fund the rebels.
Apparently this startling revelation has been made by the some former rebel leaders themselves who have reportedly told the BBC that that they posed as merchants in meetings with charity workers to get aid money.
In a country that was brewing with internal dissent at the time, the cash was used to fund strategies aimed at overthrowing the then government. There was infighting in the northern provinces of Eritrea and Tigray and because much of the countryside was outside of government control, relief agencies brought aid in from Sudan.
There have been allegations against Meles Zenawi who was the country’s Prime Minister in 1991 of his involvement. However, when contacted, Meles' office declined to comment.
It is noteworthy that this all took place at the height of the Cold War when erstwhile USSR had poured USD 4 billion into Ethiopia and also sent its officers to assist Ethiopia against the unrest.
First Published: Wednesday, March 03, 2010, 16:45