Ethiopia spends billions for weapons instead of millions for COVID19 vaccine

Ethiopia is seeing COVID19 infections climbing above previous peaks

While the Ethiopian government is fixated on buying weapons, spending over $2.5 billion this year, it is stingy about spending money to protect Ethiopians from the wave of COVID19 infections afflicting the globe. Reports indicate that expenditures for health and vaccination have been slowed down or halted in favor of the war effort. The past couple of days I have spoken to individuals and healthcare providers from Ethiopia who report that clinics are swamped with patients and hospitals overflowing.

According to the John Hopkins database Ethiopia is rapidly climbing with the highest infection rates seen to date. In fact for December 30, 2021 it was 4,998. This week it has gone from 4000 a week to over 4000 a day. With millions of displaced persons in Tigray(who have no access to healthcare, testing, or vaccination) and Northern Ethiopia one can easily assume this infection rate is artificially low.

According to Oxford University data base as of December 29, 2021 less than 2 million Ethiopians have been fully vaccinated which means two doses and does not include a third booster out of more then 110 million population. Less than 10 million received a single dose which wears off in a few months.

The COVAX program run by the World Health Organization in cooperation with the United Nations coordinates and provides vaccinations around the world including Ethiopia. Receiving countries have to pay a third of the cost to sustain the program. Although the program allocated 41 million doses for Ethiopia so far Ethiopia has only ordered 27 million of which 22 million where ready some time ago but they have not been delivered. Where they ever paid for?

In contrast to the COVAX official reports, the Ethiopian Ministry of Health reported to Reuters in February 2021 that an initial 9 million doses was secured at a cost of $328 million dollars with a promise to immunize 20% of the population by the end of year. Clearly the reality of that report is in question as nothing further has happened since February 2021. 

Ethiopia and Turkey now openly attacking UN humanitarians in Tigray

UN staff member Michael Hiluf was killed by an Ethiopian directed drone attack

We know that Turkish mercenary forces are the ones often operating drone attacks in Tigray and in fact Turkish flags are now flying over Ethiopian communities. During this Christmas season these operators had the audacity and inhumanity to attack a United Nations convoy carrying UN staff. Is Ethiopia now becoming a colony of Turkey?

Michael Hiluf was traveling with his daughter while traveling from Alamata to Mekelle when Turkish drones killed him and injured others. Everyday dozens of civilians are killed on the streets of villages and towns in Tigray. Because of the complete blockade of food, medicine, and fuel there is nothing that can be done to help this innocent lives adding to the loss. 

The killing of UN staff and innocent civilians is only cementing in place the clear reality that Ethiopia and its allies in genocide are committed in their evil purpose. This purpose is driven by the belief that any means of annihilation of the Tigray people is appropriate to eliminate ethnicity and culture which is not Amharic dominant. This is reinforced by an infrastructure of media propaganda, Amhara academics, clerico-fascists, and revisionist history of Ethiopia artificially synthesized by biased sources.

The impetus on this growing evil grows stronger when the UN and the Western democracies who have claimed to stand for human rights and democracy since World War II only remain silent. 

Prof. Kebede says eliminate ethnicity by any and all means to preserve Ethiopia

Dr. Kebede wrote an article in which he called for the “closure” of different ethnic groups in Ethiopia but also said aversions to other ethnic groups are learned and should be unlearned. This aversion is a major feature of the Abiy Ahmed regime in contrast to Dr. Kebede.

The latest writings of an Ethiopian diaspora academic living in USA are getting a lot of attention from Ethiopian government supporters.  Messay Kebede, continues the elitist view that authoritarian means are allowable to reach the goal of Ethiopian nationhood by eliminating non-Amharic ethnicity.  For many years this academic has been a source of building a sense of Amharic elitism under the false pretense of Ethiopian national identity.

Well recognized academic Dr. Messay Kebede wrote yesterday in the Ethiopia Observer that Ethiopia has no choice but to rapidly invade Tigray in light of its “military victory”. He like many of the Amahra elites are opposed to the UN and Western democracy requests for a cease fire but instead want the war to continue mercilessly. 

His writings have changed almost 180 degrees from what he was writing prior to Abiy Ahmed coming to power to what he is writing now in support of Abiy Ahmed.  Now he calls the goal of creating a nonethnic unified Ethiopia as a legitimate excuse for overwhelming force in Tigray and Oromo while saying nothing against genocide. Amazingly his calls for oppressive Ethiopian military action stand in stark contrast to what he stated in previous writings.

Previously in January 2021 he had called for Abiy Ahmed to take down the “Oromo elites” even if he had to use “authoritarian” means as the way to allow an Ethiopian nationhood to emerge from previous ethnic centered politics. He goes further in the recent writing to predict that the Tigray and Oromo will welcome Ethiopia forces as “liberators”. After my 7 years of living in Tigray including experiencing the occupation of Mekelle whilst carrying for hundred of Tigrayan victims of Abiy Ahmed’s directed atrocities I cannot imagine how this could be true. Previously the Tigray suffered for almost 2 decades under the Derg regime without surrender.

In 2016 he celebrated the development of Amharic resistance to the Ethiopia Peoples Revolutionary Democratic Front and called for the Oromo to join in that fight. He noted that other Amhara were fearful that joining with Oromo could strengthen the Oromo quest for secession. Interesting he stated at that time however that a government who had to call an army to quell rebellion was weak.

The mobilization of army units to crush a popular rebellion is not a sign of strength; it is the proof that the regime has lost all legitimacy so that it can only govern by force and intimidation. Such a regime is at the mercy of incidents, not to mention the inevitability of internal divisions and even of a coup d’état.

In this same 2016 writing, he called for those wanting change to insure that a new way of ruling is required. In other words those that come after the EPRDF should not rule in the same dominating way. This somewhat echoes the recent comments of former Ethiopian minister Falsin Abdi who resigned her position because she felt Abiy Ahmed was wanting to start a regime based upon Amhara domination. Now Messay Kebede seems to have forgotten his previous words.

This noted academic like many Amhara comes to his opinions based upon the idea that an Amharic defined Ethiopian nationalism is best for Ethiopia which requires the elimination of other ethnic identities. Whereas the Tigray and many Oromo fighting for liberation see ethnic preservation in a coalition is vital to preserving their culture and way of life.

Dr. Kebede has previously received acclaim from many among the Amhara intellectual elites for his writings on the causes and mechanisms of the Ethiopian revolution against the Derg regime in the book, Autopsy of the Ethiopian Revolution. Following the the Ethiopia People’s Revolutionary Front coming to power, Kebede was on the faculty at Addis Ababa University for 15 years. Many Amharic academics clashed with EPRDF policy of recognizing multiple ethnic identities and preserving regional autonomy including Dr. Kebede. After spending 5 months in jail he decided to immigrate to the United States in 1994 where he has been on the faculty at the University of Dayton since 1998.

Filsan Abdi former Ethiopian minister says Abiy Ahmed never wanted peace with Tigray

Former Ethiopian Minister of Women, Children, and Youth gave an interview to the Washington Post to “set the record straight” that Abiy Ahmed never wanted peace but instead was aiming for another “ethnic domination”

The Washington Post interview of the former Ethiopian Minister of Children, Women, and Youth, Filsan Abdi, shows the bravery and honesty of one high ranking official who chose to leave an immoral government at risk to herself and family choosing now to tell the truth about the Ethiopian leader Abiy Ahmed. Now outside the country she feels the need to speak out about why she left Ethiopia.

No one can accuse Filsan Abdi, sometimes identified as Filsan Abdullahi Ahmed, of being a Tigray Peoples Liberation Front sympathizer. She recalls the unfair treatment her family and other Ethiopian Somalis underwent at times under the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front formed by Meles Zenawi. She had hoped that Abiy Ahmed would create a better democratic Ethiopia but instead felt she was being drawn into another “ethnic domination”.

A pious Muslim whose faith teaches peace over war, that war has strict rules of engagement, and that protection of women and children as paramount she notes that what Abiy Ahmed was doing was more about “revenge” and power then justice. Hers was the lone voice in a government based upon deceit that loudly proclaimed that violations against women and civilians had been carried out by Eritrean and Ethiopian forces in Tigray following and investigation carried out by herself and the attorney general. In her recent interview she said the following about Abiy Ahmed’s cruel policies:

“But if we don’t back away from it, we are doomed,”

“One day we will wake up from this nightmare and have to ask ourselves: How will we live with the choices we made?”

The environment of Ethiopia under the current grasp of Abiy Ahmed and his Prosperity Party is of tight control of media and messaging. No dissent is allowed. Any expression of disagreement with official party views or news is considered an act of terrorism subjecting the offender to imprisonment without trial or hearing.

The political mechanism controlling the messages approved by Abiy Ahmed extends beyond the borders of Ethiopia into the internet alliances subsidized by China, Russia, Iran, and other authoritarian states. These alternative news sites, although perhaps they are better called “opinion” sites all claim victim hood suffered Western democracies against Iran, Eritrea, and all of Africa. For them they belief in a nefarious claim that Abiy Ahmed is the necessary hero taking the necessary actions even if grave in nature to free all Africans from this legacy.

The world as well those blindly following Abiy Ahmed’s inhumane policies should listen to this righteous woman who is pleading for a just outcome to the current crisis in Ethiopia which begins by recognizing truth from propaganda.

Ethiopian birr will hit 50 per dollar within days furthering economic collapse

The Ethiopian birr has continually degraded in value since 2018 and this has accelerated over the past year and falling faster the past few months

Complete collapse of the Ethiopian economy into a state of worthless currency and financial chaos is drawing closer every day. Long lines for diesel or gasoline costing many times its traditional costs are now a reality in the capital city of Addis Ababa. In a country where 50% of food requirements must be imported now the government has announced there will be no more food subsidy which will send prices soaring.

Over $2.5 billion in debt has been added just this year in payments to countries (UAE, Turkey, Iran )in hard foreign currency or gold reserves. This has resulted in cuts to medical services and supplies, education, infrastructure, and housing as well as the ending of food and fuel subsidies.

The Ethiopian government national debt is skyrocketing out of control under Abiy Ahmed leadership to levels that are unsustainable

The Ethiopian economy and the value of its currency has been on a continual downslide since Abiy Ahmed and his Prosperity Party took office in 2018. While for the previous 10 years the Ethiopian economy grew at 10% annually for the upcoming year it has become unpredictable but estimated to be -2 to -3% by the International Monetary Fund. Meanwhile the total Ethiopian government debt is now projected to be $60 billion by the end of 2022 and approach $100 billion in the next four years. The Ethiopian government now no longer publishes Consumer Price Index numbers.



Abiy Ahmed foreign debt threatening Ethiopia says leading Addis newspaper

Even business interests previously supporting Abiy Ahmed can no longer hide the economic disaster building in Ethiopia as reported in Addis Fortune today

The largest threat to the average Ethiopian outside of Tigray and Oromo is growing worse everyday. The threat is not military defeat in the ongoing war with Tigray and Oromo elements but the poor economic leadership of Abiy Ahmed and his Prosperity Party. Blind allegiance to Chinese economic policy is driving Ethiopia and other African countries to dependence and irreconcilable debt. The uncontrolled spending allowed by unprecedented borrowing well beyond recognized levels of GDP (gross domestic product) has reached a point where many economists say Ethiopia can never repay. The exact amount of military spending by Ethiopia over the past year exceeds $2.5 billion while the normal budget for the whole government is only $2 billion. 

Today’s headline in  the Addis Ababa newspaper, Addis Fortune, is “External Loans Spell Trouble”. This news source well known for being progovernment and rarely giving any criticism harder than a light mention today goes farther. Reporting that major Ethiopian infrastructure projects requiring more than $2 billion in loan funding are on hold and international grants are down 64 percent. Ethiopia’s main financial backer China has frozen further lending pending discussions with Abiy Ahmed who so far has refused to meet with China and others in cooperation with the International Monetary Fund.

Well researched economic studies on the impact of Chinese involvement in resource poor countries in Africa including Ethiopia have shown the following consequences: 

The influx of inexpensive Chinese products is also stifling Africa’s ability to produce similar goods. African governments welcome Chinese loans, which are usually used for infrastructure projects, but there are signs these loans are contributing to a debt problem in an increasing number of countries. Most Chinese aid to Africa consists of the concessionary component of these loans. Small Chinese traders have flocked to Africa, competing head-to-head with African counterparts. This has led to growing antagonism with African market traders, although African consumers welcome the competition.

While well established unbiased analysts hold Ethiopia’s growth rate this year is really -2%, Eyob Tekaleign, Minister of Finance has continued to lie boasting of GDP(gross domestic product) growth and economic growth greater than before the Tigray conflict began in November 2020. In an obvious misuse of statistics Tekaleign has used the deflated value of the birr rather than international currency to fake growth. A decrease in value of the birr vs the dollar by 40% does not mean the birr grew! The truth is found in an inflation rate that will most certainly reach 50% within the next few months, the government having to stop wheat and fuel subsidies, and international rating of Ethiopian government bonds at the “junk level”. 

The removal of Ethiopia from the AGOA treaty giving free trade for African imports to the USA may cost $1 billion in foreign currency to Ethiopia. Additionally more sanctions are coming from the European Union. Hundreds of millions of dollars and euros in grants have been also been stopped. Ethiopian Airlines once the cash cow of foreign currency has suffered loses in excess of $190 million this past year and is facing sanctions from Western democracies for violating treaty agreement against civilian airlines carry military hardware and fighters.

While many Ethiopian government supporters claim Ethiopia is escaping colonialism under Abiy Ahmed what is really happening is the opposite. Ethiopia is joining many other African countries who have given away rights to resources and exclusivity in infrastructure by agreeing to impossible loans thus surrendering their autonomy to Chinese interests. 

My Christmas Thought for Tigray and Ethiopia

A 500 year old iconic artwork showing Mary with the infant Jesus from what was once the Abyssinian empire where we what call Tigray is today

A little more than 2000 years ago a man was born into the Middle East not far from what is Tigray today. He came from an ancient tradition stemming from a covenant made between God and Abraham that would lead to Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. This shared heritage saw human beings as being created in the image of God, with each having a life with dignity and value, and that the affairs of man should be done in accordance with the commandments of God given to the prophet Moses.

The world Jesus was born into was corrupt and morally lost. The ruler of Jerusalem was a half-Jew who had made an unholy alliance with the Roman Empire to seal his complete power over his domain rejecting the Jewish faith.  A seemingly unquenchable bloodthirst compelled him to kill many of his subjects and even his own wife and her family who came from a ancient rabbinical lineage. When this ruler named Herod heard that a Messiah was born his fear of losing power became so enraged he killed every male child born in the kingdom in a cruel mockery of the Passover story.

Today is the second celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ in the West (while in Ethiopia this will occur in a few weeks) since then the people of Tigray have been under siege, depravity, violation, starvation, isolation, and risk of violent death without end.  I appreciate what God’s grace has given me and my family and am grateful yet everyday my heart sorrows for the suffering of the Tigray people.

As a researcher and physician I have cared for and interacted with thousands of families in distress traveling through much of Tigray. Most of them live a very simple hard life working everyday to have minimal water, food, and shelter which most of the world takes for granted.  Yet they unwaveringly hold their faith in God even in the midst of genocide. Their life is not much different then that into which Jesus was born.

Today the power that brought this suffering to these children of God lies with group of clerico-fascists who have twisted ancient words of wisdom to their own selfish ends like the Sanhedrin that questioned Jesus. They uphold a  ruler who played in a park while his people fought locusts destroying their crops. Whilst children and elderly die from agonizing hunger  he denies them any food. Who forbids any communication between families who for more than year have been in darkness. Who brings death from the sky randomly targeting innocent souls.

Under the leadership of this dark leader, Abiy Ahmed and his associates, Tigray has suffered like the kingdom of Jerusalem did under Herod. I pray that the Holy Spirit will somehow find its way into the dark hearts causing so much misery. Jesus Christ, the son of God, told us that love between the brothers and sisters of God’s creation is the only way to salvation.


Ethiopia out of AGOA will benefit West African development

The removal of Ethiopia from the AGOA treaty opens up opportunities for West Africa to develop a textile industry from its high output cotton crops

Claims by Abiy Ahmed supporters of Pan Africanism supporting Ethiopian and Eritrean war efforts forget that Ethiopia’s favored status by the USA may have previously hindered other areas of African development. Now Ethiopia’s loss of participation in the AGOA may bring a new focus and new opportunities for developing West Africa’s large cotton industry which will be included in the AGOA treaty.

West African countries which are greatest producers of cotton on the continent stand to gain greatly from the removal of Ethiopia from the AGOA treaty. The conversion of Ethiopia into an authoritarian state carrying out a genocidal war against the Tigray and Oromo while eliminating free press, civil rights, and right to due process including extrajudicial killing and detention resulted in the appropriate removal of Ethiopia from the African Growth and Opportunity Act Treaty which requires maintaining civil rights and democracy.

Ethiopia produces little cotton requiring high costs of importing from other regions.  Meanwhile the West African countries of Benin, Ivory Coast and Burkina Faso respectively rank sixth, seventh, and eighth in the world in terms of cotton production. Currently only 2% of the local output is used to create textiles which have underdeveloped in West Africa.  The African Continental Free Trade Area agreement goes into effect January 1st which will further facilitate local trade in West Africa.

Currently West Africa spends more in importing finished textiles $2.8 billion than it exports in raw cotton $992 million. The Oxford Business Group reported that the West Africa Competitiveness Programme, created as a partnership between the EU and ECOWAS, estimates that establishing a garment supply chain in the region could boost the industry’s value by as much as 600% which would be many times larger than that seen in Ethiopia. This would involve building capacity along the entire supply chain: spinning cotton into yarn, weaving yarn into fabric, and dyeing, printing and designing finished clothing. Many analysts see over 250,000 jobs be added to sustain a new textile hub in Africa.


Intentional civilian deaths in Tigray war is probably at least 1 million

A well documented airstrike by Ethiopia in June 2021 on the Togoga Market killed scores of civilians. Ethiopian and Eritrea occupying soldiers blocked local health authorities and concerned relatives from rendering aid adding to the deaths of dozens including women and children

The total civilian deaths  in Tigray since November 2020 as a result of the genocidal war by Eritrea and Ethiopia is probably nearing 1 million. Which equals %14 of the civilian population. Starvation, complete absence of health care, and continued bombing of civilians in Tigray by Eritrea and Ethiopia combine for this holocaust.

In August 2021 I rendered a report based upon published public health data on the history of Ethiopian healthcare what the effect of having no health care in Tigray would be Tigray. We know that before the Ethiopia Tigray conflict the crude death rate within the population was 6.29 per 1000 per year with the normal level of available healthcare. Using the known crude death rate from 1950 of 32 deaths per 1000 per year when there was only one partially working hospital in Addis Ababa and no health care system this we could reasonably apply to current situation. As of today there remains essentially no functioning healthcare in Tigray. For the 7, 070,260 population of Tigray measured in the last census that means this lack of health care will bring about 226,248.32 deaths annually in Tigray. 

Additionally the “de facto” blockade of Tigray officially recognized and discouraged by the United Nations carried out by Ethiopia and Eritrea remains blocking not just medical supplies but essentially 99% of food supplies. Locusts, abnormal rain patterns, lack of seeds to plant, lack of pasture to feed livestock due to abnormal rain patterns, and the locust plagues as well as theft or destruction of farm work animals and equipment by Eritreans have also significantly reduced what food production is possible in Tigray. Abraha Desta, the head of Social Services during the Interim Administration of the Tigray occupation which lasted until July 2021 publicly admitted to France 24 News that the Ethiopian and Tigray government conspired and acted to stop food production in Tigray despite falsely claiming it was encouraging planting.

Currently it is difficult to say how many are dying from starvation. When you combine starvation with untreated disease their combined effect is magnified. Minor illnesses that normally heal become deadly. At health care facilities in Tigray which can do little but watch children and adults die so that very few probably make the trip such that thousands are now perishing unseen in their village and rural homes unattended . As of June 2021 the UN estimated more than 350,000 would die from lack of food. Now months later the situation has only worsened with UN saying if no action was taken to relief starvation the number of deaths would increase to millions of deaths.

Air attacks by Ethiopia and shelling by Eritrea on Tigray’s borders are killing scores of civilians everyday. Especially because their wounds cannot be treated. Extrajudicial killings in Western Tigray continue in secret under Amhara militia and Eritrean direction.


Ethiopia promise no drone use against civilians may allow lawsuits in USA

Drone strikes against civilians in Southern Tigray from drones sold to Ethiopia by UAE and Turkey are continuing

New revelations that Turkey and UAE forced Ethiopia to sign agreements promising no drone use against civilians provides insight into potential legal action against Ethiopia in the USA.

As a way to cover themselves from later sanctions, litigation from victims, and complaints of blasphemy against Islam sources are now reporting that Turkey and the United Arab Emirates had Ethiopia sign agreements regarding the use of drones purchased.  Apparently this was the message given to United States Horn of Africa Special Representative, Jeffrey Feltman, during his visits to those countries. No doubt these two Muslim countries foresaw potential criticism and legal action arising from these controversial sales and thus covered themselves with this pre-agreement.

These agreements to only proper military use of drones could be key pieces of evidence that Ethiopia not only obtained these weapons but agreed to use them only against military targets and not against civilians. As a member of the United Nations Ethiopia is a signatory to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other conventions against civilian targeting in war and against genocide which forbids these immoral actions.

There is a law in the United States, the Alien Tort Statue, first passed in 1789 and then extended into the Torture Victim Protection Act in 1991 and signed by President George H.W. Bush, which has been used successfully in cases involving torture, state-sponsored sexual violence, extrajudicial killing, crimes against humanity, war crimes and arbitrary detention. This extension of 1991 gives similar rights to U.S. citizens and non-citizens alike to bring claims for torture and extrajudicial killing committed in foreign countries.

The government of Ethiopia as well as government owned entities like Ethiopian airlines maintain assets in the United States in the banking system, properties, and other financial vehicles. These may be now be at risk of litigation to compensate the tens of thousands of victims in the Ethiopian murder and violation of Tigray, Oromo, and other victims.

Since its founding Islam has called for very strict adherence to rules of war by the Prophet Mohammed and later written by his General Abu Bakr which are often referred to as the Ten Rules for the Muslim Army. Clearly Turkey and UAE where aware of this potential conflict to their avowed religion in selling drones to Ethiopia. Whether these written agreements to Ethiopia would protect them from litigation is open to question?

O people! I charge you with ten rules; learn them well!

Stop, O people, that I may give you ten rules for your guidance in the battlefield. Do not commit treachery or deviate from the right path. You must not mutilate dead bodies. Neither kill a child, nor a woman, nor an aged man. Bring no harm to the trees, nor burn them with fire, especially those that are fruitful. Slay not any of the enemy’s flock, save for your food. You are likely to pass by people who have devoted their lives to monastic services; leave them alone.