Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Comment: Ethiopia threatens charities - send in Bob Geldof!

Remember Ethiopia and Bob Geldof's first high profile, touchy feely career reviver?

You must remember: it's been in all the papers recently and was all the rage at one time. I know Ethiopia's Marxist rulers were grateful, as much of the money was used to fund forced resettlement programs that indirectly led to the deaths of tens of thousands Ethiopians.

Well, Ethiopia still exists, except of course it is no longer fashionable. Poverty has a short life span in the minds of those caught up in media hype, but lingers forever for the poor bastards who are momentarily the flavour of the month.

The Christian Relief and Development Association (CRDA), representing more than 250 international and local charities in Ethiopia has accused the Ethiopian government of threatening to ban it.

The organisation has been accused of "political bias" and "illegal and destructive activities".

CRDA had pressed for an independent inquiry after an estimated 40 people were killed during violent clashes between security forces and civilians protesting alleged electoral fraud in the May elections.

CRDA members include Save the Children, Action Aid, Concern and Oxfam.

Send in Bob Geldof! Unless he is too busy telling British newspapers that he is an Aboriginal elder in Tasmania.

The Guv'nor