Oromo: Understanding the Politics of Malnutrition in Oromia and Ethiopia

By Kulani Jalata

“Behind hunger stands poverty, and behind poverty stands powerlessness to bring about change.” [1] –Patricia L. Kutzner


Although farmers of Asia, Africa, and Latin America produced over half of the grain harvested worldwide during 1989-90, Patricia L. Kutzner in her 1991 work Contemporary World Issues: World Hunger points out that at least a billion people within those continents during that harvest period suffered from hunger.[i]

Today, nineteen years after institutional responses and media coverage on the world hunger crisis, this paradox, in which food exists in abundance amidst intensifying world hunger, still plagues the most vulnerable parts of the world. How are we to understand the unwavering continuance of this global dilemma? Kutzner posits, as the introductory quote reveals, that beyond poverty, “powerlessness” is the fundamental root of this global crisis.

In this paper, the vulnerable part of the world that I will focus on and seek to understand the effects of “powerlessness” on a preventable hunger situation is Ethiopia. I aim to see how the distribution and impact of power or the politics of Ethiopia affect the hunger crisis and its product, the malnutrition crisis.

Although Kutzner provides this perspective in which “powerlessness” and the effects of political inequalities should be considered when trying to understand hunger, literature on exactly how the politics of the Ethiopian government plays a direct role on the malnutrition crisis within Ethiopia remains to be written. Furthermore, despite the fact that prominent medical anthropologist Paul Farmer brought forward in Pathologies of Power the notion of  “structural violence” in which an attack by those in power against the human dignity of the powerless can manifest through poverty and health epidemics[ii], what remains to be precisely addressed for is how an examination of the Ethiopian government’s policies and actions must be made and responded to before attempting to address the country’s severe malnutrition crisis.

In this paper, I seek to initiate the closing of this gap of analysis on the politics of Ethiopian hunger and malnutrition. While Ethiopia’s history is one that entails continuous famines, droughts, and hunger and malnutrition crises, it is also one plagued by ethnonational conflicts, political violence, wars, coups, and a continuous succession of dictatorial regimes ruled by minority ethnonational groups[2]. In this context of ethnonational rivalry and violent political struggles for state power, I aim to unravel what political “powerlessness” and the lack of democracy mean for the health of the peoples within Ethiopia by examining their effects on the hunger and malnutrition crisis. In this investigation, I particularly plan to examine the history of ethnonational domination in Ethiopia and the policies and practices of the current Ethiopian government and its leader Prime Minister Meles Zenawi[3].

Then, with this analysis, I intend to assess whether institutional responses to Ethiopia’s hunger crises, which have been primarily financial and food assistance, actually address the underlying triggers of malnutrition and hunger in Ethiopia. Beyond the popularly asked vague question of whether aid helps or hurts, I specifically question whether short-term financial aid for hunger and malnutrition instead consolidates the long-term continuation of an undemocratic government and its long record of human rights abuses.But first, I will begin with describing the nature of the malnutrition crisis in Ethiopia.

The State of Malnutrition in Ethiopia

Because malnutrition is officially defined as a condition in which “the body does not get the right amount of the vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients it needs to maintain healthy tissues and organ function”, malnutrition can generally refer to either getting not enough or too many nutrients, undernourishment or overnourishment, respectively.[iii] However, in developing countries like Ethiopia, undernourishment is the problem epidemic, not overnourishment. Hence, the disorder of malnutrition in the context of Ethiopia usually equates to undernourishment and all references to the malnutrition crisis in Ethiopia are references specifically to an undernourishment crisis.

Furthermore, undernourishment, defined as “the condition of people whose dietary energy consumption is continuously below a minimum dietary energy requirement for maintaining a healthy life and carrying out a light physical activity with an acceptable minimum body-weight for attained height,”[iv], results in Ethiopia particularly from a lack of access to adequate food or hunger. So in this paper’s discussion of Ethiopia’s malnutrition epidemic, because malnutrition and undernourishment are analogous, malnutrition can be said to be a consequence of hunger crises.

The specific type of undernourishment in Ethiopia that is associated with hunger crises and that is the most life-threatening is called protein-energy malnutrition (PEM), a deficiency in the diet of protein and calories.[v] The two most common PEM diseases, kwashiorkor and marasmus, hinder physical growth and brain development, diminish energy, and weaken the immune system.[vi]

While kwashiorkor symptoms include skin and hair discoloration, edema, diarrhea, a large protruding belly, and lethargy,[vii] marasmus is characterized by physical underdevelopment, a depletion of muscle and fat, a weak immune system, and lethargy.[viii] When an overlap of these symptoms occurs, the in-between condition is called marasmic-kwashiorkor.[ix] But although PEM diseases are particularly defined as a deficiency in protein and calories, a low protein-intake usually, because it is associated with an inadequate diet altogether, also means a low consumption of needed vitamins and minerals as well, which is another debilitating type of malnutrition.[x]

Although according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN that 44% of Ethiopia’s population (34.6 million people) are estimated[4] to be malnourished,[xi] there seems to be a focus in research and policy response on the children portion of this percentage.  In a policy research paper by Patricia Silva of the Environment Department of the World Bank, three terms were stated to be indicators of malnutrition in children of Ethiopia: stunting (too low height considering age), wasting (“low weight-for-height”), and underweight (low weight for age).[xii] With about half of all children under the age of five suffering from malnutrition, it is the child malnutrition rates of Ethiopia, Silva crucially notes, that is one of the highest in the world.[xiii] But with this focus on children, what remains opaque in Silva’s research and various other research papers about malnutrition in Ethiopia is the extent of the crisis and the deaths it causes in adolescent and adult populations. Kutzner provides some insight as to why when she writes the following:

No one really knows how many deaths of adults or children above the age of five can be attributed to hunger-related causes. Long before starvation sets in, the body loses its resistance to infections and diseases. Public health records, if a record occurs at all, list only immediate causes of death such as       respiratory failure, diarrhea, tuberculosis, measles, hemorrhage, and so on. The role of undernutrition, anemia, or vitamin A deficiency is rarely mentioned.[xiv]


Although malnutrition in Ethiopia undeniably has no age limit, Kutzner explains here that for people above the age of five, diagnoses of causes of death are usually not associated with undernutrition or undernourishment since these are more indirect causes of death and therefore are more difficult to ascertain. In other words, because biologically or medically understanding the impact of malnutrition on adult populations in Ethiopia is more complicated than in the population of children below the age of five, there seems to be an emphasis on developing diagnostic tools and research on the more transparent malnutrition crisis of children below five. Additionally, the devastating effect on Ethiopia’s society and economic development when unaddressed child malnutrition produces an adult population that is permanently “intellectually stunted” because of the irreversible mental damage that malnutrition leads to during childhood is a highly acknowledged possibility that concerns many.[xv]

However, the most malnourished population of Ethiopia in reality has no age boundaries: the rural poor. With a 2010 estimate of 80.51% to be the share of the rural population of Ethiopia[xvi] and with 80.7 %[5] of the people living on less than two dollars a day[xvii], it is within these large portions of the poor and rural that the majority of the 34.6 million malnourished sector of Ethiopian society falls into. How are we to understand from what specifically such a large sector of Ethiopia’s population is suffering?

In Nobel Prize Laureate in Economics Amartya Sen’s Poverty and Famines, Sen critically notes that hunger, the forerunner of malnutrition in Ethiopia, “is the characteristic of some people not having enough food to eat. It is not the characteristic of there being not enough food to eat.”[xviii] In the context of Ethiopia, Sen defends this assertion that hunger does not result from food shortages when he discusses about the devastating 1972-73 famine (leading to a hunger crisis) of the rural parts of Ethiopia’s Tigrayan and Wollo regions.

Sen notes that according to the National Bank of Ethiopia, agricultural output for the Ethiopian state increased ordinarily in the years before the famine and that there was “very little evidence of a dramatic decline in food availability in Ethiopia coinciding with the famine.”[xix] Yet during this famine, 600,000 agriculturally-based peasants perished and international food aid was eventually desperately sought for.[xx] Today, with a national hunger epidemic effecting 34.6 million and evidence that the food resources of Ethiopia are still sufficient to feed all[6], how are we to pinpoint then the basis of a seemingly endless Ethiopian hunger and malnutrition crisis?

While Sen proposes that hunger is an economic failure in which the “inability to establish entitlement to food”[xxi] or a limited purchasing power is the central problem, he however does not explain how such limited entitlements have come to be. Put simply, he does not address how such economic problems are the “product” of a political system.[xxii]

The Politics of Hunger in Ethiopia

Ethnonational Domination and Exploitation in Ethiopia

Just recently at the United Nations’ Human Rights Council Sixth Universal Periodic Review[7] session, the representative[8] for the United States criticized the Ethiopian government for not adhering to its claim of ethnic federalism and fair representation of all ethnonational groups.[xxiii] “The U.S. recommends that Ethiopia conduct a review to examine the ethnic balance in government,” stated the representative. [xxiv] Although critical, this is a mild recommendation to make considering that since the very formation of the Ethiopian state, a state composed of over 80 ethnonational groups, Ethiopian governments have always been ethnically unbalanced and dominated by either or both of two related ethnonational groups: the Tigray and the Amhara, referred to historically as Abyssinians.

During the mid-nineteenth century, Tigrayan king Yohannes IV and Amhara king Menelik II, using Christianity as a religious “bridge” to connect to Europe, established an alliance with European imperialists in order to colonize the peoples within the state known today as Ethiopia.[xxv] Sociologist Asafa Jalata explains in Oromia and Ethiopia that while rival European powers Britain, France, Russia, and Italy all competed to have regional influence in the Horn of Africa during the “Scramble for Africa”, Yohannes and Menelik sought to use European modern weaponry to conquer and colonize their most resource-rich, formidable rivals, the Oromo as well as other ethnonational groups.[xxvi] It was an exchange of resources and weapons between European powers and Abyssinian colonialists motivated no differently than direct European colonialism: to exploit labor and extract economic resources from the Oromo and other peoples.[xxvii]

This colonial domination of the Oromo, a group that today represents 40% of the Ethiopian population,[xxviii] and other peoples by Abyssinian rulers continued throughout the next centuries: Amhara emperor Haile Selassie (1935-1974), Amhara Colonel Mengistu Haile Mariam[9] (1974-1991), and today Tigrayan ruler Meles Zenawi (1991- ). What should be carefully noted though is that the transitions between these regimes were all violent and based on coups. Furthermore, since 1974, various liberation movements of the colonized peoples such as the Oromo Liberation Front and the Ogaden National Liberation Front have been struggling to attain independence from Ethiopian colonialism.

And such is the state of Ethiopia today: the minority Tigrayan ethnonational group, which represents 6.2%[xxix] of the population, holds total political and economic power by force, and is in a constant, violent armed struggle with liberation movements. What does this mean for how the government addresses food crises? According to Assefa Regassa Geleta[10], an ex-member of the Ethiopian Ministry of Agriculture and also a research scientist on food security for the US, “Instead of addressing the root causes[11] of food insecurity, successive Ethiopian governments have been spending the country’s scarce resources on building a strong military to maintain the territorial integrity of an empire created by force and to consolidate their power.”[xxx]

In other words, the very existence and maintenance of today’s Ethiopian government depends upon neglecting the food needs of the peoples within Ethiopia. Moreover, after importantly noting that the Oromo region of Ethiopia receives the least amount of food assistance when in crisis, Geleta goes on to assert that for governments illegitimately holding on to power like Ethiopia’s, the distribution of food itself becomes a political instrument: “Under such conditions, food becomes a currency with which to buy political support and famine a weapon to be used against the opposition.”[xxxi] Because the Oromo are the majority ethnonational group, have access to the most resource-rich regions of Ethiopia, and are currently waging war against Ethiopian colonialism, they are considered the most formidable threat to Ethiopian colonialists—hence the denial of adequate food aid to the Oromo region when in a malnutrition crisis.

Such food deprivation, writes Jenny Edkins in her essay “The Criminalization of Mass Starvations”, is considered a war crime under Article 8 of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court which states that, “ ‘intentionally using starvation of civilians as a method of warfare by depriving them of objects indispensable to their survival, including willfully impeding relief supplies’,” is a crime against humanity.[xxxii] What this implies is that the Ethiopian government and its leader Prime Minister Meles Zenawi are not only responsible for serious crimes against humanity, but that the malnutrition crisis of Ethiopia can not be addressed simply by funneling financial and foods assistance to a government indictable for such war crimes.

Looking at Ethiopia’s neighbor Sudan, Omar al-Bashir, Sudan’s president, was on July 14, 2008, indicted by the ICC for war crimes.[xxxiii] But although al-Bashir used the halting of food and medical aid to Sudanese civilians of the Darfur region as a weapon of political war as well,[xxxiv] al-Bashir was not officially indicted for the crime of intentional starvation[xxxv]; he was indicted for “five counts of crimes against humanity: murder, extermination, forcible transfer, torture and rape.”[xxxvi] This could mean that the current reality unfortunately is that neglecting malnutrition is not yet considered serious enough to be an indictable crime despite the Article in the Rome Statute of the ICC. Additionally, it could mean that convincingly proving the criminality of the government in terms of malnutrition crises was more difficult than it seemed. However, looking back at Ethiopia, if we further examine the Ethiopian government and investigate the practices and economic, health, and agricultural policies of Zenawi’s administration, we can start to determine the role that Zenawi and the Ethiopian government are currently playing in the malnutrition crisis.

Investigating Meles Zenawi and the Ethiopian Government

Francoise Piguet, a United Nations field officer in Ethiopia, alleges that despite the fact that Ethiopian officials blame droughts or hostile weather for hunger and malnutrition crises in Ethiopia, these crises “ha[ve] been created mainly by poor economic policies.”[xxxvii] In his article “Food Crisis in Ethiopia: Drought or Poor Economic Policies?”, Piguet states that the policies of the Ministry of Agriculture and the market system of Ethiopia work against the large peasant farmer population by for example institutionalizing an “unequal exchange system”: driving down the prices peasants sell their harvest and driving up the prices of the food they must purchase to subsist.[xxxviii]

But what is further important to consider when looking at the economic undermining of peasant farmers in Ethiopia is the new phenomenon of land-grabbing of these farmers’ lands by investing foreign companies. Tamrat G. Giorgis, Addis Fortune staff writer, explains in the following:

A new global trend is rising whereby companies from emerging economies grab vast land in poor host nations to grow and export cereals and grains to their home countries. It has happened here in Bako [, Ethiopia,], where people from India have been granted tens of thousands of hectares of land for commercial farming. The locals however, are unhappy.[xxxix]


While the Indian company Karuturi Global LTD has invested 4.3 billion dollars[xl] to lease 765,000 hectares[xli] of farmland from the Ethiopian government, peasant farmers have lost the lands they once farmed for subsistence to foreign investors and a land-expropriating government. Giorgis notes that Olivier De Schutter, a UN rapporteur, explained the central problem in this phenomenon: “ ‘Frequently, they [farmers] do not have property titles to the land upon which they depend for their survival and well-being. They do not have possibilities of legal recourse in the event of expropriation’.”[xlii]

Besides India, various other foreign investors have been seizing subsistence farmable land: Olusegun Obasanjo, the former president of Nigeria, just purchased 20,000 sqm of land in Oromia, the region known as the breadbasket of Ethiopia, to invest in tourism and hotels[xliii]; Ismael Omar Guelleh, president of Djibouti, purchased 10,000 sqm of land in Bishoftu, Oromia, (“Debre Zeit”) to build “a holiday home” and 3,000 hectares in Bale, Oromia, for agriculture production[xliv]; and Egypt made a multimillion-dollar agricultural investment in 20,000 hectares of land.[xlv] What is critical to note here is that these lands are in Oromia, the land of the Oromos—the primary political targets of the government.

What does this prioritization of foreign economic investments over the land rights of Oromo farmers mean for the hunger and malnutrition crises? With the WHO estimating in September 2009 that 6.2 million people in Ethiopia were in urgent need of food assistance[xlvi], the subsistence farmers who lost their farms to government land expropriation and foreign investors are likely to join or have already joined this 6.2 million.

Furthermore, what remains unanswered or unverified by documentation is where the money paid by investors is ending up. While the WHO makes such chilling projections about the hunger crisis, Ethiopian news and opinion journal Ethiopian Review announced in December 2009 that Prime Minister Meles Zenawi had amassed a net worth of $1.2 billion making him the “11th richest head of government in the world.”[xlvii] Although it is quite difficult to currently prove from where Zenawi accumulated such wealth, there should be a serious concern as to how the leader of one of the poorest and most hungry countries in the world has been able to attain such prosperity.

Besides this reputation for economic corruption, Zenawi’s human rights abuse record is one that places him, according to the President of Genocide Watch, Dr. Gregory Stanton, in the ranks of recently indicted Omar al-Bashir.[xlviii] In a letter to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Dr. Stanton stated that the Ethiopian government organized Ethiopian National Defense Forces and civilian militia groups to ruthlessly massacre 424 people from the Anuak ethnonationality in Gambella, Ethiopia, on December 2003.[xlix] The government’s motive was to suppress Anuak opposition to “exclude them from any involvement in the drilling for oil on their indigenous land,”[l]:

As militia groups chanted “Today is the day for killing Anuak,” both the military and militias used machetes, axes and guns to kill the unarmed victims, frequently raping the women while chanting, “Now there will be no more Anuak children.”[li]


Reports from Amnesty International, the U.S. State Department, and the Human Rights Watch can all continue to list Zenawi’s and the Ethiopian government’s extensive record of chilling crimes against the politically and economically oppressed peoples of Ethiopia. So if we realize that the Zenawi regime holds responsibility for a politically and economically motivated genocide and, by looking at what was previously addressed, that the regime’s authoritarian nature and ethnonational make-up inevitably inhibit an adequate and accountable response to hunger and malnutrition crises, we then can trace more clearly the root sources of the ceaseless malnutrition epidemic of Ethiopia.

Furthermore, with this analysis, international organizations and Western governments striving to alleviate the suffering of the hungry and to eventually eradicate malnutrition in Ethiopia should be able to approach this health crisis of Ethiopia more effectively. However, I have come to the conclusion that the current predominant approach that such institutions are taking to fight malnutrition in Ethiopia, although undeniably necessary and beneficial for the short-term, is for the long-term perpetuating the malnutrition crisis, as well as other crises.

Evaluating Current Institutional Responses and Implications for the Future


For the past three decades, Ethiopia has received more emergency food aid than any other African country.[lii] Looking at recent statistics for 2009, while Britain granted 316 million dollars in food aid,[liii] USAID provided an estimated 575 million dollars in food and disaster aid to Ethiopia.[liv] Amidst this constant funneling of large bundles of financial and food aid to Ethiopia, questions about when Ethiopia will not need aid and why hunger and malnutrition crises continue to worsen have arisen.

Back in 2004, the administrator of USAID, Andrew Natsios, asserted that, “While donors can assist, the ultimate responsibility for putting in place an enabling environment that will facilitate pro-poor economic growth [necessary to eliminate malnutrition] rests with the Government of Ethiopia.”[lv] But if Natsios had realized that the very undermining of the nutrition of the poor and mostly politically unrepresented portion of Ethiopian society actually sustains the Ethiopian government, he would have had to reassess his statement. Instead of stating that “donors can assist”, there needs to be a realization that in order to address the malnutrition crisis of Ethiopia, Ethiopia’s political crises stemming from authoritarianism and ethnonational domination must be addressed as well. If not, sending financial and food aid to Ethiopia while turning a blind eye to the Ethiopian government’s policies and human rights abuses is instead consolidating a corrupt regime and also its use of hunger as a political weapon.

Because it was the famine of 1972-73 that led to violent civil unrest and the overthrow of Emperor Haile Selassie I’s regime in 1974 and also the 1984-85 famine that led to the eventual topple of Colonel Mengistu’s regime[12], there is a noticeable pattern in Ethiopia of food crises eventually leading to social uprisings and political coups. Another noticeable pattern is successive Ethiopian regimes’ denial of the extent or existence of a hunger crisis. While recently the UN just announced that 5 million people in Ethiopia will be needing emergency food aid for the first half of 2010[lvi], the Disaster Prevention Minister of Ethiopia was quoted telling BBC that although “although 5.7 million people [are] currently getting food aid”, “ ‘in the Ethiopian context, there is no hunger, no famine.”[lvii] Considering this denial is being made at the beginning this election year of 2010, the possibility of political uprisings partially triggered by neglected hunger and malnutrition crises does exist.


In Ethiopia, authoritarianism and corrupt economic policies perpetuate poverty, hunger crises, and the problem of malnutrition. From this analysis, I have come to the conclusion that institutional responses in the form of food aid and other assistances from international organizations and Western countries have not and cannot solve these economic and health disorders. If institutional responses from the West are limited to feeding the hungry through the agencies of the Ethiopian government and exclude pressuring for political reform by the which the peoples of Ethiopia could attain political and economic control over their lives, the problem of hunger and malnutrition will remain a permanent part of Ethiopia. In order to overcome poverty and related economic and health problems, the peoples of Ethiopia must be politically empowered and must have a representative, accountable government.

Source : IOYA and to read the document on Ms Word, The Hungry and The Powerless


[1] From Patricia Kutzner’s Contemporary World Issues: World Hunger, pg. 7. Patricia Kutzner was the Executive Director for World Hunger Education Service.

[2] While Ethiopia is composed of over 80 ethnonational groups, there are two specific minority groups that have maintained absolute state power for Ethiopia’s modern-state history together or in alternating regimes: the Amhara and the Tigre.

[3] 2010 marks Meles Zenawi’s nineteenth year of rule.

[4] 2004-2006 estimation.

[5] 2003 estimate.

[6] Refer to pgs 5-8 of Harwood Schaffer’s “Impoverishment, Hunger, Undernutrition and Authoritarianism in Oromia and Ethiopia.” Not published yet. Schaffer is a Research Associate in the Agricultural Policy Analysis Center of the Department of Agricultural Economics at the University of Tennessee.

[7] Held in Geneva, Switzerland, from November 30th to December 11th, 2009.

[8] Douglas M. Griffiths, Deputy Permanent Representative serving as Chargé, ad interim, for the U.S. Mission to the United Nations

[9] Mengistu broke ties with the West and collaborated with the Soviet Union to attain access to modern weaponry.

[10] This Assefa Geleta is not the same person as Asafa Jalata.

[11] Geleta states that “low agricultural productivity, poor marketing systems, a rapidly growing population, and poverty” are the immediate causes of food insecurity and hunger in Ethiopia (66).

[12] The Derg, a military junta led by Miriam Mengistu, ruled from 1974 to 1991.


[i] Kutzner, Patricia. Contemporary World Issues: World Hunger. Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO, Inc. 1991. pg.1.

[ii] Farmer, Paul. Pathologies of Power. Berkeley: University of California Press. 2005. pg. 8.

[iii] “Malnutrition.” The Free Dictionary. <http://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/malnutrition>.

[iv] FAO Statistics Division. <http://www.fao.org/economic/ess/food-security-statistics/food-security-statistics-metadata/en/>.

[v] World Hunger Facts 2009. <http://www.worldhunger.org/articles/Learn/world%20hunger%20facts%202002.htm)>.

[vi] Kutzner, Patricia. Contemporary World Issues: World Hunger. Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO, Inc. 1991. pg. 171.

[vii] “Kwashiorkor.” New York Times. <http://health.nytimes.com/health/guides/disease/kwashiorkor/overview.html>.

[viii] “Marasmus.” <http://www.wrongdiagnosis.com/m/marasmus/intro.htm>.

[ix] “Marasmus.” <http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/984496-overview>.

[x] Kutzner, Patricia. Contemporary World Issues: World Hunger. Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO, Inc. 1991.pg. 171.

[xi] FAO Statistics Division. <http://www.fao.org/economic/ess/food-security-statistics/en/>.

[xii] Silva, Patricia. Environmental Factors and Children’s Malnutrition in Ethiopia. The World Bank: Environment Department. January 2005. pg. 6.

[xiii] Ibid, pg 2.

[xiv] Kutzner, Patricia. Contemporary World Issues: World Hunger. Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO, Inc. 1991.pg.159.

[xv] Wines, Michael. “Malnutrition is Cheating Its Survivors, and Africa’s Future.” The New York Times. December 28, 2006.


[xvi] Omamo, Steven Were, et al. Strategic Priorities for Agricultural Development in Eastern and Central Africa. Washington D.C.: International Food Policy Research Institute. 2006. pg. 5.

[xvii] Ibid pg 31.

[xviii] Sen, Amartya. Poverty and Famines. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 1981. pg. 1.

[xix] Ibid, pg. 92.

[xx] United Nations Environment Programme. GEO: Global Environment Outlook. <http://www.unep.org/geo/geo3/english/453.htm>.

[xxi] Sen, Amartya. Poverty and Famines. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 1981. pg. 8.

[xxii] Edkins, Jenny. “The Criminalization of Mass Starvations: From Natural Disaster to Crime Agains Humanity.” The New Famines: Why Famines Persist in an Era of Globalization. London: Routledge. 2007. pg 53.

[xxiii] Griffiths, Douglass M. United Nations Webcast: Human Rights Council Sixth Universal Periodic Review. November 30-December 11, 2009. www.un.org/webcast.

[xxiv] Ibid.

[xxv] Jalata, Asafa. Oromia and Ethiopia: State Formation and Ethnonational Conflict, 1868-2004. Trenton: The Red Sea Press, Inc. 2005. pg 65-67.

[xxvi] Ibid, pg. 67-69.

[xxvii] Ibid, pg. 73.

[xxviii] “Ethiopia-Geography, Administrative Decisions, Economy, Demographics, Culture, Archaeology, Sports.” Cambridge Encyclopedia. Vol. 24. <http://encyclopedia.stateuniversity.com/pages/7132/Ethiopia.html>.

[xxix] “Ethiopia Demographics Profile 2009.”

< http://www.indexmundi.com/ethiopia/demographics_profile.html>.

[xxx] Geleta, Assefa R. “Food Insecurity: A Real Threat to the Oromo People.” The Journal of Oromo Studies. Vol. 14, No. 2. A Publication of the Oromo Studies Association. July 2007. pg. 66.

[xxxi] Ibid, pg. 74.

[xxxii] Edkins, Jenny. “The Criminalization of Mass Starvations: From Natural Disaster to Crime Agains Humanity.” The New Famines: Why Famines Persist in an Era of Globalization. London: Routledge. 2007. pg. 58.

[xxxiii] Maweni, Rumbidzai. “Sudan’s President Omar Hassan al-Bashir indicted by the ICC: What’s Next?”


[xxxiv] Prendergast, John. “Obama Must Halt Starvation in Darfur.” The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. March 2009.


[xxxv] Edkins, Jenny. “The Criminalization of Mass Starvations: From Natural Disaster to Crime Agains Humanity.” The New Famines: Why Famines Persist in an Era of Globalization. London: Routledge. 2007. pg. 62

[xxxvi] Rice, Xan. “Sudanese President Bashir Charged with Darfur War Crimes.” Guardian. March 2009. <http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/mar/04/omar-bashir-sudan-president-arrest>.

[xxxvii] Piguet, Francois. “Food Crisis in Ethiopia: Drought or Poor Economics Policies?” Review of African Political Economy, Vol. 30, No. 97, The Horn of Conflict (Sept., 2003). pg 488.

[xxxviii] Ibid, 486-487.

[xxxix] Giorgis, Tamrat G. “A Stranger Comes to Town.” Addis Fortune. Vol. 10, No. 486. August 23, 2009.  pg. 1.

< http://www.addisfortune.com/Vol%2010%20No%20486%20Archive/agenda.htm>.

[xl] Ibid.

[xli] O’Kadameri, Billie. “Indina Company Acquires 765, 000 hectares of land in Ethiopia.” Ethiopian Review. November 2009. < http://www.ethiopianreview.com/content/11418>.

[xlii] Giorgis, Tamrat. “A Stranger Comes to Town.” Addis Fortune. Vol. 10, No. 486. August 23, 2009. pg. 3. <http://www.addisfortune.com/Vol%2010%20No%20486%20Archive/agenda.htm>.

[xliii] “World Leaders are Taking Notice of Land in Debre Zeit.” Capital. Vol. 12. No. 577. <http://www.capitalethiopia.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=12046:global-village&catid=12:local-news&Itemid=4>.

[xliv] Ibid.

[xlv] “Ethiopia’s Ruling Junta Gives Egypt 20,000 Hectares of Land.” Ethiopian Review. December 30, 2009. <http://www.ethiopianreview.com/content/12018>.

[xlvi] “Ethiopia: Emergency and Humanitarian Action.” Weekly update: September 13, 2009. World Health Organization. <http://www.who.int/hac/crises/eth/sitreps/13september2009/en/index.html>.

[xlvii] “Editing War Over Ethiopian Dictator’s Net Worth.” Ethiopian Review.

< http://www.ethiopianreview.com/content/11785>.

[xlviii] Stanton, Gregory. “An Open Letter to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Justice Navanathem Pillay.” March 23, 2009. Link can be found on: < http://www.genocidewatch.org/ethiopia.html>.

[xlix] Ibid.

[l] Ibid.

[li] Ibid.

[lii] Greste, Peter. “Ethiopia’s Food Aid Addiction.” BBC News. February 2006. < http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/4671690.stm>.

[liii] “Britain Grants $316-M Food Aid for Ethiopia.” Sudan Tribune. November 2009. <http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article33153>.

[liv] USAID: Ethiopia Fact Sheet. Find link on: < http://www.usaid.gov/locations/sub-saharan_africa/countries/ethiopia/>.

[lv] Natsios, Andrew S.  Introductory Letter in “Breaking the Cycle of Food Crises: Famine Prevention in Ethioipa.” USAID. May 2004. Find link on: <http://www.usaid.gov/locations/sub-saharan_africa/countries/ethiopia/>.

[lvi] “Nearly 5 Million Ethiopians Will Need Food Aid In First Half of 2010.” UN News Centre. December 2009. <http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=33176&Cr=ethiopia&Cr1=>.

[lvii] “Ethiopia Rejects Warning of Hunger after Drought.” Somaliland Press. January 1, 2009.< http://somalilandpress.com/10555/ethiopia-rejects-warning-of-hunger-after-drought/>.


I would like to thank Professor Georges Reniers, Professor Joao Biehl, Pablo L.Ruiloba, and Henry Barmeier from the Writing Center for their insights and advice.



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