By Prof. Al Mariam,
Fifteen million Ethiopians are suffering Biblical famine right NOW! The dictatorship of the Tigrean Peoples Liberation Front (TPLF) is chasing after “resort developers” from the Middle East. What about the fifteen million facing the Biblical Black Horseman?
The TPLF says, “Let them eat cake!”
It is said that Marie-Antoinette, the Queen consort of Louis XVI, asked why impoverished French peasants dying from starvation were not eating cake.
I am asking why the TPLF is going after “resort developers” when 15 million Ethiopians are starving to death?
Last week, the Gulf Times Business reported, “Ezdan Holding Group plans to build a luxury tourist resort in Addis Ababa… The proposed iconic project is to be set up in an area of 150,000sq m in a key location in the heart of the Ethiopian capital city…”
There goes the TPLF again!
How many tens of thousands of Ethiopians must be evicted and made homeless to make way for Qatari resorts?
The TPLF has been in overdrive trying to snag the Qatari resort deal for some time now.
Back in 2010, the TPLF handed over 100 thousand hectares to land-grabber Karuturi Global. Last month, the Karuturi deal imploded. Karuturi vowed to use the “power of India” to kick TPLF’s rear end.
In 2014, the malaria-researcher-turned-instant-TPLF-foreign-minister Tedros Adhanom met with Qatari businessmen and told them to “participate in Ethiopia’s efforts to make itself a nucleus of medical tourism in Africa.”
Yes, “medical tourism”!!!
Did Mack Adhanom misspeak or had a slip of the tongue? Perhaps he had a fleeting senior moment and regressed to his medical research on mosquitoes?
If not, Mack Adhanom certainly must have meant “medical tourism” in the sense Marvin Gaye sang about the medicinal value of “sexual healing”?
Did Mack Adhanom confuse “medical tourism” with “sexual tourism”?
Resort? Brothel? What is the difference?
The whole thing is just crazy. Nuts!
Medical tourism to my understanding refers to people who travel mostly from poor countries to more developed countries for a variety of reasons including better treatment, obtain treatment unavailable in their countries, seek less costly treatment, avoid long delays in getting medical care, etc. Top medical tourism destinations include the U.S., Mexico, India, Brazil, Singapore and others. In all of these countries, there are highly trained medical professionals with cutting edge technology at their disposal.
The TPLF wants to make Ethiopia a magnet for medical tourism based on what?!
Ethiopia has 1,936 physicians (1 per 40,000 population); 15,544 nurses and midwives (1 per 5,000 population); 1343 pharmaceutical personnel (1 for 60,000 population); 2703 laboratory workers (1 for 30,000 population); hospital beds per 10,000 population is 2 and the percent of births attended by skilled personnel is 6 percent. Total health expenditure as a percentage of GDP is 4.9 percent. These data come from the “Strictly Confidential” (p. 24) Investment Fund for Health in Africa Report. Ethiopia has 93 dentists, that is 1 per 800,000.
The World Health Organization Health Profile statistical fact sheet for 2014 reports that psychiatrists working in the mental health sector in Ethiopia per 100,000 population is 0.04. Total density per 100,000 population for certain services and vital medical equipment is as follows: specialized hospitals 0.03; computed tomography (CT scanner) 0.03; total density for Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) per million population is 0.04 percent; radiotherapy units 0.02 and nuclear medicine (cancer detection) 0.01.
So much for Adhanom’s “medical tourism” business in Ethiopia!
The dismal health care situation in Ethiopia is not likely to get better anytime soon.
According to Public Radio International,
“at Ethiopia’s 13 new medical schools there is also a shortage of professors, so recent graduates are often asked to teach. One foreign doctor, who has worked in Ethiopia for more than 20 years, but asked not to be identified, said these new schools are producing a generation of doctors who don’t know what they’re doing, and they could do more harm than good.”
If Ethiopia has woefully inadequate health care services for its own citizens, how in the world can she become a mecca for “medical tourism”?
Is the TPLF trying to fool everyone with their “medical tourism” crap or are they just being slick?
Could the “medical tourism” hogwash be one of the TPLF’s classic scams? Bait and switch? Medical tourism for sex tourism?
When Adhanom talks about the Qataris building a resort “medical tourism”, who is he kidding? Nice try trying to pull the wool over our eyes, TPLF!
I have come to learn quite a bit about “tourism” and “resorts” and human trafficking and other such things in poor countries. My long time readers may recall my several commentaries on “adoption tourism” in Ethiopia. I have also strongly supported all of California’s human trafficking laws and particularly Proposition 35 (the “Californians Against Sexual Exploitation Act” Initiative) which passed by 81 percent of the voters in 2012.
What often happens in establishments claiming to be “resorts” in poor Third World countries is the practice of the dehumanizing and despicable institutions of prostitution, human trafficking and child sexual exploitation.
The Dominican Republic is said to be the “largest Caribbean resort destination in the world”. Well, a good part of that “tourism” is “adult entertainment” and “sex tourism”. Sex tourism is also a thriving business in Kenya where children as young as 12 are forced by poverty and economic circumstances to sell their bodies. The Kenyan authorities turn a blind eye because of the supposed economic boost “sex tourism” brings to that country.
Thailand is on the top of the “sex tourism” list and Bangkok’s red light district is the stuff of the movies. Human trafficking is the principal source of sex workers in Thailand. It is the same story in the Philippines where a whopping 40-60% of tourists who visit the country are estimated to have traveled there for sex tourism alone. Brazil is no different where sex tourism and sex trafficking are rampant. The Brazilian government is said to be taking additional measures to deal with the problem during the 2016 Olympics.
Most currency strapped regimes like the TPLF are increasingly turning to “sex tourism” to generate revenue. Ethiopia under the T-TPLF has become Africa’s center of prostitution. I did not say that. The U.S. State Department’s 2014 Trafficking in Persons Report” did:
Ethiopia is a source and, to a lesser extent, destination and transit country for men, women, and children who are subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking. Girls from Ethiopia’s rural areas are exploited in domestic servitude and, less frequently, prostitution within the country… The central market in Addis Ababa is home to the largest collection of brothels in Africa, with girls as young as 8-years-old in prostitution in these establishments. Ethiopian girls are forced into domestic servitude and prostitution outside of Ethiopia, primarily in Djibouti, South Sudan, and in the Middle East. (Emphasis added.)
The mecca of medical tourism in Africa today is South Africa where they have many private, world-class medical institutions with highly skilled doctors and cutting edge technology provide world-class treatment. I am told by very reliable sources that South Africa is the preferred destination for TPLF medical tourists.
Affluent patients from the Middle East visit Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia and India for treatment.
Let’s face it. Who can afford the Qatari “resorts” once they are built?
What would be the attraction for those coming to use the resorts? The smoggy air of Addis Ababa? Perhaps an urban safari for young women…
Does Ethiopia really need resorts for the relaxation and entertainment of the corruptly rich and foreign sex fiends?
Now, you may be able to appreciate why I am deeply suspicious and freaked out by any “resort” idea in Addis Ababa!
Let me also say that I get no pleasure raining on the T-TPLF parade, but when they try to pull an obvious fast one that insults our intelligence, I get pissed off.
Here is the bottom line: Does Ethiopia really need resorts for relaxation and entertainment of the corruptly rich and foreign sex fiends when over 80 percent of the population lives in tattered thatched-roof tukuls?
Here is the question that completely boggles my mind.
How could any regime even dream about building “resorts” when 15 million of its people are facing starvation and famine and dying by the hundreds every single day?
Is it not immoral and purely evil for a regime to go out looking for “resort developers” when children are dying off like flies?
The Biblical plague of famine has already arrived in Ethiopia. Of course, I have been announcing the return of the Black Horseman of the Apocalypse since I caught a glimpse of him three years ago.
This past October, I asked the simple question: “Can the TPLF Stop the Famine in Ethiopia?” It seems the TPLF has welcomed the Black Horseman with open arms and let him ride free and do their dirty work.
According to UNICEF:
… An estimated 435,000 children are in need of treatment for severe acute malnutrition (SAM), and more than 1.7 million children, pregnant women and lactating women are in need of supplementary feeding. More than 5.8 million people are in need of emergency water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services. Water shortages have given rise to hygiene issues, leading to water-related public health concerns, including scabies. The drought has also affected school attendance, with more than 2 million children on the verge of dropping out and over 3,000 schools at risk of closure. This has significantly increased children’s vulnerability to protection concerns, including violence, exploitation, early marriage, trafficking and abuse… (Emphasis added.)
The TPLF says, the crisis is caused entirely by El Nino, a climatic event which allegedly creates extreme condition of drought and floods in different parts of the globe. In other words, the TPLF says no rain, comes drought, follows starvation. The fact that the TPLF has been chasing resort developers instead of advanced planning to deal with the famine has nothing to do with it.
Graham Peebles in a recent article in Counterpunch reveals that poor governance, “government duplicity and deceit” play an important role in the catastrophic food crises. According to Peebles:
Consumed with vain ideals of regional status, economic development (although there has been some growth the country ranks as the third poorest in the world) and a distorted national image, the ruling party – a brutal dictatorship, despite democratic pretensions – lacks the political will and compassionate honesty to deal with the current situation openly. They have stopped people in Addis Ababa and elsewhere collecting funds for famine victims, and, consistent with past denials, Deputy Prime Minister, Demeke Mekonen, commenting on a BBC programme about the crisis, is reported to have told a local journalist that “there is no such thing as famine in Ethiopia these days…”
So, who is to blame for the deaths of tens of thousands of Ethiopians? El Nino or El-TPLF?
The Famine Early Warning system (FEWS), the “leading provider of early warning and analysis on food insecurity created by USAID”, has been “reporting the figure of 15 million Ethiopians facing dire food shortages since early December 2015.”
FEWS described Ethiopia as “the country with the largest acutely food insecure population in the world”.
FEWS concluded: “Already, significant populations in northern Somali region and southern Afar are in Emergency (IPC Phase 4) [Integrated Food Security Phase Classification], meaning that they are unable to access adequate food for survival and face an increased risk of malnutrition and mortality.”
15 million Ethiopians today are in IPC 4 (“Humanitarian Emergency”). The next and final stage (p. 4) is the end stage, IPC 5 (Famine/Humanitarian Catastrophe). To see the latest FEWS “drought” map, click here.
In February 2014, it was reported that “Ethiopia finds itself in critical need of donors’ assistance, in order to feed 2.7 million people.” That was for early 2014. U.S. tax payers shelled out $218 million.
In 2013, Ethiopia received nearly $700m in humanitarian aid to feed over 4 million people. U.S. tax payers shelled out $236 million.
In September 2012, “The Ethiopian government announced 3.7 million of its citizens will require humanitarian assistance between August and December of this year, up from 3.2 million in January.” U.S. taxpayers shelled out $307 million.
In 2011, international humanitarian food aid to Ethiopia amounted to nearly $500 million. U.S taxpayers shelled out $313 million.
In August 2010, UN FAO reported, “An estimated 5.2 million [Ethiopians] still depend on emergency food assistance and agencies agree on a severe situation of high hunger in the long term.”
In a 2010 Report, Human Rights Watch documented the cynical and deadly games the TPLF has played using donor-financed fertilizer, seeds, food aid and jobs to build an extensive network of local officials, militias and spies to control who gets what, when and how. The TPLF snagged $588 million in international humanitarian aid.
Martin Plaut in a recent article in News Statesman argued, “Ethiopia’s “biblical” famines of 1973 – 74 and 1984 – 85 left hundreds of thousands dead, probably around 200,000 and 400,000 respectively. The first resulted in the overthrow of Emperor Haile Selassie; the second contributed to the end of the Marxist regime of Mengistu Haile Mariam.”
So the only question is whether history will be kind enough to repeat itself one more time.
I would say history always repeats itself for those who do not learn and unlearn from history.
UNICEF says, “An estimated 435,000 children are in need of treatment for severe acute malnutrition (SAM), and more than 1.7 million children, pregnant women and lactating women are in need of supplementary feeding.”
A hungry child is an angry child!
The TPLF continues to clamp down on all famine reporting in Ethiopia today. If people across the world could see Ethiopian children starving to death they may stretch out a helping hand, a hand up.
No matter the hands of man! “Ethiopia shall soon stretch out her hands unto God.”
TPLF! Tear down your stonewall of silence, deceit, pretense, intrigue and skullduggery so that the eyes of the world could see and be horrified by the victims of YOUR famine.
Let the international media go into the famine-ravaged areas and report to the world YOUR crimes against humanity!
It is said that “Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth.”
It is also true that the “truth shall set you free”.
But when the long hidden truth about the 2015-16 famine comes out in the court of justice one day, it may not free the TPLF!