A Harsh Harvest

Ethiopia struggles with war and poverty

A Harsh Harvest Ethiopia is at war, not only with its neighbour Eritrea, but also with itself.

Since 1998 Ethiopia has spent billions on high-tech weapons. Meanwhile, eight million of its people face starvation. Internal opposition is growing and many agree with Professor Mesfin Mariam: "For a poor country like Ethiopia, the poorest country in the world, why should we spend so much money on arms?" In 1993 Eritrea became independent after centuries as part of Ethiopia. For five years the countries were close allies. But in May 1998, the Eritrean army invaded Ethiopia and occupied the Badme plain. "Nobody thought that war could come from Eritrea. Maybe from other neighbouring countries, but not from Eritrea. I mean look, we are brothers", says Dr Brooke Hailu, a prominent political scientist. A strong report on a seemingly senseless war.

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