(http://www.oromoliberationfront.org/PressReleases/Famine_not_only.pdf) sheds further light on the grave political – economic reasons that are to be found at the origin of this grave situation.

According to the enlightening Press Release, signed by Dawud Ibsaa, Chairman of the National Council of the OLF, Oromia is turning from breadbasket of Eastern Africa to deserted land, not because of "poorly performing rain", but due to the outrageous practices of national discrimination, utmost racism, premeditated destruction of the environmental conditions, and utter desecration of the lands of the Oromos.

Why occupied Oromia is starving

The basic reasons for which Oromia is exposed to starvation and ecological collapse are the following:

1. Extended intentional deforestation (under the pretext of search for Oromo rebels vast forests are being burnt down),

2. Disproportionate and unfair budget allocation to Oromia,

3. Imposed social decomposition, economic stagnation, and elimination of any unconditional Oromo private initiative,

4. Criminal destruction of the Oromo social structure (Gadaa system),

5. Interruption of delivery of fertilizers to Oromo farmers, under the pretext of support offered to the OLF, and

6. Illegal confiscation of assets and properties of NGOs (like the Oromo Relief Association / ORA).

All the practices bear witness to worldwide unacceptable policies of Neo-Nazi, discriminatory nature that cannot go unpunished. The international community should properly evaluate the heinous and antihuman acts of the Amhara – Tigray Abyssinian regime of Meles Zenawi, and drastically intervene to liberate Abyssinia´s subjugated nations, and save Africa´s environment from total collapse.

We republish here integrally the OLF Press Release, and call for immediate and resolute protestation in view of an international intervention in ´Ethiopia´. The Amhara – Tigray regime of forest incineration must get immediately eliminated, as Threat against the Mankind.

The Famine in Oromia: the Dry Season is Not the Only Culprit

Statement of the Oromo Liberation Front

Adda Bilisummaa Oromoo – Oromo Liberation Front


The Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) is prompted to issue this statement in response to the statement by the UN's News release, dated March 28, 2008. The News Release reports, among others, that, "The deteriorating situation with regard to human health, food security, livelihoods, and livestock health, initially reported in Borne zone has spread to Bale, East Hararge, Guji and Liben zones of Oromia Region. Poorly performing rains for upcoming rainy season forecast by National Meteorological Agency are likely to exacerbate the exiting situation in lowland agro-pastoral areas of Oromia Region." The report predicts that, "An estimated 88, 000 people in affected woredas [districts] in Borana zone require emergency assistance from government, humanitarian partners and UN agencies." The News Release also warns of similar "emergence of hotspots in the SNNPR."

The OLF applauds the UN´s news release for bringing to the attention of the World Community the grim situation that Oromo people are facing at this difficult time and for calling for emergency assistance for those affected in Oromia and other parts of Ethiopia. The OLF leadership believes that no responsibility is greater and no calling nobler than saving the lives of our pastoralists and farmers who are victimized by forces beyond their control.

At the same time, the OLF would like to point out that the cause that the UN Report gives to the calamitous situation of the Oromo people as "poorly performing rain" is only a part of the truth. The other part of the truth is bad governance of the Ethiopian regime, which has made the lives of the Oromo truly miserable. What is more, the current Ethiopian regime, which is dominated by the Tigrayan People´s Liberation Front (TPLF), follows discriminatory and lopsided economic development policy in Oromia and other regional states in southern Ethiopia.

It is imperative to remember that since the Meles regime came to power in 1991"the effects of the dry season", the usual cause for famine in Ethiopia has shifted from Northern Ethiopia, in general, and Tigrai, in particular, to the Southern Ethiopia, in general, and Oromia, in particular. The Tigrai region, the home base of the Meles and the regime's ruling elites, that used to be known for drought and famine for several decades, is now boasting for unheard of all round economic progress. These days there are no warnings of famine concerning Tigrai. It is good news that Tigrai economy is progressing and the people Tigrai are no longer subjected to starvation like the Oromo.

At this point it is pertinent to ask why Oromia is starving while Tigrai is prospering? Since the creation of the modern Ethiopian empire in the 1880s Oromia has been known as the breadbasket of Ethiopia. More than sixty percent of Ethiopian government revenue comes from Oromia. Most of Ethiopian cash crops come from Oromia. Oromia, the Oromo regional state, is the most fertile part of Ethiopia, which enjoys abundant rainfall and has numerous rivers and lakes. With its hardworking farmers and abundant animal population Oromia always prided itself not only on its self-sufficiency in food production, but also produced surplus for the rest of Ethiopia and for international market.

Why is the same land now starving and needs humanitarian assistance of food? The answer is very clear. The root cause of the famine in Oromia is the TPLF regime´s policy towards Oromo people. Because the Oromo constitute almost forty-five percent of the population of Ethiopia, the TPLF, which represents less than seven percent of the population of Ethiopia, fears Oromo numerical
strength. As a result the TPLF dominated Ethiopian regime follows the policies of destroying all independent Oromo organizations and impoverishing the Oromo people.

How does the TPLF regime impoverish the Oromo people? The regime follows well documented discriminatory economic policies. It provides disproportionate and unfair budget allocation to Oromia. It is this regime that has classified the educated and the entrepreneurial classes of the Oromo as enemies of its ´revolutionary democracy´ ideology. What is more, the regime has imposed gross human rights violations in Oromia, which forced tens of thousands of Oromo farmers to seek refuge in the neighboring countries in the Horn of Africa and beyond. Since it came to power in 1991, the current Ethiopian regime has dispossessed, displaced, and disenfranchised tens of thousands of the Oromo people, which is the real root cause for the underdevelopment and starvation in Oromia today.

As if its gross human rights violations in Oromia are not enough, the irresponsible and myopic TPLF regime has been engaged in an intentional deforestation of Oromia since it came to power. On the pretext of flushing out the OLF guerrilla fighters, the current Ethiopian authorities, intentionally set fire to Oromia's natural forest that is a cause for the fast degradation of Oromia´s ecological system. It is worthy of note that the most recent intentionally set fire to Oromia´s natural forest is that of the Shakiso forest of Bale zone destroying huge forests.

The OLF would like the UN and the world community to know that the TPLF regime is punishing the Oromo people for demanding their fundamental human rights. The regime deprived the supply of fertilizer to Oromo farmers for their alleged support of the OLF. It was with the intention of depriving the Oromo people a relief and development assistance that the TPLF regime banned the Oromo Relief Association (ORA) from legally functioning in the country. The regime also illegally confiscated ORA's assets and properties, including a ready for distribution relief and humanitarian aid. The TPLF regime has either withheld the humanitarian and development assistance provided by the Western World from the Oromo people or diverted it to the Tigrai region or used it for a provision of its armed and security forces.

Therefore, the OLF calls on the UN and other humanitarian agencies to directly help the needy Oromo and other people in Ethiopia. We also request that the UN and other humanitarian agencies make sure that the humanitarian aid that they provide reaches the needy people. The TPLF regime is totally discredited to be entrusted with the task of distributing humanitarian aid.

The OLF would like the UN and the world community to know that so long as the tyrannical regime of Meles Zenawi is in power, the World Community would continue to hear more alarming reports about the famine in Oromia and other parts of Ethiopia. What will end famine and gross human rights violations in Ethiopia will be the replacement of the current regime by a government that does not discriminate among its citizens, a government that does not pursue discriminatory economic development policies, a government that is accountable to the people, a government that honors the rule of law and human rights.

Finally, the Oromo people are struggling for their freedom and basic democratic rights- to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. We call upon the Western World and all concerned governments and organizations to impress upon the Ethiopian government to immediately stop its gross human rights violations in Oromia and other parts of Ethiopia and to end without delay its discriminatory economic development policies, which are the main cause of famine in Oromia.

Victory to the Oromo People!

Dawud Ibsaa

Chairman, National Council of the OLF

In an Press Release, issued on March 31st, the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF)

author's email

author's web site

March 31, 2008

Government corruption fuels famine in Chin state

Mizzima News
April 4, 2008

New Delhi , India - The ongoing acute food shortage in Chin state of western Burma is exacerbated through the corruption of local authorities, a Chin human rights group reports.

The Chin Human Rights Organization (CHRO) on Thursday said that the famine in Chin state, resulting from a scarcity of food, is worsened by local authorities who hinder and seize humanitarian aid intended for the local people.

CHRO said local authorities in Paletwa Township of Chin state in January seized more than 300 bags of rice donated by a Roman Catholic Church as relief aid for famine victims.

Besides this confiscation, another 150 bags on February of rice donated by the Church of the Province of Myanmar were also seized and sold for profit by the same local authorities.

"A mandatory purchasing order was imposed on residents of Paletwa by the authorities, instructing them to buy the seized rice at an overpriced rate," CHRO said in a statement released on Thursday.

Tera, a representative of CHRO based in India's Mizoram state bordering Burma, said, "The Chairman of the local township peace and development council led the seizure of rice bags and later resold the confiscated rice to local people at an overpriced rate."

While a bag of rice in a normal market costs approximately $16, authorities ordered locals to buy the seized rice at a rate of approximately $18 per bag, Tera added.

Since the beginning of 2008, people in Chin state have reportedly suffered from a dire shortage of food. According to Chin folklore, the famine occurs once every 50 years, when rats are released into the fields and consume all food.

Tera related that there are about 100 villages in Paletwa Township and about 600 villagers from more than 40 villages have fled to the Indian border seeking relief from the famine.

Victor Biak Lian, a member of CHRO's Board of Directors said, "This is very cruel action from the Burmese authority. Even if they refuse to help the local villagers, they should not add to their grievances."

He added that CHRO plans to come up with an alternative way to help people with food aid.

CHRO also called on the international community as well as humanitarian aid groups to come to the assistance of the Chin people, who are currently going hungry due to the confluence of famine and ongoing persecution from authorities.

Environmental hysterics
A skeptic weighs in

By David Deming
April 6, 2008

Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley recently warned that failure to take action on global warming could mean the extinction of the human race. Over the last few years, we've been repeatedly warned we are in the midst of a climate crisis that threatens our survival. Al Gore calls it a "planetary emergency."

We might take this concern more seriously if the doom-mongering wing of the environmental movement weren't burdened by a long history of false prophecies.

In the mid- to late-1960s, the leading environmental concern was overpopulation. The 1967 book "Famine 1975!" warned "by 1975 a disaster of unprecedented magnitude will face the world ... famines will ravage the undeveloped nations ... this is the greatest problem facing mankind." A sober review of the book in the scholarly journal Science characterized the prediction of mass starvation as "self-evident," argued that technological solutions were "unrealistic," and concluded that catastrophe was unavoidable. The reviewer concluded "all responsible investigators agree that the tragedy will occur."

More widely read was Paul Ehrlich's shrill screed, "The Population Bomb" (1968). Mr. Ehrlich began with the infamous words "the battle to feed all of humanity is over," and claimed that "in the 1970s ... hundreds of millions of people are going to starve to death." "We must have population control," Mr. Ehrlich argued, because it is the "only answer."

Mr. Ehrlich followed "The Population Bomb" in 1969 with publication of the essay, "Eco-Catastrophe," in which he predicted the Green Revolution would fail and that the "ignorance" of the Cornucopian economists would be exposed. By 1980, environmental degradation would wipe out all "important animal life" in the world's oceans, people would choke to death from air pollution by the hundreds of thousands, and life expectancy in the United States would fall to 42 years. "Western society," Mr. Ehrlich proclaimed, "is in the process of completing the rape and murder of the planet for economic gain."

In 1975, the news media informed us that a new Ice Age was imminent. An article in the Chicago Tribune titled "B-r-r-r-r: New Ice Age on way soon?" noted "It's getting colder." The Tribune interpreted a number of ordinary weather events "as evidence that a significant shift in climate is taking place — a shift that could be the forerunner of an Ice Age." The New York Times chimed in, warning their readers that "a major cooling may be ahead." Famed science reporter Walter Sullivan announced "the world's climate is changing ... a new ice age is on the way."

Within 10 years, the imminent calamity of global cooling was replaced by global warming. And the mass famines predicted by Paul Ehrlich and others never happened.

From 1970 through 2000, the world's population grew from 3.7 billion to 6.1 billion. But the food supply grew faster. Between 1970 and 2000, per capita food increased by 15 percent. The problem today is not of famine but of too much food. Obesity is even becoming a problem in the developing world.

Better science and more reasonable voices preceded Mr. Ehrlich, but were ignored by a media fascinated with frenetic alarmism.

In 1960, ecologist Edward Deevey calmly predicted that the rapid growth in world population would be temporary. He was right. The growth rate of the world population peaked in the early 1960s and was already in decline when Mr. Ehrlich published "The Population Bomb" in 1968. Europe and Japan now have negative population growth, and the birthrate in developing countries is falling rapidly as these regions undergo a demographic transition.

It is apparent that world population will stabilize at 9 billion to 10 billion around the middle of this century.

None of the environmental catastrophes Mr. Ehrlich predicted occurred. Since 1970, the six principal air pollutants tracked by the Environmental Protection Agency have fallen significantly, even while U.S. population and energy use have grown. In 1990, Mr. Ehrlich's own ignorance was exposed when he lost a wager over the price of commodities to Cornucopian economist Julian Simon.

And the Green Revolution was a success. It has been estimated that the father of the Green Revolution, Norman Borlaug, singlehandedly saved the lives of a billion people. Higher crop yields from improved grain varieties also helped preserve the environment by limiting the need to convert undeveloped areas to arable land.

History repeats itself. So, please excuse my skepticism when you claim global warming means the end of the world is nigh. I have heard it all before.

David Deming is a geologist, an adjunct scholar with the National Center for Policy Analysis and associate professor of Arts and Sciences at the University of Oklahoma.