BBC’s Ethiopia weapons report denied

Ethiopian officials and an aid agency have denied a BBC report that millions of dollars in aid for Ethiopian famine victims in the 1980s went to buy arms.

Abadi Zemo, a senior member of Ethiopia’s ruling coalition, described the allegations as nonsensical.

The charity Christian Aid said its “investigations do not correspond to the BBC’s version of events”.

The BBC report said millions of dollars in Western aid had been siphoned off by Ethiopian rebels to buy weapons.

It quotes former rebel leaders as saying they had posed as merchants in meetings with charity workers to get aid money during the 1984-85 famine.

They used the cash to fund attempts to overthrow the government of the time, the report said.

One rebel leader estimated that $95m (£63m) – from Western governments and charities, including Band Aid – had been used for military purposes.

An assessment by America’s CIA at the time said aid was almost certainly diverted



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