Britain axes aid to Ethiopian police amid human rights outcry

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Document warning that aid programme posed ‘high’ risk to human rights deleted from Government website as £27 million aid scheme axed

Britain has suspended most of a £27 million aid programme to support Ethiopia’s police force, The Telegraph has learnt, amid mounting allegations of torture, rape and murder by the regime.
Ministers pulled the plug on a scheme intended to improve criminal investigations, help Ethiopian police “interact with communities on local safety” and help women access the justice system.
The cancellation coincides with an Amnesty International report that documents how the Ethiopian security forces have conducted a campaign of torture, mutilation, rape and murder in order to suppress political opposition.
Britain has given £1 billion in aid, including around £70 million for “governance and security” projects, to the country over three years. Critics of the ruling regime have disappeared, and Amnesty International found allegations of men being blinded and women being gang raped and burnt with hot coals by regime officials.
There are mounting fears for the safety of Andy Tsege, a British national and critic of the regime, who was abducted in Yemen before being tortured and sentenced to death.
The Department for International Development said the project was cancelled because it did not represent “value for money” and because of “risk” in getting it delivered on time.
It insisted that the cancellation of the project was entirely unrelated to allegations of human rights abuses, and said the decision pre-dated the Amnesty International report.
However, earlier this year an internal government assessment of the programme warned it posed a “high” risk to human rights, upgrading it from medium.
The document noted that the Government of Ethiopia appeared reluctant to improve the human rights situation. “The underlying assumption of GoE’s commitment to reform in the security sector is sensitive and subject to a range of factors (e.g. terrorist attacks inside Ethiopia). In light of this, we propose elevating the risk to ‘high’.”
It also warned that work had been “poor quality” with “weak value for money”. There were “tensions” between British aid workers and the Government of Ethiopia, with Ethiopian civil servants complaining over being “overwhelmed” by paperwork. Work fell behind the timetable.
The document, an annual assessment of the scheme, was subsequently deleted from the website.
DfID said the document was deleted because the programme had changed. The decision to axe the programme went unannounced before inquiries from this newspaper, despite mounting concern at the deteriorating situation in the country.
A DfID spokesman said: “DFID has suspended major activities under the Community Safety and Justice programme because of concerns about risk and value for money. We are updating the website to reflect programme changes.”
One element of the scheme, run by Harvard University in measuring the effectiveness of justice reforms, will continue to be funded by Britain.
The deletion of the documents was detected by Reprieve, the anti-death penalty charity which is campaigning for Mr Tsege’s release.
“While MrTsege is held in a secret prison in Ethiopia under sentence of death, Dfid has inexplicably scrubbed alltraces of this funding from its website,” said Maya Foa, the head of the death penalty team. “The Government should be using its extensive influence in Ethiopia to ensure the safety of one of its nationals, not aiding the very forces responsible for his detention – then removing the evidence.”
A blistering report on Thursday warned that British aid money is fuelling corruption overseas. One development project in Nepal encouraged people to forge documents to gain grants while police stations in Nigeria linked to British aid were increasingly demanding bribes, the Independent Commission on Aid Impact found.


  1. Congratulations to the neo colonialist Amnesty International for stopping British help to reform and democratise the Ethiopian police force. You must be genius to organise that with information’s you got from OLF and ONLF terrorists. Next, you “Fiends of Africans” should work hard to mobilise the western world to stop any aid to any African country. For that you will have many disgruntled Africans in the diaspora to testify that their governments are busy massacring their people unless they come and rescue them by taking power. If you couldn’t find one I am sure you will invent genocides anywhere as usual. Your twin evil brothers of HRW must be very jealous of you. I am sure they will find more massacres and genocides in the Congo or any other African country not to be outdone by you.

  2. the fascist Tigre liberation force, survives on aid donated by the west, which it uses for brutal supression , mass murder, rape, looting and kidnap of citizes. with lttle money coming in from its backers, the fascist tplf will be hard pressed to maintain its brutal occupation

  3. The Ethiopian government had already secured $600000000 (six hundreds millions dollars) from the world bank this week. For more information please visit the world bank web site

  4. Unless one is a fat head , never called or refer Woyane ‘s as government and the cops as Ethiopian police .How on earth Woyane,the mafioso ,the torturer,the assassin and majirat meche is being counted and given a name”government” when it should have been called Leba .thus it is an honour for the Woyane to be called mengest and is a disgrace to those genuine governments to equally referred as mengest with Woyane thugs.

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