Assefa Negash, M.D.
Amstelveen, Holland – the 17th of July 2017
Let me start discussion of a disturbing case of a 13 years old Amara girl from a small town called Maksingt, in the Gonder area of the so-called Amara region by acquainting readers with the enlightening piece known as Kissinger’s December 1974 “National Security Memorandum 200”. This memorandum has been designed to bring about forced population reduction in countries that are of paramount interest to US global political strategy. This 123-pages long document, which has been kept confidential for 15 years, has been declassified and made available to the public on the 7th of March 1989. This document deals with American concern with population growth and suggests ways of reducing this demographic menace to American strategic interest and world peace. I have here after reproduced excerpts from this memorandum extensively by way of contextualizing the obsession of agencies such as USAID with family planning and reproductive health programs in countries like Ethiopia. It becomes also apparent how the fascist minority Tigrean regime has seized upon this opportunity to target a major Ethiopian group i.e. the Amara people by synchronizing US global concern about demographic pressure with TPLF’s fascistic policy of erasing the identity of the Amara people. The Amaras have been singled out as the major target of TPLF’s political struggle for the empowerment of Tigreans since TPLF made its political debut at Dedebit, Tigrai in February 1975.
Find here after the relevant excerpts from the “National Security Memorandum 200”, which is believed to be the brain-child of the former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger.
“Political Effects of Population Factors”
“The political consequences of current population factors in the least developed countries (LDCs) – rapid growth, internal migration, high percentages of young people, slow improvement in living standards, urban concentrations, and pressures for foreign migration are damaging to the internal stability and international relations of countries in whose advancement the U.S. is interested, thus creating political or even national security problems for the U.S. In a broader sense, there is a major risk of severe damage to world economic, political, and ecological systems and, as these systems begin to fail, to our humanitarian values. In international relations, population factors are crucial in, and often determinants of, violent conflicts in developing areas. Conflicts that are regarded in primarily political terms often have demographic roots. Recognition of these relationships appears crucial to any understanding or prevention of such hostilities.
The World Population Plan of Action is not self-enforcing and will require vigorous efforts by interested countries, U.N. agencies and other international bodies to make it effective. U.S. leadership is essential. The strategy must include the following elements and actions:
Concentration on key countries.
Assistance for population moderation should give primary emphasis to the largest and fastest growing developing countries where there is special U.S. political and strategic interest. Those countries are: India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nigeria, Mexico, Indonesia, Brazil, the Philippines, Thailand, Egypt, Turkey, Ethiopia and Columbia. Together, they account for 47 percent of the world’s current population increase”.
From here on Kissinger’s National Security Memorandum 200 calls for:
1 – “Integration of population factors and population programs into country development planning.
2 – Increased assistance for family planning services, information and technology. This is a vital aspect of any world population program.
3 – Family planning information and materials based on present technology should be made fully available as rapidly as possible to the 85% of the populations in key LDCs not now reached, essentially rural poor who have the highest fertility”.
Commenting on the Kissinger’s diabolical plan meant to reduce the population of the world, Linda de Hoyos makes the following succinct observation:
“A nation of 30 million people, Ethiopia was a prime objective of Kissinger’s National Security Study Memorandum 200 for forced population reduction. Perhaps even more dangerous to the British oligarch and their partners, was that Ethiopia had produced an intellectual elite that was among the most competent in all of Africa”. Now let me turn to the issue of Amaras & TPLF’s birth control program which has particularly targeted this ethnic group.
The Story of the 13 years Amara School Girl from Maksegnit
Several weeks ago, I received message from a London-based Ethiopian compatriot regarding a 13 years old school girl from Maksegnit, small locality in Gondar, on whose upper arm Norplant (a birth control implant) has been inserted. Norplant is a birth control method involving the surgical insertion of six thin flexible capsules made of silicone rubber tubing (implants) into the upper arm of a woman of reproductive age. The implants are inserted just under the skin. The six rods which are implanted into the upper arm of a woman contain Levonorgestrel which is a hormonal contraceptive that is released in the body of the targeted woman thereby preventing pregnancy for as long as 5 years.
Critical concerns regarding Norplant use as contraceptive:
“The Implanon rod is marketed as a set it and forget it contraceptive even though this method requires six-month checkups. Removal can be difficult and must be performed by a provider. Once implanted, side effects, including prolonged, frequent, or infrequent bleeding or no periods at all, possible weight gain, headaches, nausea, breast pain, and acne, are often irreversible. Less frequently, women have experienced hair loss, mood changes, painful periods and loss of sexual desire. Many women have reported that removal is painful because of weight gain or scar tissue growth over the implant. In some cases implants have broken up within the arm, and doctors have had difficulty removing these floating pieces”.
This contraceptive method has been used in different parts of the world, especially the developing world. What emerges from the story of the 13 year old Amara girl is that a group of Ethiopian and foreigners (white people) came to her school known as Arage Mariam and told her and the other girls in her school that they need to use the Norplant contraceptive method to prevent unwanted pregnancy. And all girls from the age of 10 were required to use the Norplant contraceptive under pressure from local authorities who have no qualms using respectable local church leaders. These church leaders have apparently been coopted by the local officials and birth control agencies in order to enforce the birth control program in the predominantly Amara-inhabited region of the ethnic enclosure now dubbed “Amara region”.
The TPLF & its Invisible Genocidal War Against the Amaras (1991-2017)
The result of the 2007 Population & Housing census revealed that the total number of the Amara population was 17.2 million. The population increased in number by 25% in the 13 years that span over the period 1994-2007. This represented an annual growth rate of 1.7% for the Amara population. This growth rate compares unfavorably with corresponding rates of population growth rates registered for other regions of Ethiopia including the most urbanized capital city of Ethiopia i.e. Addis Ababa.
In this same period 1994-2007 the population of the new ethnic enclosures known as Tigrai increased by 38.7%, that of so-called Oromia by 45.6%, Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples (SNNP) increased by 44.2% and Addis Ababa increased by 28%. How do we account for this conspicuously glaring disparity in the population growth rate of the Amara region? We are forced to ask this question given the fact that the majority of the Amara population comprises of rural peasants who live in the countryside. The relatively low population growth rate of 1.7% for the overwhelmingly rural Amara population is far less than that of the most urbanized capital city of Ethiopia i.e. Addis Ababa that showed a 2.1% growth rate. “The region with the highest and statistically significant drop in total fertility rate (TFR) was Amhara (by 1.4 children per woman)”. As the data above show, the fertility rate in this region dropped by 1.4 children per woman between 2000 and 2011 alone. This is statistically very significant change to have taken place in such short span of time. “The capital city, Addis Ababa, has the highest mCPR among married women at 56%, followed by Gambela and Amhara regions at 33% each”. mCPR is a measure of the contraceptive prevalence rate and indicates the coverage rate of contraceptive use among a population. The absolute drop in fertility rates between 2000 and 2011 for Addis Ababa was 0.3, for Gambella 0.4, for Amara 1.4 and for Tigrai 0.4. In the so-called Amara region, 88% of the population is rural and only 12% of the population is urban. This is region has now the lowest fertility rate in Ethiopia than any other region. The predominantly Amara-inhabited region has not undergone an extraordinary socio-economic transformation and industrialization process that would lead one to conclude that it is witnessing a population decline on par with developed Western nations such as Japan or Germany, etc. The majority of Amaras (88% of the total Amara population) live in rural areas. The new ethnic enclosure called the “Amara region” is the least urbanized part of Ethiopia than all other major ethnically enclosed regions of Ethiopia such as the so-called Oromia, Tigray and SNNP ethnic enclosures.
Data that has bearing on population growth rate by region (1994-2007)à(Source: Summary and Statistical Report of the 2007)
Southern Nations & Peoples —-à2.9%
Addis Ababa ———————-à2.1%
“There is evidence of a down turn in fertility among Amhara women as confirmed by the reported current fertility rate (TFR) of 5.1 in the 2005 DHS, one of the lowest recorded for the 11 regions of the country. Of the predominantly rural regions, only Gambella has a lower TFR (4.0). The reported number of children ever born (CEB) of 7.0 for women aged 40-49 during the 2005 DHS attests to the recency of the fertility decline”.
Different hypotheses can be brought forward to account for this anomalous demographic picture that has been published by the Central Statistical Office – an institution that works under the auspices of the incumbent regime. But for now my focus would be on the politics of the demographic war which has been silently waged in the name of family planning and birth control against the Amara people who have been singled out and targeted as the mortal enemy of the people of Tigray by TPLF. During the last 26 years, TPLF has sought to champion and promote the interest of its Tigrean ethnic constituency by adopting a policy of gradually weakening and subjecting the Amara people to a genocidal process in its effort to create Lebensraum (extra living space) for Tigreans in a manner reminiscent of Hitler’s violent occupation of neighboring countries such as Poland and Czechoslovakia in the 1930’s. The genocidal war which has been effectively waged against the Amara population in the name of family planning and birth control is one of the instruments of the ethnic cleansing drive of the TPLF regime that has escaped the scrutinizing gaze of our social scientists, politicians, human rights activists, health workers, etc. The targeting of the Amara people and concentration of birth control programs in the predominantly Amara-inhabited ethnic enclosure known as the Amara region reeks of eugenics practice. A fascist state like TPLF, which since its inception has defined the Amara people as its mortal enemy, has the ideological determination to impose eugenic practice that seeks to restrict the reproduction capacity of a targeted group under the pretext of promoting family planning and reproductive health. Eugenics is a false science that has been used by the Nazis in the 1930’s to restrict the unwanted reproduction of groups they identified as unfit. Today similar program is pushed in Ethiopia to harm the reproductive capacity of a major ethnic group i.e. Amara which has been seen as an eye-sore to the incumbent minority Tigrean regime. What makes this diabolical drive of the TPLF regime that has particularly targeted the Amara people very disturbing and alarming is the fact that it is financially supported and bank-rolled by big government agencies such as the USAID, Swedish International Development Agency, EU, Western governments, giant multilateral organizations such as UN agencies, World bank, giant pharmaceutical companies, various NGO’s such as Pathfinder International Ethiopia and even foundations set up by philanthropist individuals such as Bill and Melinda Gates, etc. All aforementioned governments, institutions, NGO’s and foundations have inadvertently or unintentionally entered into an unholy alliance with the TPLF in the latter’s attempt at thinning out the Amara population in the name of promoting family planning and reproductive health. None of the big media moguls, which repeat ad nauseam the double digit growth rate registered by Ethiopia, seem to have noticed the darker side of the population policy of the incumbent TPLF regime that has skillfully used funds it receives to arrest the reproductive capacity of the Amara people. Today family planning and reproductive health agencies are preaching the gospel of birth control to the Amara women whom they perceive as unthinking souls that need their paternalistic protection. As I was completing this paper, the British government announced that it is to release 90 million British pounds for family planning program in Ethiopia. This would be money which would be used by the fascistic regime of TPLF to implement its genocidal policy of targeting, among others, the Amara ethnic group which has been the most conspicuous victim of the genocidal war waged by TPLF in the last 26 years.
Let us now turn to the social engineering policy of the TPLF regime which has conveniently used family planning and birth control as instrument of its genocidal policy against the Amaras from December 1979 (increasing eviction of Amaras from Welkait en Tsegede) to the present. Here it is apposite on my part to acquaint the reader with the UN Convention on Genocide which was adopted by Resolution 260 (III) A of the United Nations General Assembly on 9 December 1948. Art. 2.
“In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:
(a) Killing members of the group;
(b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
(d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
(e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group”.
It is also important for readers to realize that the Amara region has by far the highest infant mortality rate than other comparably larger regions of Ethiopia. Add to this the malaria epidemic that was raging in the predominantly Amara-inhabited areas in the mid and late 1990’s that decimated as many as 8 individuals per day in one peasant association alone. There are cases of families who lost several family members in a space of a few days. It is instructive to mention that by 1997/1998 as many as 990 peasant associations dotted in the rural areas of the so-called Amara region were severely affected by the malaria epidemics. Similarly in what is dubbed Oromia region, people living in 550 peasant associations were affected and in the region dubbed SNNP around 420 peasant associations were affected by the malaria epidemics. All this happened after the Malaria Prevention and Control Authority that was set up in 1958 was deliberately dismantled and closed in 1995. Vital laboratory equipment and medical drugs were later transferred to the ethnically favored region of Tigrai whereas the Amara region, the region most affected by the malaria epidemic, was condemned to suffering along with the Oromo and Southern regions. Even after the outbreak of the malaria epidemics has been established, distribution of anti-malaria medication was effectively blocked by highly placed health officials of the incumbent Tigrean regime. The notorious Russian-educated Tigrean pharmacist by the name of Haile Selassie Bihonegn who was the person who was in charge of the medical drugs department within the Ethiopian Ministry of Public Health. Haile Selassie Bihonegn blocked the sending of anti-malaria drugs to the Amara region that had been ferociously hit by the malaria epidemics. This was nothing short of a deliberate act of biological genocide meant to allow a devastating disease i.e. malaria to run its natural course by decimating a population officially targeted as an enemy. All this was meant to cause as many Amara deaths as possible. The sinister goal of this Tigrean official in precipitating the death and suffering of as many Amaras as possibly can, had succeeded by leaving behind trails of death and untold human suffering in the memory of surviving Amaras. Those who survived this politically-motivated devastation of lives of people considered mortal enemies coined the following couplets to express their anguish and distaste for the Tigrean apartheid regime that made them suffer unto death.
“ልማት ነሱኝ ብለህ ጎጃም አታኩርፍ፤
ኪኒን አጣሁ ብለህ አፋር አታኩርፍ፤
መንገድ አጣሁ ብለህ ጎንደር አታኩርፍ፤
ኮረንቲ አጣሁ ብለህ ሸዋም አታኩርፍ፤
ትምህርት አጣሁ ብለህ ወሎም አታኩርፍ፤
ልማት ነሱን ብለህ ኦሮሞ አታኩርፍ፤
ይሰጡን የለም ወይ ከእነሱ ሲተርፍ”።
Alas the hope of Amaras that Tigreans would make some consideration and share with the rest of Ethiopians the fruits of Ethiopia has not materialized after patiently waiting for 26 years. And there is no hope that Tigreans would ever shade their collective narcissism and be considerate to non-Tigreans.
In Gojjam alone, more than 250000 people had been affected by the malaria epidemics and many have succumbed to death caused by malaria – death which could have been prevented if anti-malaria drugs were sent in time. In Bahir Dar area some 200 people lost their lives at the height of the malaria epidemic.
The Story of the 13 Years Old Amara Girl from Gondar
Ethically it is immoral and outrageous to subject school girls in their early teens to the use of birth control contraceptives. What we see here is enforcement of a state policy which has targeted very young girls of a targeted people i.e. Amaras who are forced to use contraceptives that can potentially harm their health. The unethical and careless use of contraceptives, the use of primary health services to lure women into accepting contraceptive methods about which they are not informed, the use of sanctions (use of religious authorities to impose damaging birth control methods on young girls) to force young school girls to accept potentially risky contraceptive methods, etc is something objectionable and a medical practice that is not morally sound.
What the Tigrean minority government and its foreign financiers are undertaking in the Amara region is not reproductive health care but programs that are designed to disable the reproductive capacity of Amara women – something which fits into the larger scheme of ethnically cleansing Amaras by the incumbent government. And this becomes evident when viewed against the evidence we cited above regarding the conspicuous decline in the fertility rate of the population in the Amara region between 1994 and 2007. Cases of villages with a conspicuous decline in the number of children born to Amara families have been reported.
Birth Control Methods and Ethical Issues
Birth control methods are supposed to be consensual and the consent of the potential target is needed. A woman who wants to participate in a birth control program is entitled to information about the birth control method, the possible side effects of the intervention, the after-care she would receive following the use of birth control methods such as oral contraceptives, implants (such as Norplant, Intra Uterine Device, IUD), sterilization, etc. In the case of the 13 year old Amara girl and many others like her, all these things did not happen. She and many other young girls of her age attending classes at their school were forcefully subjected to a surgical procedure by which Norplant had been implanted into their upper arms. Prior to undergoing the surgical procedure this girl and many others like her were not even informed about the procedure they were forced to undergo. She and her school mates had not given their prior consent in regard to undergoing such surgical intervention that has a far-reaching effect on their reproductive capacity. Before subjecting a woman to a surgical procedure of inserting Norplant into her body, a doctor or health professional should ascertain that the woman who is going to receive the Norplant implant does not have the following health problems:
1 – Blood clots in the legs or lungs (as that lead to pulmonary embolism – a deadly medical condition whereby a blood vessel in the lungs is blocked or obstructed by a blood clot).
2 – Breast cancer
3 – Diabetes
4 – Elevated cholesterol or triglycerides
5 – Migraine and or other type of headache
6 – High blood pressure or hypertension
7 – Diseases of the heart, kidney or gallbladder
8 – Depression (psychological/psychiatric problem)
As we can infer or conclude from the story of this little Amara girl, none of such clinical history taking procedures had been undertaken. Moreover no laboratory and other types of medical work-outs or examinations were performed before she was forcefully subjected to the insertion of Norplant into her arm. So the reader can see how Amaras are exposed to untimely death and iatrogenic (health problems caused by the faulty actions of medical practitioners) suffering by interventions that claim to help women while in reality the design and implementation of such interventions are meant to reduce population growth and not to promote an informed family planning program. The other down-side of this intervention is the fact that this little girl and millions of others like her, are not informed about the deleterious or harmful side effects of the Norplant implant. Let me mention some of these harmful side effects that issue from Norplant insertion into the body of a female of reproductive age.
1 – Profuse or increased bleeding (menstrual flow) and spotting (bleeding that occurs when a woman is not expecting menstrual bleeding and it is related to the implant such as Norplant)
2 – Norplant can lead to changes in the body that lead to higher blood pressure, increased risk of heart attack, blood clotting thereby exposing to conditions such as thrombosis (refers to blood clotting or coagulation in a blood vessel), a condition which can be deadly when for example the artery of the heart is blocked or clogged by the blood clot.
3 – Norplant can lead to increased body weight with all deadly consequences thereof (development of diabetes mellitus, heart disease, hypertension, etc).
4 – Norplant insertion can lead to numbness in the implanted arm so much that sometimes it becomes difficult to even use this arm. It can also precipitate, among others, mood changes, pain in the uterus, severe headache, etc. It suffices to just mention the few side effects I enumerated as we cannot exhaustively list all the possible side effects here.
The absence of a follow-up care means women such as this young girl would suffer from complications resulting from the surgical intervention as these girls have no any recourse to the treatment of these complications. Sometimes the complications may prove deadly or fatal. What is more, removal of the Norplant implant is very difficult and there are reported cases in which doctors in America could not remove the Norplant implant even after one and half hour of surgery. You can imagine what this can mean to an Amara woman living in a region which is noted for the conspicuous absence of even a rudimentary health care system and health care facilities much less a hospital staffed by surgeons.
What is Unethical Regarding Current Contraceptive Use in Ethiopia?
1 – No effort is made to inform the patient on the contraception method. Owing to this the right of the potential user to make choice about a surgical procedure that compromises her reproductive capacity is denied.
2 – Prior to the surgical intervention of inserting the Norplant, no attempt has been made to collect information on the clinical history of the woman concerning diseases from which she is suffering and which can be worsened by the side-effects or complications deriving from Norplant.
3 – The procedures are routinely carried out by persons who do not have adequate medical qualification to speak of.
4 – The birth control programs which are financed by agencies like the World Bank, USAID, UN agencies, various NGO’s, Foundations, etc. increasingly tie the use of existing primary health care services to birth control and family planning programs. This means users of primary health care facilities are subjected, as a matter of coercion, to undergo birth control procedures in order to access or use these primary health care facilities. Under the pretext of providing primary health care services to the people who need them badly, these champions of birth control agencies promote fertility-reduction programs that have particularly targeted the Amara women. This is reflected in the disproportionately greater number of agencies promoting and undertaking family planning/birth control programs being concentrated in the so-called Amara region than in any other ethnic enclosures of Ethiopia. This fits well with the hidden genocidal policy of the incumbent Tigrean regime which is intent on depopulating the Amara region using fertility reduction methods such as Norplant. The Amaras, who have become targets of depopulation using birth control programs, are people vast swaths of whose lands have been annexed to neighboring Tigrai and settled by more than 600000 Tigrean farmers. The population census done in 1984 (during the now defunct Dergue regime) showed that the population of Humera was 83044. By 1994, that is ten years after the 1984 population census and three years after the victorious TPLF took power in Ethiopia, this figure has dropped from 83044 to just 48690 people. This means within a space of just three years, 34354 native Amara inhabitants of the area have been killed, forced to leave their original places or disappeared altogether in the many underground prisons run by the TPLF regime. These prisons are known as Bado Sidiste and they are big underground prisons meant to imprison & eventually kill TPLF’s alleged enemies. On the other hand, 13 years after the first census i.e. in 2007, the population of Humera has almost doubled (grown from 48690 to 92167 people). Logically one is expected to ask himself/herself where all these people came from? In the intervening years the native Amara population of the Humera area was subjected to massive imprisonment, evictions, killings and exile. This tragic fate was particularly meted out to male Amaras. As such the fact that the population of Humera almost doubled in 13 year time (from the original 48690 to 92167) can only be accounted for by the net migration and resettlement of Tigreans (from Tigrai proper) into these regions previously inhabited by Amaras. Currently with the exception of 11 family heads and their family members who happen to be the native inhabitants of Welkayit and Tegede, all the other inhabitants of the town of Humera (i.e. 99.9% of the town’s population) comprise of Tigrean settlers or new migrants brought in from Tigrai. And this data is based on the census result released by the incumbent minority Tigrean regime led by the TPLF. “According to the Rural Resettlement Program Desk Officer for Tigray Region, the Zonal Administrator of West Tigray Zone and the Kefta Humera Woreda council in Humera, preparations are well underway at all levels to resettle 15,000 households (about 75,000 persons) this year until September 2003. The major objectives of current resettlement initiatives are mainly to reduce environmental degradation in areas of origin by transferring drought-affected people to more fertile and less populated areas for increased food production and subsistence farming”.
No Tigrean girls of comparable age (i.e. in their early teens) have been forcibly subjected or exposed to this heavy-handed regime of birth control program as the 13 years Amara girl from Maksegnit (Gondar) we mentioned above. And it should be stated clearly that these birth control programs are being bank-rolled by unilateral agencies like the USAID and multi-lateral agencies such as the World Bank, foundations such as that of Bill and Melinda Gates, etc. “USAid, which works closely with the state department, describes itself as the lead US government agency fighting poverty and promoting democracy around the world”. Although these institutions ostensibly claim to promote development they are inadvertently supporting the ethnicide of the Amara population in the name of promoting family planning and reproductive health in Ethiopia. When one looks at how 600000 (six hundred thousands of Tigrean peasants) have forcefully occupied (by force of arms and Tigrean state-supported political intervention) some of the most fertile parts of Gondar (Welkait, Humera, Tsegede, Tselemt), northern Wello, one can easily understand why the region predominantly inhabited by the Amara people has become the primary target of a genocidal process that is being pushed down the throats of Amaras under the deceptive name of family planning and reproductive health. Family planning and reproductive health becomes a euphemism for a genocidal program of depopulating Amaras silently when carried by a fascist regime informed by Social Darwinian ideology of the survival of the fittest. This ideology undergirds the violent inroads hundreds of thousands of Tigrean farmers have made into what was a predominantly Amara-inhabited fertile lands of Welkait, Tsegede, Humera, Tselemet, northern Wello, etc.
5 – The Amara region conspicuously stands out as the region which boasts the largest number of NGO’s that are working in cahoots with the TPLF regime in birth control (fertility reduction) program than any other regions of Ethiopia. Readers should ask why this is happening and why the Amara region, which has the highest infant mortality rate in the country along with the Somali inhabited region, has been targeted for a massive family planning and reproductive health program?. What is even unethical and worrisome about the family planning and birth control programs in Ethiopia is that private-for-profit-clinics are allowed to play a big role in administering and carrying out birth control programs. This unethical practice of delegating responsibility to private clinics renders the target population victim of greed-driven fanaticism with which these private clinics enforce birth control programs in order to maximize their profit. Profit accruing to these private clinics is based on the number of women owners of these private clinics subject women to non-consensual contraceptive use. One report proudly states the following about the implementation of birth control programs by an American NGO known as Pathfinder International Ethiopia. “Pathfinder implemented the reproductive health/family planning project through 16 Implementing Partner Organizations (IPOs) and a network of 150 private for-profit clinics to support program efforts in target regions”. In fact such private clinics work as franchise commercial firms bent on making money or profit out of birth control programs that are enforced on a hapless population.
The Rationale for Birth Control Programs in the Developing World
The following statement that was made by the American senator Fullbright when the Foreign Assistance Act was amended in 1967 to broaden USAID’s population mandate encapsulates the US government’s philosophy regarding the birth control programs its finances. Readers need to take note of the fact that USAID is the biggest aid organization that works as the long arm of American government in the developing world. It has an annual budget of some 20 Billion US dollars which is dispensed by this agency as development aid.
“We in the industrialized nations bear a considerable share of the blame for the population explosion. Modern public health programs, malaria eradication, vaccinations and the like, often made possible through our aid, have reduced mortality rates appreciably in the developing nations. Yet there is little virtue in saving people from malaria and dysentery to let them die of slowly of malnutrition. The commonsense answer is clear – we need to provide help for voluntary birth control needs as we have already provided help for death control”.
It is true that demographic or population pressure has negatively impacted the lives of people in the developing world. Ethiopia is one of the countries faced with a growing population and a steadily contracting physical resource base. But that said, the demographic factor is not the single most conspicuous cause of Ethiopia’s underdevelopment as Western policy makers and their local clientele regime i.e. TPLF would have us believe. The political system i.e. a totalitarian fascist state that obtains in Ethiopia which has stifled the productive initiatives of the Ethiopian people, particularly farmers, is the major culprit of poverty as it makes Ethiopians passive subjects that have no control over important sources of production such as land and capital goods as these are monopolistically controlled by the incumbent regime. It is the apartheid political system based on maintaining minority Tigrean rule and has marginalized 94% of the Ethiopian people which is responsible for the underdevelopment of Ethiopia than any other cause, including demographic pressure.
From the early 1960’s onwards birth control in the developing world has become the main preoccupation of western governments and multilateral organizations such as the UN (UNFPA), World Bank, IMF, etc. Population or birth control policies that these bodies have tried to enforce in the developing world have been measured not so much by the improvement in the quality of life of the people in the developing world as by the demographic impact of controlling birth in these countries. The family planning and reproductive health programs that have been foisted on the developing nations have generally been prescriptive than consensual. These programs enforce birth control programs on the women of the developing world instead of empowering them by increasing the choices available to women of reproductive age. For these governmental and multilateral agencies and NGO’s the concatenation of economic/political issues with the health of the population is irrelevant at best and anathema at worst. Problems that derive from macro-economic state policies of an ethnocentric fascist regime such as the TPLF, the systematic impoverishment of targeted ethnic groups such as the Amaras, Oromos, Afars, Southerners, Somalis, etc is deliberately eschewed by Western donor governments and institutions. Instead these Western nations and multilateral institutions harp on birth control programs as the major solution to the systemic underdevelopment they finance by buttressing up fascistic regimes like TPLF. The birth control strategy they promote in cahoots with a heinous regime such as TPLF is informed by the following false assumptions:
1– population growth is the major source and cause for the problems of developing countries.
2- people in the developing world must be encouraged or forced to have fewer children.
3– prevention of pregnancy should take priority over health and safety concerns of women in the developing world.
It is with this above stated goals that Western government, multilateral institutions such as the World Bank, UN agencies, foundations such as that of Bill & Melinda Gates, etc. have poured hundreds of millions of dollars into programs geared towards birth control in the developing world. The Bill & Melinda Gates foundation has even the effrontery to unabashedly make the following ludicrous and false claims about the alleged “development” it has brought to Ethiopians when it wrote the following piece of lies about the alleged progress Ethiopians made thanks to the help of this foundation.
“Ethiopia has seen a 45% reduction in poverty since 2000, when we made our first grants there. Along with the government’s strong leadership and commitment to progress, we are pleased to collaborate and contribute resources to grow partnerships across Ethiopia and improve people’s lives through advancements in agriculture and health”.
A fascist regime such as the TPLF is a quintessential expression of extremist nationalism that is premised on the supremacy of one ethnic group. Fascism is an ultra-nationalist ideology which hyperbolizes the identity of one particular ethnic group or community to the detriment of all other ethnic groups or communities in a given country. In the past we have seen such regimes as in Nazi Germany and fascist Italy. I argue that the ultra-nationalist ideology, which informs the TPLF, has all the hall-marks of fascism or Nazism which were premised on the hyper-nationalism of one people i.e. Tigreans. Many Tigreans, save for some who initially resisted TPLF’s ethno-nationalist ideology of hate and heroically lost their lives in TPLF dungeons, have during the last 43 years increasingly come under the pervasive hold of extremist Tigrean nationalist sentiment that is espoused by the Tigrai Liberation Front (TPLF). Such an ultra-nationalist fascist ideology has a mythical component which endowed Tigreans with an artificial sense of common destiny and identity of which they unabashedly boast today.
TPLF’s fascist ideology is informed by Social Darwinism that promotes collective narcissism among its blind and fanatic followers and is bent on erasing the identity of a targeted ethnic enemy such as the Amara using birth control policy which has been effectively used as convenient instrument of TPLF’s genocidal state policy in the last 26 years. The results of the 2007 census have brought out into the open the case of 2.4 million Amaras that were missing – something about which the phony Ethiopian parliament could not find an explanation.
US government website states the following about aid funneled to Ethiopia between 1951 and the present time.
“From 1951 through September 30, 2013, the U.S. Government provided through the Agency for International Development (USAID and predecessor agencies, approximately $11.7 billion in economic assistance to Ethiopia”.
Today US tax-payer’s money is used to finance projects such as family planning programs that have become instruments of genocide by the incumbent TPLF regime in its lethal war against the targeted Amara people whose fertile lands have been annexed to Tigrai and settled by more than 600000 Tigrean peasants, many of them armed to defend the land they forcibly grabbed from Amaras. During the last 26 years of Tigrean minority rule, the Amara region has witnessed the implementation of many family planning programs than any other region of Ethiopia. Family planning and birth control programs have become effective instruments in the hands of the incumbent fascist regime whose policies are informed by the Social Darwinist ideology of the survival of the fittest. This Social Darwinist ideology, which undergirds the actions of the incumbent minority Tigrean regime in Ethiopia, justifies the annihilation of the ethnic other or the ethnic enemy as the only condition for the survival of the fittest in society. In contemporary Ethiopia many Tigreans think that they are the fittest and the strongest people who have emerged victorious out of the 17 years-long armed struggle waged against the defunct Dergue regime. They think and believe that they have paid disproportionate sacrifices in defeating the Dergue. Accordingly feel that they deserve the lion’s share of the national pie of Ethiopia. Social Darwinism is an ideology which has informed racist policies of the Nazi state in Germany such as the eugenics. It was armed with this supremacist ideology, which exalts the virtue of one superior race or people (i.e. the Aryan race), that Hitler tried to create Lebensraum (a living space) by invading many parts of Europe. TPLF as a regime informed by Social Darwinist ideology has found it convenient to use family planning program as a means of genocide against the Amara people whose fertile lands Tigreans have coveted for long and have finally succeeded in annexing it to Tigrai by ethnically cleansing Amaras from what was once part of Gondar proper and northern Wello thereby creating comfortable life for hundreds of thousands of Tigreans. These Tigreans needed comfortable living space (Lebensraum) just like the German Nazi’s that occupied Czechoslovakia in 1938 and Poland in 1939. Of course readers may be surprised by the comparison I made between the Nazis and TPLF as Tigreans are not different people as are Germans and Polish are. The fact is though the act of driving Amaras from what has been predominantly inhabited by Amaras for centuries, destroying their culture, suppressing the use of their language, killing able-bodied young men of fighting age, killing the elderly who know the history of the region, etc. is nothing short of the practice of the Nazis that sought to erase the identity of occupied Polish people in the late 1930 and early forties. In fact it was in December 1979, twelve years before it assumed state power, that TPLF annexed large swaths of fertile lands of Welkait, Tsegede, Humera, etc to Tigrai. Likewise parts of northern Wello and the Afar region have been annexed by Tigreans since TPLF has been ensconced in power in May 1991.
The Politics of Birth Control in TPLF’s Ethiopia (1991-2017)
One giant consortium which is pushing the depopulation of the region predominantly inhabited by Amaras is known as the PHHEC. This consortium is led by the notoriously Amara-phobic Tigrean called Negash Teklu. Far from benefitting from environmental rehabilitation, development and extension of health programs allegedly carried out by organizations that comprise PHHEC, the so-called Amara region continues to be one of the regions severely degraded in ecological terms. It is a region where severe degradation of its environment has been allowed to worsen in the last 26 years and its physical environment and natural resources exposed to further degradation. The disastrous consequences of deliberately changing the course of the Nile and negatively impacting the Tis Abbay Waterfall (Blue Nile waterfalls) which used to be the most graceful natural attraction in northwestern Ethiopia, is a case in point. The following is what the Scottish traveler James Bruce wrote regarding the Blue Nile Falls more than 200 years ago:
“The river … fell in one sheet of water, without any interval, above half an English mile in breadth, with a force and a noise that was truly terrible, and which stunned and made me, for a time, perfectly dizzy. A thick fume, or haze, covered the fall all around, and hung over the course of the stream both above and below, marking its track, though the water was not seen. … It was a most magnificent sight that ages, added to the greatest length of human life, would not deface or eradicate from my memory”. Richard Bangs had the following to say after his first visit to the Blue Nile Falls in 1973:
“When I first stood before the immense Manitou of the Blue Nile Falls, watching the water spout and bloom like gargantuan brown mushrooms and the mist shape and move like a time lapse sequence of clouds, I was struck by how accurate Bruce had been and how little the sight had changed in more than 200 years”. Richard Bangs returned to see the Blue Nile Falls in 2004, 31 years after his first visit. The following is the account he wrote by lamenting the loss of this great waterfalls to Ethiopians and the world. He wrote the following piece after witnessing live the destruction wrought to the Blue Nile waterfalls:
“But as I gazed downwards something was wrong … the falls were but a shadow of how I remembered them … instead of a blazing curtain of water half a mile wide, only about a third of the basaltic lip hosted water. The rest, it seemed, was rolling down a giant canal to the west of the river, into a massive concrete spillway. What had happened to the great falls?”. Richard Bangs added the following critical observation regarding the insensitivity of the TPLF incumbents in failing to use several alternative sources of water to generate electricity by building dams elsewhere than destroying the Blue Nile Waterfalls.
“Ethiopia, which sits atop a mile and half high plateau, has huge rivers and canyons hurtling off all sides, offering vast hydropower potential. But the only reason to compromise the Blue Nile Falls, one of the great natural wonders of the world, would be to tap into power cheaper and faster. An hour flight in any direction reveals scores of deep gorge alternatives”.
In my view, by the destruction of the Blue Nile Water Falls has been the result of a malicious act on the part of the Tigrean minority regime which is bent on harming the Amara population living around the Blue Nile Waterfalls.
While natural resources are destroyed in areas south of Tigrai such as the Blue Nile Waterfalls, disproportionate amount of resources have been channeled into the environmental rehabilitation of Tigrai, where major works such as water harvesting, afforestation, dam construction and soil protection programs, etc have been implemented at the cost of hundreds of millions of US dollars. Massive investment has gone into environmental rehabilitation works such as the construction of stone terraces, soil bunds, micro dams, development of protected area enclosures and community woodlots in Tigrai. For an informed account of the environmental protection programs implemented in Tigrai in terms of expanding irrigation schemes by way of decreasing the dependence of the Tigrean people on mostly rainfall-dependent agriculture which was subject to the vagaries of erratic rainfall pattern, see Eyasu Yazew Hagos’s PhD dissertation submitted at the Wageningen agricultural University in the Netherlands.
What is surprising is the fact that while so much is done towards the rehabilitation of Tigrean natural environment, an afforestation program known as the Addis-Bahir Dar afforestation project which had been launched under the defunct Dergue regime and was planned to cover 28000 hectares of land in Eastern Shewa, Western Shewa and Western Gojjam was cancelled by the TPLF regime after the World Bank had agreed to release 45 million US dollars for this project. Two thirds of the 800 square Kms large Omo National Park was consumed by fire when the TPLF regime engineered an ethnic conflict that pitted two neighboring ethnic groups against each other in 1992. The UNESCO-registered Yayu forest in southwest Ethiopia has been destroyed by Tigrean companies (among them the one owned by Tekle Birhan Ambaye) engaged in coal mining project there. This contrasts with the feverish speed with which environmental rehabilitation programs have been implemented in Tigrai.
Some Data Related to Alarming Socio-Economic & Environmental Conditions Obtaining in the so-called Amara Region
The following data throw illuminating light on the harsh environmental reality and the poor socio-economic conditions obtaining in the predominantly Amara-inhabited region of Ethiopia. Of the 105 Woredas comprising the new ethnic enclosure known as the Amara region, 48 Woredas are known to be prone to drought and chronically food-insecure. Per capita food consumption has shown a steady decline from 1979 to 1994. Between 40% and 60% of children in the Amara region are chronically undernourished and 80% of children suffer from stunted growth. In the so-called Amara region only between 1 and 3% of the land mass is covered by forest and 94% of the households have insufficient land to meet their livelihood needs. Moreover rural households are forced to clear and cultivate marginal lands on steep hillsides. Overgrazing denudes further the vegetation cover thereby increasing land degradation. Forage requirements for the livestock population of the so-called Amara region which is home to 30% of all livestock and poultry of Ethiopia, is 40% below what is needed to support livestock population obtaining there. According to this same report, annual rate of soil loss in the steep highlands and overgrazed slopes exceeds 300 tons per hectare per year. As if this degradation of the Amara areas is not enough, the incumbent Tigrean regime has set up five sawmill factories that are strategically located or dotted in Debre Birhan, Bahir Dar (Gojjam), Debre Markos (Gojjam), Debre Tabor (southern Gondar) & Kombolcha (southern Wello) in order to log wood by depleting the remaining scant forest resources obtaining in the so-called Amara region. The wood cut by depleting the last vestiges of forest obtaining in these predominantly Amara-inhabited regions is then transported to Tigray to be processed in Tigrean factories for the benefit of Tigreans. The giant wood factory located at Maichew in Tigray is one of the major destinations for the wood being cut in the Amara region. In a manner which is reminiscent of and replicates colonial extraction of natural resources, the Amara region is being depleted of its scarce natural resources to serve the needs of the “golden people of Tigray” to use the expression of the late Meles Zenawi who likened Tigreans to gold.
Promoting Tigrean Minority Interest by Compromising Ethiopian National Interest – the Case of TPLF’s Mercenary Role Somalia
This regime has powerful international supporters whose interests it conveniently serves in the Horn of Africa by sending Ethiopian troops to places such as Somalia and the Sudan. In the 19th century emperor Yohannes IV of Ethiopia, who hails from what was Tigrai province (now Tigrai state that has all the trappings of a powerful state within the larger Tigrean-dominated Ethiopian state), rose to power with the help of fire arms he got from British imperialists. Yohannes was rewarded by the British with modern weapons in return for his faithful role in serving as a guide to the British expeditionary army led by General Napier in 1868. Emperor Yohannes cultivated good relationship with the British who helped him to come to power by compromising the national interest of his country Ethiopia.
The TPLF regime would go down in the annals of Ethiopian history as the most heinous regime that has created the most propitious conditions for the emergence of radical Islamic fundamentalist Salafistor Wahhabist groups within Ethiopia. The TPLF regime has contributed greatly to the creation of Somalia’s odious radical Islamist group Al Shabab by invading a neighboring country – Somalia in 2006 – presumably after taking orders from its American backers. Today TPLF works to prolong political instability in Somalia and the Horn of Africa while simultaneously projecting itself as the only force of stability in the region. This is something that has endeared TPLF to Western powers (USA and the European Union) that have beefed it up financially and thrown their diplomatic weight behind it during the last 26 years by turning blind eye to the dehumanization of 94% of the Ethiopian people who feel that they live under a fascist occupation regime. Indeed it is apposite to say that TPLF serves as a trusted marionette regime in the horn of Africa.
What Methods Are Pursued To Depopulate the Amaras?
1 – High neonatal, infant & child mortality rate in a region condemned to poor allocation of resources & absence of adequate health infrastructure due to a deliberate state policy of neglecting the needs of Amaras. “The highest percentage difference in mortality between Amhara and the national average is among neonates where 18% more newborn infants die in Amhara than in the nation as a whole before reaching the age of one month. The second highest percentage difference is in child mortality (15.1%) followed by infant mortality (14.8%) and post neonatal mortality(14.3%) The reasons behind these survey outcomes are many, and likely to include lack of access to health care, low level of education, early marriage and child-bearing (teenage mothers are least likely to know a lot about infant care), economic circumstances, cultural traditions, and environmental factors which disproportionately impact infants and children in Amhara ”.
Hereafter I present the neonatal mortality (death of newly-born children under the age of one month); infant mortality (death of children under one year of age) and under-five mortality (death of children under 5 years of age) per thousand live births in the period 1995-2005.
Neonatal mortality rate: 51 deaths per thousand live births for Amara region compared to 41 average nationally.
Infant mortality rate: 94 infant deaths per thousand live births among Amaras compared to 80 deaths on a national level.
Under-five Child mortality rate:
154 children per 1000 live births under five years of age die in Amara region compared to 132 on a national level. All these three demographic parameters point to a glaringly evident disadvantageous life conditions to which children born to Amara families in the so-called Amara region are exposed. These are reflections of the poor socio-economic development, lack of health infrastructure, a preponderant prevalence of water-borne, vector-borne diseases, poor nutritional status, low coverage of vaccination against major childhood diseases, etc that issue from the systematic and deliberate policy of marginalization obtaining in the Amara region in the last 26 years. These are facts which are not even mentioned by opposition political parties lest they ruffle the hairs of the incumbent TPLF leaders and their Tigrean supporters who cannot tolerate such comparisons that throw into sharper relief the apartheid system put in place in Ethiopia since May 1991. What has become clear is the fact that the ethnically favored region of Tigray performs much better compared to the Amara region which has become target of a silent but visible genocidal policy.
Let me illustrate the glaring difference in resource allocation to the Amara and Tigrai regions respectively.
1 – Spread of Vector-borne Diseases such as Malaria
Malaria is a major killer disease. Anti-malaria bed-nets impregnated with anti-mosquito drugs are distributed to households to protect family members of these households. When we compare the distribution of these bed-nets in Tigray & Amara regions, we found out that the corresponding figures were 3.1% (for Tigray) and 0,7% (for Amara region). This share of Tigray represents a 440% increase or it is nearly four and half times that of the Amara region. This is the result of the Tigrean apartheid system which favors millions of Tigreans as I have openly argued for the last 26 years. Let me state that I am not someone who minces his words when it comes to exposing unjustifiable, criminal and discriminatory policy which continues to bleed the rest of Ethiopia while benefitting the great majority of Tigreans.
2 – Disparities in Distribution of Health Care Resources
When one compares the doctor-patient ratio obtaining in Tigray with that of the so-called Amara region, the following skewed picture emerges:
One medical doctor serves 28614 people in Tigray. In the Amara region one doctor serves 60718 people.
3- Absence of even rudimentary antenatal care to pregnant mothers which partly explains the subsequent high neonatal mortality in the Amara region than any corresponding major ethnic of Ethiopia.
4 – Very low coverage of vaccination against infections which are responsible for higher morbidity/(sickness) and mortality/(death) among children.
“Children of educated women, rich households, rural areas and Addis Ababa and Tigray regional state have higher chances of being fully immunized. Children from SNNP, Oromia and Amhara Regional states are 3.82, 7.00 and 3.65 times less likely to be fully immunized compared to Tigray Regional State that has the second highest proportion of fully immunized children” . When we look at vaccination against childhood diseases, we found that 60.8% of all children in the Tigrai region were fully immunized as against just 26.7% in the Amara region. The increased death rate resulting from the relatively low vaccination or immunization coverage in the Amara-inhabited areas reflects the glaring difference observed between the Amara and Tigrai regions in terms of allocation and distribution of health resources and facilities.
5 – Lack of access to clean water for the majority of Amaras exposes the population to high rates of water-borne diseases and death in consequence thereof. “Just 3% of rural dwellers in the Amara region have access to potable water”. This point to a deliberate policy of silent genocide TPLF has been implementing in the predominantly Amara-inhabited regions given the high percentage of water-borne diseases that take a heavy toll on the lives of people without access to clean potable water.
6 – A policy of destabilization, displacement, impoverishment, ethnic cleansing, etc. has made peaceful family life impossible for millions of Amaras. The case of the Amara population that used to inhabit the fertile regions of Humera, Welkait, Tselemt, northern Wello comes to mind here. Ethnic cleansing of Amaras from areas like Arba Gugu, Eastern Wellega, Arsi Neghele, Metekel, Western Shewa, Gura Ferda, Habro district in Western Hararghe, etc have impacted the demographic of picture pertaining to Amaras in these areas. The systematic disruption and even destruction of the family lives of Amaras who used to lead a peaceful life in these areas has negatively impacted the surviving capacity of Amaras and their ability to reproduce themselves. In consequence hereof the break-up of families has forced many Amaras into homelessness and a life of vagrancy. A systematic policy of pauperization of Amaras has been put into practice using various political, administrative and taxation policies that discourage Amara families from owning farms in the countryside and run even small businesses in the urban areas. These discriminatory policies have denied Amaras a country they perceive as their own; and have forced them to live under chronic existential insecurity with all the life of anxiety deriving thereof. The Amaras who happen to be geographically dotted in all nooks and crannies of Ethiopia happen to be the people most affected by the politics of exclusion and ethnic cleansing that has been brought about by the political process that created ethnic enclosures or Killils. The Italian fascist project of yester-years first implemented by Mussolini in Ethiopia in the period 1936-1941, has been resurrected in Article 8 of the Ethiopian constitution which denies the existence of an Ethiopian citizen and recognizes tribal homelands that do not recognize rights of an Ethiopian citizen that extend over all parts of the Ethiopian realm. For a discussion regarding the disempowering role of Article 8 of the current Ethiopian Constitution, see the article I wrote on this subject in October 2014.
Practically all businesses in Ethiopia have been taken over by Tigreans who can undersell non-Tigreans owing to preferential taxing polices that favor Tigreans, preferential bank loans made accessible to Tigreans, market advantages, etc made available to them by the incumbent regime. In short the apartheid policy of the incumbent regime has created ranked ethnic groups with members of the golden Tigrean ethnic group claiming the lion’s share of Ethiopian wealth. Amaras must realize that they are faced by a behemoth Tigrean enemy born of hatred – hatred that was simmering in Tigray, albeit sub rosa, since 1889 (following the death of emperor Yohannes and the subsequent ascent of emperor Menelik to power). TPLF’s apartheid policy is informed and driven by a social Darwinist fascist ideology which is bent on the creation of a new and prosperous Tigray on the grave of Ethiopia. More than any other ethnic groups of Ethiopia, the Amara people represent the primary target of the Tigrean onslaught spearheaded by TPLF. TPLF is passionately supported by millions of its ethnic followers who have been catapulted to the fore as visible beneficiaries of this fascistic regime during the last 26 years. The Amaras happen to be the most conspicuous targets of state-orchestrated demonization, ethnic discrimination and genocide since May 1991. No ethnic group has been subjected to such level of incessant demonization as the Amara in the last 26 years. This has rendered the Amaras to be helpless punching-bags in many parts of Ethiopia. A new generation of Amaras which cannot more put up with this degradation of its humanity has begun to say enough is enough. But I am not sure that the Tigrean fascists, whose conscience has been degraded by the blinding ideology of Tigrean ultra-natioanalism they embraced, would read the writing on the wall filled as they are with hubris – hubris that is apt to cost them and their descendants dearly.
What Needs To Be Done To Stop the Genocidal War Being Waged Against the Amara People?
1 – Creation of awareness among the Amara people about the diabolical program of depopulating their region by the TPLF in the name of promoting reproductive health & family planning. Indigenous institutions such as churches and mosques that have tremendous influence in society can be involved in getting the message across about the genocidal policy being carried out by the TPLF regime in the name of family planning. Schools, Edirs, Senbetes, church congregations and mosques, etc. can be enlisted to reach and inform people about the diabolical program TPLF is carrying out against the Amaras.
2 – Compiling the list of organizations both governmental and so-called aid organizations which have become, albeit inadvertently, instruments of TPLF’s war against the Amara people. Individuals within Ethiopia can help us in collecting information on the names of organizations engaged in family planning programs and ascertain the areas they operate in, in the so-called Amara region. With such information, we can present our case to these organizations regarding the prescriptive and paternalistic manner in which they make decisions that affect the lives of Ethiopians like the small 13 years old Amara school girl from Maksignit who has been subjected to a birth control program of which she has not been duly informed. We can also inform innocent Western tax-payers whose hard-earned money is used by complacent help organizations in a manner that erases the individual right of citizens of developing countries like Ethiopia.
3 – Identify genuine organizations here in the West which are opposed to such unethical use of family planning programs to advance and implement political agendas meant to harm a particular ethnic or population group such as the Amaras. These organizations are very crucial in exposing funding agencies such as the World Bank, USAID, UN organizations, Foundations such as that of Bill & Melinda Gates, etc which have overreached themselves by imposing prescriptive programs that are misused by a fascist state like the incumbent minority Tigrean state in Ethiopia which is not accountable to the Ethiopian people. Those of us living here in the Western world can easily locate these organizations which do advocacy work against unethical family planning programs that are foisted on people in the developing world against their consent and without addressing the real and perceived existential needs of these population groups. For the Amara region which, as we have shown in this report, suffers from high neonatal, infant/child mortality rates, lack of potable clean water, lack of adequate infrastructure, etc Norplant contraceptive distribution should never have been the most prominent developmental priority as much as addressing other impending problems that weigh heavily on the people of these region in their daily lives.
4 – Set up institutions which gather data and monitor developments at home continually with a view to apprise folks within Ethiopia and lobby donors here in the West that are inadvertently financing policies that harm our people. Groups such as the Amara Professionals Association can contribute a lot by collecting data germane to issues such as the unethical birth control programs that harm targeted population groups such as the Amaras. The concern articulated by the Amara Professional Association regarding the deliberate destruction wrought on the Tana Beles project and the environmental hazards to which people living around Bahir Dar city are exposed owing to toxic industrial waste released into rivers by tanneries is a very welcome development. These rivers are used by the people and cattle, ship, goats, etc around Bahir Dar and its environs for drinking, etc. The toxic products released into the rivers negatively impact aquatic life.
5 – Approach the following organizations that promote & fund family planning programs in Ethiopia to reconsider and critically review their coercive practice of forcing women to undergo birth control programs against their will. The rights of these women to be informed about the procedures they undergo, the serious side effects of contraceptive use, etc should be emphasized. Among organizations involved in birth control programs in Ethiopia, feature USAID (and Pathfinder International Ethiopia which it finances), Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Mariestopes, the Packard Foundation, etc. Among institutions which finance birth control programs feature, the UN, World Bank, the EEU, Swedish Agency for International Development, etc. The list is not exhaustive and I ask readers to do their utmost in gathering data on such organizations as it will help us in mounting a campaign on behalf of these women that have become victims of non-consensual birth-control programs.
It is incumbent upon us to let the world know how family planning and reproductive health programs implemented in Ethiopia in general and the predominantly-Amara inhabited region, where there are no checks and balances, has been used as instrument of a genocidal policy by the fascist TPLF regime. The ideology of this regime is informed by a Social Darwinist philosophy bent on erasing the identity of the ethnic enemy (i.e. non-Tigreans, particularly Amaras) as long as that means gain for the survival of the fittest or strongest group in society i.e. generally Tigreans in post May 1991 Ethiopia. As I have shown by quoting from the 1976 Political Manifesto of TPLF, it is this fascistic ideology based on social Darwinist philosophy that informs TPLF’s perception of the now weakened Amaras as the legitimate and prime target of its policy of ethnocide against this ethnic group.
 – Manifesto of the Tigrai People’s Liberation Front, February 1976
“The people of Tigrai have been denied their political and human rights and were hated, despised and discriminated at. This injustice was a deliberate state policy of the Amara nation against Tigreans. The 3000 years proud history and culture of Tigreans became things of which the Amaras were made to be proud of and bragged about. This historical robbery while allowing Amaras to brag about it, at the same the Amara state policy made the Tigreans to be considered as people without history. The people of Tigrai will continue their struggle till their honor and rights have been restored. Unless the oppressor Amara nation stops its oppression, it will not get societal peace”. Translation of this excerpt from Amaric to English is made by Assefa Negash.
 – “National Security Study Memorandum NSSM 200 Implications of Worldwide Population Growth for U.S. Security and Overseas Interests” (THE KISSINGER REPORT) December 10, 1974 – Declassified/Released on 7/3/1989 under provisions of E.O. 12356 – by F. Graboske, National Security Council
 – Linday de Hoyos, “Horn of Africa: the British Set-up & the Kissinger Switch”, 1995 EIR News Service Inc. Special Report
 – A Primer On Reproductive Justice and Social Change
 – Ccentral Statistical Authority, 2010
 – Solomon Shifferaw et al, Trends in Contraceptive Use and Distribution of Births with Demographic Risk Factors in Ethiopia: a Sub-national Analysis, Global Health Action. 2015; 8: 10.3402/gha.v8.29720. Published online 2015 Nov 9.
 – ibid
 – ibid
 – Aynalem Adugna, Amhara Demography & Health, July 2014 http://www.ethiodemographyandhealth.org/AMHARA.pdf
 – Aynalem Adugna, Amhara Demography & Health, July 2014http://www.ethiodemographyandhealth.org/AMHARA.pdf
 – https://www.gov.uk/government/news/uk-announces-90-million-funding-for-family-plan
 – The Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 9 December 1948 as General Assembly Resolution 260
 – Couplets coined by Amara peasants to express their disgust with the apartheid policy of the incumbent TPLF regime which they perceive as a government by Tigreans, for Tigreans and against non-Tigreans.
 – Assefa Negash, “Ethnic Regionalization and Its Ramification on Health: the Case of Malaria Epidemics in Ethiopia”, Ethiopian Register Magazine August 1997 issue.
 – The plan is to settle as many as one million Tigreans on land Tigreans have annexed to Tigrai by driving away the Amara inhabitants of Welkait, Tsegede, Tselemet, etc. The TPLF occupied by force of arms Welkait and Tsegede in December 1979 and began to drive out Amaras from their ancestral habitat. This process of ethnically cleansing Amaras was accelerated and took on a feverish pitch after the assumption of power by TPLF in May 1991.
 – Ahmed Ali Egeh and Dechassa Lemessa, United Nations Emergencies Unit for Ethiopia: UPDATE ON HUMANITARIAN SITUATION of war and drought affected population IN TIGRAY Assessment Mission: 9- 22 February 2003
 – In recent years (December 2015 – January 2017) the USAID was led by Gayle Smith, An American woman who has decades of deep involvement in Ethiopia as a champion of the fascistic TPLF movement since the 1980s. Gayle Smith worked as a so-called aid worker and journalist by capitalizing on the aid-to-famine-victims issue as a convenient instrument of the cold war struggle to dislodge the Russians from Ethiopia. It was at this time that the West channeled hundreds of millions of US dollars to the northern ethno-natioanalist rebels by way of removing the hated Dergue regime (for an informed account of how the famine issue had been used by Western governments to bolster the muscle of the TPLF/EPLF in the 1980’s and facilitated their seizure of power in 1991, I recommend readers to read a book entitled “Wthout Tanks and Troops, Humanitarian Assistance to Ethiopia, Humanitrian Assistance to Ethiopia & Eritrea” 1994 by Mark Duffield and John Prendergast). It was at this time that the under-cover work of Gayle Smith began in Tigrai as aid worker and self-styled journalist that promotes the cause of TPLF. In the 1980’s she was involved as a major promoter of TPLF under the pretext of cross-border relief aid to TPLF-held areas within Tigrai. In fact she was instrumental in facilitating the channeling of tens of millions of US dollars into TPLF & EPLF hands thereby bolstering the military muscle of this ethno-nationalist movement. No single American has done so much to promote TPLF in the US like Gayle Smith both when TPLF was an insurgent ethno-nationalist movement and especially after TPLF came to power in May 1991. She worked in cahoots with TPLF’s Relief Society of Tigrai (REST) in the 1980’s. She wrote articles on behalf of TPLF in papers such as The Middle East Research and Information Project (MERIP) as witness her article in the March/Arpril 1987 issue of this paper entitled “Ethiopia & the Politics of Famine Relief”. She is the most influential American, who more than anyone else, torpedoed or obstructed all efforts at exposing the fascistic records and undemocratic practices of the TPLF regime for the last 26 years. Gayle Smith and the late Paul Henze (who worked at Rand Corporation, branch organization of the CIA) who was presumably her mentor, worked as liaison between TPLF and the CIA. Her vociferous role in promoting the TPLF regime along with individuals like Susan Rice, the latter of whom was extolling the virtues of the late Tigrean dictator Meles Zenawi in panegyric terms, is something which will go down in Ethiopian history as the most damaging interference of two highly-placed American nationals in Ethiopian affairs by propping up a fascist regime. The TPLF regime has alienated the majority of the Ethiopian people save the minority Tigrean and Harari (Adare) populations that have continued to lend their support to the incumbent TPLF regime.
Writing under the heading “Obama’s Nomination of Gayle Smith for USAID is Rankling Africa watchers”, Mohammed Keita of Quartz Media LLC (USA), put down on paper the following piece on Gayle Smith and the controversy that surrounded her nomination by Obama to lead the USAID on May 4, 2015: https://qz.com/397391/obamas-nomination-of-gayle-smith-for-usai
“The most outspoken critic of Smith has been Howard French, a veteran journalist and author, who reported from Africa for several years. In a series of tweets, French called Smith “a disasterbacle in Africa policy,” adding that “she’s often fought for wrong things, esp [sic] authoritarianism.” He also castigated Smith as representative of a Washington establishment that he accuses of “near complete intellectual bankruptcy” on Africa since the days of Bill Clinton. In a 2004, televised public debate with French, Smith denied coddling dictators and said the US government lacked adequate leverage to push for democracy in Africa.
Economist William Easterly said Smith’s nomination reflects the prevalent idea in Washington “that what’s good for development is good for national security, and what’s good for national security is good for development.” According to him, “giving development aid to an autocrat because he is a valuable ally on the war on terror is NOT [sic] good for development, it is the opposite of development.” Easterly also said he finds Smith’s “longstanding and excessively friendly relationship” with Ethiopia’s late US-backed autocrat, Meles Zenawi, problematic.
Echoing such concerns, Ghanian economist George Ayittey said that her appointment would “rankle democracy activists in Ethiopia and Eritrea,” citing her close relationship with the leaders of these countries since their rebel days. “Upon assuming power, [they] turned out to be crocodile liberators and crackpot democrats – even though, former President Bill Clinton praised them as the ‘New Leaders of Africa’.
Under the title “New Leader Wants to be Judged by Deeds, Not Leftist Words” on Robert M. Press, staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor wrote on May 31, 1991 the following piece regarding the close relationship between the American woman Gayle Smith and the TPLF : “One of the few Westerners who speaks the Tigre language and has had many contacts with Zenawi over a nine-year period, is Gayle Smith, an American who worked for Tigre’s relief agency, REST, during the 1985-6 drought”.
On the 20th of May 2015, Morgan Winsor @MorganWinsor, under the title “Amid Ethiopia Elections 2015, Obama’s USAID Nominee Gayle Smith Slammed For Supporting Africa’s Repressive Regimes” wrote the following piece on the appointment of Gayle Smith as director of USAID:
“(Gayle Smith) Smith, 59, has served under the Obama administration as special assistant to the president and senior director for development and democracy on the National Security Council staff since 2009. She also served under the Clinton administration as special assistant to the president and senior director for African affairs at the National Security Council from 1998 to 2001, as well as chief of staff and administrator of the USAID from 1994 to 1998”.
 – Barack Obama nominates Gayle Smith to take up reins at USAID
 – Ethiopian Reproductive Health/Family Planning (RH/FP) Project, Five Years Project Close-Out Report (October 1, 2002- September 30, 2007) – funded by the USAID, January 11, 2008
 – American Congress Records 6490, 6494-96 (1967) – Statement made by Senator Fullbright when the Foreign Assistance Act was amended in 1967 to broaden USAID’s population mandate
 – James G. Gonenell III, Norplant and the New Paradigm of International Population Polciy, 1995
 – http://www.gatesfoundation.org/Where-We-Work/Africa-Office/Focus-Countries/Ethiopia
 – I made a reference to TPLF as an ethno-nationalist organization whose ideology is informed by Social Darwinism as early as 1992 when I wrote the following lines in my artile emtot;ed “Ecological Degradation, Ethno-nationalism and Political Conflict in Ethiopia”, 1992.
“Although I sincerely doubt the acquaintance of EPLF/T¬PLF’s leaders with theories of social Darwinism, I submit that in practice they have, during the last three years in power, excellently proven to the world how the fittest group in society (Tigreans/Eritreans ) can survive at the expense of non-Tigreans even if that meant deriving one’s existential needs by depriving and starving fellow countrymen i.e. non-Tigreans”.. This paper was first released as a SHINE publication in 1992 and later published in the now defunct Ethiopian Register magazine in 1995. You can now access this paper by going to Welkait.com website and clicking on the heading which reads SHINE papers.
 – Lebensraum refers to a living space for the settlement of and use by the superior German race in the context of Germany’s expansionist political project of the 1930’s that derived from Nazi philosophy that ranked the Germans as a superior race. as the number one race of the world claimed that the Germans deserved. This supremacist Nazi ideology defined Germans as a superior race who are entitled to snatch away from other races (such as the Slavs, the Jews, etc) what is not theirs by virtue of the superior racial qualities of the Germans. As such this superior German race had the right to violate the property of non-Germans who were seen as sub-human (unter-mensch) creatures. Likewise, the Tigrean ethno-natioalists whose ideology is informed by fascist/Nazi philosophy took power in Ethiopia by force of arms in May 1991 and see themselves as a superior ethnic group. The ideology of the incumbent TPLF regime exalts Tigrean ethnic identity and is premised on Tigrean ethnic supremacy. This ideology recognizes two groups of people in Ethiopia i.e. the “heroic and golden people of Tigrai” and non-Tigreans who are seen like a piece of cloth that is easily tears apart. This supremacist Nazi type ideology is determined to erase the identity of non-Tigeans in order to benefit Tigreans and guarantee their survival at the expense of non-Tigreans. It is in this context that the violent Tigrean inroads into what was a predominantly Amara-inhabited territories of Welkait, Tsegede, Tselemet, Humera, northern Wello and the predominantly Afar-inhabited Afar region should be seen and construed.
 -PHHEC stands for Population, Health & Environment Ethiopia Consortium and it comprises some 56 organizations that ostensibly work to promote sustainable development including environmental protection and rehabilitation, health, family planning, etc.
 – Negash Teklu is a member of the Central Committee of the ruling TPLF. Negash used to be TPLF spokesman here in Europe till the seizure of power by TPLF in 1991. This is a man I confronted at a public meeting here in Amsterdam, the Netherlands in June 1992 when he was trying to shade crocodile tears about the massacre of Amaras by the Oromo Liberation Front(OLF). By doing this Negash tried to project TPLF as the champion of Amara rights whereas it was clear that OLF perpetrated all those gruesome atrocities on innocent Amara civilians with the full knowledge and encouragement of the TPLF.
 – The deliberate dismantling and deconstruction of the Tana Beles project, the construction of which was started by the defunct Dergue regime, is a case in point. The project envisaged by the Dergue regime had sought not only to generate electric power but also create large scale irrigated agricultural project. However the prime users of the Nile river i.e. Egypt and Sudan were against this project which could divert the source of the Nile River and as such they increased their support for the Tigrean rebels with a view to block the implementation of this project. For an informed treatment of this subject, consult the PhD thesis submitted to University of Florida in 2001 by Dr. Yntiso Deko Gebre entitled “Population Displacement and Food Insecurity in Ethiopia: Resettlment, Settlers and Hosts. See also a recent paper prepared by the Amara Professionals Union entitled “ጣና በለስ ከመፈራረስ እስክ መሸጥ”which can be accessed at www.ambapu.com
 – Richard Bangs, Stealing the Nile: Famous Falls No More, 24th of March 2004
 – Ibid
 – Berhanu G/Medhin et al, Policies for Sustainable Land Management in the Highlands of Tigrai, Northern Ethiopia, 2002.
 – Eyasu Yazew Hagos “Development & Management of Irrigated Lands in Tigrai, Ethiopia” PhD dissertation submitted at Wageningen Agricultural University in the Netherlands in 2005, .
 – Assefa Negash, The Pillage of Ethiopia, Adey Publishing Company, Los Angeles, California 1996.
 – Assefa Negash, “Openen Etnische Doos van Pandora Stort Ethiopië in Tragedie”, NRC Handelsblad, 6th of May 1992. An article which appeared in the Dutch daily newspaper the NRC Handelsblad in Dutch language on the 6h of May 1992 under the title “Opening the Pandora Box of Ethnicity Would Plunge Ethiopia in Tragedy”.
 – Amhara National Regional state Food Security Research Assessment Report prepared by USAID Collaborative Research Support Program Team, May 2000. This is a very interesting and constructive study which has been compiled by researchers regarding problems obtaining in the predominantly Amara-inhabited region of Ethiopia.
 – ibid
 – ibid
 – ibid
 – Amhara National Regional state Food Security Research Assessment Report prepared by USAID Collaborative Research Support Program Team, May 2000
 – Amhara National Regional State Food Security Research Assessment Report – prepared by USAID Research Program Team, May 2000
 – The late Tigrean leader Meles Zenawi made this shockingly insolent speech at a rally in which he addressed hundreds of thousands of fanatic Tigrean supporters of his regime in Mekelle city in Tigrai in February 1992.
 – Emperor Yohannes sent Ethiopian soldiers to fight in the Sudan alongside the British imperialist forces who had colonized the Sudan by making violent imperialist inroads into this neighboring African country. Yohannes was paying his debt of gratitude to the British who left him modern weapons following his loyal service to the British expeditionary force that sought to rescue British nationals and capture emperor Tewodros. It was the acquisition of these modern weapons that tilted the balance of power in Yohannes’s favor allowing him to defeat his brother in-law emperor Tekele Giorgis whom he later killed in a brutal way. Today like emperor Yohannes before them, contemporary Tigrean rulers of Ethiopia have renewed their pact with powerful contemporary world powers as enthusiastic partners in “the war against radical Islamist terrorists” by compromising the national interest of Ethiopia. This has resulted in the willingness of the TPLF regime to send Ethiopian troops to Somalia thereby compromising the long-term national interest of Ethiopia which is not served by creating a bitter eastern neighbor in Somalia.
 – The Illustrated London News dated Saturday 11th of April 1868 has published a picture (a drawing by an artist who must have been part of the British expeditionary force) showing how the Tigrean Dejazmatch Kassa Mircha of Tambien district (the future emperor Yohannes of Ethiopia) seated next to the British general Napier was entertaining his British guests (invaders of Ethiopia) who violated the territorial integrity of Ethiopia in the name of rescuing their natives who were imprisoned by emperor Tewodros.
 – For an eye-witness account of the British expedition and the extent to which Dejazmatch Kassa Mircha of Tigrai sought the help of general Napier and his forces to attack his power contenders or rivals (something which Napier declined to do), I advise readers to read a book entitled “The British Expedition to Abyssinia” by Captain Henry M. Hozier, published by Macmillan and Co. in 1869 just a year after the British penetrated deep into Ethiopian territory with the help extended to them by Kassa Mircha (the future emperor Yohannes).
 – With regard to the emergence and spread of Salafist or Wahhabist form of radical Islam in Ethiopia, I refer the reader to Terje Ostebo’s book entitled “Localising Salafism, Religious Change Among Oromo Muslims in Bale, Ethiopia” which was published in Stockholm, Sweden in 2008. It is also important to take note of the emergence of radical Islamist groups within Ethiopia who have been flirting with the incumbent TPLF regime till recently, propagate highly politicized version of Islam and masquerade since a few years as being opposed to the TPLF regime following the imprisonment of their leaders. This group which has been engaged in extensive Islamization drive by proselytization of folks from poor communities, building of many mosques, production of massive Islamic literature in the form of books, magazines, inflammatory videos, etc with the help of radical oil-rich Islamic powers in the Middle East, poses a a very serious threat to the traditional Christian/Muslim coexistence in Ethiopia and is as dangerous to Ethiopia as is radical ethnic nationalism currently in vogue in Ethiopia.
 – Xan Rice in Nairobi and Suzanne Goldenberg in Washington, “How US forged an Alliance with Ethiopia Over Invasion, Saturday 13 January 2007
 – Generally those who support this regime are Tigreans and the tiny Harari (Adare) ethnic group members that have benefitted by the special provision made to guarantee their special status at the expense of major ethnic groups that such as the Amaras, Oromos, Gurages, etc that live in the Harrar city area.
 – Aynalem Adugna, Amhara Demography & Health, July 2014
 – ibid
 – Bezuhan Aemro, Yibeltal Tebekaw “Inequalities in childhood Immunization Coverage in Ethiopia”, Evidence from DHS 2011 http://paa2013.princeton.edu/papers/130272
 – Amhara National Regional state Food Security Research Assessment Report prepared by USAID Collaborative Research Support Program Team, May 2000
 – Assefa Negash, THE HIDDEN MASSACRE OF AMHARAS & CHRISTIANS IN THE ARBA GUGU REGION OF ARSI, ETHIOPIA. December 4, 1991, Ethiopian Information Service Network (SHINE) Amsterdam (Holland).
 – The Human Rights Situation in Ethiopia, Third Report – by the Ethiopian Human Rights Council (EHRCO) released on the 16th of July, 1992.
 – ibid
 – Assefa Negash, “Why Have the Amaras Become Once Again Victims of Ethnic Cleansing by TPLF, 18th of April 2012
 – The Human Rights Situation in Ethiopia, Second Report – by the Ethiopian Human Rights Council (EHRCO), released on February 13, 1992.
 – For an informed account of fascist Italian policy and its similarity to the present Killi policy, I advise all interested Ethiopians and Ethiopianists to read Alberto Sbacchi’s book entitled: Ethiopia Under Mussolini: Fascism and Colonial Experience, published in 1986
 – Article 8 of the Ethiopian Constitution of the Federal Republic of Ethiopia ties basic human rights such as the right to employment, education, political participation, etc. to ethnic identity thereby creating two types of citizens i.e. those considered “sons of the soil” and those considered “outsiders”. The latter groups are considered as intruders in the new ethnic enclosures or Killils that have been carved out by the incumbent minority Tigrean regime. The various Oromo nationalist groups such as the Oromo Federalist Congress and many of the members of the MEDREK coalition support this discriminatory article that is anathema to democratic principles which uphold the supremacy of individual right that guarantees every Ethiopian citizen to live in any part of Ethiopia without being subjected to exclusionary polices premised on ethnic identity.
 – የጎሳ ፌዴራሊዝም፤ የአማራው ጎሳ የጅምላ መፈናቀልና አማራውን ለማጥፋት የሚደረገው ስልታዊ የወያኔ ትግሬዎች ዘመቻ – (በአሰፋ ነጋሽ – ሆላንድ – ጥቅምት 2006 ዓ. ም)
 – “The Promise of Tana-Beles Project: From Destruction to its Imminent Sale by Ethiopia’s TPLF/EPRDF Led Regime” – Press release of the Amhara Professionals Union – AMBAPU.Org
 – “Unabated TPLF-EPRDF Genocidal Crimes against the Amhara People: The Case of Chemical Pollution by Bahir Dar Tanneries”, February 13, 2017.