It is true that, as the editorial board put it, “the United States has long relied on Ethiopia as a partner in the fight against al-Shabab’s terrorism in Somalia and sends the country tens of millions of dollars in development assistance.” But this characterization, which substantially underestimates the amount of aid we devote to propping up this tyranny, implies that we’re at least getting something in return for turning a blind eye to its crimes against humanity.
In fact, when one considers that the regime’s leaders are faking their claims of economic success, covering up the extent of the biggest famine in the country’s history, secretly trading with al-Shabab, embezzling $2 billion every year, enforcing policies that have killed millions of their citizens through neglect and malfeasance, and have perpetrated outright genocide, it becomes clear that we’ve gained nothing that could justify our shameful complicity in this holocaust. Our policy is a strategic failure and a moral stain that history will judge harshly.
David Steinman, New York
The writer is an adviser to
Ethiopia’s democracy movement.