Summarized by Brad Budsberg


"False Images of Ethiopian Famine"

The Wall Street Journal, January 6, 1988, p. 15



Media has shaped the world’s image of Ethiopia while excluding much and including little.  This article relates to both charges against the media while giving a second view of Ethiopia.


Complex Ethiopia:

When the British defeated the Italians in 1941, they decided to let Hiale Selassie, previous emperor, back from exile, who, in return, broke a United Nations sponsored autonomy agreement.  This spurred a rebellion known as Eritrea People’s Liberation Front (EPLF).  This is the beginning of the civil war.  Now, the Ethiopia government uses this group as a scapegoat for its problems.  The government blames the rebels for starving the people by destroying food convoys.  The government spends half the budget on the war instead of feeding its people. 



The Eritrea People’s Liberation Front is runs the most effective locally based famine-relief agency in Africa.  The group is looked up as “Marxist,” yet the actions portrayed through building dams, establishing health and agriculture extension, etc. are exactly what the USAID are stating as well.  EPLF fights a Russian equipped and advised army yet receive no sympathy.  This is because famine takes priority in our minds just as the media is overcome with the fact of starvation for many Ethiopians.