A Political History of the Tigray People's Liberation Front (1975-1991)

Category: Humanities
Author: Aregawi Berhe
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by Bbrhuft   2019-11-17

The allegation was that $95m (£63m) from western governments and charities, including 95% of the money that was channeled to The Relief Society of Tigray (REST) was channelled into the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF). Band Aid, a western charity, was lumped into that allegation.

The claim originated from former TPLF member, Aregawi Behre. Behre was expelled from the TPLF in 1985, he was exiled to Holland. He has a grudge against the TPLF.

Here's a recient news article about him returning to Ethiopia last year. When in holland, he founded the opposition party TAND.

>The party also became member of the Ethiopian opposition coalition the United Ethiopian Democratic Front (UEDF). Aregawi has written critical articles on organization that he broke up with, TPLF, including an acclaimed book, A Political History of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (1975-1991): Revolt, Ideology and Mobilisation in Ethiopia.

There's no evidence, apart from the word of Behre that money from western charities was diverted by the TPLF to buy arms, certainly not on the scale he claimed.

In addition, CIA reports at the time did not in fact support the his allegations, the report did not support the Behre's allegation that aid was diverted.

https://web.archive.org/web/20101225034218/https://www.bbc.co.uk/complaints/ecu/2010/11/101021_ecu_bandaidmoneydonatedtoethiopia.shtml

by Bbrhuft   2019-11-17

The claim originated from former TPLF member, Aregawi Behre. Behre was expelled from the TPLF in 1985, he was exiled to Holland. He became activitist opposed to the TPLF and wrote articles critical of his former party, he's not reliable.

He claimed that 95% of the money from Western charities given to REST, a Tigray relief agency, was diverted to the TPLF to buy arms ($95 million). Since Band Aid was a western charity, it got caught up in those claims.

Here's a recient news article about Behre returning to Ethiopia last year. When in holland, he founded the opposition party TAND.

>The party also became member of the Ethiopian opposition coalition the United Ethiopian Democratic Front (UEDF). Aregawi has written critical articles on organization that he broke up with, TPLF, including an acclaimed book, A Political History of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (1975-1991): Revolt, Ideology and Mobilisation in Ethiopia.

There's no evidence, apart from the word of Behre that money from western charities was diverted from REST to the TPLF to buy arms, certainly not on the scale he claimed.

https://web.archive.org/web/20101225034218/https://www.bbc.co.uk/complaints/ecu/2010/11/101021_ecu_bandaidmoneydonatedtoethiopia.shtml

Edit: Here's Behre's claim...

>The worst part of the contradiction was yet to come and was in the allocation of the relief aid collected from Western donors by the Relief Society of Tigrai (REST), the humanitarian wing of the TPLF and now of the MLLT too. By June 1985, REST had received more than US$100 million from donors in the name of the famine victims. Abadi Zemo, the head of REST, handed the money to Awalom Woldu of the TPLF/MLLT’s economic department who in turn reported to the CC that was in session for budgetary planning. Meles’s proposal for the allocation of the relief aid money was as follows: 50% for MLLT consolidation, 45% for TPLF activities and 5% for the famine victims.87

87: From opposition activist Giday Zeratsion who was purged from the TPLF in 1985.

See page 226-227 in: A Political History of the Tigray People's Liberation Front (1975-1991) by Aregawi Berhe http://www.harep.org/Africa/7219.pdf