Nomonanoto Show

Monday, July 14, 2014


  • Farmer claims UK aid is used to prop up repressive Ethiopian regime
  • He says regime has driven thousands of farmers from their land
  • UK has spent £1.3billion pouring aid into Ethiopia to help alleviate poverty
  • He has been given legal aid despite lodging the court papers from Kenya
An Ethiopian farmer was today given permission to use thousands of pounds of taxpayer’s money to sue the British government…for sending international aid to his homeland.
The ‘farcical case’ – which has provoked fury at Westminster - will be entirely funded by the British public.
The UK taxpayer must pick up the bill for both the farmer’s lawyers and a defence team from the Department for International Development.
Pic Bruce Adams / Copy Lobby - 29.9.13
Secretary of State for International Development Justine Greenong at Conservative conference.  - Conservative Party Conference at Manchester Central, Greater Manchester.
International Development Secretary Justine Greening is being forced to defend the Government over claims that her department is funding a one-party state in Ethiopia
This is on top of the £1.3billion Britain has already spent pouring aid into Ethiopia.
Ministers had urged the Royal Courts of Justice to reject the case, which the farmer – who has not set foot in Britain – is fighting from abroad.
But Mr Justice Warby said it raised important questions about the government’s controversial aid programme and must proceed to a full judicial review.
The 33-year-old Ethiopian – granted anonymity to protect his family – says DfID is funding a one-party state in his country that has breached his human rights.
He says it has propped up a regime that has driven thousands of farmers from their land and wants a declaration the policy is unlawful.
He was given legal aid despite lodging the court papers from Kenya, where he is now living.
It made it through the system just before Justice Secretary Chris Grayling introduces rules to prevent cases being lodged by applicants who have never set foot in the UK.
The proposals, due to be enacted in August, would mean anybody seeking legal aid in civil cases must have been resident in Britain for at least 12 months.
A Whitehall source said: ‘Whatever hardships this man has faced, the idea that someone without any connection to this country whatsoever can get public money to sue the Government borders on the farcical.
'When taxpayers here are still feeling the pinch after the economic crisis, it simply can't be right that their money is being dished out like this.’
Hailemariam Desalegn, Ethiopian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister  as he looks on before signing an agreement with his Egyptian counterpart Mohammed Kamel Amr (not in picture) in Cairo, Egypt, 15 September 2011. 


Desalegn will take over as interim Prime Minister following the death of Meles Zenawi.  EPA/KHALED ELFIQI
epa03366434 FILE -- File photo of
A farmer, known only as ‘O’, is accusing the British Government of breaching UK human rights laws by effectively propping up the repressive regime of Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn (pictured)
The case, to be heard by Mr Justice Warby, shines a light on both the huge sums being spent by DfID and the lax legal aid system which the Tories inherited from the last Labour government.
The farmer, known only as ‘O’, is accusing DfID of breaching its own human rights rules by effectively propping up a repressive regime in Ethiopia – which is one of the biggest recipients of British overseas aid.
Legal papers lodged earlier this year state ‘O’ was forced to leave his family and flee to a refugee camp in Kenya after being beaten and tortured trying to protect his farm.
He says Ethiopian troops accompanied by officials arrived in his village in 2011 and ordered everyone to leave for a new location. Men who refused were allegedly beaten and women were raped.
‘O’ says the land seized was given to relatives of senior regime figures and foreign investors from Asia and the Middle East under the Government’s so-called ‘villagisation’ programme.
An estimated four million people have been forced from their land.
‘O’ is not personally seeking compensation but wants the British Government change its aid policies and stop bankrolling brutal regimes.
Razack Munboadan (C), senior manager with Karuturi, an Indian company with four commercial farms in Ethiopia, supervises workers at Karuturi's farm in Bako, central Ethiopia November 6, 2009. For centuries, farmers like Berhanu Gudina have eked out a living in Ethiopia's central lowlands, tending tiny plots of maize, wheat or barley amid the vastness of the lush green plains. Now, they find themselves working cheek by jowl with high-tech commercial farms stretching over thousands of hectares tilled by state-of-the-art tractors -- and owned and operated by foreigners. Picture taken November 6, 2009. To match special report FOOD/AFRICA  REUTERS/Barry Malone (ETHIOPIA AGRICULTURE FOOD) - RTXQMH2
Ethiopian farmers eke out at living, but face having their land seized from the Government and given to foreign investors
If he is successful, ministers could be forced to review donations to other nations accused of atrocities, such as Pakistan and Rwanda.
There are also fears it could open up Britain to compensation claims from around the world.
International Development Secretary Justine Greening, who is named as the respondent on the court papers, denies the claims.
Officials say the money spent by Britain, part of a scheme called Protection of Basic Services, did not go direct to the Ethiopian Government.
Instead, the scheme – run by the World Bank – provided access to healthcare, schooling and clean water.
The final cost of the case could run to tens of thousands of pounds.


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2691750/Ethiopian-farmer-given-taxpayers-money-sue-Britain-sending-international-aid-homeland.html#ixzz37UFdQvr8
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