Ethiopia is on another arms buying spree as millions of Ethiopians starve due to the worst drought in 60 years. According to Prime Minister Meles Zenawi Ethiopia is purchasing 200 battle tanks from Ukraine for over $100 million.
Was it a coincidence that the day before Meles’ announcement, the British foreign aid office announced a $60 million “emergency food aid donation” to Ethiopia?
Why you might be excused for asking, does Ethiopia need 200 tanks? There isn’t any realistic chance of any of Ethiopia’s neighbors invading Ethiopia, considering Ethiopia already has the largest best equipped army in Africa.
One of the primary reasons Ethiopia needs 200 tanks is to conduct its counterinsurgency campaigns against the ethnically based armed uprisings slowly engulfing much of the country. From the Ogaden in the south east, to Tigray in the north to Gambella in the west, and now it is reported, even spreading to much of Oromia in the south west, the Ethiopian regime needs to be able to crush its own people and the latest installment of armor is long over due. It is already 11 years since Ethiopia invaded Eritrea and in the process lost its best armored divisions, including at least 2 in one day long disaster called the Battle of Tsorona.
Tanks work well against lightly armed guerilla fighters and even better when it comes to crushing civilian uprisings, something those in the western and UN “aid” agencies are fully cognizant of. Now that Ethiopia has become a source of “peacekeepers” in Sudan some of these Ethiopian tanks may be used to uphold Pax Americana on the North-South Sudanese border which includes Sudan’s oil fields.
As the western media once again turns a blind eye Ethiopia spends $100 million on tanks all the while millions of Somali”s starve in Ethiopia’s Ogaden.
Thomas Mountain lives in Asmara, Eritrea. He can be reached at:
thomascmountain at yahoo dot com