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Beneath International Famine Relief in Ethiopia: The United States, Ethiopia, and the Debate over Relief Aid, Development Assistance, and Human Rights

  • Edward Kissi

Abstract:

This article analyzes the conflicting interpretations of famine, relief aid, development assistance, and human rights by the Ethiopian and American governments, and the complexity of each government's policy and motives. It argues that in the 1970s and 1980s, the Carter and Reagan administrations faced the moral and political dilemma of assisting people in Ethiopia who were in desperate need with-out strengthening the hostile Ethiopian government in the process. And the government of Ethiopia had to make the difficult choice of accepting American aid on American terms at a period in Ethiopian history when doing so was politically suicidal. That America provided the aid and Ethiopia accepted it exemplifies the conduct of international relations in which human dignity compels nations to accommodate one another even within the boundaries of their mutual antagonism.

Résumé:

Cet essai analyse les interprétations en opposition concernant la famine, l'aide humanitaire, l'assistance au développement, et les droits de l'homme pris en charge par les gouvernements éthiopien et américain, et la complexité des législations et motivations des deux gouvernements. Il est affirmé que dans les années 70 et 80, les gouvernements de Reagan et de Carter ont fait face à des dilemmes moraux et politiques concernant le devoir de soutenir le peuple éthiopien qui avait désespérément besoin d'aide, sans au passage apporter son soutien au gouvernement hostile du pays. De son côté, le gouvernement éthiopien a dû faire le choix difficile d'accepter l'aide du gouvernement américain selon ses termes, à un moment de l'histoire éthiopienne où une telle décision était un suicide politique. Le fait que les États Unis aient proposé leur aide et que l'Éthiopie l'ait acceptée est un exemple probant du principe guidant les relations internationale, selon lequel la notion de dignité humaine conduit les nations à faire des compromis au sein même de leur antagonisme mutuel.

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References

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Archival Sources

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Books and Articles

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Varnis, Stephen. 1990. Reluctant Aid or Aiding the Reluctant? US Aid Policy and Ethiopian Relief. New Brunswick, N.J.: Transaction.

Beneath International Famine Relief in Ethiopia: The United States, Ethiopia, and the Debate over Relief Aid, Development Assistance, and Human Rights

  • Edward Kissi

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