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A complex famine

Western journalists won't find mass starvation in Ethiopia

By Abdul Mohamed   May 2000

Across the world, Ethiopia is again synonymous with starvation. In the country itself, there is growing dismay that the ghosts of 1984-5, when nearly 1m died in the famine, are returning; and for Ethiopians, such as ourselves, it is painful to see our country once more depicted as the helpless recipient of western charity. We welcome and encourage international media attention-but journalists should also report in a balanced way.

This is not 1984-5. Although the UN and Ethiopian government agree that about 8m people are currently affected, there are only small pockets where death rates have begun to rise. The…

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