Ethiopian farmer sues UK over our foreign aid handouts

An Ethiopian farmer is using taxpayers’ money to sue Britain because he says that foreign aid sent to his country is supporting a brutal regime that ruined his life.

The man – known as Mr O – told his British lawyers that the £1.3billion the UK has sent to Ethiopia in the past five years has funded a despotic state.

He claims it is forcing thousands of villagers such as him from their land using murder, torture and rape, it was reported yesterday.

The farmer – whose case is set to cost the British taxpayer tens of thousands of pounds because he is using UK legal aid – accuses the Government here of devastating the lives of some of the world’s poorest people.

He argues that the huge sums handed to Ethiopia are breaching the Department for International Development’s (DfID) human rights rules.

His claims will fuel critics of the taxpayer-funded foreign aid handouts.

The landmark case is highly embarrassing for the Government. Ethiopia is among the biggest recipients of British aid and in July 2011 received £38million during the country’s worst drought in a decade.

Britain is also one of the main partners in Ethiopia’s Protection of Basic Services programme.


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