U.S. to seize properties of corrupt African officials

Meles Zenawi cartoon United States President Barack Obama announced that his Administration would seize money stolen by corrupt African government officials and hidden in the America and the West. (See Dr Alemayehu G. Mariam’s article on kleptocracy in Africa. Click here)

The announcement was made on his behalf by U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder in Uganda at Speke Resort Munyonyo where African heads of state were meeting last earlier this month.

Holder was part of the American delegation to the Kampala summit led by Ambassador Johnnie Carson, U.S. top diplomat in Africa.

In a wide-ranging speech which touched on the terror attacks and America’s help to Uganda, Eric Holder delivered a stinger on the touchy issue of corruption.

“The Kleptocracy recovery effort” he said would target large-scale corruption perpetrated by foreign nationals.

“I have assembled a team of prosecutors (to deal exclusively with this)” he said.

He added, the U.S. is willing to support the development of African judiciaries to deal with corruption.

International cooperation over money leaving national treasuries and entering tax havens and Western banks has long been a sticking issue.

The United Nations in 2005 pioneered the Convention Against Corruption, which sought to cast a wide net against criminality across borders.

Ethiopia’s dictator and his wife, Meles Zenawi and Azeb Mesfin, as well as other top officials, have reportedly looted over 1 billion dollars in wealth since they came to power. A large portion of this wealth has been invested in the U.S. through front corporations and non-profit organizations.

Ethiopian Review welcomes U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder’s plan to seize the properties of corrupt foreign government officials. Ethiopian Review readers can assist in the investigation by providing information about corruption of Woyanne officials. We have provided a hotline for this purpose. Click here.

FORUM | AMHARIC