Thursday, September 18, 2014

An Ethiopian Billionaire’s Outrageous Land Grab

The man who stole the Nile: An Ethiopian billionaire’s outrageous land grab 
By Frederick Kaufman

Forget about diamond heists, bank robberies, and drilling into the golden intestines of fort Knox. In this precarious world-historic moment, food has become the most valuable asset of them all—and a billionaire from Ethiopia named Mohammed Hussein Al Amoudi is getting his hands on as much of it as possible, flying it over the heads of his starving countrymen, and selling the treasure to Saudi Arabia. Last year, Al Amoudi, whom most Ethiopians call the Sheikh, exported a million tons of rice, about seventy pounds for every Saudi citizen, the scene of the great grain robbery was Gambella, a bog the size of Belgium in Ethiopia’s southwest whose rivers feed the Nile.

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