Millions of dollars earmarked for victims of the Ethiopian famine of 1984-85 went on buying weapons, according to a BBC investigation.
Former rebel leaders told the BBC that they posed as merchants in meetings with charity workers to get aid money.
They then diverted the cash to fund their attempts to overthrow the government of the time.
Documents released by the CIA confirmed aid was “almost certainly being diverted for military purposes”.
Although millions of people were saved by the Western aid that poured into the country, evidence suggests not all of the aid went to the most needy.
At the time, the Ethiopian government was fighting rebellions in the northern provinces of Eritrea and Tigray.
Much of the countryside was outside of government control, so relief agencies brought aid in from neighbouring Sudan.
Some was in the form of food, some as cash, to buy grain from Ethiopian farmers in areas that were still in surplus.
Max Peberdy, an aid worker from Christian Aid, carried nearly $500,000 in Ethiopian currency across the border in 1984.
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