“The vultures will first peck out your eyes and then tear out your livers.”Ethiopia, 1935 Dogs bark all night in Addis Ababa, a sprawling city that rides high (some 8,000 feet) on the western crest of Ethiopia’s central highland. On my first night here I thought I heard gunshots above the yelping of dogs, but the dizzying altitude and sleeplessness from two days of travel left me unsure. At 4 a.m. I walked onto the balcony of the huge, empty Addis Hilton and searched the horizon for the vultures I’d been told returned to the old land of Sheba after many years to feed off the refuse of revolution. I was staring into the twilight, watching the colors change on the sides of the mountains, when I heard a strange, cadent sound, a sort of muffled slapping that was soon louder than the incessant barking. After several minutes I went down to the street and stood behind a wall in the receding darkness. I saw columns of young children – most of them under 10 years old – being herded through the thin air at gunpoint. They looked straight ahead, hoisting their knees high, as children do when they march,… Read full this story
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