Meles Zenawi Q and A

Thomas Dworzak / Magnum Photos for TIME

Hunger is a political issue in Ethiopia. Famine helped bring down the regime of Emperor Haile Selassie I in 1974 and the 1984-5 famine, in which one million people died, fatally undermined the Derg regime of Haile Miriam Mengistu, who was eventually overthrown in 1991. Prime Minister Meles Zenawi was leader of the rebel movement that toppled Mengistu. He spoke to TIME's Africa bureau chief Alex Perry about Ethiopia's latest food emergency and the value of aid at his offices in Addis Ababa.

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