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Ethiopia boasts about its economic progress. The body count at a garbage dump tells another story.

Rescue workers watch as excavators dig into a pile of garbage in search of missing people following a landslide when a mound of trash collapsed on an informal settlement at the Koshe garbage dump in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa, March 13, 2017. REUTERS/Tiksa Negeri

Washington Post

Three days of national mourning began Wednesday for the victims of a catastrophic landslide at the Ethiopian capital’s main garbage dump that left at least 113 bodies buried under a wall of trash and dirt, mostly women and children.

This year has not been kind to Ethiopia, including widespread popular unrest, drought in many parts of the country, a cholera outbreak and stampede at a culture festival. Yet the deaths at the Addis Ababa landfill on Saturday stands out as a sobering counterpoint to the country’s boasts of economic progress.

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Ethiopia’s government for the last decade has tried to put behind the familiar cliches in Western minds of famine and poverty. The numbers help their case. Ethiopia has one of the best-performing economies in Africa. But 30 percent of Ethiopia’s population still lives below the poverty line.

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