To the Honorable Congressman and Senator:
On behalf of the Ethiopian-American Civic Council across the United States, we would like to thank all the members of the Foreign Relations Committees of the United States Congress who voted for House Resolution 128, “Supporting respect for human rights and inclusive governance in Ethiopia,” and Senate Resolution 168, “A resolution supporting respect for human rights and encouraging inclusive governance in Ethiopia.”
We are very pleased that the two resolutions are now ready for consideration by the full House. We are also encouraged by the support that the two resolutions are already getting from both chambers.
Ethiopian-Americans and Ethiopians across the globe have waited expectantly for a long time for the United States Congress to act in the face of the notorious crimes against humanity and corruption of the Ethiopian dictatorship. The vote in the House and the Senate will be a far-sighted, just and compassionate response to the hundreds of peaceful protest demonstrations and candlelight vigils held in front of the United States Congress and the White House over the last 25 years.
With your support for these bills, Ethiopia will finally have a chance to become a stable and prosperous democracy. Your concern for the people of Ethiopia, and not merely for the tiny, unelected clique holding them hostage at gunpoint, will help build a stronger and more effective partner for the United States.
The theft by Ethiopia’s senior leadership and its business cronies of an amount exceeding all US financial assistance, rendering American aid programs little more than a transfer of the US taxpayer’s money to private bank accounts and luxury properties, has been well-publicized in major Western media such as the Washington Post and Forbes. This flagrant and egregious abuse of the US taxpayer continues while the famines get larger every few years and the war against terror in the region continues to slip.
The Ethiopian regime uses lobbying firms paid from the country’s meager resources to continue this fraud against the American people with fabricated economic data, claims of sovereignty and even threats to cease cooperation in the fight against terrorism. We are confident that your honorable institution will see the hollowness of these arguments. When you do, it will also become clear that an Ethiopian government forced by its illegitimacy and unpopularity to rely on military generals based on loyalty instead of talent and to keep Somalia weak and divided can never be an effective partner to America in the fight against Al-Shabab.
Besides providing the American taxpayer with due accountability, these two bills represent a historic opportunity to bring peace, stability and better governance to a Horn of Africa region beset by drought, poverty, disease, emigration and conflict. It’s an opportunity that must not be lost.
We therefore petition you, in the name of our tortured people, to support HR 128 and SR 168.