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Ethiopia: Washington Update



  09:48:05 pm, by admin   , 422 words  
Categories: Ethiopia, Washington Update

Ethiopia: Washington Update

Ethiopia: Washington Update

By Mesfin Mekonen

In response to reports from the All Ethiopia Unity Party about human rights abuses, including beatings and imprisonment, a senior U.S. State Department official said that U.S. government continues to raise these issues at every meeting with Ethiopian officials. The regime has demonstrated that such words will have no effect. In fact, the Meles regime acts as if its collaboration with the U.S. in the war on terror gives it a blank check to repress its own people with impunity. The U.S. government must act more boldly and aggressively to make real its commitments to human rights.

Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), in a recent meeting, said he continues to view the worsening human rights situation in Ethiopia with alarm. He referenced a letter he sent over a year ago to Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Johnnie Carson. Smith stated that "for over a decade our government has rarely spoken out about the Ethiopian government’s electoral and human rights abuses. In view of the government violence that attended the last election and the Ethiopian government’s deteriorating human rights record, this must cease.”

In addition to the ongoing suppression of basic human rights, the Meles regime has intensified its repression of Ethiopians living in rural areas, especially in the South. It is forcing families off the land and leasing valuable farmland to foreign corporations that export both agricultural products and profits. Members of the ruling regime benefit from kickbacks and payments, but the Ethiopian people only suffer as a result of these practices.

While the situation in Ethiopia has worsened, the U.S. government has had little or nothing to say about it publicly, and its actions have supported rather than challenged the regime.

The Ethiopian community notes and mourns the passing of Rep. Donald Payne (D-N.J.). As you all knew, we worked with Rep. Payne and Rep. Smith on legislation committing the U.S. to support democracy and human rights in Ethiopia.

Payne cosponsored the Support for Democracy and Human Rights in Ethiopia Act of 2003.The legislation included statements putting the U.S. Congress on the record as opposing the Ethiopian government's suppression of human rights and democracy. It sought to impose a ban on all non-humanitarian aid to Ethiopia unless and until the Ethiopian government adheres to minimal standards with regard to human rights and democracy. The bill passed the House unanimously. Unfortunately the legislation was blocked in the Senate because of Sen. Inhofe and the Ethiopian regime's expensive lobbyists. Still, we raised awareness of the issues.


Comment from: Gemech [Visitor]

History has shown us that no amount of lobbying the State Department is going to bring any change to the way Ethiopia is Governed. Real change comes from the Ethiopian people themselves. Just as Rep. Payne failed so will the efforts of his successor. These people are representatives of the American people not of the Ethiopian people. They are only interested in how many votes the passing of a certain Bill will get their party. Nothing else. On international issues US interest not Ethiopian interest counts. I f you still thing the US is going to escort you back to power dream on. The Ethiopia you are portraying to the State department is no existent. And the State Department knows that.It is normal for a US politician to say, ” We raise Human Rights issues at any opportunity.” In other words it means, “We know what’s going. Mind your own business.” So mind your own business if you have any.And if you are real politicians, mobilise the Ethiopian people from inside by raising the real concrete issues not the imagined ones that you are constantly churning out from DC.

03/11/12 @ 07:05
Comment from: john john [Visitor]
john john

Fix your own problem please.

03/11/12 @ 22:06
Comment from: heny [Visitor]

Mesfin Mekonnen,

yihe demo jilajil. What is ‘what is washington update?’. Yamehal? What the hell does Washington update have to do with the poor Ethiopians and poor Ethiopia? Jil tifa kezih

03/12/12 @ 10:47
Comment from: Colonizing Ethiopia [Visitor]
Colonizing Ethiopia

Thanks for the update.

We have to keep fighting and holding demonstration everywhere in the US and around the world until the world listens and stops giving the blind eye to the brutal regime in Ethiopia. Ethiopians in Ethiopia have no body but those who are outside of Ethiopia.

The fight must be persistence both from within and outside of Ethiopia until the brutal regime of Zenawi gets out.

03/12/12 @ 13:34



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