Washington Update – by Mesfin Mekonen
Feb. 14, 2022
Legislation, the Ethiopia Stabilization, Peace, and Democracy Act (H.R. 6600), has been introduced that seeks to impose sanctions and take other measures to punish individuals and government entities in Ethiopia that undermine efforts to stop the war.
The bill’s primary sponsor is Rep. Tom Malinowski (D-NJ). Co-sponsors include Reps. Gregory Meeks (D-NY), Michael McCaul (R-TX), Brad Sherman (D-CA), David Cicilline (D-RI) and Kim Young R-CA).
The bill would impose sanctions, including restrictions on visas to the U.S., on individuals who have “undermined, attempted to undermine, or seeks to undermine efforts with respect to a ceasefire and negotiated settlement to end the civil war or other conflicts in Ethiopia.” It also targets for sanctions individuals who have “committed gross violations of internationally recognized human rights, war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide, or other atrocities in Ethiopia.”
H.R. 6600 instructs the U.S. Secretary of State to try to negotiate multilateral sanctions on individuals who are subject to U.S. unilateral sanctions.
The bill, if enacted, would also limit U.S. security assistance to Ethiopia until a permanent ceasefire has been implemented and the Ethiopian government implements measures to better protect human rights and cooperates with investigations of credible reports of war crimes and crimes against humanity.
Full text of the bill is available at https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/117/hr6600
Here is Rep. Kim statement in support of H.R. 6600 “The brutal conflict in Ethiopia has continued to fuel a destructive cycle of violence that has killed and displaced thousands, with millions more facing starvation and other dire humanitarian crises, I’m proud to help lead the Ethiopia Stabilization, Peace and Democracy Act to authorize targeted sanctions against those expanding the conflict and ensure transparent delivery of humanitarian aid. I thank Rep. Malinowski for joining me in this effort and our Foreign Affairs Committee colleagues for their support.”
Here is Rep. Malinowski statement “This bill is meant to accelerate a diplomatic end to the war and hold human rights abuses and arms exporters accountable, I am pleased the administration has signed a new Executive Order with broader sanctions on the conflict, but the United States has a host of other tools at our disposal to reinforce our diplomatic efforts and we cannot be shy in using them. The Ethiopian and Eritrean governments, Tigray People’s Liberation Front, and other armed actors, along with their foreign backers, have engaged in a war that threatens to rip the country apart. We need to help bring it to an end.”