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Ethiopia: Washington update – December 17, 2021

Washington Update – by Mesfin Mekonen
December 17, 2021
  1. The hard work of the Ethiopian-American community in informing members of Congress about the realities of the situation in Ethiopia has again led to some positive results. Please listen to and read Senator Inhofe’s comments, delivered on the Senate floor, about Ethiopia. The December 15 speech is available at https://www.inhofe.senate.gov/newsroom/press-releases/inhofe-speaks-on-the-senate-floor-about-ethiopia. Inhofe criticized the Biden administration for going “around the world telling other countries what they need to do instead of focusing on building lasting friendships and alliances.” He noted that Ethiopia has been a long-term friend of the United States, said that sanctions hurt the Ethiopian people, and warned that China is exploiting the situation to gain influence in Ethiopia.
 
  1. In November, Rep. Karen Bass also addressed the situation in Ethiopia. In a press release, Bass, who Chair of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa, issued a statement denouncing threats from the TPLF to “oust Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed – through political negotiation or military force if necessary – and install a transitional government.” Bass emphasized that “there is no military solution to this conflict, which threatens not only the territorial integrity and governance of Ethiopia, but also, also significantly weakens the safety and security of the entire region.”
 
  1. On December 17, the UN Human Rights Council agreed in a vote to establish an international commission of human rights experts on Ethiopia. The resolution expressed “serious concerns over alleged severe human rights violations and abuses in Ethiopia” and said they “should be investigated by an international rights probe.”  The German government issued a statement on Twitter: “Germany remains deeply concerned about serious human rights violations in northern #Ethiopia. Joint report of Ethiopian HR Commission& @UNHumanRights was important milestone. Accountability is key. We welcome mediation by the African Union & stand ready to engage w/ Ethiopia.”
  2. Below is a response to UN Human Rights Council from Ethiopia Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Ethiopia is extremely disappointed to have witness once again the use of the Human Rights Council by some to advance their politically motivated agenda. More information available at:
5. Ethiopian-Americans and Ethiopians from all over the world are helping their homeland by contributing financially and by other means, including the People to People organization, that are donating medical equipment and their professional assistance in Northern Ethiopia for dislocated and needy Ethiopians. The aid is especially important in Lalibela and other areas that have been devastated by TPLF forces that destroyed hospitals, schools, airports and factories. Enawgaw Mehari, M.D. of People to People said the organization’s work “is a fantastic way of supporting victims of war. Together we can make a difference . Let ACTION speaks on this forum. Be part of the solution!” More information is available at https://p2pbridge.org/mission

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