Letter to US Congresswoman AOC on Ethiopia-Egypt foreign policy

Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez:

(Press Release)

Dear Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Our Ethiopian-American community in New York would like to thank you for your continued effort for immigration reform, including on the latest legislation by House Democrats. Our NYC area, particularly your district NY14, has one of the largest Ethiopian-American community in the Tristate area, which our group NY-NJ Ethiopian Taskforce organizes.

The other top priority that our community shares with you is reforming the militarized US foreign policy. Our native country Ethiopia has been negatively impacted with this militarization and interventionist US foreign policy.

Our NY-NJ Ethiopian Taskforce recently organized a mass demonstration at the United Nations (UN) Headquarters in Manhattan to oppose destructive and militarized US foreign policy in Africa. (See Images)

In the last four decades, according to the Washington Post, the US has given nearly $50 Billion worth of military aid to Egypt. United States provides more military aid to Egypt than to all other 53 African countries combined. As a consequence, Egypt has been empowered by America to bully and engage in disastrous military interventions in neighboring countries of Africa.

In 2019, former President Donald J Trump labeled Egypt’s President Al Sisi “my favorite dictator” and gave Egypt even more military aid, including for Egyptian Air Force. Unfortunately, our new President Joe Biden’s administration has been slow to address this crisis.

This week, Egypt’s leader threatened that he is considering to bomb Ethiopia, making this matter an urgent crisis. Even worse, Egypt has used its military superpower to influence Sudan to attack Ethiopia.

Due to the European colonial legacy, every country in Africa continues to endure internal economic and other problems, which the United Stated can diplomatically and economically alleviate — but not thru militarization. However, the militarized US foreign policy has so far emboldened Egypt, a recipient of the most advanced American weaponry, to bully Ethiopia. We urge you to use your platform to advocate for peace and publicly condemn the recent warmongering comments by Trump’s so-called “favorite dictator.”

It is imperative that the Democrat Party urgently addresses this matter and lead in reforming the decades old militarization of US foreign policy. And our Ethiopian-American NY community is ready to work with your office in this endeavor.

Background

Long before the 1960s Civil Rights movement in the US, Ethiopia was a leading supporter of black solidarity movements worldwide, and as a consequence, it became the headquarter of the African Union in 1963. However, Ethiopia remained a poor country due to international geo-politics. One of the top reasons for its poverty is because Ethiopia was banned from using its own Blue Nile River by European superpowers (who helped Egypt) for irrigation and to produce electricity the last 100 years. So today, according to the World Bank (WB), around 99% of Egypt has electricity while only 45% of Ethiopia has power. This is because Egypt is allowed to use 66% of the Nile River resources while Ethiopia uses less than 1%. To protect this unfair historic monopoly, Egypt continues to threaten Ethiopia with its US-funded military superiority to protect its monopoly of the River.

NY-NJ Ethiopian Taskforce

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