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Re: S. 3199: Deceptively referred to as “Ethiopia Peace and Democracy Promotion Act”.

Open letter to the Honorable Senator Senator Bob Menendez of New Jersey

menendezjpg 24f563fb7c4ab931Dear Senator

We are a group of Ethiopian Americans residing in New Jersey and New York. We are writing you this letter as registered voters to express our vehement opposition to S.3199, a bill you are sponsoring in the Senate. We consider the bill a mockery of democracy and an assault on a developing African nation that is striving to establish a democratic system.

On November 4, 2020, the democratically elected government of Ethiopia was forced into a conflict after Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) committed treason by launching a premeditated attack on the Northern Command of the Ethiopian Defense Forces (EDF). During this conflict majority of Ethiopians stood by their elected leaders to defend their country against terrorist TPLF.

On June 2021, the Ethiopian government declared unilateral ceasefire to avoid further conflicts. However, TPLF forces encouraged by the US and its allies used that opportunity to regroup and wage a revenge war against the Amhara, and the Afar neighboring regions displacing millions and perpetrating heinous crimes including killing of thousands of civilians, raping hundreds of women and young girls and burning alive a youth group that stood against its lootings. In an attempt to cripple the country’s economy, the TPLF destroyed and looted more than 2000 schools (including traditional, elementary & high schools, and universities), more than 1500 health care facilities (including hospitals, clinics and community health care centers) in Afar and Amhara regions.

Furthermore, criminal TPLF has looted and destroyed many agricultural and natural resources in the two regions. Apart from the killings of thousands of innocent civilians and the gang raping of young girls and wives in front of their families, the total monetary damage perpetrated by the TPLF in the two regions is estimated to be more than 10 billion US dollars.

In the face of continuous provocations in Afar and Amhara regions by the TPLF forces, the current administration remained committed to allowing humanitarian aid to reach the population in Tigray that has been hold hostage by the TPLF. However, corrupt and criminal leaders of the TPLF you are working hard to help have rejected all those efforts and are still preparing for further bloodshed in the country.

It is disturbing to see the US claiming it stands for democracy in Africa, while working hard to reverse a democratic election and reinstall to power the same criminals that Ethiopians sacrificed for years to get rid of. It is also sad to witness the Biden administration as well as western media intentionally misrepresenting and ignoring all the well-intentioned efforts of the federal government, while propagating TPLF’s version of the conflict in the region.

The fact is for close to three decades, while it was in power, not only did the TPLF impose ethnic divisions and brutal dictatorship, but also looted the country via state-sponsored rampant corruption. In that scheme billions of hard-earned public finances, US, and EU assistance funds as well as government loans from other countries were siphoned off to diaspora TPLF members and supporters.

 

That looted treasure from a developing country is now being used by the TPLF and its friends to hire lobby firms like Von- Batten-Montague-York and influence US senators like you with an attempt to twist the hands of a democratically elected government and force it to negotiate with a terrorist organization. Despite an intentionally misleading title given to S. 1399, we strongly believe that the bill is prepared to weaken the legitimately elected government of Ethiopia, punish a nation working hard to lift itself after a devastating conflict and make a mockery of democracy in an African nation that enjoyed the first ever-democratic election in its history.

S.1399 will embolden terrorist TPLF leaders that brought decades of misery to Ethiopians while allowing it to continue to hold Tigreans hostage. The bill you are sponsoring will also help the TPLF to carry on and sponsor destructive and meaningless conflicts in the region.

We ask you to withdraw S.1399 or name it for what it is as “Ethiopian destabilization, Intimidation & mockery of Democracy Act”.

Sincerely

NY/NJ Tristate Hope for Ethiopia

 

2 Comments

  1. “We consider the bill a mockery of democracy and an assault on a developing African nation that is striving to establish a democratic system”.

    Shame on you, you very few “Ethiopian Americans residing in New Jersey and New York” This statement is a great example of mockery of justice and blatant lie. Is abiy ahmed`s government really taking us to democratic Ethiopia? The fact is that abiy ahmed`s Ethiopia is a country where people are displaced, massacred and burned on a daily basis simply because they belong to a certain ethnic group. This crime appears to be government-led as abiy ahmed neither denounces nor tries to stop the crime and ethnic apartheid is the rule of the land.
    If Ethiopia continues the way we have witnessed during the last four years and keeps the apartheid constitution we have now , God forbid, the country will soon disintegrate before our eyes. One potential avenue to prevent the dissolution of our country is to bring the criminals such as abiy ahmed, debretsion, agegnehu teshager, shimeles abdissa and the boss of benshangul before the international crime court in the Netherlands. This could be possible only through S.3199. Therefore, I vehemently support this law.

  2. Some of us here among our Diaspora are just too worked up about these two pending and past legislations. It would be utter fallacy to consider USA will do anything to intentionally harm the old country. It is just unthinkable and there is no reason for it. Something stronger has to be imposed on both warring factions to force them to accept the norms of modern civilization and stop fighting. Whether the conflict was triggered by Debre and his cabals or whether it was the federal government that provided the flint for the war to explode, no one will come out innocent at the end of the day. I had said this before. I am and will continue to be holding both sides responsible for leading the country into this bloodletting. Hundreds of thousands even millions might have perished already, still dying and agonizingly suffering. What are we talking about then? We here in the Diaspora thousands of miles away have no right to encourage both sides to continue killing each other from our comfy and safe homes. Again, someone has to put overwhelming pressure on both sides. Before was AGOA this AGOA that. Nobody said Ethiopia cannot import goods to the USA. All what it did was take away the 5, 10 or 15percent import tariffs extra entitlements. All it did was strike a painless slap on the pockets of the factory owners. Remember labor and overhead are dirt cheap over there. So what are we talking about? We need to grow up. Where are we as a constituent? We have no unity here and then how can talk about unity over there? We ourselves are not able to clean our noses of the entrapments of ethnic hostilities. We let some among us call the noble people of Amhara fascists. We let some among us call the equally noble people my own Oromos extremists. We let some among us call our upright neighbors from Tigray all kinds of pejorative names using the word ‘Woyane’ knowing for fact that that word remains the pride of everyone of them. Some of us want the federal forces to march into Tigray. Then I will ask you this. Where are your children or grandchildren? Well then just hush, zip it! We should mourn for every youth from Tigray, Amhara, Oromia and Beni who lost his/her Allah created blessed life in this senseless conflict. We should never be discriminatory about. All are human lives of equal value no more or less than one another.

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