by Mesfin Mekonen
1. Need for economic development
The government of Ethiopia must focus on peace, law and order, and development. Ethiopia is at a turning point. For it to move toward prosperity, peace and democracy, it is essential that the government find ways to increase economic opportunity, especially for the growing population of young Ethiopians who need training and jobs.
2. Religious conflict
According to a recent report by Aljazeera , Ethiopian police and Muslim worshippers clashed in Addis Ababa. The incident occurred outside the international stadium in the heart of the capital, during prayers. In addition to Addis Abana, there have also been religious conflicts in other parts of Ethiopia, including Gondar, Harar and Dessie. This violence is very disturbing because Ethiopian Christians and Muslims lived together in peace and harmony for over a thousand years. The government of Ethiopia must take responsibility for upholding the rule of law and bring to justice anyone who instigates violence.
3. Congressional resolutions
Ethiopian-Americans should call and write to their members of Congress expressing support for Senate Resolution 3199, and House Resolution 6600 “Ethiopia Stabilization, Peace and Democracy Act.
H.R. 6600, introduced by Rep. Malinowski (D-NJ) condemns the Ethiopian government’s killing of peaceful protesters, arrest and detention of journalists, and stifling of political and civic dissent and journalistic freedoms. It puts the U.S. government on record calling for the Ethiopian government to take basic steps to protect the human rights of its citizens, stop killing them, and release them.
This bill has 13 cosponsors, 10 Democrats and 3 Republicans.
In a message to constituents, Rep. Dean Phillips (D-Minn.) wrote that “H.R. 6600 would put sanctions on those who are sustaining the conflict and repeal security and financial assistance to the Ethiopian government until human rights and humanitarian requirements are met.”
S.3199 was introduced on April 11, 2021 to address U.S. efforts to support a peaceful, democratic Ethiopia and bring an end to the conflict in northern Ethiopia.
Here are the highlights of the Ethiopia Stabilization, Peace and Democracy Act – From Congress:
This Act may be cited as the
Ethiopia Stabilization, Peace, and Democracy Act.
Statement of policy
It is the policy of the United States—
to support efforts to end the civil war and other conflicts in Ethiopia and gross violations of internationally recognized human rights, war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide, and other atrocities in Ethiopia;
to use all diplomatic, development, and legal tools to stabilize and end violence in Ethiopia;
to support efforts to hold accountable those who committed gross violations of internationally recognized human rights, war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide, and other atrocities in Ethiopia; and
to promote an inclusive national dialogue in order to bring about a peaceful, democratic, and unified Ethiopia.
4. War in Ukraine hurting Ethiopia
The conflict in Ukraine, which has prevented the export of grain from one of the world’s largest producers, has driven up the cost of food worldwide, including in Ethiopia.
Ethiopia’s already high humanitarian needs are expected to rise in the coming year due to the ongoing conflict, drought, flooding, disease outbreaks and locust infestation, the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs stated. “Humanitarian needs remain high in several parts of Ethiopia with at least 20 million people requiring some form of humanitarian assistance until the end of the year,” according to a UN report. The number of people depending on emergency food assistance is increasing in the conflict-stricken regions of Tigray, Afar and Amhara.
Reuters reported that malnourished children are flooding the pediatric ward of the main hospital in Ethiopia’s Gode city as the worst drought for 40 years has forced many families to leave their homes to search for aid.
The World Food Program said around 15 million people need food in the Horn of Africa, a figure that could rise to 20 million by the end of the year.
“There’s been a series of climate shocks which has compounded the food insecurity situation,” Claire Nevill, a spokeswoman for WFP, told Reuter