ADDIS ABABA– The way the U.S. Congress H.R. 6600 bill, dubbed “Ethiopia Stabilization, Peace and Democracy Act” contradicts with its claim to bring peace and stability in the country, according to a legal expert.
Speaking to local media, the legal expert Dereje Demessie said that even though the draft bill is set forth to protect Ethiopia’s stability, the way it is designed cannot bring the objective. More importantly, it clearly affects the nation’s economy.
Rather, the way the draft bill is written is one-sided in a way that seems the TPLF lobbyist has their hands on, as to him. It has also put aside the role that Egypt and Sudan should have regarding the stability in Ethiopia, he added.
Noting the bill limits Ethiopia’s military capacity, affects its economy and legal process, the expert stated that the bill forces the Ethiopian government to ceasefire, get into national dialogue, hold accountable individuals that violated international laws as well as facilitate humanitarian aid without any destruction.
Unless the Ethiopian government abides by the aforementioned preconditions, the bill indicated the U.S. government would forbid Ethiopia from purchasing conventional weapons. It would also put the countries that sell weapons to Ethiopia under pressure.
Furthermore, it clearly stated that the U.S. would influence financial institutions such as the World Bank and IMF to prevent Ethiopia from getting aid or loans. It has further noted that it would coordinate with social media institutions to censor hate speech except for the U.S. citizens.
According to Dereje, H.R. 6600 also asserted that the U.S. would take measures unless the Ethiopian government and TPLF reached a ceasefire. Here, the government should put its utmost effort in a coordinated manner and actively advocate its initiatives in releasing political prisoners, reaching a ceasefire and withholding its troops from getting into Mekelle city.
Though the draft bill is not more than ten years of age, he said that it would hugely impact the Integrity and sovereignty of Ethiopia as well as it would highly affect the legal process and limit the military capacity of the nation.
To this end, Ethiopians and foreign nationals of Ethiopian origin residing in the U.S. should be engaged in supporting lobby organizations, discussing with their respective representatives through email and phone calls and do their best in pressuring the U.S. government from accepting the draft bill as a law.
The Ethiopian government on the one hand, should come to the table with the groups such as TPLF and resolve the problems. Plus, it has to address the humanitarian aid challenges without any destruction for the people in need.
At the same time, the government should open investigations on those individuals that violate international law, prepare a full report on atrocities occurring in government controlled areas and hold the responsible accountable, he remarked.
BY BETELHEM BEDLU
23 FEBRUARY 2022