The US Congress will soon vote on a bill entitled “Ethiopia Stabilization, Peace and Democracy Act” issued on February 4, 2020 by a number of democratic and republican congressmen including Tom Malinowski from New Jersey, Congress women Young Kim from California, Gregory W. Meeks from New York and Michel T. Mc Caul from Texas.
The title of the bill is in total contradiction with the content of the bill which if approved will bring about a devastating blow to the entire livelihood of the people of Ethiopia by not only hindering the economic development of the country but would only help to promote abject poverty in a country which is already grappling with manmade and natural calamities, the effects of delisting from AGOA and the human and material destruction inflicted by terrorist TPLF on the socio-economic and rural and urban development programs in Tigray, Amhara and Afar regions.
The term “stabilization” used in the title for the bill is not only misleading but also erroneous as the bill will only help to further destabilize the country due to the resultant effects of the sanctions if it is passed by congress.
On the other hand, the situation on the ground indicates that terrorist TPLF is the main actor not only in destabilizing Ethiopia but also the entire Horn of Africa.
The terrorist organization has openly declared that it has completed all preparations to invade Amhara and Afar regions in a bid to destroy the statehood of the country and destabilize the nation by escalating the already growing number of IDPs, hunger and destitution.
The sanction would only worsen the precarious situation in the two regions and in the entire country and would frustrate government efforts on relief, rehabilitation and development programs in the country.
The bill misses the entire reality in Ethiopia by asserting that “peace” will prevail in the country through sanctions that are geared towards further destabilization and chaos. Terrorist TPLF has displaced more than 300,000 citizens only in Afar region by shelling villages and towns on daily bases and totally blocking the relief supply line to Tigray.
It is difficult to assume that US congress men and women are not aware of this. Indeed they are because Amnesty, International, Human Rights Watch, BBC, VOA, AFP, AP have been reporting on this and other atrocities committed by terrorist TPLF.
“Democracy” is another misleading word used in the title of the bill. How can democracy be achieved in the midst of biting sanctions? One of the basic features of democracy is the right to live in peace but the US administration and the congress are aware of the fact that terrorist TPLF has been conducting genocidal acts and mass killings in almost all the districts it had temporarily occupied in North and South Wollo and North Shoa.
Mass graves found in schools, churches and mosques and open fields in the two regions have been observed by the highest officials of the UN and AU including Special envoy Olusegun Obasanjo. The word “peace “is mentioned in the tile of the bill of sanctions. One can just forward a general question pertaining to the possibility of ensuring peace in Ethiopia through sanctions.
The world has never witnessed a condition under which peace could be attained through trying to punish a country through sanctions. However, there are enough evidences across the globe in which economic sanctions have ended in the proliferation of illicit trade, illegal financial transactions and contraband.
The bill puts four elements in the “Statement of Policy” which is part of the bill itself including: “
1. 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.
2. Use all diplomatic, development and legal tools to stabilize and end violence in Ethiopia……
3. 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.
4. To promote an inclusive national dialogue in order to bring about a peaceful democratic and unified Ethiopia.” The above statement of policy defies the fundamental and internationally recognized sovereign powers of the people of Ethiopia to deal with their problems in the African way and in accordance too the laws of the country.
The bill uses the word “civil war” to discredit government efforts and the sovereign rights vested upon it to ascertain and enforce law in the country. It is certainly a measure taken by the government to stop terrorist TPLF from violating the laws of the country in the context of international law.
This bill certainly attempts to obstruct efforts underway by JIT to conduct further investigations on violations of human rights, genocide and crimes against humanity in Ethiopia.
The bill undermines the joint efforts of UNHRC and the Ethiopian Human Rights Commissions. The main obstacle for the effective management and conduct of smooth flow of relief aid not only to Tigray but also to Amhara and Afar is terrorist TPLF and the US administration and congress have all the facts at hand and yet totally refrain from condemning the crimes committed by the terrorist organization at daylight.
The bill calls for seeking diplomatic support for the US from the UN, AU, EU, international organizations towards the implementation of the sanctions to economically decapitate the country.
It calls for opposition to any attempt by the government of Ethiopia to solicit fund from major global financial magnets. How can justice and accountability be ascertained when the economy of the country is marred by sanctions simply to force a sovereign country to accept terms and conditions that are geared towards destroying the economic basis and the political superstructure in the country? Obstructing efforts underway by the government to seek loans and grants from international financial systems and donor agencies is not only a gross violation of the sovereignty of the country but is also against efforts the government is already taking in rehabilitating educational, health and other infrastructure facilities destroyed and looted by terrorist TPLF.
It is also interesting to note that the bill wishes to hijack the initiatives taken by the government of Ethiopia in conducting peaceful dialogue and reconciliation by enacting the legal basis necessary under the legal competence of an elected government.
The bill intends to replace the ongoing efforts underway by the government in gross violation of the sovereignty of the country.
Editor’s Note: The views entertained in this article do not necessarily reflect the stance of The
BY SOLOMON DIBABA
The Ethiopian 26 February 2022