HR6600: A negative measure on the heels of Ethiopia’s positive developments

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Imposing a blanket ban on Ethiopia’s African Growth and Opportunity Act privilege, the US is advancing another counterproductive resolution that only increases the suffering of the Ethiopian people.

Washington’s policy towards Ethiopia in relation to the situation in the northern part of Ethiopia has been drawing criticism. Ethiopia’s suspension from the trade opportunity has already weakened investment and led to massive job loss.

While experts and activists are calling on the U.S. to left the ban on AGOA, Washington is preparing another resolution dubbed HR 6600 that would rather exacerbate Ethiopia’s situation and directly impact the Ethiopian people. Many are protesting against Washington’s move since it came on the heels of promising development in Ethiopia.

With the freeing politicians and lifting the state of emergency, many have been optimist that the situation in Ethiopia would further normalize. Following the decisive measure, the UN, EU and even US have been commending Ethiopia’s position.

It is against this background that the US is preparing to impose a counterproductive sanction on Ethiopia. The move has already drawn outcry from Ethiopians residing at home and abroad.

Talking to local media a well-acclaimed political science scholar Prof. Brook Hailu stated that the bill overlooked the positive steps the Ethiopian government has taken to protect human rights. He went on to note that the name given to the bill is dubious. It has been named Ethiopian Stabilization, Peace and Democracy Act” but, it is indeed a very unique and pressing act compared to others.

Surprisingly, the Foreign Affair Committee [of the U.S.] has forwarded the bill to Congress only within four days; which is a very short time to deal with the manifested agenda of the bill.

He stressed that the bill has been prepared for further sanctions, to conduct further human right based investigations, and to cut investment and economic relations with Ethiopia. H.R.6600 does not recognize positive measures carried out by the Ethiopian government including the joint investigation of OHCHR and the Ethiopian Human Right Commission on the alleged human rights violations in the country. He further stressed that the bill has rejected all measures taken by the government of Ethiopia including the release of TPLF officials.

The atrocities in the Amhara and Afar states by TPLF terrorists have also been shunned. So, the bill is seemingly prepared against Ethiopia.” “H.R. 6600 is one-sided and prepared to blame the Ethiopian government with false accusations while judging all Ethiopian affairs blindly,” he added.

Ethiopian-American Development Council (EADC) stated that it has sent 50,000 letters to Congress and the White House, contacted 94 senators out of 100 ones via an electronic medium, some 362 representatives out of 435 ones within 6 days.

It did all this deed to stop ratifying the H.R. 6600 bill thereby defending Ethiopia against repressive the U.S. policy and keeping Ethiopia’s interest. Not knowing very well the peace effort Ethiopians and Ethiopian government have currently exerted, Congressman Malinowski of New Jersey drafted the H.R.6600 bill to merely threaten Ethiopia by imposing sanctions pretending the issues of security, finance, investment, basic right, and others.

The bill does not understand the complicated problems in Ethiopia and fails to recognize the facts on the ground, too. It instead focuses on alienating a democratically elected government, punishing innocent Ethiopians, exacerbating the existing problem, creating a power vacuum, and driving Ethiopian American relationship in the wrong direction, said EthiopianAmericans through their message to US Officials.

This bill does not try to hold TPLF accountable for previous or current aggression and human rights violations that are escalating the humanitarian crisis in the Northern Ethiopia. Policies and/or congressional actions that fail to recognize the truth on the ground are dangerous and embolden TPLF to continue its aggression and invasion to gain power by force.

This kind of partial approach will destabilize the broader region, risk the lives of thousands, and contribute to humanitarian challenges. H.R. 6600 bill intends to cripple Ethiopians while giving a free pass to TPLF insurrectionists who are still pillaging towns, murdering and displacing innocent civilians in Afar, said Getfact group on its Twitter page. H.R.6600 aims at holding the efforts of individuals, the Diaspora community participating in the rebuilding of hospitals and schools destroyed by TPLF back. It is designed to prevent Ethiopia from International Loans and finances. It will embolden TPLF’s atrocities, emboldening TPLF’s crimes of gang rape, mass killings of civilians tooting hospitals and schools.

Therefore, the U.S. should work closely with broader Ethiopian Americans, Ethiopians, and the Ethiopian government towards peace, democracy, and stability. It is not expected to treat a democratically elected government on equal footing with an insurrectionist group that has committed war crimes and a crime against humanity on Ethiopians over the past close to three decades said Ethiopian-Americans through Change.org.

As learned from GETFact reportage the U.S. Congress H.R. 6600 (Ethiopia Stabilization, Peace, and Democracy Act) new bill has the potential not only to prolong the conflict in Ethiopia but also further threatens stability in the Horn of Africa.

In its latest reportage, GETFact said the bill has the potential not only to prolong the conflict in Ethiopia, but it further destabilizes the volatile region.

The bill has targeted the economy, development, and security of Ethiopia with long-term consequences and calls for the imposition of harsh sanctions and violent measures against the country. “It is time to oppose, be informed, and take action.

The bill threatens to impose sanctions on multiple fronts that would harm the country. It would also restrict security assistance, revoke loans and financial gains prohibit Ethiopia’s international development finance corporations, and impede the Diaspora from supporting their home nation.

It also restricts immigration by rescinding the existing visa applicants and future diversity visas while Ethiopians have been the victims of TPLF brutality for thirty years. “H.R.6600 is arguably one-sided and places much of the blame on the Ethiopian government instead of identifying insurrectionists such as the terrorist TPLF and neglecting the peace efforts by the African Union,” the reportage stressed. Speaking to local media, a 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 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. 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 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.

He said that the bill 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   26 February  2022

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