H. Res. 128 Joint Letter to Congress


October 12, 2017
The Honorable Paul Ryan
Speaker of the House
H-232 The Capitol
Washington, D.C. 20515

 
Dear Speaker Ryan,
  
We are writing to underscore the importance of House Resolution (H.Res.) 128 and the need to bring it to a vote as soon as possible. The resolution, which calls for respect for human rights and encourages inclusive governance in Ethiopia, has strong bipartisan support with 71 co-sponsors. It passed the Foreign Affairs Committee unanimously on July 27, 2017 and was scheduled for a vote on October 2nd. However, on Thursday, September 28, the measure was removed from the calendar without explanation.
  
Last week, a Member of Congress publicly stated that H.Res.128 had been pulled due to threats by the Ethiopian government that if the House proceeded with a vote, Ethiopia would withdraw as a partner on regional counter terrorism efforts.
  
Ethiopia has long been an important security ally of the United States and continues to receive financial, intelligence and military assistance. However, its worsening human rights record, which  includes a brutal crackdown on dissent since 2015 and near elimination of democratic space in the country, has introduced profound instability in the region. The US has long seen a stable and prosperous Ethiopia as crucial to the effectiveness of its counter terrorism efforts.
 
We believe H.Res.128 represents an important and long overdue response to Ethiopia’s heavyhanded tactics against largely peaceful protests that began in Oromia in 2015 and later spread to the Amhara region in 2016. Together these regions represent around 70 percent of the population of Ethiopia. They indicate a widespread grassroots desire for reform in the country.
  
A strong, unambiguous signal from the US demanding concrete reforms is required to avert crisis and to create a path toward sustainable regional stability. The passage of H.Res.128 represents an important first step in that direction and should not be derailed by last-minute bullying tactics. This would not be the first time the government of Ethiopia has made threats of this nature and it is worth noting they have never been carried through.
  
The resolution raises a number of important recommendations that could benefit both Ethiopia and  the United States in their counter terrorism partnership while encouraging the government of Ethiopia to take steps to open up civic space, ensure accountability for human rights abuses, and promote inclusive governance.
  
We believe the resolution should be placed back on the House agenda and voted on as soon as possible in order to show support for the people of Ethiopia in their desire to have a stable, prosperous and democratic country.
 
 
Sincerely,
Amhara Association of America
Amnesty International USA
Center for Justice and Accountability
Ethiopia Human Rights Project
Freedom House
Human Rights Watch
Oromo Advocacy Alliance
Solidarity Movement for a New Ethiopia
 
Cc: The Honorable Ed Royce
The Honorable Mac Thornberry
The Honorable Chris Smith
The Honorable Karen Bass
The Honorable Mike Coffman
The Honorable Robin Kelly
The Honorable Marc Veasey
The Honorable Keith Ellison

4 COMMENTS

  1. Great job AMHARA ASSOCIATION OF AMERICAN. All other patriotic and rule of law and democracy loving ETHIOPIAN organizations ALL OVER THE WORLD should be sending letter to US CONGRESS and WHITE HOUSE ON A REGULAR BASIS just as the patriotic AMHARA ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA DID.

    • By the article it self tell us that your group is eorking to bring back the old type of rule for the benefit for those who had the right above the majority of the people. I wander why you are running here and there as if our country is guided by white people like America. Do you think still we are at the same status of government as when your ex-leader were leading our country. No one is after your backward poletics that made our people to blieve in beggeing westerns for daily life.It made our country the poorest. Due to the new government our people started to acquire with new technology and modern thought that changed totally different from your ethinic era. You want even to stop or destroy the REINSANCE dam which will change the image of our country. You do not to give creds for the existing poletical system and party. Most of you advocate Egypt’s interest on Nile.You always against any change for to hide your ethnic leadets problem. This is really shows you will not compromise to eradicate the rest of people except your ethinics member. The present problem in some areas are due you to yourselves. You are begging USA to stop aids to the people thinking that the existancof country is totally depend on USA. The project so far and the next programmed ones will change to higher level and may be enable us independent from western aid. Your group do not to see this because the progress may expose your ethnic leaders weakness of governings.
      Shame on you.

  2. we all us genuinely understand the historical and outstanding relationship between USA and Ethiopia,But now the ethnic minority groups/tplf/ is terrorizing our people of Ethiopia. We need your generous support and justification for the entire society.
    thank you

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