We are a group of Ethiopian Americans residing in New Jersey and New York. We are writing you this letter to express our concern regarding your recent statement on Ethiopia and the appointment of Mr. Jeffrey Feltman as an East African Envoy.
Three years ago, Ethiopians paid a hefty price in blood and treasure to get rid of one of the worst brutal ethnocentric dictatorships called the TPLF (Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front). TPLF’s leaders openly promoted themselves as masters of divide and rule determined to control the country for a century while other ethnic groups fight among each other. In November 2020, the same group killed hundreds of members of the Ethiopian defense forces in their sleep while the youth group it trained massacred more than 600 Amhara Ethiopians in Mai Kadra. After the unexpected attacks, the government of Ethiopia and its military forces did exactly what any sovereign nation would do to control the situation, which was to take a swift action against a regional terrorist force with close to 80,000-armed fighters.
While we share your concern about the ongoing ethnic and religious conflicts in Ethiopia, there should not be any doubt that remnants of terrorist TPLF and its affiliates, including Oneg Shene (an Oromo extremist group), are responsible for ethnic and religious cleansings taking place around the country. In addition, Egypt and Sudan are threatening Ethiopia just for trying to use its own natural resources and fill up the GERD (Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam). Instead of working with Ethiopia to ensure its Nile sources is safe and green, Egypt is resorting to false and unscientific premise of equating generation of electric power with drying of water sources and is sponsoring a proxy destabilization campaign using Sudan, and same toxic forces mentioned above.
Despite all these challenges, majority of Ethiopians are looking forward to the promise land and are working hard to ensure both the election as well as the filling of the GERD go forward as planned.
In 1977, the US had turned its back on Ethiopia when it was fighting an aggressor (the then president Siad Barre of Somalia) who claimed Ethiopian territory. When the TPLF forces were close to the capital in 1991, the US negotiators lead by Herman Cohen, gave the green light for the TPLF (listed from 1976 to 1990 as a terrorist organization by Global Terrorism Database (GTD)) to take power in Ethiopia, leaving Ethiopians terrorized for three decades while the US and its allies stood on the side.
The US did a mockery on Ethiopians, when the former President Barak Obama and his National Security Advisor Susan Rice (known to be a friend to the late TPLF dictator, Meles Zenawi) went to Addis Ababa, hailing a rigged and stolen election as democratic.
At this critical moment in Ethiopia’s history, once again, the US has turned its back on this poor nation. Former president Trump, suggested Egypt should bomb a project that is built by contributions of poor citizens and considered by Ethiopians as the symbol of freedom from poverty, and following on the footsteps of the former president the Biden administration assigned a person known among Ethiopian circles as a TPLF sympathizer as the new Envoy to East Africa. While expected to work with a government that is striving to make sure the country stays unified and, citizens have a chance to elect their leaders. In his Foreign Policy magazine interview, the special envoy undermined the coming elections, disrespected East African leaders and set a tone of we know it for you when assigned to the task.
It is frustrating to see the US and its European allies working hard to undermine an election majority of Ethiopians are supporting. It is clear that for these nations fulfilling the desire of Egypt is more important than the existence and any democratic elections in Ethiopia. The current US policy towards Ethiopia forces us to question if dismantling of Ethiopia and forming small ethnic and religious fanatic states in East Africa in the best interest of the US. Is a unified and democratic Ethiopia in anyway a threat to the US? On the other hand, is the US only interested in a puppet government that responds to its demands to satisfy Egypt at the expense of its own citizens?
It is very disturbing to see the US and its European allies are determined to stand guard for an outdated colonial treaty on the Nile between Egypt and Great Britain that completely disregarded Ethiopia; a country that is the source of eighty five percent of the Nile. Even more disturbing is the fact that the US and its allies trying to twist the hands of a poor nation to fulfill the desires of an ally.
Ethiopia is at a crossroads, and as our senator, we are asking you to please support
- the sitting government that is striving to keep the nation together and carry the first ever democratic election in the country
- the long awaited elections that is braced by majority of Ethiopians
- Ethiopia’s efforts to use its resources to get out of poverty
- and ask Egypt; a US ally and Sudan to refrain from destabilizing Ethiopia
We strongly believe in the fact that the coming elections will determine the fate of the nation and 120 million Ethiopians. Majority of Ethiopians would like to see a unified, a stronger and a democratic Ethiopia that will work hard to ensure its citizens are out of poverty and have equal rights to work and live anywhere they want despite their ethnicity and religious believes.
We thank you for paying attention to this important matter!
NJ/NY Ethiopians Task Force
Join the conversation. Like borkena on Facebook and get Ethiopian News updates regularly. As well, you may get Ethiopia News by following us on twitter @zborkena