The American-Ethiopian Public Affairs Committee (AEPAC), a leading advocacy group for the Ethiopian diaspora, has warned a new Bill introduced by Representative Malinowski of New Jersey will adversely affect the century-old diplomatic relationship between Ethiopia and the United States.
The fourteen-month conflict between Ethiopia and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) insurgency, has started to ease following a counter-offensive by government forces which aborted the TPLF’s march on Addis Ababa and their occupation of Afar and Amhara.
Following the TPLF’s defeat and withdrawal to Tigray, the Ethiopian Government has taken significant steps toward peace including halting armed operations at the borders of Tigray, offering amnesty for several TPLF leaders and creating a national dialogue to help secure lasting peace for the country.
Despite that, Representative Malinowski has introduced a Bill calling for aggressive action to be taken by the United States and other members of the international community. Among the irrational suggestions are additional sanctions, calls for a new human rights investigation and ceasing investment support for vital infrastructure projects in Ethiopia via the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation.
There is also a renewed effort to have the conflict defined as a ‘genocide’ against the Tigray people, ignoring the millions in Amhara and Afar who were victims of the TPLF’s ethnic-based violence.
Chairman of AEPAC, Mesfin Tegenu said:
“We are extremely disappointed and saddened to see this Bill published by Representative Malinowski that is nothing short of an attack on Ethiopia and its people. Ethiopia, at this time, should have been encouraged for the positive measures it has started to take, for example matters addressed by the joint recommendation of the two UN and Ethiopia Human Rights Commission in November 2021.
“Put quite simply, this will bring about the end of the Ethiopia-US relationship as we know it.
“As Ethiopia starts on its journey to peace after more than a year of conflict, Representative Malinowski wants to cripple Ethiopia’s economy and fuel tensions.
“The Bill is simply not reflective of the realities on the ground, many of the actions it requests of Ethiopia from an amnesty for prisoners to the formation of a national dialogue are already in progress. Also, the Bill has limited focus on the TPLF – the insurgent group who triggered this conflict and is yet to fully lay down arms and cease fighting.
“The one-million strong Ethiopian-American community will have our voices heard. We will do all we can to oppose this Bill and we call on friends of Ethiopia to support our campaign.”
AEPAC has repeatedly set out its request of Congress to support peace in Ethiopia through four simple steps.
- Call on the TPLF to end its offensive in Afar and for their remaining forces to commit to an unconditional ceasefire.
- Recognise the humanitarian aid challenge now extends far beyond Tigray into Afar and Amhara, with an estimated 9 million people in need of support across the three Northern Regions.
- Wholeheartedly support the national dialogue commission in order to secure a lasting peace.
- Cease punitive sanctions on Ethiopia and reverse the de-listing of Ethiopia from AGOA.
About AEPAC :
The American-Ethiopian Public Affairs Committee is dedicated to promoting a positive, synergetic relationship between the United States and Ethiopia. AEPAC’s core mission is to strengthen and enhance the century-old relationship between the United States and Ethiopia. AEPAC strives to build a strong partnership based on the common interests and mutual benefits of the two countries.
More information on our work can be found here: https://aepact.org/
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