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HomeEthiopian NewsCalifornia’s American Ethiopian Community Protest Outside Congressman Sherman’s Office

California’s American Ethiopian Community Protest Outside Congressman Sherman’s Office

California  American Ethiopian Community

AEPAC
PRESS RELEASE

The protest on Monday was to demonstrate the diaspora’s opposition to HR6600 currently going through Congress. They were joined by leading Democratic primary challenger Aarika Rhodes.

Sherman Oaks – Hundreds of American Ethiopian residents from California protest outside Congressman Brad Sherman’s office on Monday 11th April. Supported by the American Ethiopian Public Affairs Committee (AEPAC), the protestors called on Sherman to withdraw new legislation currently moving through the House that would devastate Ethiopia’s economy, provide support to an internationally recognized terrorist group called the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) and put the lives of millions of people in East Africa at risk.

On November 4, 2020, TPLF forces attacked a government military base in the northern Ethiopian region of Tigray, kicking off what has become a destructive and heart-breaking conflict. Over the past year, the TPLF has continued its violent military campaign into the neighboring Afar and Amhara regions, upending the lives of millions of Ethiopians.

The fourteen-month conflict has started to ease after 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 and other opposition political party leaders and creating a national dialogue to help secure lasting peace for the country.

The bill co-sponsored by Brad Sherman (HR6600) would deploy a wide-ranging sanctions against Ethiopia including blocking the country from critical aid and investment from the IMF, World Bank and the U.S. itself, has been met with anger from the Ethiopian diaspora.

Since its introduction those advocating for the bill have faced overwhelming opposition from the American Ethiopian community across the country. Many have started to organise against them as the mid-terms approach.

Congressman Sherman’s primary challenger Democrat Aarika Rhodes joined the protest and has received an endorsement from AEPAC.  

The aim of this week’s protest was to highlight the progress that has been made in Ethiopia, including the announcement last week of a humanitarian ceasefire (https://www.aljazeera.com/amp/news/2022/3/24/ethiopia-declares-truce-to-allow-aid-into-tigray) , and challenge the need for the bill. Moreover, Ethiopian community leaders want to increase awareness of the impact the bill, if it becomes law, would have on the poorest in the country.

Chairman of AEPAC, Mesfin Tegenu said:

“This bill is nothing short of an attack on Ethiopia and its people. As Ethiopia starts on its journey to peace after more than a year of conflict, Representative Sherman and others want to cripple Ethiopia’s economy and fuel tensions. Many of the actions the bill requests of Ethiopia from an amnesty for prisoners to the formation of a national dialogue are already in progress. The one-million strong American Ethiopian 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.”

Aarika Rhodes tweeted:

“Today I supported our Ethiopian & Eritrean communities in CA-32 at Rep Brad Sherman’s office for a protest. I believe representatives should listen to their constituents even if they may disagree.”


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/  |  @AmericaEthiopia

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