By Staff Writer
Members of the Organization of African, Caribbean, and Pacific (OACP) countries, including Ethiopia, convened in November 2023 to sign a document known as the “Samoa Agreement.” This “trade and economic cooperation agreement,” intended to last for 20 years, was reportedly finalized with the European Union in the country of Samoa, as per sources.
Ethiopia is among the countries that signed the agreement through its Ambassador. Addis Maleda reported last Saturday that the agreement is expected to be approved by the House of Peoples’ Representatives in January 2024 and implemented promptly.
However, an association named “We won’t keep silent when it is for Ethiopia, let’s save the generation from homosexuality” has expressed strong opposition, asserting that the agreement is “tantamount to declaring death” to the young generation. Despite the economic cooperation, the document stipulates that signatory countries must adhere to the criteria outlined under “inclusiveness” as a condition for the support they receive.
Addis Maleda has observed the emergence of an online petition gathering protests against the inclusion of agendas such as homosexuality, transsexualism, abortion, and universal sex education. These issues are purportedly concealed under the guise of human rights and other misleading phrases within the signed document.
Dereje Negash, the founder and chairman of an anti-homosexuality association established in Ethiopia, told Addis Maleda that members of an identified group “have started broadening their movement to spread homosexuality to other countries.” According to the news source, the Ethiopian government’s stand against homosexuality “is moderate and seems to watch the spread carelessly.”
Dereje further explained that “signing agreements behind the scenes and engaging in similar actions while displaying opposition in front of the people is inappropriate.”
According to them, the term “inclusive” signifies the incorporation of homosexuality, transsexualism, adultery, etc. However, Dereje emphasized that for us, “inclusive” means embracing people with disabilities and pregnant women. They oppose any decision that does not take this perspective into account.
The issue of homosexuality gained widespread attention in Addis Ababa during October and November 2023. Numerous individuals took to social media to expose both individuals and locations associated with this activity. Subsequent to the circulation of images depicting the beating of those involved, the police issued a statement urging the public to provide information.
Acting on tips from the community, the police took decisive action, resulting in the seizure of various entertainment venues. Transgressors were fined, and the establishments that hosted them were subsequently sealed.
A protest petition against the “Samoa Agreement” is actively being collected on social media, and individuals interested in participating in the protest can engage through Telegram. According to Addis Maleda, the initiative has garnered more than 100,000 signatures thus far, with the process ongoing.
Dereje stated that the association fully supports the motives behind the petition calling for the annulment of the agreement. “This immoral practice will never be implemented in Ethiopia at all. It is difficult to imagine that the House of Peoples’ Representatives will approve this ‘Declaration of Death.’ If what is feared happens, the price needed will be paid and our commitment will continue to prevent it from being implemented,” said the chairman of the association.
In a recent statement issued by the Ethiopian Catholic Bishops’ Conference, it was emphasized that “marriage is still and will remain a sacred mystery between a man and a woman in the future.” The Ethiopian Catholic Church explicitly declared that it does not grant permission or blessing for any same-sex activities.
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