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Abba Bahrey Forum Urges IMF to Halt Funding to Ethiopian Government: Appeal Highlights Concerns

Borkena

Abba Bahrey Forum, an Ethiopian Civic Organization based in the United States, is appealing to the IMF to reconsider plans to continue funding the Ethiopian government. In an appeal letter dated March 7, the Forum highlighted “harrowing atrocities and crimes against humanity that it [the Ethiopian government] is continuing to inflict on the nation” as one of the reasons why the IMF should reconsider its funding plan to Ethiopia. There has been an ongoing conversation between Abiy Ahmed’s administration and the IMF for a long time now. Reports have emerged that his administration is receiving hundreds of millions of dollars from the Bretton Woods Institution – including interest-free loans payable over up to forty years. Tacit Western financial – and presumed intelligence support to Abiy Ahmed’s administration has renewed skepticism in Ethiopia on the motives of Western Powers and the “International community” as far as Ethiopia is concerned.

Human Rights Organizations – including Amnesty International – have confirmed government forces extrajudicially killed civilians in the Amhara region of Ethiopia, where there has been an armed resistance for over eight months now to the government in power. Apart from that, the government extensively used drone strikes against civilians. According to a U.S.-based ethnic Amhara civic association, there were at least 32 drone strikes over a span of seven months. As many as 1600 civilians are reportedly killed and thousands more wounded as a result of the government’s “law enforcement” military operation in the region since August 2023. The state of emergency imposed in the region was extended by four months in February this year.

With all that, the IMF and the World Bank continue to fund Abiy Ahmed’s administration. The appeal letter from the Abba Bahrey Forum is featured below.:

March 7, 2024 
The Board of Directors 
International Monetary Fund 
700 19th St. NW 20431 

Washington, D.C. 

Subject: Urgent Appeal: Do Not Enable Violence – Deny Funding to Ethiopian Government 

Dear Esteemed Representatives of the International Monetary Fund, 

We, the undersigned members of a civic forum, would like to bring to your attention our urgent appeal to  implore the International Monetary Fund to reconsider any plans to extend financial assistance to the  Ethiopian government amidst the harrowing atrocities and crimes against humanity that it is continuing to  inflict on the nation. It seems rather odd that the government is seeking financial assistance while it is  building a white elephant project like a new palace costing as much as a reported $15B, and other vanity  projects. Undertaking Such vanity projects while the people are languishing in dire economic conditions  not only exacerbates their suffering but also undermines the credibility and effectiveness of any financial  support provided.  

Recent revelations from reputable sources such as Reuters, the Economist, and the United States State  Department have laid bare the egregious acts perpetrated by the Ethiopian government in places such as  Marawi in Amhara as well as in Oromia regions of the country. The existence of a barbaric “kore negegna”- – a killing committee, documented extrajudicial killings and expressions of alarm from global entities all  attest to the dire humanitarian crisis unfolding within Ethiopia’s borders. Deadly drone attacks in the  Amhara region are a common occurrence. It is extremely difficult to describe the scene of the aftermath in  a letter like this.  

To provide financial support under these circumstances would be tantamount to complicity in the  perpetuation of violence and suffering. Extending funds to a regime implicated in such heinous acts would  only serve to fuel the flames of conflict, enabling the procurement of weapons to inflict further harm upon  innocent civilians and exacerbating the already precarious state of regional stability. 

With grave concern and a heavy heart, we implore you to heed the cries of the oppressed and  disenfranchised people of Ethiopia, whose lives hang in the balance as they endure unimaginable suffering  at the hands of those entrusted with their protection. The moral imperative to stand against injustice and  uphold the principles of human dignity transcends geopolitical considerations and economic interests.

In denying financial assistance to the Ethiopian government, the International Monetary Fund could  demonstrate unwavering solidarity with the victims of violence and oppression, sending a clear message  that the international community will not stand idly by while atrocities are committed with impunity. 

We urge you to act swiftly and decisively in the pursuit of justice and humanitarian relief for the people of  Ethiopia. History will judge our actions in this critical moment, and we implore you to choose the path of  righteousness and compassion. 

Yours sincerely, 
Abba Bahrey Forum (ABF) 
www.abbabahrey.org 
United States of America 

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