STATEMENT BY GINBOT 7 ON THE DEATH OF CONGRESSMAN DONALD M. PAYNE
We, at Ginbot 7, are deeply saddened to learn that Rep. Donald M. Payne (D-NJ) has lost his valiant battle with cancer. With the passing of this seminal figure in the United States Congress — the American people have lost a great patriot, and the Ethiopian people have lost a great friend.
Congressman Payne was a passionate voice for the people of Ethiopia and a tireless advocate for human rights, democracy and respect for the rule of law in Africa and the world. The courage and dignity he exhibited in his fight with cancer was surpassed only by his lifelong commitment to civil rights and his impeccable service to his country and to the people of New Jersey that he has served so well for the past 27 years.
Millions of Ethiopians and Ethiopian-Americans will always be grateful for his leadership in providing guidance for the passage of H.R. 2003 “ The Ethiopia Democracy and Accountability Act of 2007” in the U.S. House of Representatives.
On behalf of all members of Ginbot 7, today and in the coming days ahead our thoughts and prayers are with the entire Payne family. We hope it is a comfort to his family, friends and dedicated staff that the nation and the world mourn the loss of this dedicated public servant, compassionate human being and legendary human rights defender.