Kinijit Leadership Delegation Pulling Double Shift – The Ad Hoc Committee
In response to numerous requests for updates on the Delegation’s activities since its arrival on September 9, the Ad Hoc Coordinating Committee is providing the following update. (more…)
In response to numerous requests for updates on the Delegation’s activities since its arrival on September 9, the Ad Hoc Coordinating Committee is providing the following update.
Ad Hoc Coordinating Committee for
Coalition for Unity and Democracy (CUD)
Leadership Delegation Visit to the United States
For Immediate Release
September 14, 2007
KINIJIT LEADERSHIP DELEGATION
PULLING DOUBLE SHIFT
The Delegation has been hard at work within 24 hours of its arrival, and for the past 4 days has undertaken a number of activities which has required it to work into the wee hours of the night.
The Delegation has been working on three fronts simultaneously. It visited Congress and met with Africa Subcommittee Chairman and author of H.R. 2003 (Ethiopia Democracy and Accountability Act of 2003). The discussions provided a good opportunity to discuss the current situation in Ethiopia and the long term prospects for peaceful resolution of disputes. Congressman Payne shared his views on the importance of human rights in American foreign policy in Ethiopia and the rest of Africa. Delegation members affirmed to the Congressman their deep commitment to human rights, democracy and peaceful resolution of disputes in Ethiopia. The Delegation is expected to revisit Congress on a number of occasions during its
U.S. stay, and a number of lawmakers have expressed interest in meeting the Delegation. The Delegation has received extensive briefings on H.R. 2003 and the Congressional legislative process. The Delegation has been provided substantial documentary material and legislative analysis to help them better understand the positive impact of the bill on Ethiopia, and the critical nature of human rights in the general scheme of American foreign policy.
This briefing is expected to help the Delegation conduct high level discussions with top American law makers and other foreign policy executives.
Delegation members attended the March for Democracy and Passage of H.R. 2003 on the west lawn of the Capitol (across from the Capitol Reflection Pool). In a passionate presentation, Ato Gizachew and Dr. Hailu thanked the estimated 1000-person crowd for their support during their imprisonment, and expressed their dedication to democratic institution-building in Ethiopia. The members were given a tumultuous welcome at the rally.
Various members of the delegation have given interviews to various national media outlets. Kinijit Vice Chair W/zt Birtukan and Dr. Hailu’s interview with Michele Keleman was broadcast on National Public Radio. Documentarian Chris Flaherty interviewed Dr. Berhanu and W/zt Birtukan. Dr. Berhanu, whose arrival preceded the Delegation’s by several days, has been on various national radio programs. He has made presentations at his alma mater, the New School for Social Research. VOA will conduct interviews with delegation members on its various Amharic and English programs shortly. Ato Brook will participate in the Delegation’s first tele-press conference with Ethiopian media on Friday. The Delegation recognizes that communicating with the international and local media is of the utmost importance, and will go out of its way to respond positively to all requests for interviews despite the fact that such interviews are time consuming and require critical balancing with other equally important demands.
The Delegation has invested considerable time in meeting with representative individuals in Kinijit support organizations in the U.S. to learn about issues and concerns. The Delegation believes that a thorough understanding of the issues, problems and competing perspectives is essential in the search for durable, solutions and in strengthening the cohesion of the organization. The dialogue is expected to continue with other representative individuals in the various states during the Delegation travels.
The Delegation’s work schedule so far has been grueling, beginning in the early morning and ending long past midnight. It is hoped that in the next week or so, their schedule will be pared down as they begin to travel to different states.
On September 16, 2007, the Delegation will have its first public meeting at the Jewish Washington Congregation located at 3900 McComb Street, NW, Washington, DC. The event is organized by the Kinijit Ad Hoc Committee, Kinijit DC Metro Support Chapter and KNAASO. For more information, please call (202) 541-0556.
The Ad Hoc Committee will make further announcements on the continuing work of
Ad Hoc Coordinating Committee
Prof. Alemayehu G. Mariam
Ato Tamagne Beyene
Dr. Solomon Alemu