COALTION FOR H.R. 2003 URGES ALL ETHIOPIANS IN THE WASHINGTON, D.C. METRO AREA TO ATTEND HEARING AND SHOW SUPPORT FOR SENATOR FEINGOLD’S EFFORTS – COALTION FOR H.R. 2003

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COALTION FOR H.R. 2003 URGES ALL ETHIOPIANS IN THE WASHINGTON, D.C. METRO AREA TO ATTEND HEARING AND SHOW SUPPORT FOR SENATOR FEINGOLD’S EFFORTS (more…)


COALTION FOR H.R. 2003 URGES ALL ETHIOPIANS IN THE WASHINGTON, D.C. METRO AREA TO ATTEND HEARING AND SHOW SUPPORT FOR SENATOR FEINGOLD’S EFFORTS


hr2003

http://www.hr2003.org

E-mail: passhr2003@hr2003.org
Tel: 323-988-5688 Fax: 323-924-5563
For Immediate Release
March 6, 2008

Senate African Affairs Subcommittee
Schedules Hearing on U.S. Policy Options on the Horn of Africa
Dirksen Senate Office Building – SD 419
Tuesday, March 11
10:15 a.m.

COALTION FOR H.R. 2003 URGES ALL ETHIOPIANS IN THE WASHINGTON, D.C. METRO AREA TO ATTEND HEARING AND SHOW SUPPORT FOR SENATOR FEINGOLD’S EFFORTS



The Senate African Affairs Subcommittee has scheduled a hearing on U.S. policy options on the horn of Africa on March 11, 2008. The Coalition for H.R. 2003 urges all Ethiopians in the Washington, D.C. metro area to attend the hearing, and show support to Senator Feingold in his efforts to bring about change in U.S. policy in the horn of Africa, and particularly in Ethiopia.

The Subcommittee has not issued a statement on the specific issues to be covered in the hearing. However, on March 3, 2008, Senator Russ Feingold, chairman of the Subcommittee, gave a passionate statement on the floor of the Senate expressing his deep concerns on the political situation in the Horn of Africa and massive human rights violations in Ethiopia. Informed sources suggest that his Senate speech provides a good indication of the scope and direction of the hearing.

In the March 3rd statement, Senator Feingold stated “Ethiopia sits on the Horn of Africa – perhaps one of the roughest neighborhoods in the world” surrounded by the “failed state of Somalia”, an “authoritarian regime in Eritrea”, a “genocidal regime in the Sudan” and Kenya that is “descending into crises”. He criticized the “Bush Administration’s approach to strengthening and building bilateral ties with Ethiopia has been short-sighted and narrow” and ignored “poor governance and human rights concerns” in Ethiopia.

Senator Feingold stressed that U.S. policy should be based on a clear understanding of “what is really occurring in Ethiopia. Rather than place our support in one man, we must invest in Ethiopia’s institutions and its people to create a stable, sustainable political system.”

Senator Feingold expressed his deep concerns about the human rights violations in Ethiopia:
“Mr. President, I am seriously concerned about the direction Ethiopia is headed – because according to many credible accounts, the political crisis that has been quietly growing and deepening over the past few years may be coming to a head. For years, faced with calls for political or economic reforms, the Ethiopian government has displayed a troubling tendency to react with alarmingly oppressive and disproportionate tactics….

[W]e received reports of massacres of civilians in the Gambella region of Ethiopia, which touched off a wave of violence and destruction that has yet to truly loosen its grip on the region. At that time, hundreds of lives were lost, tens of thousands were displaced, and many homes, schools, and businesses throughout the area were destroyed. Credible observers agree that Ethiopian security forces were heavily involved in some of the most serious abuses and more than 5 years later no one has been held accountable and there have been no reparations.

Senator Feingold deplored the stolen elections of 2005:

The national elections held in May 2005 were a severe step back for Ethiopia’s democratic progress. In advance of the elections, the Ethiopian Government expelled representatives of the three democracy-promotion organizations supported by USAID to assist the Ethiopian election commission, facilitate dialogue among political parties and election authorities, train pollwatchers, and assist civil society in the creation of a code of conduct. This expulsion was the first time in 20 years that a government has rejected such assistance, and the organizations have still not returned to Ethiopia because they do not feel an environment exists where they can truly undertake their objectives…

Senator Feingold the brutality of the Ethiopian regime’s military policy in the Ogaden, and Somalia and the threat to regional stability created by the reckless military policy:

This tendency to portray political dissent as extremist uprisings has been repeated more recently with regards to what is being characterized by some as a brutal counterinsurgency operation led by Ethiopia’s military in the Ogaden, a long-neglected region that borders Somalia…

I have been hearing similar reports of egregious human rights abuses being committed in Somalia, about which I am gravely concerned. When I visited Ethiopia just over a year, I urged the Prime Minister not to send his troops into Somalia because I thought it might make instability there worse, not better. Tragically, more than a year later, it seems my worst fears have been realized as tens of thousands of people have fled their homes, humanitarian access is at an all time low, and there are numerous reports of increasing brutality towards civilians caught in the crossfire. In the interest of its own domestic security, Ethiopia is contributing to increased regional instability.

In criticism of the Bush Administration’s failed policy in Ethiopia, and highlighting recent efforts by the Zenawi regime to jam VOA broadcasts, Senator Feingold stated:

The Administration’s efforts at backroom diplomacy, Mr. President, are not working. I understand and respect the value of quiet diplomacy, but sometimes we reach the point where such a strategy is rendered ineffective – when private rhetorical commitments are repeatedly broken by unacceptable public actions. For example, recent reports that the Ethiopian government is jamming our Voice of America radio broadcasts should be condemned in no uncertain terms, not shrugged off.

Committee action has yet to be taken on H.R. 2003. The scheduled hearing on U.S. horn policy should prove to be an excellent segue or transition to consideration of H.R. 2003.



THE COALTION FOR H.R. 2003 URGES ALL ETHIOPIANS IN THE WASHINGTON, D.C. METRO AREA TO ATTEND THE MARCH 11TH HEARING AND SHOW SUPPORT FOR SENATOR FEINGOLD’S EFFORTS

  1. Robele Ababya
    | #1

    I salute you from my abode ten thousand miles away from Washington.
    God bless the relentless effort of the Coalition for HR2003.

  2. WEGESHAW
    | #2

    I agree with my compatriot Robel,I live even further than him and still support HR2003.
    I think every Ethiopian who believes in democracy, justice, freedom and accountability should have a moral obligation to support HR2003,where ever he or she might be.

  3. Zebebe
    | #3

    Same old,same old it just another waste of time as usual.
    On the other hand most African countries contemplating to change their politics to the chines style politics.

  4. Aschalew G.
    | #4

    Why is it that foreigners intervening in Ethiopias internal political affairs ? ? ? Remember, Ethiopia is soverign nation,not under colony.
    Why is it always Europeans and Americans always involving in Africans business any way ? , after all they are the one who created all these mess in Africas,Middle east,South America and Asians troubles.
    So far, The Asian totally ignoring the WEST totally now, that is why the entire Asian economy is booming and life is improving so much in asia for the last 20 years.
    Southern American countries are awakening and begining to revolt from WESTERN influence.
    And most Africans countries now contemplating to change their governemnts and as Chines style of governoship. The chines style politics so far proven to be productive and its result is an evidence.

  5. Shwangezzaw
    | #5

    Forget H.R 2003 that is an old news.
    H.R 2003 is no solution but another meaningless hollow protocol. Ethiopia has bigger problem than this useless thing called H.R2003.
    Ethiopias problem is poverity,Ethiopias problem is mass starvation,Ethiopias problem is illitrace, Ethiopias problem is micro and macro economics,Ethiopias problem is centure old educational discrmination, Ethiopias problem is lack of tribal harmony.

  6. bbwan
    | #6

    would u please forget this defamation.
    plz if u think that u r USA citizen then just think for USA problems otherwise if u r ethiopian then came sit work and help the people prctically rather then advocating useless protocol or what ever u may call it.
    do u think that this will change the life of the poor? no it may further devastate the isssue.
    so just stop ur baseless defamation.
    and just stay there for ever as the slave of the white coz u think that they are better by just paying u much better money.
    soory FOR THOSE WHO IGNORE THE SOUVENGINTY OF ETHIOPA, BUT CLAIM THAT THEY ARE STILL ETHIOPIAN
    LONG LIVE ETHIOPA, FREE STATE FOR EVER AND EVER

  7. | #7

    Hi guys out there. I wanna say something for this man he write his stupid idea. He wants compare HR 2003 with colony & Asian ignoring the west. Sir before write you have to practice the words. Like (Chaina) This is the right word not like your (chine) this is wrong OK DUUUUUDE

  8. | #8

    HI again out there. I wanna write for he live in AMERICA but he want say about the ethiopia sovereignty. Budy(bbwan) I’ll tell you something, First tell for your weyane about his dictator ship second HR2003 not ignor that inocent ethiopian. HR2003 talks about the dictator like Melese Zenawi & his (Hodam) cadres & Helper friends. The LAW judged them and they cann’t runaway to any part of the world Like derg( Mengestu)Melese maybe can go to chaina. they don’t come in America.

  9. Fekade
    | #9

    Dear brothers and sisters
    Those of us who care about Ethiopia, let us just appear at the hearing and appreciate what Senator Feingold is doing for us Ethiopians; this is the least we can do for our country.

  10. ObserVer
    | #10

    Berhanu Nega is he Wourage or Amara ? ? ?

  11. Merga
    | #11

    DO NOT WASTE YOUR TIME ! ! !

    The only people who is going to show up is the usual complaining queens and complaining kings of Nefetgna Amaras only. I know for sure the silent majority (Oromos,sidamas,Tigreans,wollo,Gambellas,Harrer and Afars) will not be coming to the meeting. Beside, the subject in the hearing is not inclusive to all Ethiopians,it concerns only Nefetgnas Amaras hidden agenda.

  12. Zenachew
    | #12

    American business of commerce officially will open in Ethiopia in the next four month. Ethiopia will be the the furth country in Africa to get this opportunity.

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