A Call for sobriety and Justice by the US Senate
By Union of Tigreans in North America (U.T.N.A)
It is profoundly disheartening and saddening to observe the recent passage of the HR.2003 Bill by the House of Representatives as a castigating stick against Ethiopia, a strong and close ally of America in its fight against International Terrorism.
The United States government is aware and intimately engaged in bolstering the effort by Ethiopia to strengthen the burgeoning democratization process that is currently in full swing in Ethiopia. We believe, it is also appreciative of the critical role that Ethiopia is playing in fending off and rooting out the futile attempt by Al-Queda to entrench itself in the Horn of Africa and to use it as a spring board to sabotage the strategic American interest in the region and undermine peace and security in the vicinity, by turning it into a haven serving as a breeding ground of terrorists.
Contrary to this tellingly glaring reality on the ground, which has been indisputably testified by the international community; the House of Representatives, has paradoxically opted to stand in a stark and flat contradiction and contravention to the stated foreign policy of the American government.
The regrettable and lamentable piece of legislation sponsored by Congressman Donald Payne was not an inadvertent mishap, but a deliberate and diabolical move by the good representative from New Jersey.
Mr. Donald Payne driven by hate and vendetta, and fuelled by anti-Ethiopia forces conniving with him, purposefully misled the House, along with his disciples by misrepresenting Ethiopia contrary to its obvious positive move towards democratization and its unquestionable stand along side the US in its fight in the anti-terrorist global struggle.
We believe that Ethiopia does not deserve to be reprimanded or be served with a threateningly punishing Bill from the House of Representatives. On the contrary, Ethiopia expects a positive appreciation and support from this August body. However, to our dismay, the House of Representatives has passed a misplaced legislation, which if passed in to law, endorsed by the Senate, would seriously puncture the cordial Ethio-US bond and undermine mutual understanding.
Ethiopia as a sovereign nation, and a proud and ancient civilization has never allowed, any foreign power to adversely impact on its cherished history of independence.
We would like to categorically pronounce at this juncture that the passage of HR.2003 Bill is nothing but a shameful and futile attempt to lord over and permeate into the sacred and sacrosanct sovereignty of our country, Ethiopia.
This unabashedly arrogant exercise by the House of Representatives, we believe, is a misplaced one and is certain to suffer frustrating consequences, for it collides with the declared and time tested tradition of the Ethiopian people of never cajoling to an unjust encroachment on their preferred existence. It is the Ethiopian people, who jealously guard against foreign intervention, who decidedly determine their fate, destiny and future, not the US House of Representatives.
We, are aware that the HR.2003 Bill is set to be tabled in the Senate shortly. It is our strong and sincere belief that the Senate would weigh the Bill in contradistinction to the positive role that Ethiopia is playing in the maintenance of peace and stability in Africa and its special contribution in concert with the US in the anti-Alqueda onslaught in the Horn of Africa. We also believe that the Senate would give due respect to the efforts being made by the Ethiopian people to build a prosperous and democratic Ethiopia, which will stand tall as a dependable US Ally in the region. It is our strong desire to see the Senate, unlike the House of Representatives, which was pressured and taken hostage by the sinister motive of a few individuals in the ranks of the opposition, the vocal Diaspora, the rogue and terrorist state of Eritrea and its cohorts, to heed to the facts and reality on the ground, that is above board for every body to see.
As a reminder, it is common knowledge that Ethiopia’s May 2005 multi-party election was hailed by the Carter Center, the African Union and the Arab League and the European Observation Mission commended it with a cautionary footnote that excellent as it was in the run up to the election, it was marred with some irregularities observed in the post election ballot counting.
It is also appropriate to bring to the notice of the Honorable Senators that Ethiopia has embarked upon a new path of reconciliation, consensus building, inclusiveness and dialogue, to strengthen the democratization process. As a showcase in this endeavor, the Ethiopian government pardoned the top echelon of the CUD opposition party and restored their full rights to engage in the political process respecting the laws of the land and allowed their right to movement with in and out of the country. Ironically, the CUD leadership instead of using the window of opportunity and the political space for constructive engagement, they have has entered into a marathon spree of divisive politics, smear campaign and blatantly hoodwinking some members of the House of Representatives who championed the ill-advised HR.2003 Bill.
We, therefore urge the Senate to act responsibly and take a stand that would result in cementing the already existing Ethio-US ties and pass the right message as opposed to the House, which sent the wrong message.