HR128 American stick on Ethiopia

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Give Ethiopia a chance to change; House should reject strongly worded resolution

By Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Opinion Contributor — 04/10/18 07:00 AM EDT 24
The views expressed by contributors are their own and not the view of The Hill
Give Ethiopia a chance to change; House should reject strongly worded resolution
© Getty Images

Today, the House of Representatives will consider a resolution that condemns human rights and governance conditions in Ethiopia. Now is the wrong time to consider this, and it should be rejected.

Since being elected to the Senate, I have made 156 country visits to Africa. Eighteen of those have been to Ethiopia, where I have watched first-hand the economic transformation that’s occurred. Their middle class is growing, and they have become a regional superpower, who is a friend of the United States. Their military is professional and capable, and they are punching above their weight in the war against terrorism that continues to plague the continent. They promote regional peace and security by being one of the top troop contributors to UN peacekeeping missions around the world.


The last few years have been tough domestically for Ethiopia on a number of fronts, but that’s not surprising for a country that’s continuing to transition from a communist to a democratic nation.

The good news is that the Ethiopian government understands that human rights and governance conditions need to improve. That’s why the timing and negative, condescending tone of this resolution could not be worse and would work against the authors’ intent. It would undercut the new prime minister at just the time he needs to be encouraged.

Just one week ago, Dr. Abiy Ahmed was sworn in as Ethiopia’s new prime minister on a mandate to improve these exact issues. He is a personal friend of mine; in fact, I was with him on my last visit in October, and we prayed together for Ethiopia’s disunity to be healed.

During his inauguration, Prime Minister Abiy stated his commitment to accountability, justice, freedom, and the rule of law. He expressed his commitment to allowing true democracy (and by extension, political parties of all persuasions) to flourish, underscoring why he is the one who has what it takes to bring real change to Ethiopia.

We should give Prime Minister Abiy the opportunity to prove himself as a national leader before having the full weight of the United States House of Representatives tossed against him. A heavy-handed, strongly-worded resolution condemning his government, so soon after being sworn in, will severely curtail Abiy’s ability to enact needed reforms. In fact, they could backfire by fueling opposition groups in Ethiopia to undermine his entire administration.

Now is not the time to move a resolution with a tone like this. Ethiopia is a key friend, and Prime Minister Abiy deserves a chance at a strong start. The House can give him that by rejecting H. Res. 128.

Inhofe is the senior senator for Oklahoma.

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prayed together? Why not add to our lord Jesus!

OO, forgot about this senator? what you think? Can Abiy sail the ship out of the troubled waters?

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2 minutes ago, maakhiri1 said:

prayed together? Why not add to our lord Jesus!

OO, forgot about this senator? what you think? Can Abiy sail the ship out of the troubled waters?

This senator is almost an Ethiopian.

Abiy will get a lot of help from the Americans, but there is one catch. Djibouti. America would want him to do something, but internally in Ethiopia and also from Djibouti he will be running against a solid wall. Same with China and Russia.

Americans wanted him so might have to do their bidding, but is very dangerous for the country. Difficult situation for him.

He might choose to go with UAE, but that is also another hot potatoe. Turkey is solid in Ethiopia and preferred by most politicians as well as public mostly the northern part. Add to it the Somaliland Djibouti tussle and you have a hotter potatoe.

He has passed one test already. GERD and Egypt.

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Ethiopia says recent US resolution untimely, inappropriate
Source: Xinhua   2018-04-11 22:02:26

ADDIS ABABA, April 11 (Xinhua) -- The Ethiopian government Wednesday said the recent resolution passed by the U.S. House of Representatives, which condemned the Ethiopia's human rights and governance record, was untimely and inappropriate.

The resolution passed on Tuesday called on the Ethiopian government to lift the state of emergency rule, end the use of excessive force by security forces, investigate the killings and excessive use of force that took place amid protests in Ethiopia's two largest regional states Oromia and Amhara regions.

It also stressed release of dissidents, activists and journalists "who have been imprisoned for exercising constitutional rights."

"This simple resolution is counterproductive and is against the important partnership between the U.S. and Ethiopia," the Ethiopian foreign ministry said in a statement.

"Those members of the House who cosponsored the resolution conspicuously failed to recognize the changing reality on the ground. Indeed, these members of the House merely wanted to please their constituencies," it said.

The ministry said the House ignores the positive strides the country has made recently.

According to the ministry, Ethiopia's ruling party and its government have been launching bold reforms aimed at increasing transparency and widening the country's democratic space -- some of these initiatives include releasing prisoners, and working on stabilizing the situation in the region.

Noting the commitments made by Ethiopia's new prime minister Abiy Ahmed to urgently undertake multifaceted reforms, the ministry stressed that "that is why the Government of Ethiopia believes H.Res.128 is untimely and inappropriate."

"At this crucial juncture, when the government is working to implement bold reforms, this resolution tries to undermine the new political dynamism and fails to recognize the call by the Prime Minister to create all inclusive political platform," the ministry said.

"While Ethiopia values its bilateral relations with the United States and works to promote regional peace and security in the Horn of Africa, the resolution undermines its sovereignty," the statement added.

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