Oakland Institute Urges Congress to Pass H. Res. 128

April 10, 2018
Ethiopian army soldiers monitoring Suri people during a festival in Kibish. Credit: Oakland Institute.
Ethiopian army soldiers monitoring Suri people during a festival in Kibish. Credit: Oakland Institute.

Today, the Oakland Institute urges Congress to pass House Resolution 128, Supporting respect for human rights and encouraging inclusive governance in Ethiopia.

For far too long, the US Government—one of Ethiopia’s greatest allies—has abetted and turned a blind eye to the massive human rights abuses and state-sponsored violence taking place in the country in the name of development. Ethiopia’s failed development policies might have perpetuated the myth of Ethiopia’s economic miracle, but they have also meant displacing up to 1.5 million to make way for foreign agricultural investments; cracking down on any form of dissent and opposition; and criminalizing indigenous and religious leaders, land rights defenders, journalists, students, opposition politicians, and more. Over the past two years alone, over a thousand have been killed and tens of thousands arrested as protests about land grabs, human rights abuses, and lack of democracy have rocked the country.

Dogged and inspirational advocacy by the Ethiopian diaspora and rights groups has brought H. Res. 128 to the attention of Representatives across the country. Today, the resolution goes to the floor with an incredible 108 co-sponsors, despite attempts by the Ethiopian government to stop the resolution, including hiring a DC-based lobbying firm for $150,000 per month in an attempt to squash the bill.

The US Government has allowed abuses to abound in Ethiopia for far too long, devastating millions and leading to massive instability in the country and the region. Today, it’s a moral imperative that Congress corrects past US wrongdoings and passes this important resolution to demonstrate courage and the ability to stand for truth and justice for the people of Ethiopia.

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