Washington Update – Urgent Call For Action (Mesfin Mekonen)

Washington Update
May 24, 2018
Urgent Call For Action
1.     A senior Senate staff member today reported that time is now to get the full Senate to vote on Senate Resolution 168 a resolution introduced by Senator Benjamin Cardin (D-MD) A resolution supporting respect for human rights and encouraging inclusive governance in Ethiopia  The resolution has ONLY 29 cosponsors. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee reported the resolution out of committee September of last year meaning it could be considered by the full Senate at any time.

Cosponsors: S.Res.168 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)All Information (Except Text)

Sponsor: Sen. Cardin, Benjamin L. [D-MD] | Cosponsor statistics: 29 current – includes 14 original
* = Original cosponsor
Senator James Inhofe (R-Oklahoma), a strong supporter of the Ethiopian regime, has blocked Senate consideration of the resolution in 2007. The only person who can break the logjam is Senator Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky). Everyone who cares about democracy, freedom, and human rights in Ethiopia should call McConnell’s offices in Washington, (202) 224-2541, and Louisville, (502) 582-6304, twice a day between now and July 30. Express support for SR 168, say why the United States needs to support human rights and democracy in Ethiopia.
It is also important to call Inhofe’s office and respectfully ask that he lift the hold on SR 168. Explain why the bill is important, that the Ethiopian regime is violating the human rights of Ethiopians, killing and imprisoning innocent people and suppressing democracy. Request meetings with him and his staff. His telephone number in Washington is (202) 224-4721.
It is imperative that this legislation be passed in the Senate to send a message to the Ethiopian people and all of Africa that the people of the United states will not tolerate torture, human rights abuses, and imprisoning people without due process.
2.    Now S.G.R. is pressuring Senators and Congressman/Women to withdraw their support for SR 168 
The Ethiopian-American community should make sure its voice is heard. Call and write to co-sponsors of SR 168, to members of the Senate Intelligence and Foreign Affairs Committee urging them to support enactment of SR 168. 
To express your support for SR 168, visit https://phonecongress.com/topic/congress/bills/sres168-115/351691 to find your Senator’s contact information. Also, go to https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/115/sres168/details and click on the names of co-sponsors.
3.      The National Intelligence Council recently released a report on Global Trends 2030. This report highlights the opportunities and dangers in Ethiopia’s future. On the one hand it states that Ethiopia, along with Egypt and Nigeria, “have the potential to approach or surpass South Africa in overall national power.” It adds that “the key will be better governance to further economic growth and social and human development.” The report also ranks Ethiopia as 14th among nations at highest risk of “state failure” by 2030. Its scenario for 2030 predicts that unless urgent action is taken to improve governance — which means transitioning to a real democracy that adheres to the rule of law and respects human rights — Ethiopia could “fragment along sectarian, tribal, and ethnic lines” and become a safe haven for terrorists.

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