TPLF Declares All-Out War Against HR-5680

(Addis Voice)
By Meron Haile

Supporters and beneficiaries of the tyrannical regime in Ethiopia have launched a co-ordinated campaign against HR 5680, a rejuvenated version of HR 4423 cosponsored by Congressmen Christopher Smith and Donald Payne. Led by the newly appointed TPLF ambassador to the US, Samuel Assefa, a concerted effort is underway to frustrate the bill with the help of expensive lobbyists including DLA Piper Rudnick Gray Cary. The law firm signed a contract a few months for a staggering fee of $50,000 a month, which is seen as snatching food out of the hungry people of Ethiopia, to lobby on behalf of the Meles regime on legislative and public relations matters.
According to a briefing note being circulated among the supporters of the TPLF regime, HR 5680 has "serious potential for jeopardizing the on-going strategic partnership between the United States and Ethiopia." In a distorted interpretation of the Ethiopia Freedom, Democracy, and Human Rights Advancement Act, the document stated that the bill "will prohibit security assistance to Ethiopia at a time when the volatility in Somalia and instability in the broader Horn of Africa region demand robust security cooperation between Ethiopia and the United States."
The sinister document, which has been sent to US lawmakers, emphasized the threat of Islamists in Somalia and warned that HR 5680 would make the Meles regime, which is terrorizing Ethiopians, unable to fend off terrorist threat in Somalia. "The bill’s restriction on security assistance does not take into account current U.S. national security objectives and the ongoing U.S.-Ethiopia partnership regarding Somalia and the Horn of Africa. It is also impractical to require that peacekeeping or counter-terrorism assistance not be used for any other security-related purpose, which presumably includes border security.
"Recent events in Somalia, where Sheikh Hassan Dahir Awys, a supporter of al-Queda, was appointed leader of the Union of Islamic Courts, underscores the critical importance of a well-trained, well-equipped Ethiopian Defense Force. Any such attempt to weaken Ethiopia’s ability to counteract Somalia’s home grown terrorists, and prevent Somalia from allowing outside terrorist organizations to use its “ungoverned space” as a base is a threat to the Horn of Africa, the Middle East and the United States," the briefing note said.
Any supporters and beneficiaries of the minority military regime, are being urged to fax and phone senators and congressmen to convince them to reject the bill. Aiga, the extremist ethonocentric website, has appealed to its followers to "say no to HR 5680."
Mesfin Mekonnen, one of the pro-democracy Ethiopian lobbyists, has recently appealed to Ethiopians to counter the efforts of the tyrant and his supporters. All pro-democracy and pro-justice Ethiopians are urged to contact their representatives. "You can mention this bill is not a partisan issue, its goals should be embraced by every American: the release of political prisoners, journalists and civic leaders who have committed no crimes and are being held in deplorable conditions; support for democratic institutions and an independent judiciary; and economic policies that will break the cycle of poverty and famine," Mesfin noted.

To Contact Members of Congress

Excerpts from the new bi-partisan Bill(H.R. 5680) -
TREATMENT OF POLITICAL PRISONERS AND PRISONERS OF CONSCIENCE
(1) IN GENERAL.—The President, the Secretary of State, and other relevant officials of the Government of the United States shall call upon the Government of Ethiopia to immediately release all political prisoners and prisoners of conscience, especially prisoners held without charge. - Full Text

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