Let's work together to get HR 5680 passed

By Mesfin Mekonen
The recent elections have left us with some important changes in Congress - and some important opportunities as well.
Congressman Chris Smith (R-NJ) was the Chairman of the House Subcommittee on African Relations. He remains now as ranking member in the new House. In my conversation with him he remains committed to HR 5680 and says that he will continue to try get this to the floor of the House in the next session coming in January. The Democratic Party's takeover of both the House and Senate means that the committees affecting relations with Ethiopia will also change.
In the House we will now have Congressman Tom Lantos (D-CA) as Chairman of the House International Relations Committee. He has always been a friend of Ethiopia and Ethiopians in our fight for democracy, freedom, and prosperity. The next chairman of the House Subcommitte on African Affairs is Congressman Donald Payne (D-NJ), who has also indicated that he also will support getting HR 5680 moved in the early year.
Now all your work of the last three years is finally bearing fruit. Let's work together as Ethiopians and Americans to get HR 5680 passed. We are almost there, but must persist. People need to remind their elected officials of the well documented repression in Ethiopia and all of news footage of the recent killings in Addis Ababa. The American press coverage has been extensive and helped shape American perceptions and opinions in a favorable way for the Ethioian national cause.
The events next door in Somalia has been of concern to the whole world but importantly for Ethiopians as neighbors. The U.N. yesterday, December 6th, passed a welcome resolution condemning the regime's intervention. This is a dangerous situation, one that brings no good to the average Ethiopian. The Eritrean aspect is particularly a potential nightmare for Ethiopia.
So, let's work in the new year for the paasage of HR 5680 because this will help all the affected people in Africa. This will actually help the somalis and Eritrans as well. It will help create conditions favorable for peace in the Horn of Africa.

posted by Ethiounited Moderator at11:21 PM


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