Deputy PM and Foreign Minister Demeke Mekonnen [Image File]

Deputy PM Calls on Diaspora to Protest U.S.’s Bill to Sanction Ethiopia

ADDIS ABABA – Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, Demeke Mekonnen called on Ethiopians in the Diaspora to protest a U.S HR 6600 bill, which calls for the imposition of more tougher sanctions against Ethiopia.

Demeke made the call during his virtual discussion on Tuesday with the Ethiopian Diaspora Community leaders and representatives based in the U.S.

Despite a positive rhetoric by the U.S. embassy in Addis Ababa, the Joe Biden administration is pushing for more sanctions on Ethiopia.

The U.S already suspended Ethiopia from the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), banning Ethiopian export duty-free access to the U.S. market and posing a threat to job security of thousands of Ethiopians.

Another bill, titled “Ethiopia Stabilization, Peace and Democracy Act” (HR 6600), is now being considered by the U.S. senate.

If enacted, the bill, apart from suspending “certain U.S. foreign assistance to Ethiopia”, would require the U.S. to oppose loans by international development agencies such as the World Bank and International Monetary Fund to Ethiopia and Eritrea.

– Call for Support –

Deputy PM Demeke said the HR6600 and S3199 are “drafted to nullify the struggles and regress achievements of Ethiopians all over the world in protecting the sovereignty of their country”, the Ministry of foreign affairs (MoFA) in a statement issued after the virtual meeting.

The resolutions are designed to make the country dependent on the goodwill of others to advance its political, economic and security interests, apart from severing the relationships between the Ethiopian Diaspora with the homeland, Demeke added.

Demeke appreciated the multifaceted support of Ethiopians in the Diaspora extended to Ethiopia during its fight against external intervention in its internal matters, further calling the Diaspora to demonstrate the same kind of support in protesting against the proposed resolutions.

He also explained the government’s measures taken to ensure lasting peace and stability in the country.

Ethiopia and the US should strive to further cement their historical and longstanding ties, he said. But, he added, Ethiopia would not accept hand twisting attempts stressing that the protection of the country’s sovereignty is non negotiable.

Ethiopian Ambassador to the US, Fitsum Arega, on his part, stressed the need to employ all forms of communication to contact senators and members of the congress to make them understand the dangers of the resolutions to the relationships between the two countries and the people of Ethiopia in general.

Attendees stressed that the resolutions targeted not a single political party or individuals but Ethiopia and Ethiopians as a whole further pledging to do their level best to protest the resolutions, according to MoFA.



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