Demand Congress Pass HR6600 and S3199
Dear Representative/Senator X,
As your constituent, I write seeking your support of HR6600/S3199, the Ethiopia Stabilization, Peace, and Democracy Act/the Ethiopia Peace and Stabilization Act.
For the past 20 months, northern Ethiopia has been devastated by a civil war characterized by civilian massacres, systematic sexual violence of girls and women, and starvation used as a weapon of war. The Tigray region has been especially affected by the war. USAID has declared up to 900,000 people in Tigray are living in famine conditions. Since July 2021, the Ethiopian government has enacted what the UN calls a “de facto blockade” on Tigray, cutting off communications, banking, electricity, and allowing less than 7% of needed aid to reach the region. Despite the Ethiopian government’s narrative that it is now providing unfettered access through a humanitarian truce, the government continues to block fuel for humanitarian agencies, making delivery of aid throughout the region impossible. As a result of the blockade, up to 500,000 people have died in Tigray alone, mostly due to starvation and lack of healthcare.
Elsewhere in the country, conflict in Ethiopia’s Oromia region has devastated communities for years. The Ethiopian government has recently escalated its repressive tactics in Oromia, terrorizing civilians through drone strikes, mass arrests, and executions. In the past month, the government has mass arrested over 4,000 people in the Amhara region in a campaign to stifle dissent. In this same time period, the government has also arrested dozens of journalists and expelled The Economist’s Ethiopia correspondent in retaliation for critical coverage.
Strong action is needed to reverse Ethiopia’s dangerous trajectory and this bill will apply pressure on the Ethiopian government to end its violent and destabilizing behavior. HR6600/S.3199 would restrict assistance to Ethiopia’s security services and other financing of the government (exempting life saving humanitarian assistance) until the government of Ethiopia takes significant steps toward genuine national dialogue, allowing unfettered humanitarian access, and cooperating with independent investigations of atrocities and crimes against humanity.
I urge you to support this important bill for peace and stability in Ethiopia.