Updated: March 5, 2021
U.S. Congressmember Karen Bass (D-CA), Chair of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa, on Friday, introduced a resolution calling for the respect for human rights, and encouraging continued democratic progress in Ethiopia.
Congressmember Bass was joined by Congressman Chris Smith, who serves as Ranking Member of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa.
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Bass said there have been significant and commendable reform measures under Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, however, she and her colleagues have become concerned about “the recent unrest in the country as well as this administration’s involvement in the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) negotiations.”
“Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed spearheaded significant and commendable reform measures following his selection in April 2018, including releasing thousands of political prisoners, inviting exiled political opposition back to Ethiopia, negotiating a peace agreement with Eritrea, lifting bans on over 200 websites and improving media freedom.
“However, I have become concerned about the recent unrest in the country as well as this administration’s involvement in the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) negotiations and want to urge those involved to maintain a neutral position that seeks an equitable and fair solution for all parties involved. I also am concerned that cuts in foreign assistance to Ethiopia will have a negative impact on the Ethiopian community.
“This resolution reiterates that the United States House of Representatives stands by the people of Ethiopia and supports their peaceful efforts to advance democratic reforms,” the Congressmember said in a statement received by Today News Africa in Washington DC.