(Africa News) — The United States Congress on Tuesday passed a human rights-centered resolution against the Ethiopian government amongst others calling for the respect of human rights and inclusive governance.
Despite a late pushback led by one Senator Inhofe – a known ally of the government, to get Congress to reject the resolution, the motion according to Congress records did not even need to be voted upon as it adopted by voice vote.
The U.S. House just approved House Resolution 128 supporting human rights in Ethiopia. As a representative of one of the largest Ethiopian diaspora communities in the U.S., I have witnessed, and I am grateful for, their tireless work to see this resolution passed. pic.twitter.com/hSPvkRSlyz
— Rep. Keith Ellison (@keithellison) April 10, 2018
H. Res. 128 was adopted by voice
— Republican Cloakroom (@RepCloakroom) April 10, 2018
Congressmen and women took turns to give brief comments about the importance of the resolution with each touching on the political crisis that has rocked the country. Others also pointed to the cost in terms of human lives and loss of properties as a result of government highhandedness and an ever-shrinking democratic space.
A Summary of the resolution by Congress policy website stated as follows:
“H. Res. 128 recognizes Ethiopia’s efforts to promote regional peace and security, and its partnership with the U.S. to combat terrorism, promote economic growth, and address health challenges. In addition, the resolution expresses concern about human rights abuses and contracting democratic space, and condemns excessive use of force by Ethiopian security forces.
“The resolution calls on the Government of Ethiopia to lift the state of emergency, end the use of excessive force, release wrongfully imprisoned protesters, and improve transparency, while at the same time urging protesters and opposition groups to use peaceful discussion and avoid incitement.
“The resolution calls on the U.S. Department of State and U.S. Agency for International Development to cooperate and strengthen ties with Ethiopia, condemn human rights abuses, and promote accountability.”
Below are some reactions of activists on social media
— Engidu Woldie (@EngiduWoldie) April 10, 2018
Great News: US Congress passed #HR128
— Jawar Mohammed (@Jawar_Mohammed) April 10, 2018
— EHRP (@EHRProj) April 10, 2018
Thank you Congressman Smith, Coffman, Bacon and all your colleagues who supported #HRes128
Ethiopians are greatful to have you as an ally.@RepMikeCoffman @RepChrisSmith @RepDonBacon @EA_CivicCouncil @CohenOnAfrica @AmsaluKassaw @ras_araya @LulitMesfin1 @NeaminZeleke @hrw
— Fasika (@Fasikini) April 10, 2018
Breaking: Despite a last minute push by Sen. @JimInhofe @RepGaramendi and #Ethiopia lobby, House Resolution 128 passed without objections. Congrats to @QabbaneeDC @Seenaoromia @OromoAdvocates and all other diaspora groups and allies— @oak_institute @hrw—who worked so hard on it. https://t.co/LjnooTy9e5
— Mohammed Ademo (@OPride) April 10, 2018