Finest day for Ethiopia in US Congress, say activists
During the debate which witnesses described as "intensely for the promotion of human rights and the rule of law" in Ethiopia, members of the U.S. Congress hammered groups that have been hired by the Meles Zenawi regime to forestall the progress of HR 2003.
Members of the US Congress used terms like "thugs in power," and "ruthless dictors" when describing the gross human rights violations by the Zenawi regime, and endorsed HR 2003, according to witnesses.
"It's our finest moment. It was a smash," said a jubilant Al Mariam, a professor of political science at University of California and an activist campaigning for the passage into law of the “Ethiopia Democracy and accountability Act of 2007.”
Al Mariam said "Donald Payne delivered big for Ethiopia." Congressman Donald Payne (NJ-D), is chairman of the subcommittee on Africa and the main architect of HR 2003..
After a debate that lasted an hour and a half, the bill was now sent to the floor of the House of Representatives as one of the most important human rights agenda. During the debate, HR 2003 packed one more provision of securing strong property rights as well.
Senior leaders of the Ethiopian opposition party CUDP-Kinijit who are on a working visit to the US also attended the debate.
Engineer Gizachew Shiferaw, Dr. Hailu Araya, and Mr. Brook Kebede on the occasion expressed their joy over the support Congress gave for the passage of the Bill. The delegates were joined by a number of members of the US Congress, including Donald Payne.
The presence and support the Kinijit leaders showed for the passage of HR 2003 discards a baseless rumor being promoted by proponents of the TPLF regime and other critics that the Kinijit delegates are opposed to the bill.
The opposition leaders told Addis Dimz Radio that the contents of HR 2003 are very similar with what are known as the eight points of CUDP-Kinijit, and the talk that we oppose HR 2003 is self-defeating and self-contradicting.
Also atttending the debate were Dr. Abeba Fekade of the International Ethiopian Women's Organization (IEWO), human rights activist Tamagne Beyene of the up-and-coming Ethiopian Television Network (ETN) of Washington, DC as well as Addis Dimz Radio host Abebe Belew who said members of the US Congress had a deeper understanding of the nature of the Meles Zenawi regime whose deeds they described as "ruthless" and "brutal."
Now HR 2003 is sent to the House Floor, which means, according to Al Mariam, the action observes the 'suspension of rules,' because it has won full bipartisan support and should receive swift congressional action.
According to Coalition for HR 2003, which comprises human rights activists Meron Ahadu, Newai Mengistu and Prof. Al Mariam, the bill requires the ruling Meles Zenawi regime to
The bill also
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