We are pleased to share a great response to Oromo and other advocacy from the Office of Maryland Senator Ben Cardin. Since the Oromo protests broke out in November and especially since mid December many who advocate for the Oromo have been working to make various offices of the US government aware of the Oromo plight and the situation in Ethiopia and Oromia. We got the best opening and the strongest response from the legislative branch. It started with a collective effort of Oromos in the Washington DC, Maryland and Virginia Metro area, Many Oromo and friends are signing petitions in great numbers to their Congressional representatives, both Senators and Representatives. A group of us is taking up the challenge to assist with a rigorous follow up.
Everyone’s coordinated effort is paying off. We have just received a strongly worded Senate Resolution (attached here Senate Resolution on Ethiopia – Oromo Protests 392016 – DAV16186) from MD Senator Ben Cardin, ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
This is an excellent development for Oromo advocacy. It is an instrument that can make Senators aware of the situation in Oromia and start conversations about the Oromo protests all across the US. Now the real work of advocacy begins.
In terms of procedure, the draft we attach here is being distributed internally among some specific Senators and will be formally introduced next week. In advance of its formal introduction, Oromos in Tennessee, Georgia, Arizona and elsewhere, whose Senators serve on the sponsoring Committee, will have a chance to work behind the scenes with their respective Senators to garner support – to sign onto the resolution – before it goes public. Once it goes public, every Senator will be asked to support it. Every Oromo and friend of Oromo has a very important opportunity to make a difference here. All need to read and be prepared to meet with their Senators to support this Resolution. If this were to pass the Senate it would be a triumph for the Oromo and for progressive Ethiopians. We need to do everything necessary to make sure that our own Senators in each state where Oromos live know about this and ensure its passage!
A team calling itself Oromo Advocacy Group has committed itself to coordinating the effort to help get this Resolution passed. It is called
“SENATE RESOLUTION Supporting respect for human rights and encouraging inclusive governance in Ethiopia.” When it is made public it will have a number. Meanwhile it is the strongest statement in support of Oromo to reach the United States Senate.
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Now let’s all do our utmost to pass this Senate Resolution supporting respect for human rights and encouraging inclusive governance in Ethiopia.