Update on Senate Resolution 432

The Senate Resolution S432 will be marked up this week by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. If successful it will then pass to the Senate floor for a vote.

Therefore, it is time for Oromos and friends of the Oromo in all states to reach out to their senators reminding them to vote for the resolution. It is a critical time to intensify our collective efforts to pass the resolution. Organizers from each state should aim to have at least 25 people calling into the offices of their respective senators everyday using the call guides previously posted on our blog-post and Facebook pages. The link to these guides can be found here.

Senate Resolution 432 Call Drive Directions for Community Leaders

In addition to the phone calls, each constituent should also send emails to their senators using an updated sample letter provided here.

Updated Sample Letter to Senators to Support (Co-sponsor) Resolution 432 on Ethiopia

 

Updated Sample Letter to Senators to Support (Co-sponsor) Resolution 432 on Ethiopia

Date _

The Honorable [ Senator’s FIRST and LAST name]

Office Address [Senator’s Washington DC office]

United States Senate

City, State Zip

Dear Senator ___________

I am writing to urge you to vote in favor of a breakthrough Senate Resolution on the situation in Ethiopia that affects the Oromo and other people in that country who are protesting large-scale government sanctioned takeover of their ancestral lands.  Nonviolent protesters are being labelled “terrorists” by the government and attacked in the thousands, with hundreds of innocents killed outright since November 2015.

These Oromo farmers and their educated children are exercising constitutional rights of assembly and expression when they chant and sing “Land is Life,” and similar slogans, calling for an end to dispossession of Oromo and others from their land.  Yet Ethiopian security forces have responded with such a violent crackdown that according to a Human Rights Watch report of June 15, 2016, heavily armed forces of the Ethiopian government have killed more than 500 demonstrators using lethal force such as firing live ammunition into large crowds of unarmed demonstrators, throwing grenades at university students, arbitrarily rounding up and detaining tens of thousands of Oromo to sites unknown. In addition many women were raped, students were tortured and some were forcefully disappeared.

This Senate Resolution is strong in two ways.  First it brings attention to the extent of the ongoing abuse of civil and human rights and second, it offers remedies that provide steps toward inclusive governance in Oromia and Ethiopia.

In addition to condemning these serious human rights violations, the Resolution enumerates other abuses including:

  • Limits on constitutional right to peaceful assembly and narrowing of democratic space
  • Abuse of its Anti-Terrorism Proclamation to squash dissent, limit freedom of press and persecute bloggers and independent journalists

This resolution demands accountability from the Ethiopian government and calls for the Secretary of State and other US agencies to review their current levels of support to Ethiopia with the aim of devising a comprehensive strategy to democracy and participatory governance.

As a constituent born in the Oromia region (Oromo number 40 million in Ethiopia), I am deeply disturbed by the shocking violation of human and civil rights of the Oromo people by the Ethiopian government and the abysmal state of governance there.  The regime of Prime Minister HaileMariam Desalegn remains an active diplomatic and economic partner of the United States. It is my hope that action by the US Senate will carry some influence.

Thank you for your support of this very important resolution by voting in favor!

Your name

Your title

Your Address, phone number, email

City, State, Zip