By Insider NJ
Over a hundred American Ethiopian residents of New Jersey will protest outside Congressman Tom Malinowski’s office on Thursday. Coordinated by AEPAC, its New jersey and New York State Campaign Elections Committees and AEPAC’s partner New York/New Jersey Tristate Hope 4 Ethiopia, the protestors will call on the Congressman to withdraw legislation he sponsors that would damage the long-time US-Ethiopia relationship, devastate Ethiopia’s economy, provide support to an internationally recognized terrorist group called the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) and put the lives of millions of people in East Africa at risk.
Simultaneous to the protest, an airplane banner will fly over Congressman Malinowski’s district to raise awareness of the harmful impact of this bill and how it provides support to the TPLF. The airplane banner will read “Malinowski aiding terrorists Stop#HR6600”.
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Date: Thursday, March 10th, 2022 12pm – 3pm.
Location: Outside the office of Congressman Tom Malinowski, 75-77 N Bridge St. Somerville, NJ 08876
Organisers: American-Ethiopian Public Affairs Committee (AEPAC) and New York/New Jersey Tristate Hope 4 Ethiopia
On November 4, 2020, TPLF forces attacked a government military base in the northern Ethiopian region of Tigray, kicking off what has become known as the Tigray Conflict. Over the past year, the TPLF has continued its violent military campaign into the neighbouring Afar and Amhara regions, upending the lives of millions of Ethiopians.
The fourteen-month conflict has started to ease following a counter-offensive by government forces which aborted the TPLF’s march on Addis Ababa and their occupation of Afar and Amhara.
Following the TPLF’s defeat and withdrawal to Tigray, the Ethiopian Government has taken significant steps toward peace including halting armed operations at the borders of Tigray, offering amnesty for several TPLF leaders and creating a national dialogue to help secure lasting peace for the country.
The Bill introduced by Congressman Malinowski, HR6600 the Ethiopia Stabilization, Peace, and Democracy Act, would deploy a wide ranging sanctions against Ethiopia including blocking the country from critical aid and investment from the IMF, World Bank and the U.S. itself, has been met with anger from the Ethiopian diaspora.
Since its introduction the Congressman has faced overwhelming opposition from the Ethiopian American community in his district and across the country.
The aim of the protest is to highlight the progress that has been made and challenge the need for this Bill. Moreover, Ethiopian community leaders want to increase awareness of the impact Malinowski’s Bill will have on the poorest in the country.
Chairman of AEPAC, Mesfin Tegenu said:
“The Bill is nothing short of an attack on Ethiopia and its people which at the same time undermines the over 100 years US-Ethiopia relationship. As Ethiopia starts on its journey to peace after more than a year of conflict, Representative Malinowski wants to cripple Ethiopia’s economy and fuel tensions. Many of the actions the bill requests of Ethiopia from an amnesty for prisoners to the formation of a national dialogue are already in progress. The one-million strong Ethiopian American community will have our voices heard. We will do all we can to oppose this Bill and we call on friends of Ethiopia to support our campaign.”
Notes to Reporters
- Representative Malinowski’s Bill was published on the 4th February 2022, a copy can be found here: https://docs.house.gov/meetings/FA/FA00/20220208/114384/BILLS-117HR–ih.pdf
- The Bill was considered by the House Foreign Affairs Committee on 8th February 2022
The American-Ethiopian Public Affairs Committee is dedicated to promoting a positive, synergetic relationship between the United States and Ethiopia. AEPAC’s core mission is to strengthen and enhance the century-old relationship between the United States and Ethiopia. AEPAC strives to build a strong partnership based on the common interests and mutual benefits of the two countries.