Happy Ester

Happy Ester to all my fellow Oromos who celbrate Ester!



We are finally recognized as Oromo American. Hmmmmmmm

McCollum Statement on Ethiopia's Troubled Internal Situation

Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Betty McCollum (MN-04) made the following statement on March 28th for a hearing of the House International Relations Subcommittee on Africa and Global Human Rights regarding the internal political situation in Ethiopia. Following the national elections in May 2005, the Ethiopian government killed as many as 88 people and arrested thousands of student protesters during two waves of protests in June and November. The hearing examined human rights violations by the Ethiopian government and the U.S. response. The following is Rep. McCollum’s statement:

“Mr. Chairman, this is an important hearing and I appreciate your willingness to examine the current situation in Ethiopia.

“I am very proud to represent many Ethiopian Americans and Oromo Americans in my Minnesota district. They have met with my office frequently expressing grave concerns regarding the political repression and chronic human rights abuses occurring in Ethiopia under the current regime.

“Let state for the record, I strongly support the people of Ethiopia and will continue to stand with them in their very challenging efforts to overcome extreme poverty, a deadly absence of any healthcare, and of course years of chronic food insecurity. I also stand with them in their effort to have their voices heard in a free and democratic society.

“Unfortunately, the current leadership’s political repression, massacres and extreme human rights abuses clearly demonstrate a government that is not on the path to democracy, but committed to retaining power at any cost. Mostly free elections accompanied with massacres of pro-democracy demonstrators cast a dark shadow on the prospects for freedom and democracy.

“I believe the American people reject the notion that a regime that massacres innocent citizens can be called a friend and partner of the United States. Ethiopia should be held to the same standard as any nation that is a friend of the U.S. – a standard in which freedom, justice and accountability are values we judge our friends by and state-sponsored massacres, torture and massive detentions are condemned.

“I know the Chairman has introduced legislation, HR 4423, that may be marked up in the near future. Mr. Chairman, like you, I want human rights defended, democracy promoted and freedom – political freedom and freedom from hunger, disease and misery – extended for all Ethiopians.

“In its present form, your bill does not place our government on a path to achieve these goals, therefore I cannot support it. I would like to work with you and all of our colleagues on this subcommittee to strengthen your bill to ensure that the U.S. supports freedom and true democracy for the Ethiopian people and not an extension of the status quo that has proven deadly and repressive to far too many people.”