Dear Representative X,
The Ethiopian government has relaunched its war in the Tigray, breaking a 5-month cessation of hostilities. As your constituent, I urge your office to take action by supporting the bipartisan bills H.R. 6600/S.3199, the Ethiopia Peace Bills.
For the past 21 months, Tigray has been devastated by a civil war characterized by civilian massacres, systematic sexual violence of girls and women, and starvation used as a weapon of war. USAID has declared up to 900,000 people in Tigray are living in famine conditions. Since July 2021, the Ethiopian government has enacted what the UN calls a “de facto blockade” on Tigray, cutting off communications, banking, and electricity, and blocking needed humanitarian aid to the region. Despite a humanitarian truce announced in March, the Ethiopian government continued to block fuel needed for delivering humanitarian aid. As a result of the blockade, up to 500,000 people have died in Tigray alone, mostly due to starvation and lack of healthcare. Now that the Ethiopian government has broken the ceasefire, the already dire humanitarian situation in Tigray is expected to deteriorate rapidly.
Strong action is needed to reverse Ethiopia’s dangerous trajectory and this bill will apply pressure on the Ethiopian government to end its violent and destabilizing behavior. H.R. 6600 and S.3199 would restrict assistance to Ethiopia’s security services and other financing of the government (exempting life saving humanitarian assistance) until the government of Ethiopia takes significant steps toward genuine national dialogue, allowing unfettered humanitarian access, and cooperating with independent investigations of atrocities and crimes against humanity.
I urge you to support these important bills for peace and stability in Ethiopia.