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Congressman Rohrabacher Introduces Bill To Prohibit The Use Of U.S. Military Equipment Against Pro-Democracy Forces In Ethiopia

Mar 7, 2006

Washington, Mar 7, 2006 -

Today Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), Chairman of the International Relations Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, introduced legislation restricting U.S. military aid to Ethiopia if it uses that aid to suppress its own people. The bill would require the President of the United States certify that the Ethiopian government will not use military assistance against pro-democracy advocates or peaceful civilian protesters in Ethiopia.

“We do not want to see guns mounted on humvees being used to shoot down supporters of democracy in Ethiopia or anywhere else,” said Rep. Rohrabacher.

Congressman Rohrabacher notes the human rights abuses are evident in Ethiopia including the imprisonment of Dr. Berhanu Nega, mayor of Ethiopia’s largest city who studied, lived and taught in the United States. Dr. Nega, an advocate of democracy, faces the death penalty for his involvement in mass protests over election irregularities in Ethiopia.

“Any country that imprisons people who are pro-democracy should not get military equipment from the United States,” said Rep. Rohrabacher.

Congressman Rohrabacher recently met with Ethiopian-Americans who demonstrated at the U.S. Capitol in November 2005 when he promised to introduce this legislation. He also inserted language into the Foreign Relations Authorization Act expressing the sense of congress that the government of Ethiopia should return or compensate for illegally seized property owned by U.S. citizens.


Congressman Rohrabacher will be working with Representative Chris Smith, and others, to ensure that those in Ethiopia who believe in democracy are not murdered and oppressed by an evermore corrupt and dictatorial government.