The H.R.6600 bill brings serious long term consequences for Ethiopians, and those suffering from the current conflict in Ethiopia will be impacted the most. To the dismay of many Ethiopians, some Amhara activists are standing alongside the bill's promoters and TPLF lobbyists in support of H.R.6600 to the extent of organizing a petition campaign and calling for a rally to advance the bill.
Will this decision truly reflect the voice of the Amhara people, or are these activists expressing their discontent with the Ethiopian government at the cost of crippling the disputed Amhara provinces of Welkait, Tsegede, and Humera and, in general, sabotaging Ethiopia?
In the past year alone, TPLF spent millions of dollars lobbying the US Congress, and as a result, more than four bills were drafted and introduced to sanction Ethiopia. By nature, these bills are designed to damage the ordinary Ethiopian economy and weaken the country's security to provoke civil disobedience, and ultimately exercise regime change in Ethiopia similar to what has occurred in Libya and Afghanistan.
The recent H.R.6600 bill by Representative Malinowski (D, NJ-7) has similar intentions: giving TPLF a free pass to power in Ethiopian politics. Particularly, Sections 5-7 of the bill specify sanctions that will isolate Ethiopia and deny the country international loans, finance, development and security assistance unless the government of Ethiopia “negotiate settlement to end the civil war or other conflicts in Ethiopia”.
Sadly, the negotiation terms and conditions described in the bill, Section 5-7 are applicable only for the Ethiopian government. This lopsided bill does not specify similar terms and conditions for the TPLF organization to abide by; in effect, this gives the insurrectionists an upper hand to define the negotiation topics.
Since the TPLF’s initial scheme to advance to Addis Ababa to topple the newly elected government was crushed, the TPLF leaders seem to have moved to the next agenda of forming a greater Tigray by gaining Amhara’s lands of Welkait, Tsegede and Humera to expand its territory in Northern Ethiopia. Thus, this bill facilitates their aggressive agenda.
Given these concerns, why are some Amhara activists missing the obvious dangers and advocating in support of H.R.6600?
The drafted bill is a tool to twist the arms of the Ethiopian government by threatening to impose sanctions unless it accepts negotiation terms which are likely to include handing over the disputed lands to the Tigray region. Clearly, supporting the H.R.6600 is a suicidal move for the Amhara cause and a disservice to the people.
Background Information about Welkait and other disputed lands:
The TPLF in the form of government, Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), brutally ruled Ethiopia for three decades until 2018 with its long term plans of forming a greater Tigray and separating Tigray from Ethiopia.
A step closer to this goal, TPLF introduced the current Ethiopian constitution in 1995 that allows groups to have unrestricted right to self determination up to secession [Article 39]. Secondly, TPLF redrew the internal maps of Ethiopia and annexed Welkait, Tsegede and Humera, Amhara provinces, to be part of Tigray and give the region an international border access through Sudan.
In November 2020, TPLF (Tigrayan forces) started a war in Northern Ethiopia by attacking the Ethiopian military stationed in Tigray. Soon after, the Ethiopian defense force launched a law enforcement measure to halt TPLF aggression. In this operation, the annexed regions of Welkait, Tsegede and Humera were finally returned to the Amhara region after more than 30 years of struggle.
Until today, TPLF continued it’s aggression to gain the Welkait, Tsegede and Humera strategic corridors, however through the years of sacrifice and the stronghold of the Ethiopian defense force, Amhara regional force and militia, they were unable to succeed. Now, TPLF is using its embezzled billions of dollars lobbying Western nations to achieve what was impossible through their military operations. Yet, some Amhara activists are missing the dangers of the H.R.6600 bill that is sabotaging the struggle of Welkait, Tsegede, and Humera and supporting this bill.
The current predicament raises important questions: why have some activists not learned from the US historical support of the TPLF, in particular the past 17 months of devastation in Ethiopia’s history? If the intention is to preserve Ethiopia with the interest of all ethnic groups, how can anyone expect the Biden Administration to magically turn from a biased TPLF supporter to a balanced negotiator?
The US has not secured democracy, peace and stability by imposing debilitating sanctions on any country in the world, as such, any Ethiopian advocacy groups should not beg to include Ethiopia among the list of failed US interventions. While speaking out against all atrocities, and asking the Ethiopian government to be accountable is legitimate, it is important not to fall into a divisive and neocolonialist Western agenda that will dismantle the nation.