ESAT News (September 23, 2017)
A two day conference on “building democratic institutions in Ethiopia” kicked off today in Washington, DC where scholars from a spectrum of professions will discuss on study papers on issues such as U.S. policy towards the Horn of Africa, the role of Diaspora in building democracy in Ethiopia as well as corruption, public trust and economic development among others.
One of the topics for Saturday’s session was H. Res. 128, a bill by the U.S.Congress on “supporting respect on human rights and encouraging inclusive governance in Ethiopia,” which will be tabled for vote before the House of Representatives on October 2, 2017.
One of the sponsors of the bill, Congressman Mike Coffman, Representative for Colorado’s 6th district, in a message to the conference said H. Res. 128, which will be tabled to congress next Monday will be instrumental in taking specific steps by the U.S. in improving human rights and democracy in Ethiopia.
In a message presented by his legislative assistance, Ryan Clark, representative Coffman said the bill also specifically demand the government to allow independent investigations into the killings of civilians by the regime security forces in the Amhara and Oromo regions. Mr. Coffman also recalled that the bill condemns the abuse of the Anti-Terrorism Proclamation to stifle political and civil dissent and journalistic freedoms.
Opening the two day Conference, president of Vision Ethiopia, which organized the conference in collaboration with the Ethiopian Satellite Television and Radio (ESAT), Prof. Getachew Begashaw said the conference is a forum to share wide range of views from scholars, activists and other concerned Ethiopians regardless of their political views.
The fourth conference by Vision Ethiopia and ESAT will focus on forming institutions essential for building a democratic Ethiopia and the geopolitical realities in the Horn of Africa.
Organizers say the past three conferences were successful in articulating Ethiopia’s political problems and suggesting a road map for Ethiopia’s transition to a democratic and peaceful nation.