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Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Questions for Lidetu and Company

The following is an excerpt of an article entitled “Could the Current Somali Crisis Affect Passage of H.R.5680? Possible Strategies for the Home Stretch”

(By Alemayehu (Al) G. Mariam, Ph.D., J.D. (Esq.))

The “word on the street” is that for the past couple of weeks the Ethiopian regime’s lobbyists and officials have been prowling the halls of Congress and skulking about particular members’ offices sounding the alarm of an Islamic-Jihadist-terrorist takeover of the Horn of Africa. A delegation of certain Ethiopian parliamentarians is said to be en route to Washington, D.C. to reinforce the regime’s powerful lobbying brigade already laying siege to Congress in a desperate last ditch effort defeat of H.R.5680...
...Questions for Regime Lobbyist, Officials and Supporters Visiting or Communicating With Congressional Offices

Provide your congressional members/staffers a list of questions to ask regime lobbyists and officials, and the parliamentary delegation expected to arrive in the U.S. shortly, urging defeat of H.R.5680.

How does releasing political prisoners held without trial over the past year undermine U.S.-Ethiopian counter-terrorism efforts, or Ethiopia’s ability to fight terrorism within or outside its borders?

Are the political prisoners, including opposition leaders and winners of parliamentary seats in the last election, terrorists? If so, are they being held on terrorism charges?

Assuming all of the political prisoners are terrorists, how would H.R.5680 promote terrorism among political prisoners who are rotting in overcrowded, squalid and stinking corrals that pass off for jails?

How does restoration of the right of free speech, reinstitution of a free and independent media and free internet access cause terrorism or undermine the regional or global war on terrorism?

How does strengthening U.S. anti-terrorism efforts in the Horn of Africa and the Middle East by providing material support to and sharing intelligence with Ethiopia undermine Ethiopia’s ability to participate in the regional or global war on terrorism?

How does accelerating Ethiopia’s economic development by providing technical assistance programs to improve policies and practices in such areas as budgeting, taxation, debt management, bank supervision, anti-money laundering and private sector development limit, impair or diminish Ethiopia’s ability to fight terrorism internally, regionally, or its anti-terrorism partnership with the U.S.?

How does enhancing the performance and capabilities of local, regional, and national legislative institutions in Ethiopia by providing technical support and training to government personnel, political parties, and civil society groups and government agencies affect Ethiopia’s vulnerability to terrorism or diminish its ability to participate in its anti-terrorism partnership with the U.S?
How does establishing mechanisms to enable human rights groups to operate freely, and to regularly monitor and report on human rights conditions in Ethiopia affect Ethiopia’s ability to fight internal or regional terrorism?

How does increasing the independence of the Ethiopian judiciary and safeguarding it from political pressure and interference, promoting the application of due process practices and impartial application of the rule of law restrict, impair or obstruct Ethiopia’s ability to fight terrorism within its borders or regionally in partnership with the with the U.S.?

What legal exception is the regime relying upon to justify its intervention in Somalia in violation of Article 2 (4) of the U.N. charter which prohibits the “threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state,” or Article III (2), (3) of the African Union charter which requires members to practice “non-interference in the internal affairs of States and respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of each State and for its inalienable right to independent existence”?

Will the Ethiopian military limit its intervention to the defensive protection of the STG in Baidoa (the seat of the STG) and fend off an SICC assault, or does it plan to take other preemptive actions against the SICC?

Having set up a defensive perimeter around Baidoa, how will the Ethiopian regime respond should the SICC Islamsits gobble up the rest of the country as it appears likely given their military advances? Does the Ethiopian regime expect to use its military to occupy all or part of Somalia to dislodge the SICC Islamists as it attempted to do in 1993 and 1996?

How will the Ethiopian regime respond to possible repercussions from its own large Islamic population arising from its intervention? Does it anticipate potential fraternal alliance between the SICC and ethnic Somalis in the Ogaden region? If it does anticipate such an alliance, will the Ethiopian regime commit to using negotiations, to avoid a regional war, to resolve disputes?

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