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Open Letter to President Obama on His Official Visit to Ethiopia
By Bilal Ethiopian Muslim Community
July 11, 2015
Dear President Obama,
Thank you for your service to this country. We are very pleased with your performance when it comes to many domestic issues like fixing our broken domestic justice system. However, when it comes to the international relations on our principles and values; we believe America should do a better job to lead and cherish its democratic principles to other countries, specifically to African nations. As you said in your speech in Ghana, “No person wants to live in a society where the rule of law gives way the rule of brutality and bribery. That is not democracy, that is tyranny, and now is the time for it to end… Africa doesn’t need strongmen, but strong institution” (Obama’s Ghana Speech, July11, 2009). Mr. President, this needs to be told in the strongest term possible to the Ethiopian government as well in order to respect the rule of law of its constitution. If not, we are very concerned that the Ethiopian government will take the advantage of your visit to justify and validate and/or to endorse their autocratic dominance. And also, they may continue abusing their own people and constitution even to the worst.
After the 1991 downfall of the Ethiopian military regime, we have appreciated and admired what the U.S. has done for our home country. “The United States and the people of Ethiopia share a strong history as friends and partners. Today, this three pillars of the bilateral relationship are economic growth and development; democracy, governance, and Human Right; regional peace and security” (U.S. Department of State, U.S. – Ethiopia Relations). We, as Bilal Muslim Ethiopian Community supports a good U.S. relations and partnership with the Ethiopian government when it comes to economic development, decent Human rights, real democracy, and good governance with regional security.
Speaking of good governance and democracy, Ethiopia’s both autocratic government and broken justice system do not abide by their own constitution. Therefore, we strongly urge America to pressure the government of Ethiopia to exercise their rule of law as they have written in their constitution. Furthermore, they disgrace the value of democracy in a shameless way. For example, The Ethiopian government imprisoned the innocent Muslim Arbitration Committee also known as the Ethiopian Muslim Representatives for asking about their constitutional rights.