A YouTube video released on July 29 calling Ted Alemayehu a “hero” has claimed that the Ethiopian-born former candidate for the US Congress played a significant role in making the US overturn a resolution against Ethiopia.
According to the video, Ted Alemayehu confirmed that a resolution by Congress member Karen Bass fiercely criticizing the Ethiopian government had been declined. It was also alleged that Ted Alemayehu had said Ethiopia would not be raised as a “big issue” in an upcoming Congress meeting.
HaqCheck looked into the matter and rendered it Misleading, due to the usage of inaccurate translation and generalization.
Following war and unrest in the northern part of Ethiopia, mainly in the Tigray region, for the past nine months, the US government issued statements over humanitarian and security concerns in Tigray.
The US State Department called for the “immediate withdrawal of Eritrean forces and Amhara regional forces” from Tigray, the cessation of hostilities by all parties to the conflict, and a commitment to permit unhindered humanitarian access.
Ethiopia at the time refused the call. Amidst claims that the US government has taken sides, it said the acts of ethnic cleansing and involvement of foreign forces in the ongoing military operation were unfounded allegations.
The US government then imposed visa sanctions on those who they said were involved in the conflict. The sanctions came after a series of calls from the international community and the US government to cease hostilities in Tigray.
On June 7, US Congress member and Chair of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa Karen Bass, together with other members, issued a statement after introducing a resolution.
The resolution at the time said it was “Condemning all violence and human rights abuses in Ethiopia, and calling on the governments of Ethiopia and Eritrea to remove all Eritrean troops from Ethiopia, and for all belligerents in the conflict, including the Ethiopian National Defense Forces, the Tigray People's Liberation Front, and Amhara regional forces, and other armed groups to cease all hostilities, protect human rights, allow unfettered humanitarian access, and cooperate with independent investigations of credible atrocity allegations”.
In a statement on her virtual meeting on July 20, at the US Institute of Peace webinar Africa at the Crossroads, Karen Bass said: “I was meeting with the Ethiopian Diaspora [in America] on Saturday (July 17). And they wanted to know why the U.S. didn't send in its military to resolve the situation in Ethiopia. I was telling them, self-determination. That was the call of the time, you know, that it just seems inappropriate to me that the US would send its military, you know; I don't want to see that happen.”
Ted Alemayehu said on Facebook: “I’ve been informed that Resolution 445 "Will Not" be submitted to the committee this week as the Congresswoman had suggested that it would.”
He added: “Ethiopia isn’t a big topic in Congress this week and the 'Resolution' won't be submitted to the committee either”, reminding that Karen mentioned, on Africa at the Crossroad meeting, Ethiopia would be a "Big topic" in Congress and that she would also submit the Resolution for her committee's votes.
Against this backdrop, the video clip claims that the Ethiopian-born politician Ted Alemayehu confirmed that the plan to submit the resolution to Congress was dropped, and the resolution was permanently removed.
However, the resolution was neither overturned nor permanently removed. Ted Alemayehu on his Facebook page said the information in the video clip was not accurate. In another post, he further clarified the issue saying he only said the resolution would not be submitted that week and not that it is canceled. He also urged reporters to be careful of their reporting.
Granted, there is an effort and movement by Ethiopian-Americans to remove the proposed resolution from Congress’ agenda. However, HaqCheck has looked into the information in the video clip and rated it as MISLEADING.