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U.S. House Democrats call to reconsider decision to cut aid for Ethiopia

GERD under construction (Ethiopian FM photo)
September 5, 2020 (WASHINGTON) - U.S. House Democrats called on State Secretary Michael Pompeo to reconsider his decision to cut over $100 million in aid to Ethiopia in over the unilateral first filing of the Grand Renaissance Dam (GERD).

Six Democrats members of the U.S. House of Representatives called on Pompeo to reconsider the suspension of economic assistance to Ethiopia in a letter dated on 3 September.

The six Congress members are Jason Crow, John Garamendi, Ilhan Omar, Joyce Beatty, Colin Z. Allred and Gerald E. Connolly.

In their letter to Pompeo, they stressed that the suspension undermines the U.S. position as a neutral facilitator in the negotiations between Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sudan over the GERD.

"Any such cuts would not only serve to degrade our relationship with a trusted partner but also undermine our position as an honest broker in the fragile ongoing negotiations between Ethiopia, Egypt, and Sudan regarding the (...) GERD," says the letter seen by Sudan Tribune.

The lawmakers said the cut favours one side and betrays the US commitment of being impartial observer but also undermines Ethiopia’s sovereignty, and subverts the efforts of the African Union to resolve the dispute.

"Therefore, we request that you halt any cuts in foreign assistance to Ethiopia and pursue a strategy of impartial mediation to resolve regional disputes related to the (GERD)," they stressed.

The United States is one of three observers participating in the talks over the GERD together with the European Union and the African Union which now hosts the talks.

On 31 August, Ethiopian Ambassador to Washington Fitsum Arega wrote on his Twitter account that he learned from the American administration is was a "Temporary Pause".

"The dam is ours! We will finish it together! With our efforts, our Ethiopia will shine!," he further added in his tweet written in Amharic.

(ST)