Saturday, August 29, 2020

Is Trump Trying to Write Off the Ethiopian-American Vote?

 Foreign Policy published on 27 August 2020 an article titled "U.S. Halts Some Foreign Assistance Funding to Ethiopia Over Dam Dispute with Egypt, Sudan" by Robbie Gramer.

The author reports that the Trump administration is threatening to stop up to $130 million in assistance to Ethiopia because Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has not accepted the U.S. "mediation" proposal for filling the reservoir and releasing water from the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).  U.S. programs that are on the chopping block include security assistance, counterterrorism and military education and training, anti-human trafficking programs, and broader development assistance funding.  

The one issue Ethiopians and the Ethiopian diaspora are united on today is completion of the GERD.  Playing political hardball with Ethiopia will not only fail to obtain Washington's desired result but will probably ensure that the Ethiopian diaspora in the United States rallies against Trump.  There are sizeable Ethiopian-American communities in key states such as Georgia, Texas, and Virginia.  

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