USA: Who is lobbying in the Ethiopia conflict as Coons heads to Addis Ababa

Source: Politico

Presented by REAL SOLUTIONS®, a community safety program of the firearm industry.

With Daniel Lippman

FARA FRIDAY: The White House said Thursday it is dispatching Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.), a top ally of President Joe Biden, to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to meet with Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed at the president’s request to convey the administration’s “grave concerns about the humanitarian crisis and human rights abuses in the Tigray region,” according to a statement from national security adviser Jake Sullivan.

— Coons’ trip comes amid a spiraling humanitarian crisis there after four months of fighting between Ethiopian and allied militia forces and Tigray residents, and as the Biden administration announced an additional $52 million in humanitarian assistance to those affected by the conflict. A U.S. government report obtained by The New York Times last month accused Ahmed’s forces of carrying out an ethnic cleansing in the region, a term used by Secretary of State Antony Blinken for the first time last week.

— As a result of the violence, both the Ethiopian government and Tigrayan advocates have enlisted help in Washington in recent months. Last month, the Ethiopian Embassy hired the lobbying firm Venable for government relations help through the end of April at a monthly rate of $35,000, according to documents filed with the Justice Department. Their work has included outreach to at least three Democratic senators, including at least one call between Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) and Ethiopian Ambassador Fitsum Arega, according to DOJ filings. Venable declined to comment on their representation of the embassy.

— Last week, the Alexandria, Va.,-based Tigray Center for Information and Communication retained the lobbying firm Von Batten-Montague-York to push the Biden administration and Congress “for the removal of all Eritrean military personnel and militia from Tigray,” as well as to apply pressure to the Ethiopian government to allow open access to humanitarian assistance and the appointment of an independent investigator to prove claims of war crimes against the Tigray people.

— Another lobbying disclosure filed earlier this week revealed that Platinum Advisors DC hired former Rep. Connie Mack (R-Fla.) back in December as a subcontractor to lobby for support for increased humanitarian assistance for Ethiopia on behalf of JM International, a real estate development and petroleum distribution company based in Virginia.


  1. I really hope the Biden administration is different than the con Trump in its entirety. it is time to get back USA as the honest and democratic guardian angel of the world community. It should not even care to what this selfish advocates of democracy has to say on the conditions in ground. It should only youth its own sources.
    The people of Tigray are despised by their own cousins the Amharas. The Amharas, not all but quite many wish the people of Tigray to be eliminated from this earth. We have never ever experienced such type of hate. This hate was mainly initiated by Abiy and the Diaspora in the US. Isaias is the winner and Abiy is enjoying his sinister plan to destroy the Abesynians. Many of the Amhara origin are purposely in denial and blame all to the TPLF that is not even in power. Ethiopia will never be back to where it was. The old nation is already destroyed by the Amharas with the help of arch enemies of Abesynian history Abiy and Isaias.

  2. Biden stands for just and equality. He has been so all his life and he has made it clear to the world in his inaugural speech: ‘ This is not a win for me alone, but a win for equality and justice all over the world ‘. No matter what grade they have, no lobby group can change his mind about the genocide on-going on Tigre people and the other human right atrocities perpetrated on majority of Ethiopians – the long marginalized peoples!
    This lobby thing must be a joke!

    • This is not a game, but thousands of innocent people losing their precious lives by a genocide, millions dying of starvation in Tigre region and million others whose basic human right is trampled upon in all over Ethiopia.

    • This is stopping an autocrat – Isaias – busy with eradicating a whole ethnicity from the face of the earth to create his hegemony on all East Africa: A first precedence for all of Africa that can’t be allowed!: Prevention is easier than cure!

    • This is giving a chance to hundreds of millions of very poor people, in the East African Arena, for a life in equality and justice, life with out a fear, life with a better hope for one’s offspring’s, hope for many lost hearty-ambitions; a precious basic human right deprived them for so long by consecutive autocrates and their supporting foreign forces in pursuit of their misplaced interests

    • This is returning peace and stability to an important region of the world – the East-African-Arena – whose peoples’ exisistance is threatened, right this minute, by pudding international forces who don’t give a damn about the local population, but create enmity among them on the basis of religion and the likes, in order to fulfill their crooked interests.

    • This is protection of US national security itself as equality and justice all over the world is its pre-requisite – the pillars of democracy.
    Above are few points of the importance of stopping the criminal acts of Abiy and Isaias. The rest, I leave for the democracy upholding politicians who foresee what is coming in the future.

    And the joke of the day is – to stop all of the above historical obligations of USA – Abiy puts a price tag of 35000/month!!!

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