From: Biniam Tekle (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Fri Jan 09 2009 - 10:28:03 EST
01-09-09 US Warns Ethiopia Over New Law On Funding Aid Groups
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AFP)--The U.S., Ethiopia's main donor, warned Friday
a new law adopted by Addis Ababa restricting foreign-funded aid groups may
curtail its assistance.
Under the new law, any group that draws more than 10% of its funding from
abroad will be classified as foreign, and thus banned from working on issues
related to ethnicity, gender, children's rights and conflict resolution.
"We recognize the importance of effective oversight of civil society
organizations...however we are concerned this law may restrict U.S.
government assistance to Ethiopia," a State Department statement said.
Despite criticism, Ethiopia's parliament Tuesday overwhelmingly passed the
bill, which the government argues is solely to safeguard citizens' rights.
Georgette Gagnon, the Africa director for the New York-based Human Rights
Watch, said the law is a "repression, not regulation."
"If enforced, this law will make Ethiopia one of the most inhospitable
places in the world for both Ethiopian and international human rights
groups," she said in a statement.
The Horn of Africa nation, a key ally in Washington's 'War on Terror,'
received more than $900 million in aid from the U.S. in 2008. Ethiopia, a
poverty-stricken country of 77 million, is among the world's chief aid
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