US House of Representatives Passes Ethiopia Human Rights Bill

By VOA News / 02 October 2007

The U.S. House of Representatives has approved legislation supporting democracy and human rights in Ethiopia.

Lawmakers passed the bill Tuesday on a voice vote.

The measure authorizes $20 million in each of the next two years to promote human rights, democracy and economic development in Ethiopia.

The legislation would also restrict U.S. security assistance and other aid to Ethiopia because of concerns about the country's human rights record.

The Bush administration would still be allowed to provide funds for joint counter-terrorism operations and Ethiopia's participation in peacekeeping missions.

To become law, the bill must win approval from the Senate and be signed by President Bush.

The White House has indicated it opposes the bill despite a provision that would give the president authority to ignore the restrictions on security assistance in the interests of U.S. national security.