D.C.-area Ethiopians say Obama trip will send wrong signal to repressive regime in homeland

Near the White House on Friday, Serkalem Selassie and her 9-year-old son, Nafkot, protested President Obama’s upcoming trip to Ethi­o­pia. As a journalist in her homeland, she was jailed, and Nafkot was born while she was in prison. She has political asylum now. (Evelyn Hockstein/For The Washington Post)
Near the White House on Friday, Serkalem Selassie and her 9-year-old son, Nafkot, protested President Obama’s upcoming trip to Ethi­o­pia. As a journalist in her homeland, she was jailed, and Nafkot was born while she was in prison. She has political asylum now. (Evelyn Hockstein/For The Washington Post)
 
When Barack Obama entered the White House, many Ethio­pian immigrants in the Washington area cheered. When he gave a speech in Ghana in 2009, vowing to promote democracy and human rights across Africa, they were thrilled. But now that Obama will soon visit Ethi­o­pia, many members of the region’s largest African emigre group are up in arms.Their concern is that his trip later this month — the first by a sitting American president — will send the wrong message and bolster a regime that has intimidated opponents, manipulated elections and sent dozens of journalists to prison.“Mr. Obama is supporting a dictatorship and giving legitimacy to tyranny,” declared Serkalem Selassie, 39, a refu­gee in Arlington. “Day by day, things are getting worse. There is no freedom to speak, to meet. Anyone who writes can be jailed for associating with terrorism.”

Read more at: Washington Post

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7 Comments

  1. Asrat Negash says

    OUR BELOVED OBAMA, WE ARE SHORT OF VOCABULARIES TO EXPRESS OUR JOYCE. THIS IS THE BEGINNING NOT THE END. GREAT VISIT!!! GOD BLESS AMERICA & ETHIOPIA!!! HALEY LUYA!!

  2. Mullu Tesfa says

    The Washington post page now is blocked. Thankfully after read it earlier “Mr. Obama’s visit to Ethiopia sends the wrong message on democracy – The Washington Post.htm”
    Wel-come to North Korea

  3. Dagne says

    I am interested by this program!!!

  4. Zena Tsegamariam says

    Why is the Washington Post intent on fronting for the habitual group of extremist ex-Ethiopians with shameful history (beneficiaries of the previous communist regime named Derg, members of various ‘revolutionaries’ whose only common denominator was hunger for power rather than ideological commonality) who were the main causes of past political instability and hunger of biblical proportion? Are there not other places and events in the world that are of more public interest than politics in Ethiopia? Is the Washington Post intent on stopping political stability and economic development in Ethiopia?

    Despite its unfortunate location in a rough neighborhood and very bad recent history, Ethiopia is now one of the few most stable and economically prosperous countries in Africa. It is an example others are envious to emulate. Why does not the Washington Post focus on those types of positives coming out of Africa? Or is the Washington Post allergic to anything positive in what the whites called ‘the Dark Continent’ to send the message about the humans that inhabit it.

  5. Segen says

    Dear Serkalem, If what you are saying is right – yes my right to speak my mind, rather than giving blind opposition or support, to meet, etc .. are much more blocked by people of blind anti government mentality than the government in power. Yes, as a ‘journalist, you had had to make your bread pleasing your costumers, who are pathologically hungry for any type of anti-government breaths. After all, doing that helped you to secure your asylum status- so you are in your dream land, thanks to your jailers. For heavens sake, leave this land alone, do not make her a pastime business.

  6. Anonymous says

    killing innocent people is that growth

  7. Anonymous says

    Obama’s visit to Ethiopia is because of a real economic development and other facts in our country. I thank God that our country is changing and we are happy about our Government. I am sorry for those who are far from the reality here in Ethiopia and have a wrong understanding of what is going on here. Our government has visions and they are accomplishing. Please have a converted heart and support your country and government and be part of our transformation. This is what is expected from a citizen of Ethiopia.

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