A Call for Worldwide Remittance Embargo

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To all Ethiopians who are concerned about the dire fate of our country and eager in shortening   the suffering of our people under the brutal Woyane regime.Credible evidences coming from various sources indicate that the TPLF-led regime is immersed in a major political, economic, and security crises. It has come to light that, by all indicators and measures, the regime is in big economic collapse.A recently leaked document authored by the so-called National Security Council confirms the regime’s anxiety about the economic crisis it has faced in recent months. This document admits that:

 Foreign aid has been reduced due to the regime’s worst human rights record;

 Tourism has shrunk due to the instability throughout the country;

 Wealthy people and foreign investors have started migrating their money out of the

country; and

The regime is therefore convinced that these and other factors are contributing to the general

economic crisis.

Meanwhile, in his report to TPLF parliament early November 2017, the Governor of the National

Bank highlighted the serious shortage of foreign currency and warned that unless this shortage

is resolved in a short period of time, it will aggravate the economic crisis.

Currently, the foreign currency shortage has reached to a level where even regime-run

organizations including those which are used for surveillance and repressive purposes, such as

Ethiotelecom, are defaulting on their foreign financial obligations. Further, these organizations

reported that their inability to import equipment and hardware due to lack of foreign currencies

has hampered their operations. As the foreign currency reserve of the country plummeted from

$3 billion to $700 million, importers revealed to domestic media that they should wait for more

than a year before they receive a Letter of Credit for their imports and even then, they only get

a fraction of what they ask for.

As other sources of foreign currency dry up, the regime is placing its hope on the remittance of

Diaspora Ethiopians to pick up the slack. The regime has publicly stated that the magnitude of

the remittance from Ethiopians living and/or working abroad reaches over $4 billion per year.

There are a few fundamental facts that each Ethiopian needs to keep in mind when discussing

the issue of foreign currency in relation to Ethiopia:

i. The wealth and economy of the country including the foreign trade sectors are vastly

controlled by TPLF-owned and affiliated entities such as Endowment Fund for the

Rehabilitation of Tigray (EFFORT); Tigray Development Association (TDA),

and Relief Society of Tigray (REST);

አለምአቀፍ የኢትዮጵያዊያን የጋራ ግብረ ይል

Worldwide Ethiopian Joint Task Force

Zemecha18@gmail.com 202-627-0130

ii. Those who benefit or hurt by the availability or shortage of foreign currency are mostly

the above mentioned TPLF organizations and numerous companies owned by them;

iii. The economic/financial crunch the regime is facing currently will undermine the

material, technological and economic capability of its security and police forces that are

used to suppress, maim and kill Ethiopians;

iv. Crippling the regime’s economic backbone is a necessary form of struggle to shorten its

political lifespan, and depriving the regime access to foreign currencies plays a critical

role in this respect.

As every Ethiopian would note, at this moment our people are paying huge sacrifices to regain

their freedom and ownership of their beloved country. The popular uprising of the past two

years has dragged the regime into a huge crisis despite the fact that it is costing our people

very dearly. The political and economic crises the regime is facing right now are in one way or

another the fruits of the tenacious popular struggle. However, to ensure that this ever-growing

popular struggle becomes victorious, it requires everyone’s action and involvement. In this

regard, we must recognize that Diaspora Ethiopians have a unique opportunity and capacity to

undermine the regime’s economic and political power.

At this point, the money we Ethiopians in the Diaspora remit to our relatives back home is the

only source of foreign currency for the regime. Depriving the regime access to this hard

currency is a power we have in our hands that we can and must use to exacerbate the regime’s

economic crisis and constrain its ability to stifle and repress our people. It must be remembered

that we have the responsibility and the ability to weaken the economic muscle of the regime, to

shorten the suffering of our people, and ensure that their dear sacrifices are leading to victory.

The Worldwide Ethiopian Joint Task Force is therefore calling upon fellow Ethiopians in

the Diaspora to stop remitting money through money transfer channels that allow the regime to

acquire the hard currency.

Respectfully and on behalf of the people of Ethiopia, the Task Force calls up on everyone who

wants to see an end to the suffering of our people to implement the following strategies and

actions:

1. Stop sending foreign currencies through the formal channels such as Western Union and

Money Gram. The following alternative ways are suggested to send money that are deemed

to minimize the chance of the regime accessing the hard currency:

1.1. Ethiopian-owned convenience stores and individuals in your community who are

providing money transfer services; ensure they are not regime-affiliated.

1.2. Individuals in your community who have relatives in Ethiopia that are keen on

exchanging Ethiopian birr for hard currency, often at a much better exchange rate than

what the banks in Ethiopia offer. These folks often use the hard currency to import

goods and services directly for their domestic businesses.

1.3. Send money through friends and acquaintances travelling to Ethiopia. This allows your

relatives to exchange the hard currency in the black market at a higher rate than what

the banks offer.

1.4. Send goods such as laptops and cell phones instead of money; your relatives will sell

them for a much better value than they will gain by exchanging the dollar to birr in the

bank.

Zemecha18@gmail.com 202-627-0130

2. If the formal money transfer channels such as Western Union and Money Gram are your

only option and you must send money to Ethiopia, depending on the financial needs of your

relatives, the Task Force encourages you to consider reducing the amount and/or the

frequency of your remittance by up to 30 percent.

3. If your relatives in Ethiopia are financially well-off and your remittance has a relatively

minimal impact on their economic well-being, the Task Force encourages you to consider

stopping sending money altogether for at least a limited time as a show of support to the

life-and-death struggle of our people.

4. As the leaked National Security Council document admitted and the reality on the ground

attests, the two-year long political and economic uncertainty is forcing wealthy Ethiopians

(most of whom are regime-affiliated) to migrate and money-launder their wealth abroad.

Considering this and the desperate need of the regime for hard currency, transferring

money to Ethiopia now for commercial or investment ventures will do more harm than good

to Ethiopia and Ethiopians. The Task Force therefore calls up on Diaspora Ethiopians who

plan to invest in Ethiopia to cancel, delay, or limit their plans or activities for the time being.

Doing so will not only support the popular struggle; it will also safeguard your hard-earned

money given the uncertain economic and political climate in the country.

The people of Ethiopia will be victorious!

Long Live Ethiopia in glory!

Worldwide Ethiopian Joint Task Force

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