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US Congressional Call for Ethiopian Crown’s Restitution As Stabilizing Factor for Horn of Africa

In an important policy statement in the US Congress this week, the Chairman of the House of Representatives Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare called for the restoration of the Ethiopian Monarchy as a means of helping stop “the building crisis and slide toward a regional and fratricidal war” in the Horn of Africa.

Congressman Jim Saxton (Republican, New Jersey) also called for support for His Imperial Highness Prince Ermias Sahle-Selassie Haile-Selassie, President of the Crown Council of Ethiopia, “who has repeatedly exeplified the capable, unifying symbolism which Ethiopia desperately needs”. Congressman Saxton is also a member of the National Security Committee. He made his remarks on the floor of the House of Representatives on February 9.

The full text of his statement is as follows:

Mr SAXTON. Mr Speaker, if permitted to escalate, the mounting crisis in the Horn of Africa will have dire ramifications on the strategic posture of the United States. Presently, there is no end in sight, other than war, in this Ethiopia-Eritrea conflict. The mediation of Assistant Secretary of State Susan Rice and former National Security Advisor Anthony Lake have so far failed to reverse the slide toward war. Vital interests of the United States, Israel and the West are jeopardized, particularly if the Islamist-supported further break-up of Ethiopia is permitted to occur.

A unified Ethiopia is vital to the regional security and economic structure. If Ethiopia were to become fragmented, as Sudanese leaders seek, then Israel’s economic and military security, as well as its access to the Red Sea would be jeopardized. Instability in Ethiopia would destabilize Egypt and Saudi Arabia and the vital Red Sea-Suez trade link.

The key to the reversal of the Ethiopia-Eritrea conflict and the ensuing fragmentation of Ethiopia lies in the rejuvenation of Ethiopia’s national identity. Toward this end, the US needs to help Ethiopia find the unifying symbols to strengthen the country and ensure its commitment to moderation. Until 1974, Ethiopia, the region and the US benefited greatly from the statesmanship and friendship of Emperor Haile Selassie. Ethiopia has since declined into ethnic enclaves and divisiveness, and lays open to Eritrean, Sudanese and irridentist attacks.

The Ethiopian Crown today is a Constitutional Monarchy, ready to return home to provide the inspirational symbolism under which elected day-to-day government can emerge and flourish. Moreover, the stature of the Crown throughout the Horn of Africa makes the Crown uniquely capable of mediating an indigenous solution to the building crisis and slide toward a regional and fratricidal war. The President of the Ethiopian Crown Council and grandson of Emperor Haile Selassie is Prince Ermias Sahle-Selassie, who has repeatedly exemplified the capable, unifying symbolism which Ethiopia desperately needs. By encouraging Prince Ermias’s use of the prestige of the Crown and Ethiopia’s traditional elders and institutions to resolve conflict, we can help heal the rifts which are a legacy of decades of civil strife.

Mr Speaker, I therefore urge Ethiopia’s civil government to allow the Crown’s return to help unify and stabilize the State, and thereby help preserve Ethiopian, regional and Western security and economic interests.