Four leading Ethiopian-American civic organizations: Global Ethiopian American Advocacy Nexus (GLEAN); Worldwide Ethiopian Action Fund (WEAF); Ethiopian-American Development Council (EADC); and Unity for Human Rights and Democracy (UHRD) have initiated steps towards criminal investigation of individuals for potential violation of the Neutrality Act, 18 U.S. Code § 956 and 18 U.S.C. § 371 by conspiring, aiding, or counseling the violent removal of a democratically elected government of Ethiopia, an East African country.
A statement from law firm of Demissie and Church addressed to the Acting Chief of Criminal Investigation Division, U.S. Department of Justice, Jay Greenberg entitled “Request for Investigation and Prosecution of Potential Violation of Federal Laws” the organizations provided series of evidence suggesting undue interference in Ethiopia’s internal affairs.
The request a full investigation of the potential crimes by four civic associations and entities, on behalf of their members, allegedly committed by the FBI and prosecution by DOJ of individuals who collaborated, assisted, counselled, or aided the Tigray Peoples Liberation Front (TPLF) and its affiliates in its effort to overthrow the government of Ethiopia was copied to key Biden administration officials and Congressional leaders including Robert J. Smolich, Dept of State, Deputy Assistant Inspector General/Acting Assistant Inspector General, Jay Greenberg (Acting Head) FBI Criminal Investigation Division, Senator Bob Menedez, Chairman, Senator James Risch, Ranking Member, Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Congressman Gregory W. Meeks, Chairman, Congressman Michael McCaul, Ranking Member, House Foreign Relations Committee, Karen Bass, Chair, House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa, Matthew Olsen, Assistant Attorney General for National Security, Damian Williams, US Atty. For Southern District of New York, Rachel Honig, Acting U.S. Attorney for District of New Jersey, US Atty. For the District of Georgia, Rachel Honig, Damian Williams, U.S. Attorney’s Office – Southern District of New York, Acting U.S. Attorney for District of New Jersey, US Attorney’s Office.
According to the law firm, a renowned Ethiopian historian, Jeffery Pierce, obtained and publicly released a video recording of a zoom meeting between several individuals and a leader of an armed insurgent group that is actively engaged in committing various acts of terror in the Northern part of Ethiopia. The video depicts many former high-ranking officials of several countries and a former US Ambassador to Ethiopia openly encouraging, counseling, and promoting the imminent removal of the democratically elected government by violent means.
The meeting does not appear to have the purpose of promoting peace, said the law firm’s document. None of the participants attempted to discourage the representative of the terror group from engaging in continued violence. There was no comment made to challenge his pronouncement of his group’s commitment to overthrow the government of Ethiopia. There was no question or comment about his group’s well-documented and widely publicized acts of terror and crimes against humanity.