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US sanctions Eritrean army and ruling party for 'contributing to the violence' in Ethiopia

The United States has sanctioned the Eritrean army and the country's ruling party for their role in the Ethiopian conflict. 

In a press release, the US Department of the Treasury announced sanctions on four entities and two individuals "that have contributed to the crisis and conflict" in Ethiopia. 

"The presence of Eritrean forces is an impediment to ending the ongoing fighting and increasing humanitarian access," the press release said. 

The individuals and entities that have been sanctioned are Eritrean Defense Force, the People’s Front for Democracy and Justice, Abraha Kassa Nemariam, Hidri Trust, Hagos Ghebrehiwet W Kidan, and Red Sea Trading Corporation. 

“Treasury will continue to use all our tools and authorities to target and expose those whose actions prolong the crisis in the region, where hundreds of thousands are suffering," said Andrea M. Gacki, Director of the Office of Foreign Assets Control.

"The United States stands ready to pursue additional actions, including against the Government of Ethiopia and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front, if there is not tangible progress toward a cessation of hostilities," she added. 

Eritrea condemned the sanctions, calling them part of the US's "misguided and hostile policy" while the Ethiopian foreign affairs ministry called on the US to revoke the designations. 

The conflict between the Ethiopian government and the Tigray's People's Liberation Front (TPLF) began last year after Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed launched a military offensive against the TPLF. The conflict has killed thousands and left hundreds of thousands facing famine like condiitons. 

Earlier this week, the World Health Organisation (WHO) chief, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said the Tigray region is under “systematic blockade”, and warned that people were starving to death and dying from lack of access to medicine. 

Read more here, here and here


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