The U.S. has announced visa restrictions on Ethiopian and Eritrean officials accused of perpetuating the months-long violence in Ethiopia’s Tigray region, saying those involved have “taken no meaningful steps to end hostilities.”
Secretary of State Anthony Blinken announced Sunday that that the U.S. has also imposed restrictions on economic and security assistance to Ethiopia but will continue to provide humanitarian aid including health, food, education, human rights, democracy and other areas. The aid restrictions will also be imposed on Eritrea.
Prior to Sunday’s announcement, the Biden administration repeatedly called for an immediate withdrawal of Eritrean and Amhara forces from Tigray and asked the African Union to help resolve the crisis.
Since the conflict began in November, thousands of people have died and at least 2 million have been displaced.
“The United States condemns in the strongest terms the killings, forced removals, systemic sexual violence, and other human rights violations and abuses,” Blinken said. “We are equally appalled by the destruction of civilian property including water sources, hospitals, and medical facilities, taking place in Tigray.”
Blinken continued, saying, “We call for the Eritrean government to live up to its public commitment and immediately return its troops to internationally recognized Eritrean territory.”
Sunday’s announcement is just the latest step from the international community to hold those responsible for the violence in Tigray accountable. The European Union delayed their budget support payments to Ethiopia amid reports of the crisis.
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