Ethiopians Protest U.S. Sanctions Over Tigray Conflict

Tens of thousands of Ethiopians attended a rally in the capital of Addis Ababa to denounce the United States for imposing sanctions in aid over the Tigray conflict.

Over 10,000 protesters gathered on May 31 in a rally organized by authorities, criticizing the U.S. for imposing restrictions on economic and security assistance to the East African country.

The U.S. State Department also announced last May 23 that it has started restricting visas on Ethiopian and Eritrean government and military officials who are “responsible for, or complicit in, undermining resolution of the crisis in Tigray.”

The Ethiopian government denounced the U.S. actions as “a resolve to meddle in our internal affairs,” describing it as “misguided” and “regrettable.”

The Ethiopian government also warned that the U.S. sanctions could “seriously undermine” their bilateral relationship.

“We will never kneel down. The preconditions and travel restrictions by the U.S. and its allies are completely unacceptable. It needs to be corrected,” Addis Ababa Mayor Adanech Abebe reportedly said during the rally.

Other Ethiopian cities, including Gambella, Harar, and Diredawa, also held rallies against the U.S., BBC News reported.

The conflict in Ethiopia’s northern region began last November when Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed launched a military offensive, accusing the Tigray People’s Liberation Front, the former ruling party, of attacking federal troops.

Neighboring country Eritrea sent its troops to aid the Ethiopian government.

The conflict has killed thousands of people and displaced at least two million others.

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