Fri, 12 Nov 2021 - 09:10 GMT
Fri, 12 Nov 2021 - 09:10 GMT
CAIRO – 12 November 2021: The United States imposed Friday sanctions on four Eritrean entities and two individuals in connection with the crisis in Ethiopia.
According to a statement issued by the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), the action targets Eritrean actors ‘that have contributed to the crisis and conflict, which have undermined the stability and integrity of the Ethiopian state.’
“We condemn the continued role played by Eritrean actors who are contributing to the violence in northern Ethiopia, which has undermined the stability and integrity of the state and resulted in a humanitarian disaster,” said Director of the Office of Foreign Assets Control Andrea M. Gacki.
“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. Parties to the conflict must come to the negotiating table without preconditions. 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.” He added.
The statement named the designated individuals and entities as: “the 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.”
The United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced the sanctions on twitter saying that “The Eritrean presence in Ethiopia has exacerbated the conflict and hindered humanitarian access. Eritrea must withdraw troops immediately.”
The United States is designating six Eritrean entities and individuals in connection with the ongoing violence in Ethiopia. The Eritrean presence in Ethiopia has exacerbated the conflict and hindered humanitarian access. Eritrea must withdraw troops immediately.— Secretary Antony Blinken (@SecBlinken) November 12, 2021
The Tigray People Liberation Front (TPLF) announced earlier this week that its forces lie 270 kilometers away from Addis Ababa, as reported by Al Arabiyah, warning it would enter the city, if Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed does not resign.
It is noted that a number of countries are withdrawing their staff in the country as a result. They also advised expats to leave, if their presence is not necessary. Those include the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, and Lebanon.
The TPLF had allied with other eight armed groups, including ones affiliated to the Oromo ethnicity, to which the incumbent Ethiopian prime minister belongs.
The newly announced alliance against Ethiopia's government said, last week that they're "weeks to months" away from entering Addis Ababa, according to CNN.
The allied forces claimed that they are now in control of a town about 160 kilometers (99 miles) from the capital city.
Spokesperson of the Oromo Liberation Army (OLA) Odaa Tarbii Told CNN that this timeline is an estimate based on the current speed of the push south.
The alliance which was announced earlier Friday in formed of nearly nine rebel forces including the Tigray forces. This alliance seeks a political transition after a year of the disturbing war that raised a lot of concern over the political and humanitarian situation in the country.
The OLA, and other allied groups said that moving on Addis Ababa is not their main objective. Instead, it is calling for Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed to be removed, and to announce a transitional conference until holding truly democratic election, according to Tarbii statements.
From his part, Abiy Ahmed has been calling on civilians to confront these groups and get weapons to stop them; accordingly, both of Facebook and twitter have deleted the Ethiopian Prime Minster tweets and posts for being ‘hate, violent speech’ and ‘incites for violence’
The conflict between Tigray and the federal government has been ongoing since November 1, 2020, as a result of the former's objection of the postponement of elections, and the marginalization of politicians affiliated to the TPLF, that used to be an integral part of the consecutive governments for decades.