NAIROBI (Somaliguardian) – The United States is considering imposing sanctions against Ethiopian and Eritrean officials complicit in atrocities committed in Ethiopia’s Tigray since allied forces launched an operation to topple the region’s long-time ruling party in November of last year, Foreign Policy has reported on Friday.
There has been discussion about introducing sanctions against Ethiopian or Eritrean officials believed to have played a role in the human rights violations committed in the northern Ethiopian region, though no final decision has not been made.
Biden administration plans to ratchet up pressure on Abiy Ahmed by suspending security assistance funding to Ethiopia and targeting World Bank and International Monetary Fund programs in the country, officials familiar with the matter said.
Washington has shown growing frustrations with Abiy Ahmed for his handling of the conflict and failure to address mounting international concerns over the ensuing humanitarian crisis, and calls for him to defuse conflict fell on deaf ears.
The Ethiopian federal government has slammed criticism of its handling of the crisis and vowed that those accountable for atrocities in Tigray region will be held accountable.
Addis Ababa earlier announced that Eritrean troops had begun to withdraw from the war-wrecked region, though a recent CNN investigation and UN officials disputed the assertion and confirmed forces from the neighboring country are still manning bases, towns and security checkpoints across northern Ethiopia.
The conflict in Tigray has killed an estimated thousands of people and displaced more than 1.7 million people across the region, triggering one of the worst humanitarian crisis the country has ever witnessed that could have knock-on effects in neighboring countries.
The expected US announcement on visa restrictions comes ahead of elections set to be held in Ethiopia on June 21, which many say is a test of whether reforms pushed through by Ahmed will take root.
US Senate on Thursday unanimously approved a resolution calling for the immediate withdrawal of Eritrean forces from Tigray region, after a CNN investigation revealed that Asmara’s forces disguised as Ethiopian troops were blocking humanitarian aid deliveries to Tigray.
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