US sanctions Eritrean government and army for role in civil war in Ethiopia

The United States has imposed economic sanctions against the Eritrean army and Unity Party for their role in human rights violations in neighboring Ethiopia. Eritrean troops, together with the Ethiopian army, invaded the Northern Province of Tigray last year, although they have now been largely driven out.

According to Washington, there is sufficient evidence that Eritrean military personnel have plundered extensively, raped women, murdered civilians and stopped humanitarian aid. Eritrea’s army invaded the Northern Province of Tigray last year with Ethiopia’s permission. Along with Ethiopian troops, the Eritrean soldiers seemed to have occupied the region, but since the summer they have been driven out by their hereditary enemy, the people’s Liberation Front of Tigray (TPLF).

Eritrea had initially denied having troops in Tigray, but later admitted it. These troops are accused of the most serious crimes against the civilian population of Tigray, even though the Ethiopian troops were involved. However, their enemy, the Tigreese TPLF, would also have taken revenge.

The US is now imposing sanctions on the Eritrean army and the Unity Party that is firmly ruling that country, as well as on a few companies that support the regime. The sanctions do not apply to Eritrean president Isaias Afwerki.

In the long term, America is also threatening to impose sanctions on groups in Ethiopia that want to continue the war. This applies to the regime of the Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and his top men, but also to the Tigre front TPLF, with whom he is struggling.

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