The State Department announced Sunday visa restrictions for Ethiopian and Eritrean government officials and members of security forces over atrocities tied to a months-long conflict in northern Ethiopia.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken also announced that the U.S. has imposed wide-ranging restrictions on economic and security assistance to Ethiopia after parties to the conflict in Tigray have “taken no meaningful steps to end hostilities.”
The U.S. will continue with humanitarian assistance and other critical aid to Ethiopia including health, food, education, human rights, democracy, and other areas. The Biden administration will continue with its broad restrictions on aid to Eritrea.
Prior to taking these steps, the Biden administration had repeatedly called for the immediate withdrawal of Eritrean and Amhara forces from the Tigray region and asked for the African Union to help resolve the crisis, to no avail.
Thousands of people have died since November in the conflict in Ethiopia’s northernmost region. At least 2 million people are reported to have been displaced.
Tigray borders Eritrea and is home to most of Ethiopia’s estimated 7 million ethnic Tigrayans. In early November, the regional government — controlled by the Tigray People’s Liberation Front, a leftist political party — launched a full-scale siege of a key Ethiopian military base at Sero. Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed ordered a federal offensive against the region in response, setting off the conflict.