Aug 23, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Treasury sanctions Eritrean official for abuses in Ethiopia's Tigray region

The U.S. Treasury Department in Washington, D.C.

Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The U.S. Treasury on Monday sanctioned the Eritrean army's chief of staff for his connection to human rights abuses in the ongoing conflict in Ethiopia.

Why it matters: Treasury said the forces are responsible for massacres, looting and sexual assaults. The Eritrean Defense Forces have also "raped, tortured, and executed civilians; they have also destroyed property and ransacked businesses," the U.S. department wrote.

The big picture: The sanctions against General Filipos Woldeyohannes come amid violence in the area, which has led to the displacement of numerous people residing in Tigray and surrounding regions.

  • More than 400,000 people experiencing famine conditions in the region, according to Treasury.

What they're saying: “The Treasury Department will continue to take action against those involved in serious human rights abuse around the world,” Director of the Office of Foreign Assets Control Andrea Gacki said in a statement.

  • "Today’s action demonstrates the United States’ commitment to imposing costs on those responsible for these despicable acts, which worsen a conflict that has led to tremendous suffering by Ethiopians," she continued.
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