The United States has imposed sanctions related to the situation in Ethiopia against two individuals and four entities, including against the Eritrean Defense Forces, the US Department of the Treasury said in a statement on Friday.
“The Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has issued Ethiopia General License 4, ‘Authorizing the Wind Down of Transactions Involving Hidri Trust or Red Sea Trading Corporation,'” the statement said.
The sanctions target senior Eritrean military officer Abraha Kassa, Eritrean diplomat Hagos Ghebrehiwet and the Eritrean Defense Forces, the Hidri Trust group, the People’s Front for Democracy and Justice organization as well as the Red Sea Trading Corporation.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said earlier that Eritrea’s presence in Ethiopia is prolonging the conflict and is posing a significant obstacle to a cessation of hostilities.
“Credible accounts implicate Eritrean forces in serious human rights abuses, and the United States remains gravely concerned about the conduct of all parties to the conflict. Eritrean forces should immediately withdraw from Ethiopia,” Blinken said.
Ethiopia has been engulfed in an internal conflict since November of last year when the central government accused the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) of attacking a military base and launched a counter operation in the northern parts of the country. Hostilities have since been ongoing on despite a June ceasefire.
Earlier this month, the country declared a six-month state of emergency nationwide as TPLF rebels threatened to advance on the capital of Addis Ababa.