U.S. Announces Visa Restrictions for Ethiopian and Eritrean Officials Due to Tigray Conflict

Ethiopians fleeing from the Tigray region walk towards a river to cross from Ethiopia to Sudan, near the Hamdeyat refugee transit camp, which houses refugees fleeing the fighting in the Tigray region, on the border in Sudan, December 1, 2020. REUTERS/Baz Ratner/File Photo

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.

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SOURCE: NPR, Jaclyn Diaz

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