U imposes visa restrictions on Ethiopian, Eritrean officials over Tigray

WASHINGTON (AA) – The US imposed visa restrictions Sunday on current and former Ethiopian and Eritrean government officials, members of the security forces and other individuals for their alleged role in undermining the resolution of the crisis in Ethiopia’s Tigray region.

In a statement, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the US has deepening concerns about the ongoing crisis in Tigray and people there continue to suffer human rights violations, abuses and atrocities.

“The time for action from the international community is now,” said Blinken.

In addition, Blinken said Washington has imposed “wide-ranging restrictions on economic and security assistance to Ethiopia and will bring our defense trade control policy in line with them.”

The top diplomat also pledged that the US will “continue humanitarian assistance and certain other critical aid to Ethiopia in areas such as health, food security, basic education, support for women and girls, human rights and democracy, good governance, and conflict mitigation consistent with available authorities.”

He also reiterated the US’ call for “a durable, political solution to the crisis.”

The Tigray region came under the international spotlight after Nov. 4 last year, when Ethiopia launched a massive law enforcement operation against the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF).

On Nov. 3, TPLF forces attacked the Northern Command of the Ethiopian defense forces stationed in Tigray state, including in the capital Mekele, killing soldiers and looting a sizable amount of military hardware.

On Nov. 28, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed ended the military operation, but sporadic fighting continued in the state. Hundreds of thousands of people were displaced while tens of thousands of others fled the fighting to neighboring Sudan.

Source: Anadolu Agency