Eritrea condemns new United States sanctions

Eritrea on Saturday condemned sanctions imposed on its military and other Eritrea-based individuals and entities by the United States a day earlier, calling them a continuation of Washington’s “misguided and hostile policy”.

The information ministry said in a statement the primary aim of the “illicit and immoral sanctions” was to inflict suffering and starvation on the Eritrean people so as to spur political unrest in the Horn of Africa country.

Washington announced the sanctions on Friday, targeting Eritrea for its role in the year-long war in neighbouring northern Ethiopia. Washington said it was prepared to take action against other parties to the conflict.

War broke out in November 2020 between Ethiopian federal troops and forces loyal to the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), the ruling party of Tigray. Thousands have been killed in the conflict, which has since spread into two neighboring regions in northern Ethiopia.

Ethiopia’s foreign affairs ministry on Saturday denounced the US sanctions. It said in a statement that the Ethiopian government does not believe that Eritrea is an impediment to sustainable peace. It also urged the United States to impose sanctions on the TPLF, which it said was the real threat to peace.

The US Treasury Department blacklisted Eritrea’s military, its ruling political party, the People’s Front for Democracy and Justice (PFDJ); the party’s economic adviser; and the head of the Eritrean national security office, accusing them of contributing to the conflict in Ethiopia.

Early in the war, the Eritrean military sent in tanks and troops to aid its Ethiopian ally, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. Eritrea has also used the conflict to settle old scores in Tigray, Reuters reported this month.

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