Washington [US] August 23 (ANI/Sputnik): The United States has imposed a number of sanctions on the Chief of Staff of the Eritrean Defense Forces Filipos Woldeyohannes, the US Treasury Department announced on Monday.
Eritrean forces have been accused by Washington of partaking in the fighting in northern Ethiopia and perpetrating human rights abuses against civilians in Tigray.
"The following individual has been added to OFAC's [Office of Foreign Assets Control] SDN [Specially Designated Nationals ] List: WOLDEYOHANNES, Filipos..., Shire, Tigray, Ethiopia; Eritrea; DOB 1955; POB Ts'elot, Asmara, Eritrea; nationality Eritrea; Gender Male (individual) [GLOMAG]," the statement said.
The department will continue to take action against those involved in serious human rights abuses, Director of the Office of Foreign Assets Control Andrea M. Gacki said.
"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. We urge Eritrea to immediately and permanently withdraw its forces from Ethiopia, and urge the parties to the conflict to begin ceasefire negotiations and end human rights abuses," she added.
Ethiopia is experiencing a conflict in one of its northern provinces. Fighting in the Tigray region broke out in November after the Ethiopian government accused the local ruling party - Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF) - of attacking a regional military base to hijack weapons and arm the anti-government militia. Eritrea joined the conflict on the side of Addis Ababa shortly thereafter.
An estimated two million of Tigray's six million people are reported to have fled their homes, and an estimated 900,000 people are likely experiencing famine conditions. In addition, about 33,000 severely malnourished children are projected to face imminent risk of death if more aid is not forthcoming to the people of Tigray, according to UN figures. (ANI/Sputnik)