The White House on Friday threatened to impose sanctions against Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and other leaders involved in a conflict gripping the Tigray region, where 10 months of fighting have left hundreds of thousands of people facing famine.
A new executive order allows the U.S. Treasury Department to sanction leaders and groups seen as fueling the violence if they don’t take steps soon to stop the fighting. Senior U.S. officials who previewed the order Thursday said that while it does not set a deadline on the leaders, they wanted to see progress made toward a cease-fire in the coming weeks. But the U.S. officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss White House strategy, said they were not optimistic Abiy would change course.
Abiy’s office responded Friday in a letter addressed to President Joe Biden that said Ethiopia would not “succumb to consequences of pressure.”
The 10-month conflict in Tigray has grown from a political dispute into a more serious war threatening stability in Ethiopia, the second-most populous country in Africa and a key U.S. security ally in the region. The fighting, which involved various forces and soldiers from neighboring Eritrea, has triggered the world’s largest hunger crisis in a decade.
The U.S. and United Nations say Ethiopian troops have prevented passage of trucks carrying food and other aid. Scores of people have starved to death, The Associated Press has reported.
To read the full article from Politico, please click here.