The US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced Monday that it was imposing new sanctions over Ethiopia’s Tigray conflict.
There has been ongoing concern for human rights abuses throughout the Tigray conflict. In April, the G7 countries called for an investigation into alleged human rights abuses in the region. The Ethiopian government confirmed in May that three of its soldiers have been convicted and sentenced for rape and one for killing a civilian in connection with the conflict in the Tigray region. In June, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet also condemned the humanitarian crisis in Tigray in a statement delivered at the forty-seventh session of the Human Rights Council.
Ethiopia’s federal government announced a ceasefire in Tigray in July. The Ethiopian National Defense Force and the Provisional Tigray Administration left Tigray’s capital as part of the ceasefire, pausing eight months of war. However, the Tigray Defense Force, a guerrilla warfare group, did not agree to the government’s ceasefire.
On Monday, the OFAC sanctioned the chief of staff of the Eritrean Defense Forces, Filipos Woldeyohannes, for “being a leader or official of an entity that is engaged in serious human rights abuse” committed during the Tigray conflict. He is designated under E.O. 13818, which targets perpetrators of serious human rights abuse and corruption. As a result, all of his property in the US or in control of US individuals are blocked.