Antony J. Blinken, Secretary of State
The United States is designating six targets associated with the Eritrean government and ruling party pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 14046, which the President signed in September in response to the conflict in Ethiopia.
Eritrea’s destabilizing presence in Ethiopia is prolonging the conflict, posing a significant obstacle to a cessation of hostilities, and threatening the integrity of the Ethiopian state. Credible accounts implicate Eritrean forces in serious human rights abuses, and the United States remains gravely concerned about the conduct of all parties to the conflict. Eritrean forces should immediately withdraw from Ethiopia.
We welcome the diplomatic efforts by AU High Representative Olusegun Obasanjo and urge the Government of Ethiopia and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) to seize the opportunity to negotiate a cessation of hostilities without preconditions and commit to unhindered humanitarian access. Although today’s designations are directed at the Eritrean government and ruling party, the United States remains gravely concerned about the conduct of all parties to the conflict. We are not imposing sanctions at this time on elements aligned with the Government of Ethiopia and TPLF to allow time and space to see if these talks can make progress. If the parties fail to make meaningful progress, the United States stands ready to pursue additional sanctions, including against the Government of Ethiopia and the TPLF.
Today’s designations demonstrate that the United States will use all appropriate tools at our disposal to impose tangible costs on those prolonging the conflict and to promote an immediate end to the violence. These designations build upon the United States’ previous actions to press the parties to move toward a cessation of hostilities and a peaceful resolution to the conflict.
These measures are not directed at the people of Eritrea, Ethiopia, or the greater Horn of Africa Region; they are calibrated to impose costs on those prolonging the crisis. The U.S. Department of the Treasury has taken a series of steps to permit the continued flow of food, medicine, and humanitarian support to Eritrea, including issuing three general licenses and guidance concurrently with the announcement of E.O. 14046 and additional guidance concurrent with this announcement.