WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The United States on Monday imposed sanctions on an Eritrean official it accused of being engaged in serious human rights abuse in the conflict in Ethiopia’s Tigray region, as Washington warned it would continue to target those involved in prolonging the conflict.
The U.S. Treasury Department in a statement said it blacklisted Filipos Woldeyohannes, the chief of staff of the Eritrean Defense Forces (EDF). The Treasury said he commands EDF forces that have been operating in Tigray.
The Treasury accused the forces of being responsible for massacres, sexual assaults and purposely shooting civilians in the streets, among other human rights abuses.
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“The United States will continue to identify and pursue action against those involved in serious human rights abuse in Ethiopia and prolonging the ongoing conflict and humanitarian crisis,” U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a separate statement.
The Eritrean Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a statement said it rejected Washington’s action on Monday, adding that the accusations are “utterly baseless.”