The U.S. will strengthen sanctions on Ethiopia and the warring parties

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Ethiopia Update

Washington will increase sanctions on the Ethiopian government of the Horn of Africa and other warring parties, which shows that the Biden administration is increasingly frustrated by its failure to end the 10-month-long destructive conflict.

US President Joe Biden signed an executive order on Friday to establish “a new sanctions regime that will allow us to target those responsible or involved in prolonging the conflict in Ethiopia, obstructing humanitarian access, or preventing the ceasefire.”

According to the latest measures, the United States reserves the right to impose sanctions on those who continue to harm their interests due to conflicts in negotiations, such as the Ethiopian government, the Eritrean government, the Tigray People’s Liberation Front, and the Amhara regional government. The people of Ethiopia,” Biden said in a statement.

Thousands of people are believed to have been killed and hundreds of thousands fled their homes. civil war It broke out in November.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed stated that troops loyal to the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) attacked the Ethiopian army, and then he sent troops to quell the unrest in Tigray.

On Friday, Abbey slammed the so-called “unreasonable pressure” and “double standards” in the United States.

In May, the United States released Visa restrictions and economic sanctions Some officials from Eritrea and Ethiopia. The latter is both a strategic ally of the United States in the conflict-prone Horn of Africa and a close partner of China.

A person close to the US government and another person familiar with the matter in Washington said that the new measures will provide broad freedom to impose sanctions on individuals and entities involved in the conflict.

This may be the prelude to the removal of Ethiopia, with a population of 114 million, from the list of countries eligible for duty-free access to the US market. African Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa), people said.

Ethiopia has used Agoa as a catalyst for its manufacturing strategy, which allows most African countries to enter certain products in the US market duty-free.It exports Commodities worth 245 million U.S. dollars Last year, exports to the United States under the leadership of Agoa accounted for more than 40% of its total exports.

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative stated that at the end of last month, U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai had a virtual meeting with Abiy’s trade and economic adviser Mamo Mihretu. Continued violations of internationally recognized human rights during humanitarian crises”. In a statement. It said that if left unresolved, this may affect Ethiopia’s eligibility for Agoa.

The final decision is expected to be made in November.

Withdrawing Ethiopia from Agoa will damage Ethiopia’s industrial strategy, especially in textiles and leather products, and may damage some Western brands produced in Ethiopia, such as Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger.

Mamo told the Financial Times that entering the US market under Agoa’s leadership has enabled Ethiopia to attract foreign investment into the manufacturing industry, which currently employs tens of thousands of people, of which more than 80% are young women.

“Excluding Ethiopia from Agoa will keep these women away from the dignity of work and turn to the insult of the begging bowl. If Ethiopia deserves the benefits of Agoa, then there is no better time than today, and no more valuable government. “He added.

U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Brinken said late on Friday that the United States will postpone sanctions if the two sides negotiate a ceasefire.

Local authorities stated that since July, the war has spread from Tigray to two other parts of Ethiopia, Amhara and Afar, causing the displacement of hundreds of thousands of people.

Last month, the head of the United States Agency for International Development, Samantha Power, stated that 900,000 people in Tigray are in a famine-like situation, and more than 5 million of them are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance. The Ethiopian government has repeatedly denied blocking food aid to the region and accused the Tigray army of disrupting aid supplies.

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