Ethiopia on Saturday denounced new U.S. sanctions on neighbouring Eritrea over Asmara’s role in the deadly conflict pitting Ethiopian forces against Tigrayan rebels, calling on Washington to “rescind its decision”.
“The real target for sanctions and further tougher actions by the U.S. government and the greater international community should be directed towards the TPLF,” Ethiopia’s foreign ministry said, referring to the Tigray People’s Liberation Front rebel group.
Statement on the US Government Sanctions Imposed on the Eritrean Government.
The Government of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia denounces the announcement of the United States on November 12, 2021, to impose sanctions on the State of Eritrea. We believe the US has failed to consider important facts:
1. The Tigray Peoples Liberation Front (TPLF) fired rockets at a sovereign country, Eritrea, following its unprovoked attack on the Northern Command of Ethiopia’s National Defense Forces on November 3, 2020.
2. It is the sovereign right of the Eritrean Government to respond to imminent danger to its territorial integrity and security.
3. The Government of Ethiopia has never lodged any grievances to the international community regarding the initial presence of Eritrean forces on its soil in defense of their territorial integrity. The prerogative to put forth such a complaint lies with the Government of Ethiopia and not any other country.
4. The Government of Eritrea has evacuated its military forces from Ethiopia following the declaration of the Unilateral Humanitarian Ceasefire by the Government of Ethiopia at the end of June 2021.
5. The Government of Ethiopia does not believe that the State of Eritrea is an impediment to sustainable peace in Ethiopia. The real and present threat to peace in Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa Region is the continued belligerence and aggression of the TPLF. We reiterate that the international community’s reluctance to strongly condemn the destabilizing roles of the TPLF has emboldened the terrorist group.
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If the purpose of sanctions is to compel parties to cease their destabilizing actions, the Ethiopian Government strongly believes that the real target for sanctions and further tougher actions by the US Government and the greater international community should be directed towards the TPLF.
We, therefore, implore the US Government to rescind its decision to impose sanctions on the State of Eritrea and to take actions against the real root cause of the current challenges in Ethiopia-the TPLF.
13 November 2021
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