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Blinken: US Ready to Delay New Sanctions if Ethiopia and Eritrea Act to Resolve Conflict

© REUTERS / International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)Workers from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and volunteers from the Ethiopian Red Cross distribute relief supplies to civilians in the Tigray region, Ethiopia 27 January 2021.
Workers from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and volunteers from the Ethiopian Red Cross distribute relief supplies to civilians in the Tigray region, Ethiopia 27 January 2021. - Sputnik International, 1920, 17.09.2021
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WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The US government has issued an executive order imposing new sanctions on individuals and organisations involved in the escalating conflict in Ethiopia, but will delay imposing them if both sides rapidly act to resolve their dispute, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Friday.

"In the midst of ongoing violence, abuses against civilians, and growing humanitarian plight in Ethiopia, President [Joe] Biden today signed an Executive Order establishing a new sanctions regime in response to the crisis", Blinken said in a statement. "Eritrean forces should immediately and permanently withdraw from Ethiopia".

Through the new order, the United States will be able to impose financial sanctions on individuals and entities in connection with the conflict.
© REUTERS / STRINGERA tank damaged during the fighting between Ethiopia?s National Defense Force (ENDF) and Tigray Special Force stands on the outskirts of Humera town in Ethiopia July 1, 2021 Picture taken July 1, 2021
A tank damaged during the fighting between Ethiopia?s National Defense Force (ENDF) and Tigray Special Force stands on the outskirts of Humera town in Ethiopia July 1, 2021 Picture taken July 1, 2021 - Sputnik International, 1920, 17.09.2021
A tank damaged during the fighting between Ethiopia?s National Defense Force (ENDF) and Tigray Special Force stands on the outskirts of Humera town in Ethiopia July 1, 2021 Picture taken July 1, 2021
However, if the parties take immediate steps to end the fighting and negotiate a peaceful solution, the United States is prepared to delay imposing sanctions, the report said.

"This conflict has sparked one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world, with more than five million people requiring assistance, of which over 900,000 are living in famine conditions. This new tool underscores our resolve to use every appropriate tool at our disposal to bring relief to the long-suffering people of the region", the report added.

The governments of Ethiopia and Eritrea, the Amhara regional government and the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF) have failed to stop fighting and invest in diplomacy required to solve the ongoing crisis. Instead, violence has escalated and spread, and human rights abuses and obstruction of humanitarian access continue, according to the statement.
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