US 'Absolutely Prepared' to Sanction Persons Blocking Ceasefire in Ethiopia - State Department
WASHINGTON, October 22 (Sputnik) - US State Department spokesperson Ned Price said on Friday that the Biden administration is fully prepared to impose sanctions on persons preventing a ceasefire in Ethiopia's Tigray region.
"We are absolutely prepared to take action under this EO [Executive Order] to impose targeted sanctions against those responsible for the ongoing crisis," Price said during a telephone briefing.
On September 17, President Joe Biden issued an executive order authorizing new sanctions on individuals and organizations involved in the escalating conflict in Ethiopia, but action has been delayed as the US administration waits to see if the warring parties resolve their dispute soon.
Price said the Biden administration is currently working on measures to mitigate any unintended effects the sanctions could potentially have on the Ethiopian people or the region.
The internal conflict in Ethiopia erupted in the northern Ethiopian region of Tigray in November 2020 as the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF), a major local political force, attacked a military base and the Ethiopian government launched a counter-operation.
Earlier in October, the Ethiopian military launched a new major offensive on TPLF positions in northern Ethiopia, including airstrikes.