US restricts visas and takes other action against Tigray crisis

Washington (AP) —The United States has begun to limit visas for those who undermine efforts to resolve deadly battles in the Tigray region of Ethiopia. famine.

It is estimated that thousands of people have died during the six months when the conflict between the Ethiopian army and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front has intensified in the northern states. Atrocities such as rape, extrajudicial killings, and deportations are part of violence, claimed by local governments and aid groups.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement on Sunday night, “Despite significant diplomatic involvement, the parties to the Tigray conflict are to end hostilities and seek a peaceful solution to the political crisis. Has not taken any meaningful steps. “

“Without the immediate suspension of hostilities and the rapid expansion of humanitarian access, current serious food insecurity could lead to famine,” Blinken said.

The crisis began in November after Ethiopia accused the former leader of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) for ordering an attack on Ethiopian military bases in the region. Armies dispatched by Ethiopian leader Abiy Ahmed immediately expelled the TPLF from major cities and towns, but the guerrilla battle was still reported throughout the Tigray region. An army from nearby Eritrea has joined to support the Ethiopian army.

In the United States, the Senate passed a resolution last week condemning “all violence against civilians” in Tigray and calling for the withdrawal of troops from Eritrea. Blinken claims that ethnic cleansing was taking place in the western region of Tigray.

In addition to visa restrictions, Blinken said the United States will impose broad restrictions on economic and security assistance to Ethiopia on Sunday night, keeping US defense trade control policies in line with those restrictions. I said I would.

According to Blinken, the United States provides humanitarian assistance and other important assistance to Ethiopia in areas such as health, food security, basic education, women and girls assistance, human rights and democracy, good governance and conflict mitigation. To continue. At the same time, he said, the United States will continue to broadly limit its support for Eritrea.

Blinken cites the provisions of the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act, and visa restrictions are responsible for or involved in undermining current or former Ethiopian or Eritrean government officials, members of security forces, or resolutions. He said it would affect the issuance of visas for other individuals. Of crisis.

According to Blinken, members of the Amharic region and the Irregular Army and the TPLF were included. It also included those who committed illegal violence and other abuses against the people of the region, as well as those who blocked access to humanitarian assistance to the people of the region. Relatives of such persons may also be subject to restrictions, he said.

“The United States is worried about the ongoing crisis in Ethiopia’s Tigray region and other threats to Ethiopia’s sovereignty, national unity and territorial integrity,” Blinken said in a statement.

“The people of Tigray continue to suffer from human rights abuses, abuse and atrocities, and urgent humanitarian relief is thwarted by Ethiopian and Eritrean troops and other militants,” he said.

According to Blinken, the United States has called on the Ethiopian government to take responsibility for all those responsible for human rights abuses and abuses, to protect civilians and to fulfill their commitment not to interfere with humanitarian access.

“The United States has repeatedly called for a lasting and political solution to the crisis,” he said.

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