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Blinken calls on the international community to support America's actions against Ethiopia because of Tigray

US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken sent a strongly-worded message to the government of Ethiopia regarding the Tigray region crisis, and announced the imposition of sanctions, including restrictions on economic and security aid to Addis Ababa, and the imposition of visa restrictions on former and current Ethiopian and Eritrean officials whose role in the crisis has been proven.

 In a statement to Blinken published on the US State Department website, the minister called on the international community to move and join Washington in the measures that have been taken. The following is the text of the statement:

The United States has deep concerns about the ongoing crisis in the Tigray region of Ethiopia, as well as other threats to the integrity of national unity and the territorial integrity of Ethiopia.

 People in Tigray continue to suffer from human rights violations and atrocities, and the urgently needed humanitarian relief is obstructed by the Eritrean and Ethiopian armies as well as by other armed parties. Despite extensive diplomatic contact, the parties to the conflict in Tigray have not taken meaningful steps to end hostilities or seek a peaceful solution to the political crisis. The United States condemns in the strongest terms the killing, forced ousting, systematic sexual violence, and other human rights abuses and violations. We are horrified at the scale of the destruction of civilian property, including water resources, hospitals and medical facilities, that is happening in Tigray. We call on the Ethiopian government to fulfill its public obligations to hold accountable all those responsible for human rights violations and abuses, to protect civilians and to ensure unimpeded humanitarian access.

We also call on the Eritrean government to fulfill its stated obligations and to immediately return its forces to the internationally recognized Eritrean territory. Without an immediate cessation of hostilities and a rapid expansion of humanitarian access, the current and massive food insecurity can lead to famine.

It is time for the international community to act now. The visa restrictions policy was announced under Article 212 (a) (3) (c) of the Immigration and Nationality Law regarding the issuance of visas to any current or former Ethiopian or Eritrean government official, any member of the security forces, or other individuals including the Amhara regional and irregular forces. And members of the Tigray People's Liberation Front, responsible or complicit in undermining the solution to the crisis in Tigray. This includes those who have committed unlawful acts of violence or other abuses against people in the Tigray region of Ethiopia, as well as those who have impeded humanitarian access to those in the area. Family members of these individuals may also be subject to these restrictions. If those responsible for undermining the solution to the crisis in Tigre do not reverse course, they should expect more actions from the United States and the international community, and we call on other governments to join us in taking these measures.

In addition, we have imposed wide-ranging restrictions on economic and security assistance to Ethiopia, and we will align our defense trade control policy with it. We will continue humanitarian assistance and some other important assistance to Ethiopia in areas such as health, food security, basic education, girls' support, human rights, democracy, good governance and conflict mitigation, in accordance with the available authorities. The United States will continue its current broad restrictions on aid to Eritrea.

The United States reiterates its calls for a lasting political solution to the crisis, and we are committed to supporting efforts to resolve the crisis in Tigray and helping Ethiopians advance reconciliation and dialogue to overcome current divisions.