US Sanctions on Eritrea’s Army Chief Blasted as Blackmail

Eritrean foreign ministry blasted on Monday sanctions the US imposed on its army chief General Filipos Woldeyohannes over allegations of serious human rights abuses in war-torn Tigray region of Ethiopia, Al Arabiya TV reports.

The statement noted the rejection, both in letter and spirit as the Ministry says, of the utterly baseless allegations, calling the sanctions blackmail directed against the government of Eritrea.

The Ministry deemed the accusations as “unacceptable” underlining that it’s not the first time for the US to target Eritrea with such baseless smear campaigns and called upon Biden administration to bring this time the case to an independent review along with evidence to prove its allegations.

The US Treasury Department’s statement in Monday informed the US will freeze any property or interests belonging to the chief of staff of the Eritrean Defense Forces (EDF), General Woldeyohannes, in the country and will bar American citizens from doing business with him pointing to his troops’ alleged involvement in massacres, looting, and sexual assaults in Tigray.

According to the Treasury Department, Woldeyohannes was sanctioned under the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act for leading an entity accused of despicable acts and called on Eritrea to permanently remove its soldiers from Tigray region.

Ethiopia’s government, on the other side, denied their presence in the region for months and has rejected international meddling in the issue, accusing humanitarian groups of arming and supporting the Tigray forces.

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