Biden Administration Plans Visa Restrictions on Ethiopian Officials Over Tigray

" Biden administration plans to further ratchet up pressure on Abiy in other ways, including upholding a halt on U.S. security assistance funding to Ethiopia and targeting World Bank and International Monetary Fund programs in the country. Officials said there are ongoing discussions about possibly leveling sanctions against Ethiopian or Eritrean officials complicit in Tigray atrocities, but no final decisions have been made."

Crazy world we are living in. Sudan is coming out of isolation, Ethiopia is going into isolation.

United States’ Actions to Press for the Resolution of the Crisis in the Tigray Region of Ethiopia

Ethiopia could ‘reassess’ relations with US


AFPCopyright: AFP

Mr Abiy’s government has said it will not discuss peace with the TPLFImage caption: Mr Abiy’s government has said it will not discuss peace with the TPLF

Ethiopia will “reassess” its relationship with the US if it continues to “meddle in its internal affairs”, the country’s ministry of foreign affairs has announced.

It was reacting to the US’s decision to impose wide-ranging restrictions on economic and security assistance to Ethiopia over the conflict in the Tigray region.

In a statement the foreign ministry called the decision, which also involved visa restrictions on unnamed officials, “regrettable”.

The Ethiopian authorities say they have been engaging with international partners, including the US, to improve humanitarian access to the conflict-hit Tigray region.

It however said it would not negotiate with Tigray People’s Liberation Front ( TPLF), the party that used to govern the northern region.

“The government cannot be compelled to sit down and negotiate with TPLF”, an organisation it had labelled “terrorist”, the ministry said.

The US Secretary of State Antony Blinken had said that international action was needed to help resolve the crisis and said those involved had taken no meaningful steps to end hostilities.

Thousands of people have been killed and many more displaced since the conflict began six months ago.

The foreign ministry statement also criticised the timing of the US’s action as the country prepares for elections on 21 June.

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed is seeking a popular mandate since he came into office in 2018 after his predecessor resigned following mass protests.

Press Release

Last Sunday, May 23rd, the US State Department issued a Press Release that announces, among other matters, “Visa restriction policy…on the issuance of visas for any current or former Eritrean government officials, members of the security forces, or other individuals, responsible, complicit in, undermining resolution of the crisis in Tigray” Region of Ethiopia.

Eritrea is dismayed by the content and language of this announcement. The crisis in Tigray Region of Ethiopia unfolded solely due to the dangerous acts of military insurrection that the now defunct TPLF group launched on 3 November 2020. This premeditated act of unprecedented scale and gravity was endorsed by the TPLF Central Committee in the preceding days and audaciously announced by its spokesperson as a “blitzkrieg” that will achieve its objectives soon after it was launched. The TPLF’s military scheme was not confined to Ethiopia but also included Eritrea as a target.

The extreme danger and turmoil that would have ensued in Ethiopia, Eritrea and the Horn of Africa region as a whole had the TPLF’s original scheme succeeded is too evident to merit further explanation. To gloss over these facts and point an accusing finger on Eritrea defies logic and is unwarranted by any standards.

Furthermore, the timing of the announcement – made on the eve of Eritrea’s Independence Day – exceeds minimal bounds of civility and propriety. And irrespective of their actual ramifications, the announced measures cannot promote legality as well as regional peace and security.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs


25 May 2021