The US will impose sanctions against the saboteurs of the peace agreement with Tigray
NAIROBI, Kenya – The US State Department insisted it will impose sanctions on people believed to be saboteurs of the recently signed peace accord, noting that both sides must respect the agreement in addition to ensuring that those who violate human rights are held accountable.
Last week, the African Union team led by former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo and his Kenyan counterpart Uhuru Kenyatta managed to bring together the regional government of Tigray and the federal government of Ethiopia where the peace deal was brokered.
Asked what would happen if Eritrean forces and soldiers from the neighboring Amhara region do not withdraw from the Tigray region as agreed, the official said: “I don’t want to get ahead of ourselves as to what will happen if these commitments are “not followed”, but added that sanctions are always a tool available to Washington.
“The United States always has at its disposal as a policy tool the prospect of sanctions and we will not hesitate to deploy them should it become necessary to hold actors accountable for human rights abuses or to try to ensure that this agreement is respected and held,” the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told reporters, according to Reuters.
According to that official, both the government of Ethiopia and officials in Tigray have confirmed that Eritrean troops are withdrawing from Tigray and Amhara states as part of the peace process. The Eritrean troops have been accused of overseeing mass killings in Tigray for over two years.
The ceasefire agreement was first signed in South Africa before the final part was concluded in Nairobi last week. According to Mr. Kenyatta, the progress report will be submitted when the mediation team visits Mekelle, the regional administrative capital of Tigray, to assess the implementation status.
Troops from neighboring Eritrea, as well as forces from other Ethiopian regions, have been fighting on the side of the Ethiopian army. “It’s early days. It’s promising in terms of the follow-up action that we’re starting to see happen, but you can be sure we’re not going to rest for a minute,” the official said.
Both the United States and the United Nations have closely monitored the situation in Ethiopia that began to unravel in November 2020, leaving thousands dead and millions displaced. The African Union has been a key mediator throughout the process, with the resumption of critical services already reported in Tigray.