New Ethiopia Sanctions Authorized By Biden Executive Order Amid Reports Of Atrocities - Cnnpolitics

New Ethiopia Sanctions Authorized By Biden Executive Order Amid Reports Of Atrocities - Cnnpolitics

Biden signs executive order authorizing new Ethiopia sanctions amid reports of atrocities

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9/17/2021 5:21:00 PM

President Joe Biden signed a new executive order Friday authorizing broad sanctions against those involved in perpetrating the ongoing conflict in Ethiopia as reports of atrocities continue to emerge from the Tigray region.

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The administration did not immediately impose sanctions under the new order, but"is prepared to take aggressive action" unless the parties -- including the Ethiopian government, the Eritrean government, the Tigray People's Liberation Front, and the Amhara Regional Government --"take meaningful steps to enter into talks for a negotiated ceasefire and allow for unhindered humanitarian access," a senior administration official told reporters.This official said the administration is looking to see action within"weeks, not months." Biden approved the executive order after the administration has"telegraphed for months that the parties need to change course," a second senior administration official said."The ongoing conflict in northern Ethiopia is a tragedy causing immense human suffering and threatens the unity of the Ethiopian state," Biden said in a statement Friday.'A different path is possible'Read More"The United States is determined to push for a peaceful resolution of this conflict, and we will provide full support to those leading mediation efforts," Biden said in a statement. He continued,"I join leaders from across Africa and around the world in urging the parties to the conflict to halt their military campaigns respect human rights, allow unhindered humanitarian access, and come to the negotiating table without preconditions. Eritrean forces must withdraw from Ethiopia.""A different path is possible but leaders must make the choice to pursue it," the President said.The executive order reflects a growing sense of urgency at the situation in Tigray, where humanitarian access to deliver critically needed food, fuel and medicine has been largely cut off and hundreds of thousands face famine.Men are marched out of prison camps. Then corpses float down the riverCNN has uncovered evidence that mass detention, sexual violence, and killings that bear the hallmarks of genocide have occurred in Tigray. Those investigations have spurred Congress to ratchet up pressure on the administration to take action, according to one Senate aide, who noted that lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are pushing for the administration to not only name sanctions targets, but also make a determination on whether the atrocities that have taken place constitute genocide.The aide told CNN the US Embassies in Ethiopia and Eritrea have identified names of some potential sanctions targets.In the statement Friday, Biden said he is"appalled by the reports of mass murder, rape, and other sexual violence to terrorize civilian populations."The administration officials acknowledged that the situation in Tigray has deteriorated in recent months and voiced concern that violence could soon escalate as the rainy season comes to an end, allowing for greater movement in the region.Biden White House

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