Washington, D.C. – Today, Representative Gregory W. Meeks, Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, issued the following statement regarding the Biden Administration’s newly imposed sanctions in response to the ongoing conflict in Ethiopia:
“I strongly support President Biden’s executive order establishing a new sanctions regime against those responsible for the atrocities and prolonged conflict in Ethiopia. This action imposes targeted measures against culpable actors and not innocent Ethiopian people who have been victimized by this crisis.
“The ongoing delays and denials of humanitarian access into Tigray and parts of Northern Ethiopia are worsening an already dire situation. More than 2 million Ethiopians have been displaced by this conflict within Ethiopia and into neighboring Sudan. An estimated 900,000 people are at risk of starvation in Tigray, and more than 5 million people are in need of emergency assistance. Parties to the conflict must immediately allow regular, unimpeded humanitarian access to those in need in Tigray, and restore electricity, telecommunications, and other essential services to the civilian population. Credible reports of gender-based violence, ethnic-based extrajudicial killings and other atrocities committed against civilians must also be investigated, and those responsible held accountable.
“The United States has provided nearly $600 million in humanitarian assistance to those affected by the conflict in Tigray, and we are proud of our partners on the ground who have worked tirelessly to provide food, shelter, and support to survivors of gender-based violence and others affected by this conflict. I continue to call on all parties to the conflict to commit to a true ceasefire and come to the negotiating table in good faith to finally bring peace to the Ethiopian people. We will continue working with our partners and allies to use all available diplomatic tools to support a peaceful solution to this conflict.”