EU to Propose Targeted Eritrea Sanctions Over Ethiopia Conflict
Bloomberg News, March 22, 2021
The European Union plans to impose targeted sanctions on several individuals in Eritrea for their alleged role in human-rights abuses and atrocities in northern Ethiopia, according to four people familiar with the matter.
The proposal will be made by the European Commission to member states in Brussels on Monday, the people said, declining to be identified because the information isn’t public. EU Foreign Minister Josep Borrell told reporters before the meeting that the bloc plans to discuss “the framework for sanctions against human-rights violations” in Ethiopia and Myanmar, and more details will be released later.
Both the EU and the U.S. have called on Eritrean troops to leave Ethiopia’s embattled Tigray region after reports of looting, sexual violence, assaults in refugee camps and other human rights abuses. The U.S. has urged Europe to increase pressure on Ethiopia and Eritrea to de-escalate the conflict.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken is currently in Brussels for talks with Borrell and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, the people said.
Any proposal to impose sanctions on Eritreans would be “ridiculous,” Eritrean Information Minister Yemane Gebremeskel said by phone. “I can’t see what the rational is even in terms of legality and morality.”