US State Department: Sanctioning Eritrean Military Leader

Washington, DC (STL.News) Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken released the following statement:

The United States is designating the Eritrean Defense Forces (EDF) Chief of Staff General Filipos Woldeyohannes (Filipos) for his connection with serious human rights abuse committed during the ongoing conflict in Ethiopia.  Filipos is designated pursuant to Executive Order 13818, which builds upon and implements the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act and targets perpetrators of serious human rights abuse and corruption around the world. Filipos commands all of the EDF forces that have committed serious human rights abuses in Ethiopia throughout the conflict.

Under Filipos’ command, EDF troops have raped, tortured, and executed civilians in Ethiopia.  Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) have described a systematic effort by the EDF to inflict as much harm on the ethnic Tigrayan population as possible in the areas the EDF controls.  Eritrean troops have forcibly displaced civilians and ransacked businesses; IDPs spoke of a “scorched earth” policy intended to prevent civilians from returning home.

The United States condemns in the strongest terms human rights violations and abuses in Ethiopia, including those involving the killings, forced removals, and systemic sexual violence.  The United States is concerned that large numbers of EDF have re-entered Ethiopia, after withdrawing in June. 

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