The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctioned entities and individuals in face of the developing human rights crisis and conflict in Ethiopia for contributing to the situation and worsening the instability.
In the press release that announced the designations, the deployment of the Eritrean forces in Northern Ethiopia is described as an “impediment to ending the ongoing fighting and increasing humanitarian access”. The announcement quotes OFAC Director Andrew Gacki’s statement condemning the role played by the Eritrean actors “contributing to the violence in northern Ethiopia which has … resulted in a humanitarian disaster”.
The U.S. Treasury has sanctioned the Eritrean Defense Force, the ruling party of Eritrea the People’s Front for Democracy and Justice (PFDJ), along with entities Hidri Trust, Red Sea Trading Corporation and two prominent figures in positions of oversight within or connected to the Eritrean Government.
The conflict in Ethiopia broke out in 2020 and involves the Ethiopian military, the Eritrean military and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF). The U.S. regards the conflict as a threat to the “integrity of the Ethiopian state” and a risk against regional stability.
Red Sea Trading Corporation (RSTC), led by PFDJ economic advisor Hagos Ghebrehiwet W Kidan administers the property and financial interests of the ruling entity of the country. Ghebrehiwet is included in the list for providing material assistance, goods or services to or in support of the party. Hidri Trust (Hidri), established in 1994, constitutes the holding for the entire scale of PDFJ enterprises. The former is designated for being directed by Ghebrehiwet, and the latter, for being an agency of the Government of Eritrea.
Abraha Kassa Nemariam (Kassa) the director of the Eritrean National Security Office is also designated by the U.S. Treasury on grounds of being an executive officer or a member of the board of the PDFJ. The executive cadres of the ruling party of Eritrea responsible or involved in contributing to the situation in northern Ethiopia on or after November 2020 had been sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury.
OFAC GL 4 “Authorizing the Wind Down of Transactions Involving Hidri Trust or Red Sea Trading Corporation”.