New Sanctions Program Announced for Ethiopia
On September 17, 2021, the U.S. Department of the Treasury, Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced a sanctions program implementing a September 17th executive order “Imposing Sanctions on Certain Persons with Respect to the Humanitarian and Human Rights Crisis in Ethiopia.” The action is related to the ongoing conflict in northern Ethiopia, which according to the White House:
...has sparked one of the worst humanitarian and human rights crises in the world, with over 5 million people requiring humanitarian assistance and nearly one million living in famine-like conditions.
The parties to the conflict – including Ethiopian National Defense Forces (ENDF), Eritrean Defense Forces (EDF), the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), and Amhara regional forces – have committed human rights abuses against civilians.
The sanctions are focused on "persons determined, among other things, to be responsible for or complicit in actions or policies that expand or extend the ongoing crisis or obstruct a ceasefire or peace process in northern Ethiopia or commit serious human rights abuse."
OFAC has created a new page for Ethiopia sanctions and issued three General Licenses. Persons who are blocked pursuant to the executive order will be added to OFAC’s Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List (SDN List).
For more information, OFAC has issued a press release, which in turn links to a series of FAQs and additional background from the White House. Additional actions related to export controls, including Ethiopia's addition to ITAR §126.1, are anticipated.