US President Joe Biden will sign an executive order Friday allowing for sanctions against the warring parties in Ethiopia’s Tigray region if they fail to commit to a negotiated settlement.

In a statement, Biden called the situation a tragedy and said: “I am
appalled by the reports of mass murder, rape, and other sexual violence
to terrorize civilian populations.”

The executive order establishes a “sanctions regime to increase pressure
on the parties fuelling this conflict to sit down at the negotiating table
and, in the case of Eritrea, withdraw forces,” a senior administration
official said.

The United States is not imposing sanctions now but is giving itself the
authority to do so if necessary, this official said.

The order gives the Treasury Department “the necessary authority” to
sanction the governments of Ethiopia and Eritrea, and the Tigray
People’s Liberation Front among other parties, the statement says.

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