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Eritrea rebuffs US ‘blackmail’ after sanctions on army chief over Tigray allegations

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Eritrea on Monday angrily rejected US sanctions imposed on its army chief over allegations of widespread rights abuses in Ethiopia’s war-torn Tigray region.

“The government of Eritrea rejects, both in letter and spirit, the utterly baseless allegations and blackmail directed against it,” the Eritrean foreign ministry said in a statement on Twitter.

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The US Treasury Department earlier Monday announced the sanctions against General Filipos Woldeyohannes, saying forces under his command were responsible for “massacres, looting, and sexual assaults” in Tigray.

But the Eritrean foreign ministry described the accusations as “unacceptable”, saying: “This is not, indeed, the first time for the US Administration to float such baseless smear campaigns against Eritrea.”

“In the face of the repetitive and unwarranted accusations, Eritrea cannot remain silent. In the circumstances, Eritrea calls on the US Administration to bring the case to an independent adjudication if it indeed has facts to prove its false allegations.”