On August 23, 2021, the US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control designated General Filipos Woldeyohannes, the Chief of Staff of the Eritrean Defense Forces (EDF), a group responsible for the massacre, rape and torture of civilians in Ethiopia and the destruction of property and forced eviction of families in Ethiopia’s Tigray region. Filipos was designated pursuant to Executive Order 13818, which builds upon and implements the Global Magnitsky Human Right Accountability Act aimed at perpetrators of serious human rights abuse and corruption around the world.
According to OFAC, the EDF under Filipos’s leadership has engaged in a systematic effort to harm members of the Tigrayan population, exacerbating an ongoing humanitarian crisis that threatens the lives of hundreds of thousands of people. Witnesses report that the EDF has reentered Tigray and continues to torture, kill and displace the Tigrayan people despite a unilateral ceasefire declared by the Ethiopian government on June 28, 2021.
As a result of this designation, all US property and interests in property are blocked, and transactions with the sanctioned person are generally prohibited. Transactions with entities that are owned fifty percent or more by a sanctioned individual are also blocked.