NAIROBI, Kenya — President Biden signed an executive order on Friday threatening sweeping new sanctions that aim to stop the escalating war in northern Ethiopia and allow urgently needed humanitarian aid to flow into the region.
The administration has not yet applied the sanctions, hoping to shift the course of the war without directly punishing officials from Ethiopia, Africa’s second most populous country and an important strategic ally.
With both sides pushing hard for a military victory, critics said the latest measures may be too little, or too late.
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed of Ethiopia, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate now exposed to possible sanctions, reacted with indignation and defiance.
Just 10 percent of required humanitarian aid reached the Tigray region in the past month as a result of Ethiopian government obstruction, according to two American officials who provided a background briefing to reporters.
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NAIROBI, Kenya, Ethiopia, U.S, Tigray