American citizens or legal resident aliens could be subject to fines up to $1 million or imprisonment up to 20 years for inciting, conspiracy, attempting or direct involvement with genocide. The first step to declaring a genocide in Tigray by Eritrean and Ethiopian governments has been taken by the declaration of “ethnic cleansing” by United States Secretary of State Tony Blinken this week. Additionally the US Embassy in Eritrea called once again for the complete withdrawal of Eritrea from Tigray. Numerous interviews with various US government officials has indicated that the US has been holding off on full designation pending further negotiations. However, so far no real progress has been made.
Ethiopia diaspora and others acting in substantial support of the state sponsored genocide in Tigray should understand the implications if an official genocide designation is given.
Section 1091 of Title 18, United States Code, prohibits genocide whether committed in time of peace or time of war. Genocide is defined in § 1091 and includes violent attacks with the specific intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial, or religious group. There is Federal jurisdiction if the offense is committed within the United States. There is also Federal extraterritorial jurisdiction when the offender is a national of the United States.