USA to freeze Ethiopian bank and airline assets and allow victims of genocide to sue for recovery

Tens of thousands of victims in Tigray have been killed, abused, displaced, and starved

The United States State Department is growing impatient with the lack of action of the Ethiopian government in stopping the war against Tigray and other rebel groups. The World Politics Review reports the heavy sanctions are being considered against two huge Ethiopian government businesses with hundreds of millions of US dollar assets who they say have contributed to the violations of human rights, sexual atrocities, killing of innocents, and displacements of millions of Ethiopian.

Ethiopian Airlines, Africa’s largest airline, is one of the major sources of foreign currency to the government of Ethiopia. As of October 2020 it reported a yearly profit of $ 3.3 billion. with much of that coming from flights to and from the United States and Europe. There are considerable deposits of foreign currency and US and allied countries banks which could be frozen.  Additionally stopping Ethiopians airlines flights to US and allied countries would devastate its revenue. Like most airlines Ethiopian Airlines carries large loans on its aircraft which could default if the business is shutdown. 

Ethiopian Commerce Bank, owned by the Federal government of Ethiopia, is the largest bank of the country. Assets exceed 60% of all deposits, loans, and foreign currency holdings in the country. In part because of the instability of the birr and the safety of deposits in the USA the Ethiopian Commerce Banks maintains millions in deposit with the New York Federal Reserve which would be frozen.

Von Batten-Montague-York, L.C., a US based policy and advocacy group, announced that is likely that US Federal courts will begin to allow Tigray citizens and others who have been the victims of human rights abuses to begin lawsuits against assets of Ethiopia and perhaps Eritrea. This is allowed under a Federal law called the Alien Tort Statue. According to the Cornell Law School information “The Alien Tort Statute (“ATS”; also known as the Alien Tort Claims Act) refers to 28 U.S.C. § 1350, granting jurisdiction to federal district courts “of all causes where an alien sues for a tort only in violation of the law of nation or of a treaty of the United States.” Broadly speaking, it serves as a statutory instrument for gaining universal jurisdiction over violations of international law”. This law has been in existence since 1789.

Author: Professor Tony Magana

Professor Tony Magana is Head of the Department of Neurosurgery, School of Medicine, College of Health Sciences at Mekelle University in Mekelle, Ethiopia. He directs a neurosurgery residency and training program as well as neuroscience research.

21 thoughts on “USA to freeze Ethiopian bank and airline assets and allow victims of genocide to sue for recovery”

  1. Abiy Ahmed is a criminal
    My uncle was killed because of his order to eliminate all of tigrian people.
    Morethan 67,000 my people killed.

    1. There is also a huge criminal happened in amahara region of ethics group Which is known as kimant people. This genocide is occur and leads by the federal government and amahara regional authorities force….they makes this genocide for 14th times round every years, no one still report this criminal with out amensty organization.
      So we needs that the world authority to see and analysis as well as reported to the community..

      In addition to that currently today the kimant people is killed by abiy ahimed and amhara rigional force..😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭

    2. More than 10 thousand Oromo killed by Abyi Ahmed. About the same number in prison they are pure and innocent. Unknown numbers in thousands taken out of prison and shot dead, slaughtered and body thrown in bush. Exact number can be given when time comes if you ask for it. Abyi is a criminal!!

      1. Absolutely. Abiy fooled the whole world and became a nobel peace prize winner yet he is an out-and-out lier,con-artist and a terribly mendacious human being. He lynched lives of thousands of Oromo and trumped up false allegation on many many powerful politicians for the mere fear of being outrun in election. We can’t stand his deceptive words any more. We are done. Thank you,Lensa,for standing for the truth of Oromo.
        Ulfaadhu sabboontuu!

  2. That’s too late for our community gonecide but please still you have time to compensate too cruelty gonecide on tigray. I never heard or seen like this distraction on my life on your citizens by inviting foreign countries and the hole country army with 9 regional states special forces. They destroyed all school services from elementary to university compas all property are looted, all medical centers from clinical to special hospitals the same all property looted even bed 🛌 the patients are killed by both force special eritrea troops are more cruel, all factors are destroyed and looted, private and public services motor vehicles looted and no food in tigray they looted, burned-out mixed with soils and water. Anyway I can’t explain its over distraction nothing is in tigray now. This more than gonecide.

  3. God bless America. America exercises 0-tolerance on official gang-0rapes and genocide by Fascist Abiy Ahmed and his boss Isaias Afworki. What about EU? What about UK, Canada, Australia?

  4. Finally some justice is about to be served. The money won’t bring any of the souls lost, or fix the psychologically long effect that it has on the victims who lost their loved once or were raped, looted or tortured but this is a positive start on the right direction to hold the criminal regime of Abiy Ahmed and for that I am very grateful of the United States 🇺🇸

  5. The victims of #TigrayGenocide will never compasatede enough, but justices ⚖ need to be served on the criminal governments of Ethiopia 🇪🇹 and Eritrea 🇪🇷 inparticular for what they have been doing in Tigray the last nine months. The killings, rape, displacement, destroyed historic places and businesses .

  6. God bless the United States of America.

    The Tigrayan people are in desperate need of justice. 

    And we beleive that this can only happen with US intervention.

  7. God bless America thank you But the last nine months was very devastating and desperate for every Tigrayan because of the ongoing genocide,atrocities,detained and torture in every corner of the country Ethiopian to our brothers and sisters by Abey Ahmed and Esayas afewerki .however nowadays we have hope ,bright to see justice from The Joe Biden Administration USA.

  8. This could hardly force the war monger of Ethiopian Pm Abiy Ahmed to stop genocide against Tagaru and Oromo.

  9. If the US courts rule to impose ATS on Ethiopia, which they undoubtedly should given the evidence on the ground, it will be the first concrete step to end the conflict in the Horn of Africa. Indeed it will save Ethiopia from imminent fragmentation and bring to end Baby Abiy’s childish rule of this great nation.

    However, there needs to be a second concrete step to expedite the end of the horrific war in Tigray. That is a similar and equally draconian sanctions regime on Eritrea, a country ruled by a madman who believes the rule of law , including international law, does not apply to him. He needs to be hit hard!

    The third concrete step to end the genocidal war in Tigray is to remove Isaias from power by all means. It has been proven repeatedly over the last 30 years that there will be no peace in the Horn of Africa while Isaias is misruling Eritrea. There would not have been the Tigray war in the first place if Isaias did not get involved in Ethiopian affairs in the name of peace and led Baby Abiy by the hand into this horrific war.

  10. Finally some justices to be served! Thank you US for considering to shorten the agony of Tigray people. It is true that nothing can compensate the lives lost & property looted in Tigray during the cruel & meaningless horrible genocidal war for the last 9 months(actually 3,5 years)! But still the people of Tigray will be happy for some justices . I hope EU, UK, Canada, Australia will follow the US !

  11. That is very mesmerising decision.
    Ethiopian government is committing genocide on the people of Tigray. Tigray people are in critical situation. USA ,UN,EU must put sanctions on Abiy Ahmed. Even Abiy Ahmed must be asked at the ICC, if justice exist on this world.

  12. Good start justice for all victims of Tigray people those criminal evil will not get away what they did to innocent people of Tigray always always god bless AMERICA

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