Eritrea has been hit by new United States (U.S.) sanctions according to a White House statement. Under the new sanctions regime the U.S. said it was constraining Eritreans from engaging in educational or cultural exchange programs with the U.S.
Eritrea has long been on a U.S. sanctions list for failing to combat human trafficking. The new measure is a further squeeze on Asmara’s relations with Washington. North Korea, Russia and Syria have all been put into the same bracket.
Four other African countries were added to the sanctions list according to the White House. The sanctions are basically based on failure of the countries in the area of checking human trafficking.
A statement issued on Saturday September 30, 2017; said the affected African countries are: the Democratic Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, South Sudan and Sudan.
Joining the African quartet are Iran and Venezuela – all the listed countries have been added to a list of countries subject to restrictions for the new fiscal year. The U.S. fiscal year kicked off on Sunday, October 1, 2017.
Under a 2000 U.S. law called the Trafficking Victims Protection Act, the United States does not provide non-humanitarian, non-trade-related foreign assistance to any country that fails to comply with minimum standards for eliminating trafficking and is not making efforts to do so.
The latest round of sanctions comes barely weeks after Eritrea and other African countries were slapped with a visa restriction regime. The move was as part of punitive measures towards nations that refused to take back nationals scheduled for deportation from the U.S.
“As of September 13, the U.S. Embassy in Asmara, Eritrea has discontinued issuing B1, B2 , and B1/B2 visas to citizens, subjects, nationals, and residents of Eritrea, with limited exceptions, in accordance with Section 243(d) of the Immigration and Nationality Act,” the U.S. embassy in Asmara wrote on its Facebook wall.