New US-Africa envoy to visit Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Ethiopia: State department

The US State Department announced, on Friday, that the US Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa will visit Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Ethiopia next week, amid ongoing crises in the two African countries.

David Satterfield and Assistant Secretary of State Molly V will travel to Riyadh, Khartoum and Addis Ababa from January 17 to January 20.

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In Riyadh, the duo will meet with the Friends of Sudan, a group calling for the restoration of the country’s transitional government after the October military coup.

The meeting aims to “mobilize international support” for the United Nations mission to “facilitate a renewed civilian transition to democracy” in Sudan, according to the statement.

Satterfield will then travel to Khartoum, where they will meet with pro-democracy activists, women’s and youth groups, civic organizations and military and political figures.

“Their message will be clear: The United States is committed to freedom, peace, and justice for the Sudanese people,” the statement said.

In Ethiopia, the two will speak with Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed to search for a solution to the escalating civil war.

“They will encourage government officials to seize the current opportunity for peace by ending air strikes and other hostilities,” the statement read.

They will also demand a ceasefire, the release of political prisoners, and the restoration of humanitarian access.

Satterfield, the former US ambassador to Turkey, was appointed to replace Jeffrey Feltman as special envoy on January 6.

Feltman resigned while visiting Ethiopia in an effort to encourage peace talks to end more than a year of war after the Tigrayan rebels withdrew.

The Tigray People’s Liberation Front, which last year threatened to advance in a march to Addis Ababa, had by December withdrawn to its stronghold, the government had not pursued the rebels on the ground.

Feltman also sought to address the crisis in Sudan, but was treated unceremoniously in October when Sudan’s military ruler, General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, staged a coup after the US envoy left the country.

Feltman’s resignation came days after Sudan’s civilian prime minister Abdalla Hamdok resigned, leaving Al-Burhan as the country’s undisputed leader despite calls to preserve the democratic transition launched in 2019.

Read more:

At least 108 civilians killed this year in air strikes on Tigray: UN

Protester and police officer killed in anti-coup protests in Sudan

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