The U.S. named a special envoy for the Horn of Africa to work on three issues: the volatile situation in Ethiopia, including the conflict in Tigray, the escalation of tensions between Ethiopia and Sudan, and the dispute over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).
Khartoum: Al Taghyeer
On Friday, the U.S. State Department announced the appointment of Jeffrey Feltman as U.S. special envoy for the Horn of Africa.
A statement by Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken, according to the spokesperson’s office, the appointment of Jeffrey Feltman as U.S. special envoy to the Horn of Africa underlines the U.S. administration’s commitment to lead an international diplomatic effort to address the interlinked political, security and humanitarian crises in the Horn of Africa.
“Of particular concern are the volatile situation in Ethiopia, including the conflict in Tigray; escalating tension between Ethiopia and Sudan; and the dispute around the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said.
He considered that the high-level American participation, in a moment of profound change in this strategic region, is vital to mitigate the risks posed by the conflict escalation, and to provide support for reform opportunities that occur once in a generation.
The statement said that Feltman, after having held senior positions in both the State Department and the United Nations, is considered the most suited person to bring decades of experience in Africa and the Middle East, in addition to his experience in multilateral diplomacy, negotiation and mediation; harnessing this to develop and execute an Integrated American strategy to addresses these complex regional issues.
Since the end of last year, Ethiopia has been the scene of an internal war between the central government and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF).
Border problems arose between Sudan and Ethiopia as a result of the Sudanese army’s redeployment in areas were controlled by Ethiopian militias and farmers in al-Fashaqa, Sudan’s eastern Gedarif state.
Talks between Sudan, Ethiopia and Egypt on the second phase of dam filling have been complicated following failure of the latest round in Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, this April. The three parties tended to escalate their tones towards the issue.
On Thursday, the U.S. Chargé d’Affaires to Sudan, Brian Shukan, announced during his meeting with the Minister of Irrigation and Water Resources, Yasir Abbas, his country’s intention to appoint a new U.S. envoy to the Horn of Africa.