Thu. Jan 20th, 2022

US envoy, assistant secretary to meet civil society leaders and actors during severe crises in the two African countries.

The new US envoy to the Horn of Africa, David Satterfield, and Assistant Secretary Molly Phee will visit Sudan and Ethiopia next week amid ongoing crises in the two African countries.

The US officials will also travel to Saudi Arabia.

Satterfield and Phee will visit Khartoum, where they will meet Sudanese pro-democracy activists, women and youth groups, civil society organizations and military and political figures, a State Department statement said Friday.

The two will meet with the Friends of Sudan, a group calling for the restoration of the country’s transitional government to a military coup In October.

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

Large crowds have regularly taken to the streets in Sudan, demanding that they return to civilian rule since a coup on October 25 put an end to a power-sharing arrangement that began in 2019.

“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 talk to Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed to find a solution to the civil war deepens.

“They will encourage government officials to seize the current opening for peace by ending airstrikes and other hostilities,” the statement said.

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

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

The Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front, which threatened to march to Addis Ababa last year, withdrew to its stronghold by December, and the government did not pursue the rebels further on the ground.

Feltman stopped just as he visited Ethiopia in an effort to encourage peace talks to end more than a year of war following the withdrawal of Tigrayan rebels.

Feltman also tried to tackle the crisis in Sudan, but was treated without ceremony in October when Sudan’s military ruler, General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, carried out a coup just after the US envoy left the country.

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

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