The US State Department reported that the new Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa, David Satterfield, and Assistant Secretary of State Molly Fay, will start a visit to Saudi Arabia, Sudan, and Ethiopia from the 17 to 20 of this month.
The US Department of State added in a statement that the two officials will attend, while in the capital, Riyadh, “the Friends of Sudan meeting, to mobilize international support for the UN Integrated Transitional Assistance Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS) in its efforts to facilitate a renewed civilian transition in Sudan.”
Faye Westerfield will then travel to the Sudanese capital, Khartoum, where they will meet with pro-democracy activists, women’s and youth groups, civil society, military leaders, and political figures, to send a message that “the US is committed to freedom, peace, and justice for the Sudanese people.”
After that, the two officials will head to Ethiopia, and this visit comes after the phone call that US President Joe Biden had with Ethiopian Prime Minister Abi Ahmed, on January 10, which the statement described as “constructive.”
The US delegation in Ethiopia will encourage government officials to “seize the current opportunity for peace, by ending airstrikes and other hostilities, negotiating a ceasefire, releasing all political prisoners, restoring continued humanitarian access, and laying the groundwork for an inclusive national dialogue.”
A senior official in the US administration said last Monday that the US has been asserting that “there is no military solution to the conflict” in Ethiopia, describing the Eritrean role in the humanitarian crisis as “negative from the start.”
During a briefing on the phone call between Biden and Ahmed, the US official stressed that the US considers the Eritrean role “unhelpful” and believes that Eritrea should “stay out of the conflict.”
The official revealed that Biden discussed with Abi Ahmed a new visit to the new US envoy to the Horn of Africa, David Satterfield, considering that “this may be an opportunity, but only if the parties take advantage of it, this window will not remain open forever.”