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US envoy for Africa to visit Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Ethiopia

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US envoy for Africa to visit Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Ethiopia

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The US special envoy for the Horn of Africa will travel to Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Ethiopia next week amid ongoing crises in the two African countries, the State Department said on Friday.

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

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

The meeting aims to “mobilize international support” for the UN mission to “facilitate a new civilian-led transition to democracy” in Sudan, the statement said.

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

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

In Ethiopia, the couple will meet with Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed to find a solution to the worsening civil war.

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

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

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

Feltman resigned just as he traveled to Ethiopia in a bid 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 march on Addis Ababa, withdrew to its stronghold in December, and the government did not pursue the rebels further on the ground.

Feltman had also sought to tackle the crisis in Sudan, but was dealt with harshly in October when Sudan’s military leader General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan led a coup shortly after the envoy American had left the country.

Feltman’s resignation came days after the departure of Sudanese civilian Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok, leaving Burhan as the country’s undisputed leader despite Western calls to preserve a democratic transition launched in 2019.

US envoy for Africa to visit Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Ethiopia

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