US envoy, deputy secretary to meet civil society leaders and actors during severe crises in the two African countries.
The United States’ new 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 with Sudanese pro-democracy activists, women’s and youth groups, civilian organizations and military and political figures, the foreign ministry said on Friday.
The couple will meet with the 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 “gain international support” for the United Nations’ mission to “facilitate a renewed citizen-led transition to democracy” in Sudan, the statement said.
Large crowds have regularly taken to the streets of Sudan since an October 25 coup ended 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 couple will talk to Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed to find a solution to the deepen civil war.
“They will encourage government officials to seize the current opening to peace by ending airstrikes and other hostilities,” the statement said.
They will also call for 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The Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front, which threatened to advance to Addis Ababa last year, had withdrawn to its stronghold in December and the government has continued to pursue the rebels on the ground.
Feltman stopped just as he was visiting Ethiopia in an effort to encourage peace talks to end more than a year of war following the withdrawal of the Tigrayan rebels.
Feltman had also tried to deal with the crisis in Sudan, but was treated unceremoniously in October when Sudan’s military ruler, General Abdel Fattah al-Burhani, 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 the undisputed leader of the country despite Western calls to maintain a democratic transition launched in 2019.