An American envoy will be dispatched this week to Ethiopia to demand an end to the fighting in the Tigray region where fear of a humanitarian disaster is mounting, Washington said Thursday.
Jeffrey Feltman, a veteran diplomat and US envoy for the Horn of Africa, will visit Ethiopia August 15-24, the State Department said. During this trip, he will also stop in Djibouti and the United Arab Emirates.
The northern region of Ethiopia plunged into violence in November, when Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed sent the army to the region to remove local authorities from the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) as a result, according to him, of the attack on military camps by Tigrayan forces.
With Abiy promising a quick victory, nine months later pro-TPLF forces regained control of most of Tigray and advanced into neighboring Afar and Amhara regions.
President Biden has called on Feltman to return to Ethiopia at a “critical time,” US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said.
“Months of war have caused immense suffering and divisions in a great nation” and they “will not be cured by further fighting,” he regretted on Twitter, urging all parties to come ” urgently ”to the negotiating table.
During a trip to Addis Ababa in early August, the director of the American International Aid Agency (USAID) Samantha Power had already called on the Tigrayan rebels to withdraw “immediately” from several regions and was alarmed by the crisis. humanitarian aid in progress.
The American official deplored that only 10% of humanitarian aid has so far reached Tigray, where famine threatens hundreds of thousands of civilians.