The US special envoy for the Horn of Africa will visit Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Ethiopia next week amid the ongoing crisis in the two African countries, the State Department announced on Friday.
David Satterfield and Assistant Secretary of State Molly Fey will travel to Riyadh, Khartoum and Addis Ababa from January 17-20.
In Riyadh, the pair 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.
According to the statement, the meeting aims to “martial international support” for the UN mission in Sudan to “facilitate a renewed civilian-led transition to democracy”.
Satterfield and Fei will then travel to Khartoum, where they will meet with pro-democracy activists, women’s and youth groups, civilian organizations and military and political figures.
“His message will be clear: the United States is committed to freedom, peace, and justice for the Sudanese people,” the statement read.
In Ethiopia, the couple will hold talks with Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed to find a solution to the intense 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 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 special envoy on January 6, replacing Jeffrey Feltman.
Feltman left as soon as he toured Ethiopia, ending more than a year of war after the withdrawal of the Tigrayan rebels, to encourage peace talks.
The Tigreyan People’s Liberation Front, which last year threatened to march on Addis Ababa, was back in its stronghold by December, and the government has not pursued the rebels further on the ground.
Feltman also sought a handling of the crisis in Sudan, but was treated informally in October when Sudan’s military ruler, General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, staged a coup just after the US envoy left the country.
Feltman’s resignation came days after Sudan’s civilian Prime Minister Abdullah Hamdok stepped down, leaving Burhan as the country’s undisputed leader despite Western calls to maintain the democratic transition that began in 2019.