Exclusive-U.S. special envoy for the Horn of Africa Feltman to leave post


WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa Jeffrey Feltman will step down from his post this month after greater than 9 months in the job, and David Satterfield, the outgoing U.S. ambassador to Turkey, will take up the position, three sources accustomed to the matter advised Reuters on Wednesday.

Feltman, a veteran U.S. diplomat, assumed the post in April and rapidly discovered himself in the center of two main crises – Ethiopia’s deepening civil warfare between forces loyal to the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) and the military of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, in addition to a army coup in Sudan in October.

The information of his departure, which was not beforehand reported, got here earlier than he heads to Ethiopia on Thursday to meet with senior authorities officers about the peace talks as half of Washington’s newest push to deliver an finish to the battle.

Feltman, 62, stated https://www.reuters.com/world/sense-duty-puts-veteran-us-envoy-middle-ethiopia-conflict-2021-11-05 a “sense of obligation” introduced him out of “quasi-retirement” following greater than 25 years as an American diplomat with postings to the United Nations, Middle East and North Africa.

Feltman took the position with an intention to serve for lower than a yr, a supply accustomed to the matter stated. The supply stated Satterfield will present continued U.S. focus, needed as a result of of ongoing instability and inter-connected challenges in the area.

The State Department declined to remark.

Feltman has confronted robust headwinds to progress. The year-long warfare between Ethiopia’s authorities and the management of the northern Tigray area, amongst Africa’s bloodiest conflicts, has killed hundreds of civilians, displaced tens of millions and sparked famine.

In Sudan, protests have continued for weeks together with on Tuesday, two days after the resignation of Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok. He served from 2019 till the coup and was reinstated on Nov. 21 in an settlement with the army extensively rejected by protesters.

Satterfield, a veteran of the U.S. Foreign Service with greater than 4 many years of expertise, has had a difficult post as U.S. ambassador in Turkey, the place he navigated a strained bilateral relationship between the two NATO allies.

Prior to Ankara, he served in Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Tunisia and Syria, amongst others, and labored twice as the high U.S. diplomat at the State Department for Middle East affairs in an appearing capability.

Turkey’s rising drone exports, most just lately to Ethiopia, will likely be a typical thread in Satterfield’s previous and new roles. Washington in December raised with Turkey its gross sales of armed drones to Ethiopia. Sources stated there was mounting proof the authorities used the weapons in opposition to insurgent fighters.

(Reporting by Humeyra Pamuk; Editing by Mary Milliken and Cynthia Osterman)

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