Between January 17 and 20, US Assistant Secretary Molly Phee and the newly designated US Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa David Satterfield will embark on a three-leg journey in the Horn of Africa.
“While in Riyadh, Assistant Secretary Phee and Special Envoy Satterfield will attend a meeting of the Friends of Sudan, intended to marshal international support for the UN Integrated Transition Assistance Mission to Sudan (UNITAMS) in its efforts to facilitate a renewed civilian-led transition to democracy,” the statement read.
France, Germany, Norway, Saudi Arabia, Sweden, the United States, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, the European Union, and the United Nations make up the Friends of Sudan organization.
The diplomats’ trip to Riyadh will be followed by a trip to Khartoum, where they will “meet with pro-democracy activists, women and youth groups, civil society, military leaders, and political figures” to reaffirm the US commitment to “freedom, peace, and justice for the Sudanese people,” according to a statement.
The diplomats’ final stop will be Ethiopia, where they will “follow up on US Vice President Joe Biden’s constructive phone chat with Ethiopian Prime Minister Ahmed Abiy on January 10.”
Biden expressed his worries to Abiy over Ethiopia’s continuous airstrikes in the country’s northern Tigray region during a phone chat on Monday, while also stressing the US commitment to a peaceful conclusion to the country’s conflict.
The aim of the visit is to “encourage government officials to seize the current opening for peace by ending the airstrikes and other hostilities, negotiating a ceasefire, releasing all political prisoners, restoring sustained humanitarian access, and laying the foundation for an inclusive national dialogue.”