Washington intensifies its diplomacy in the Horn of Africa. US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken has just appointed a US envoy to the region. Geoffrey Feltman will take over this role. A seasoned diplomat, he was the former Assistant Secretary of State for the Middle East and then Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations for Political Affairs. While Anthony Blinken says he fears escalation of conflicts in the region, Jeffrey Feltman will have to play a coordinating role between different states and regional and international actors.
With our reporter in NairobiAnd the Albany Thirward
Search for a solution to the conflict in Tigray. Avoid escalation between Addis Ababa and Khartoum, disputing a border region. And ease tensions between Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt over the Ethiopian dam on the Nile. The roadmap presented to him by President Joe Biden promises to be complicated for Jeffrey Feltman.
With his appointment, commentators see it as a desire of the Biden administration to be more present in Africa. And to engage in the fight against terrorism as well as on the humanitarian level and in defense of human rights. A diplomatic approach contrary to the approach of Donald Trump, which caused the withdrawal of US forces from Somalia.
The Horn of Africa is a very strategic region for Washington. Because of its prime location between Africa and the Middle East. But also because the Americans are very present there, militarily and economically, and they want to maintain their influence there.
However, the task will be difficult for Geoffrey Feltman. The African Union recently failed to bring Ethiopia, Sudan, and Egypt to the GERD deal. The US envoy also risks a clash with the political sovereignty of countries, especially Ethiopia.