Jeffery Feltman, the US envoy to the horn of Africa, is due to visit Ethiopia on Thursday. The visit is significant keeping in view two recent developments.
Last week, the US removed Ethiopia from AGOA (African Growth and Opportunity Act) over human rights abuses. US removed Guinea and Mali too.
In recent weeks, Ethiopian government has been trying, through lobbying in US, to stop the US from suspending Ethiopia from AGOA. Some US lawmakers, who back the Ethiopian government’s position, issued statements that urged Joe Biden’s government not to remove Ethiopia from AGOA.
Secondly last week, the Ethiopian Foreign Ministry asked the US to engage directly. Earlier US has been trying to reach Ethiopia through Kenya. US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, has held several telephonic conversations with Kenyan President Kenyatta about Ethiopia Tigray conflict
It seems Ethiopia now wants direct engagement with US government. Can this visit of Jeffery Feltman lead to a breakthrough for the resolution of Ethiopia’s Tigray conflict?
Jeffery Feltman and Olusegun Obasanjo, African Union mediator, have been trying to mediate deadly Tigray conflict but so far the mediation efforts have remained unsuccessful.
Since November 2020, Ethiopian Federal Governement has been locked in an armed confrontation with Tigray Regioanl Government, which have led to tens of thousands killed on both sides so far.