The US Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa David Satterfield concludes his visit to Kenya, Egypt, the UAE, Turkey and Israel today.
Satterfield’s visit intended to garner support for democratic civilian rule in Sudan and regional peace in the Horn of Africa, specifically in the Tigray region of Ethiopia. This follows meetings between Satterfield and leaders and pro-democracy activists in Sudan, Saudi Arabia and Ethiopia last week. In Sudan, Satterfield met with the families of those killed during the anti-coup protests.
Satterfield’s predecessor stepped down last month over frustrations with Ethiopian and Sudanese leaders’ inability to peacefully solve their countries’ political crises. Before the US considers resuming international aid to Sudan, it wants an end to the killings of anti-coup protestors and a guaranteed transition to democratic rule.
However, a return to democratic rule in Sudan in the medium-term is slim as long as Ethiopia’s domestic conflict is backed by regional powers. In turn, a strong Ethiopian government would distract from Sudan’s plight, as Ethiopia and Egypt standoff over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD). Further, expect the appointment of a new Chinese special envoy to the Horn of Africa to fuel US-China competition for influence in the region.
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Sabrine is an Analyst for Foreign Brief and a graduate student at Yonsei University in South Korea, specializing in foreign policy and security in East Asia. Previously, she contributed as a freelance writer for online publications and worked as a sub-editor for the Daily NK.