US envoy pushes for peace in Ethiopia

by Trinity Cardinal

Willie R. Tubbs, FISM News


The United States has sent a pair of diplomats to Ethiopia, one of the more brutal places on earth at present, in the hopes of helping to bring stability to a region where the ruling body is accused of committing genocide, rape, and forced relocation against ethnic Tigrayans.  

According to a brief announcement from the Department of State, Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa David Satterfield and Deputy Special Envoy Payton Knopf were set to arrive in Ethiopia on Wednesday for meetings with that nation’s officials as well as humanitarian organizations and other diplomats.

While there, the announcement reads, the pair will continue “U.S. efforts towards ceasing hostilities, unhindered humanitarian access, transparent investigations into human rights abuses and violations by all actors, and a negotiated resolution to the conflict in Ethiopia.”

As first reported by Foreign Policy, Satterfield, who was formerly ambassador to Lebanon and Turkey, has been on the job for less than 6 months and has already announced his resignation, effective sometime over the summer.

This reality is unlikely to have any true bearing on the Ethiopia trip as Knopf, Satterfield’s presumptive replacement is also present.

The far greater threat to the diplomatic journey will likely be a combination of President Abiy Ahmed and the Ethiopian government’s unwillingness to grant humanitarian workers access to the Western Tigray region and accusations by both Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch that ethnic minorities face a horrific existence at the hands of their government.

Despite the depressing state of affairs in Western Tigray, some experts believe both sides are signaling a desire for the end of hostilities.

“While the situation remains fragile, the conditions for peace seem to have ripened,” Dr. Adem K. Adebe, a foreign policy expert and commentator, said in a commentary he created for Al Jazeera. “After weeks of diplomacy by the African Union and other foreign parties, on March 24, Abiy announced a ‘humanitarian truce’. While insignificant in view of the enormous needs, humanitarian provisions have started to flow to Tigray. The rhetoric has also shifted significantly towards the need for compromise, and zero-sum thinking may be giving way to a realization of the inevitability of co-existence.”

Some officials have criticized the international community, and specifically the West, for having paid too much attention to Ukraine, at the expense of other nations.

According to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, World Health Organization head Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus suggested that racism was to blame for First World Powers ignoring issues in Ethiopia as well as Yemen, Afghanistan, and Syria.