US Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa Jeffrey Feltman concluded his 10-day visit to the region during which he traveled to Egypt, Eritrea, Sudan, and Ethiopia.
During his tour, Feltman affirmed to Sudan’s leadership that the US will support that country’s ongoing transition to democracy so that it can claim its place as a responsible regional actor.
He also stressed that the political transition in Sudan is "a once-in-a-generation opportunity that can serve as an example for the region."
"We are also committed to working with international partners to facilitate resolution of regional flash points—such as the dispute over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) and conflict on Sudan’s borders—so they do not undermine the fragile progress made since the revolution," a statement by the US Department of State read.
“The United States is committed to addressing the interlinked regional crises and to supporting a prosperous and stable Horn of Africa in which its citizens have a voice in their governance and governments are accountable to their citizens,” it added.
In this regard, the US envoy said that a sovereign and united Ethiopia is also integral to this vision.
"Yet we are deeply concerned about increasing political and ethnic polarization throughout the country."
He further urged ending the “brutal conflict” in Tigray and holding those responsible for human rights abuses and violations accountable.
Feltman who met with Prime Minister of Ethiopia and other Ethiopian leaders, stressed the need for "an inclusive effort to build national consensus on the country’s future that is based on respect for the human and political rights of all Ethiopians."
“The presence of Eritrean forces in Ethiopia is antithetical to these goals."
Also in Asmara, Feltman underscored to President Isaias Afwerki the imperative that "Eritrean troops withdraw from Ethiopia immediately."
Notably, during his regional tour, the top official discussed with leaders in Addis Ababa, Cairo, and Khartoum, Egypt and Sudan’s concerns over water security and the safety and operation of the dam and how they can be reconciled with Ethiopia’s development needs through substantive and results-oriented negotiations among the parties under the leadership of the African Union, saying these talks must resume urgently.
“We believe that the 2015 Declaration of Principles signed by the parties and July 2020 statement by the AU Bureau are important foundations for these negotiations, and the United States is committed to providing political and technical support to facilitate a successful outcome,” he noted.