Satterfield becomes US special envoy for Horn of Africa

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The outgoing US ambassador to Turkey, David Satterfield, will take over from Jeffrey Feltman as US Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa this month, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said.


Feltman, 62, would step down after more than nine months on the job. Blinken said that the department intended for Feltman’s appointment as special envoy to be less than a year, adding that he would continue to serve in an advisory role.


Satterfield, a veteran of the US Foreign Service with more than four decades of experience, has had a challenging post as US ambassador in Turkey, where he navigated a strained bilateral relationship between the two NATO allies.


Turkey’s increasing drone exports, most recently to Ethiopia, will be a common thread in Satterfield’s old and new roles. Washington in December raised with Turkey its sales of armed drones to Ethiopia


“Ambassador Satterfield’s decades of diplomatic experience and work amidst some of the world’s most challenging conflicts will be instrumental in our continued effort to promote a peaceful and prosperous Horn of Africa and to advance U.S. interests in this strategic region,” Blinken said.


Feltman, a veteran US diplomat, assumed the post in April and quickly found himself in the middle of two major crises – Ethiopia’s deepening civil war between forces loyal to the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) and the army of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, as well as a military coup in Sudan in October.


Reuters/Olajumoke Adeleke

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