Addis Ababa (Ethiopia Today) March 13, 2023: The US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, will tell Ethiopia next week that it needs to move forward on a fragile peace process if it wants to restore once-warm ties when he pays the highest-level US visit since the brutal civil war, officials said.
Blinken will also pay the first visit by a top US diplomat to Niger to discuss security cooperation in the Sahel, where Russia has been making growing inroads through its Wagner mercenary force.
Blinken will arrive Wednesday for talks in Addis Ababa with the government of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, who transformed from a close US ally to a near-pariah over the two-year war in the Tigray region that has left more people dead than the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Molly Phee, the top US diplomat for Africa, said the Tigray war was “earth-shattering” and that there could not be an immediate return to normal with Ethiopia, even though the United States valued its historically strong partnership with the continent’s second most populous country.
“What we’re looking to do is refashion our engagement with Ethiopia,” Phee told reporters.
“To put that relationship on a forward trajectory, we will continue to need steps by Ethiopia to help break the cycle of ethnic political violence that has set the country back for so many decades,” she said.