The special US envoy to the Horn of Africa is reportedly stepping down from the post with the region engulfed in political and humanitarian crises. David Satterfield is resigning just three months after his appointment, according to unnamed current and former officials who spoke to Foreign Policy magazine.
Satterfield replaced veteran US diplomat Jeffrey Feltman, who served as special envoy to the Horn of Africa for less than a year on the job. The magazine said Deputy Special Envoy Payton Knopf will take over the role on an interim basis.
The magazine said a spokesperson for the US State Department refused to confirm Satterfield’s departure and why he is stepping down.
Satterfield has been negotiating an agreement between the Ethiopian government and forces with the Tigray People’s Liberation Front to end a conflict that began in late 2020 and has since exploded into a civil war that has forced two million people from their homes.
A joint report from Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch said newly appointed officials in the region and the neighbouring Amhara region, acting with the acquiescence and possible participation of Ethiopian federal forces, systematically expelled several hundred thousand Tigrayan civilians from their homes using threats, unlawful killings, sexual violence, mass detention, pillage, forcible transfer, and the denial of humanitarian assistance.
Ethiopia’s neighbour Sudan, has also been mired in turmoil since a coup in October that ousted the joint civilian-military transitional government that replaced autocratic President Omar al-Bashir in April 2019.
- A Tell / VOA report