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US Secretary of State Blinken Visits Ethiopia to Promote Peace and Stability

On March 15th, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken traveled to Ethiopia to discuss the implementation of a cease-fire agreement and to provide $331 million in humanitarian assistance for the country.[0] Blinken met with Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, Foreign Minister Demeke Mekonnen, and other leaders from the Tigray region in order to discuss the agreement, which was signed in Pretoria in November 2022, and the atrocities committed during the conflict.

The cease-fire agreement was a key step towards peace and stability in the region, and Blinken praised the agreement while calling for accountability for war crimes committed by all parties. In addition, Blinken discussed the importance of transitional justice and the need for an inclusive and comprehensive process in the region.[1]

In addition to the cease-fire agreement, Blinken and Abiy discussed ways to improve US-Ethiopia relations and the US-Africa Leaders' Summit. Blinken also announced $331 million in US aid for Ethiopia for 2023 to provide food, shelter, safe drinking water, sanitation and hygiene, healthcare efforts, education, and other key services to those affected by conflict, drought, and food insecurity.[2]

The US is looking to strengthen ties with African nations in the face of competition from China and Russia, and Blinken's trip is part of a larger effort to increase engagement on the continent. The trip is also the latest in a series of visits to the continent by senior US officials, with Vice President Kamala Harris set to visit next.[3]

Blinken's visit to Ethiopia serves to promote peace and stability in the region while also improving the US-Ethiopia partnership.[4] With the hope of breaking the cycle of ethnic political violence, the US is providing much-needed aid to the region and is looking to facilitate an inclusive and comprehensive process of transitional justice.

0. “US Secretary of State, Blinken to visit Niger” Vanguard, 13 Mar. 2023, https://www.vanguardngr.com/2023/03/us-secretary-of-state-blinken-to-visit-niger/

1. “News: Blinken expresses “concerns about situation in Oromia”, need for resolution through dialogue; announces $331 …” addisstandard.com, 15 Mar. 2023, https://addisstandard.com/news-blinken-expresses-concerns-about-situation-in-oromia-need-for-resolution-through-dialogue-announces-331-m-in-new-humanitarian-assistance

2. “US announces $331m in new aid to Ethiopia as Blinken meets Abiy” Al Jazeera English, 15 Mar. 2023, https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2023/3/15/us-announces-331m-in-new-aid-to-ethiopia-as-blinken-meets-abiy

3. “United States has promised Ethiopia $331 million to help the country heal from recent war” Business Insider Africa, 16 Mar. 2023, https://africa.businessinsider.com/local/markets/the-united-states-has-promised-ethiopia-dollar331-million-to-help-the-country-heal/ndsxdnr

4. “Blinken Urges Ethiopians to Follow Through on Peace Commitments, Accountability” Voice of America – VOA News, 16 Mar. 2023, https://www.voanews.com/a/blinken-urges-ethiopians-to-follow-through-on-peace-commitments-accountability-/7007613.html

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