President Biden appoints special envoy for Horn of Africa
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced on Friday the appointment of Jeffrey Feltman to the position of Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa. The position is a new one and its creation indicates that the Biden administration intends to devote increased attention to the region in the coming years.
Feltman, who comes to the position with years of experience at State Department, the United Nations, and in the private sector, is tasked with developing and executing “an integrated U.S. strategy to address…complex regional issues,” according to Blinken’s statement.
“At a moment of profound change for this strategic region, high-level U.S. engagement is vital to mitigate the risks posed by escalating conflict while providing support to once-in-a-generation opportunities for reform.”
A White House statement similarly called for accord in the region, underscoring Feltman’s appointment as an indication of the United States’ desire to promote “shared peace and prosperity across the Horn of Africa.”
Though definitions of the region disagree on whether to include Kenya, Sudan, South Sudan, and Uganda along with the traditional list made up of Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, and Somalia, the Horn of Africa merits attention however it is defined. From tense disputes between countries over water rights to violent ethnic and political conflicts within countries, the region has experienced increased tension in the last few years.