Home » U.S. Special Envoy Mike Hammer pushes for diplomatic pressure to deescalate tensions in Horn of Africa

U.S. Special Envoy Mike Hammer pushes for diplomatic pressure to deescalate tensions in Horn of Africa

by Mohamed Jibril
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In a concerted effort to mediate diplomatic resolutions in the Horn of Africa, U.S. Special Envoy Mike Hammer embarks on a crucial visit to Kampala, Uganda, and Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, from January 17 to 24.

The mission primarily focuses on finding solutions to the Sudanese conflict and the escalating tensions between Ethiopia and Somalia.

The Office of the Spokesperson of the State Department issued a statement outlining the itinerary of Special Envoy Hammer, which includes participation in the 42nd Extraordinary Summit of the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) Assembly Heads of State and Government.

The summit aims to address the ongoing situation between Ethiopia and Somalia, as well as the complexities surrounding Sudan.

The roots of the Ethiopia-Somalia tensions trace back to a recent memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed by Addis Ababa and Somaliland, granting Ethiopia access to a Red Sea port.

However, the Somali government’s refusal to acknowledge the agreement has led to an intensification of hostilities between the two nations.

The United States, emphasizing its recognition of the Federal Republic of Somalia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity within its 1960 borders, welcomes the IGAD diplomatic initiative.

In the context of the Sudanese conflict, Ambassador Hammer will extend support to regional and international efforts aimed at cessation, humanitarian access, democratic transition, and justice for victims of the violence.

Additionally, in Ethiopia, he plans to engage with African Union officials to coordinate efforts on Sudan and address regional priorities.

Ambassador Hammer’s agenda in Ethiopia includes discussions on the urgent need to implement the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement in northern Ethiopia. This involves progress on disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration, alongside advancing a victim-centered transitional justice process.

The envoy will advocate for dialogue to address political and security crises in the Amhara and Oromia regions, urging all parties to prioritize civilian protection, avoid incendiary rhetoric, and respect human rights.

As the international community keenly watches these diplomatic efforts unfold, the visit of U.S. Special Envoy Mike Hammer signifies a critical step towards fostering stability and resolving complex conflicts in the Horn of Africa.

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