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US – Ethiopia: Biden looks to capitalise on peace momentum with Abiy call

By Julian Pecquet
Posted on Monday, 10 January 2022 23:47, updated on Tuesday, 11 January 2022 15:02

US President Joe Biden and Ethiopia's President Abiy Ahmed (TAR)

President Joe Biden spoke with his Ethiopian counterpart on Monday in the latest sign of growing US confidence in a negotiated end to the conflict in northern Ethiopia.

Biden’s first call with Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed comes after Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa Jeffrey Feltman travelled to Addis Ababa on 6 January in what the State Department called an “opportune” time following Tigrayan forces’ withdrawal from Afar and Amhara. This was Feltman’s last trip to the region as he prepares to step down at the end of the month to be replaced by David Satterfield, the current US ambassador to Turkey.

The very next day, Abiy’s government announced it was releasing high-profile political detainees, including several leaders of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) as well as Oromo and Amhara activists.