US wields velvet hammer in Ethiopia crisis

By Julian Pecquet
Posted on Tuesday, 7 June 2022 14:50, updated on Wednesday, 8 June 2022 09:14

Mike Hammer with Felix Tshisekedi (photo presidential: twitter)
Mike Hammer with Felix Tshisekedi (photo presidential: twitter)

The State Department has tapped a blunt but gregarious diplomat to try to defuse a series of crises in East Africa, starting with the lingering conflict in Ethiopia.

Mike Hammer is leaving his post as ambassador to the Democratic Republic of Congo to take over as the Joe Biden administration’s third special envoy for the Horn of Africa in 13 months, the State Department announced last week. He replaces David Satterfield, who stepped down in April after just three months in the position.

“I am grateful to Ambassador Satterfield for the experience and determination he brought to the role, and I look forward to the energy and vision that Ambassador Hammer will now lend to our efforts in the Horn of Africa,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement.