U.S. Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa Jeffrey Feltman returned to Ethiopia on Monday after meetings in Kenya to push for a peaceful resolution to the Ethiopian crisis, the U.S. government said. But in Washington, demonstrators carried placards and banners that read, “Ethiopia does not take order from Feltman.”
“Special Envoy Jeffrey Feltman is currently in Ethiopia to underscore the United States’ grave concern with the escalation of the conflict and the risk of intercommunal violence, and to encourage all parties to engage in a dialogue on a cessation of hostilities,” the State Department said in a statement in Washington.
From November 4 to 7, Special Envoy Feltman traveled to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where he met with Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, Deputy Prime Minister/Foreign Minister Demeke Mekonnen Hasan, Minister of Defense Abraham Belay, and Minister of Finance Ahmed Shide. He also met with AU High Representative Olusegun Obasanjo, AU Commission Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat, UN Undersecretary General Martin Griffiths, and other international partners and government leaders.
From November 7 to 8, Special Envoy Feltman traveled to Nairobi, Kenya, where he consulted with President Kenyatta and other political leaders on the conflict in Ethiopia.
“The United States will continue to work with international partners to address the crisis in Ethiopia, including through action with the United Nations, the African Union, and other relevant partners and institutions. Special Envoy Feltman remains in the region and returned to Ethiopia today, November 8,” the Department added.
Tens of thousands of Ethiopians rallied on Sunday in Addis Ababa and on Monday in Washington in support of their Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali and against what they described as the U.S. support for the Tigray People’s Liberation Front.
On Monday, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield rejected that criticism, asserting that there are no good guys in the Ethiopian conflict, only victims on all sides.
Thomas-Greenfield insisted that there is no military solution to the Ethiopian conflict and once again called on all actors to lay down their weapons and talk.
However, talking may be the most difficult thing now as the TPLF fighters advance toward Addis Ababa and Ethiopians rally behind Abiy, a military confrontation may seem very well possible.
Feltman returned to Ethiopia the same day thousands of Ethiopians rallied against the United States in Washington and against him personally.
One demonstrator’s banner read, “Ethiopia does not take order from Feltman.”