The US Secretary of State will meet with the leaders of Nigeria and Kenya.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken is about to make his first visit to Africa, virtually, where he will meet the presidents of Nigeria and Kenya.
Tuesday’s tour will include a meeting with young Africans from across the continent.
Blinken will then meet with Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari and Foreign Minister Geoffrey Onyeama “to reiterate the value of our bilateral relations and discuss issues of shared importance,” the State Department said in a statement.
The visit comes as the security situation in the country, a major oil exporter, continues to deteriorate. spiral amid attacks by the Islamic State of West Africa Province (ISWAP) in the north, widespread displacement and an increase in kidnappings for ransom.
During Blinken’s virtual trip to Kenya, President Uhuru Kenyatta and Cabinet Secretary Raychelle Omamo will celebrate “57 years of bilateral relations” and “discuss future cooperation to promote democracy and develop trade, and explore avenues to address global challenges, including climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic, ”the State Department said.
Kenya is also grappling with insecurity and displacement in neighboring countries, including Somalia, Ethiopia and South Sudan.
Special Envoy to the Horn of Africa
The visit comes after the Biden administration on Friday appointed veteran diplomat Jeffrey Feltman as special envoy to the Horn of Africa as Washington seeks to step up diplomatic efforts in a region affected by conflict in Ethiopia’s Tigray and other crises.
Today, I announced Jeffrey Feltman as United States Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa. He will lead a global diplomatic effort to address the interrelated political, security and humanitarian crises in the region. pic.twitter.com/F55bozgOZq
– Secretary Antony Blinken (@SecBlinken) April 24, 2021
Feltman will also lead international efforts to resolve tensions between Ethiopia and Sudan and around the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, Blinken said in a statement.
Fight in Tigray, between rebels and government forces from Ethiopia and neighboring Eritrea, killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands more from their homes in the region of around five million.