President Biden is dispatching his special envoy for the Horn of Africa to Ethiopia as a war in the rebellious Tigray region escalates, creating a humanitarian crisis that has already left thousands dead.
White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said Friday that Mr. Biden has asked envoy Jeffrey Feltman to begin negotiations between the Ethiopian government and Tigray’s People’s Liberation Front.
“Months of war have brought immense suffering and division to a great nation that won’t be healed through more fighting. We call on all parties to urgently come to the negotiating table,” Mr. Sullivan wrote on Twitter.
Mr. Feltman’s trip will take place from Aug. 15 to Aug. 24 and include stops in Djibouti and the United Arab Emirates.
The Ethiopian government and the Tigray’s People Liberation Front (TPLF) have been at war since September and have sparked a humanitarian crisis. Amnesty International reported Thursday that dozens of women in the Tigray region of Ethiopia have detailed shocking sexual assaults by Ethiopian soldiers.
More than 1,200 sexual violence cases were documented by health centers in Tigray between February and April, Amnesty International said. But the actual number is likely much higher because most of the health care facilities in the Tigray region have been looted or destroyed.
The United Nations last month warned that more than 10,000 children in Tigray could suffer from life-threatening malnutrition over the next 12 months. A total of 400,000 people are at risk from famine in the region, the United Nations said.