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News: US diplomatic delegation, headed by Assistant Secretary Molly Phee, to attend AU Summit in Ethiopia, address regional issues

Molly Phee, Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs (Photo: State Department)

Addis Abeba – Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Molly Phee is scheduled to undertake a diplomatic mission to Addis Abeba, Ethiopia, from 12 to 17 February, 2024.

According to the State Department, the Assistant Secretary will be accompanied by distinguished government officials, among them Ambassador Mike Hammer, who serves as the Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa.

The main objective of their visit is to attend the African Union (AU) Summit and participate in high-level discussions with AU officials, heads of state, and ministers who will be present at the summit.

Scheduled to take place in Addis Abeba from 14 to 18 February, 2024, the AU Summit anticipates the participation of over 34 African leaders, including presidents, prime ministers, and other influential figures.

While in Addis Abeba, Assistant Secretary Phee will additionally engage in bilateral discussions with officials from the Government of Ethiopia to address significant regional and bilateral issues, according to the State Department.

The impending visit by United States officials comes subsequent to the US government’s expression of profound concern regarding reports of targeted civilian killings in Merawi town, situated within the North Gojjam zone of the turbulent Amhara region.

On January 29, 2024, subsequent to six hours of intense combat between the non-state militia, Fano, and the Ethiopian National Defense Force (ENDF), it was reported that at least 50 civilians were purportedly slain by government forces in what residents characterized as an “execution.”

Recently, US Ambassador to Ethiopia, Ervin Massinga, issued a statement calling for “unrestricted access for independent human rights monitors, as well as an impartial investigation to ensure that the perpetrators are brought to justice.”

The statement also directed attention to additional “numerous disturbing reports” concerning violations and abuses in Amhara, Oromia, and various other regions of the country, implicating both governmental entities and non-state actors. AS

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