Top U.S. diplomat Blinken heads for Niger after Ethiopia visit

By Laureen Fagan - 15 March 2023 at 11:44 pm
Top U.S. diplomat Blinken heads for Niger after Ethiopia visit

Secretary of State Antony Blinken of the United States has announced US$331 million in new funding for humanitarian aid in Ethiopia, where he met with Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and other leaders on Wednesday as part of an African tour that continues through the end of the week.

Blinken said the aid was earmarked for health and nutrition services, access to clean water, food insecurity programs, and critical services for refugees.

“I am moved by the commitment of human rights leaders and advocates in Addis,” said Blinken, who met with leaders from the Amhara, Dire Dawa, Oromia, Somali, and Tigray regions. “I welcome their efforts to support inclusive dialogue and a victims-centered transitional justice process to heal the country’s divisions and provide peace and security for all Ethiopians.”

Blinken’s visit included discussions about implementation of the peace process in the Ethiopian conflict zones, but he also had time to discuss challenges in South Sudan, Sudan, and Somalia with Workneh Gebeyehu, head of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) regional body.

Blinken also planned visits with African Union Commission Chairman Moussa Faki Mahamat for follow-up talks on the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit held in December, focusing on food security, climate change, and global health.

The U.S. secretary will head to Niger on Thursday to meet with President Mohamed Bazoum and Foreign Minister Hassoumi Massaoudou in Niamey. The discussions will focus on ways to advance the U.S.-Niger partnership on diplomacy, democracy, development, and defense.

Image: U.S. Department of State

Laureen Fagan

Laureen Fagan

Laureen is the editor of Africa Times

Laureen is a freelance journalist creating high-quality, informed content on international affairs, politics and technology. She has worked both in and out of newsrooms since 2000. She is a former paramedic with significant experience in community resilience and nonprofit community development initiatives, and maintains "a passion for action" on sustainability and climate change. She also is trained in conflict resolution and diversity, and has special interests in science and medical reporting, and culture and religion issues. Laureen received her MSJ from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism in the United States, and completed additional graduate study in theology at University of Notre Dame. Follow Laureen on Mastodon at

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