(Bloomberg) -- The U.S. appointed David Satterfield to replace Jeffrey Feltman as special envoy for the Horn of Africa, a region that’s been wracked by civil war in Ethiopia, political and social upheaval in neighboring Sudan and Somalia, and a dispute over the construction of a mega-dam on the Nile River.

Feltman, who has held the post since early 2021, was initially supposed to serve for less than a year but the region’s challenges “demanded sustained focus by the U.S.,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement on Thursday. Feltman will continue to serve the State Department in an advisory capacity, he said.

Feltman traveled to Ethiopia on Thursday and met with Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed in what will be his last trip as special envoy. The U.S. has been working alongside African Union negotiator Olusegun Obasanjo and other mediators to end a 14-month conflict between Abiy’s federal forces and dissidents from the northern Tigray region that’s claimed the lives of thousands of people and displaced hundreds of thousands more. 

Satterfield’s appointment came hours after Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi announced in Kenya that his nation plans to appoint its own special envoy to the Horn of Africa. 


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