Democracy will be a central theme of Mr. Blinken’s visit to Nigeria, whose government Mr. Biden he condemned for endemic corruption and for violently repressing protesters in search of greater civil society freedoms.
Sudan’s coup also highlighted the limitations of American diplomacy on the continent. She arrived a few hours after the visit to the country of the special envoy for the Horn of Africa, Jeffrey Feltman, who left believing that a mediated political solution was at hand.
Mr. Hudson said the Biden administration struggled to respond to the crises in Sudan and Ethiopia and called for more aggressive US action.
“I am a bit close behind, I think,” he said, adding that Ethiopia’s fall into chaos would be “a huge strategic step backwards for this administration.”
The fighting in Ethiopia began a year ago after Mr. Abiy started a military campaign in the rebel region of Tigray. The Tigray fighters have quickly taken advantage and are advancing towards the capital, Addis Ababa, a city of five million people. The State Department has repeatedly urged Americans in the country to leave immediately.
“I am very concerned about the potential for Ethiopia to implode given what we are seeing both in Tigray, but also because we have different forces and different ethnic groups that are increasingly at odds,” Blinken told reporters last week, stating. that the result “would be disastrous for the Ethiopian people and also for the countries of the region”.
Mr. Blinken called for a ceasefire, free movement of humanitarian assistance and a negotiated political solution.