Blinken to Make Very First Journey to Africa as Biden’s Leading Diplomat

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    Blinken to Make First Journey to Africa as Biden’s Top Diplomat

    < img src=" https://foreignpolicy.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/Blinken-Africa-GettyImages-1235444985.jpg?w=1000" class=" ff-og-image-inserted "> Antony Blinken is set to start his first journey to Africa as U.S. secretary of state next week, making drop in Kenya, Nigeria, and Senegal, as the Biden administration comes to grips with developing political crises in East Africa and works to advance its agenda on enhancing democracy abroad.

    Blinken’s journey marks the highest-profile visit yet by a Biden administration authorities to the continent. It comes as the worldwide community is faced with what U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres has described as an “epidemic of coup d’etats” in Africa and in the middle of a quickly spiraling conflict in Ethiopia that has fueled a significant humanitarian crisis.

    Blinken, especially, is not checking out either Ethiopia or surrounding Sudan, where a military power grab stimulated a political crisis and upended the nation’s unsteady shift to democracy. Both crises are still anticipated to be a significant subject of conversation throughout his journey, a senior State Department official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Diplomacy.

    Antony Blinken is set to embark on his first journey to Africa as U.S. secretary of state next week, making drop in Kenya, Nigeria, and Senegal, as the Biden administration grapples with developing political crises in East Africa and works to advance its program on reinforcing democracy abroad.

    Blinken’s journey marks the highest-profile visit yet by a Biden administration official to the continent. It comes as the global neighborhood is faced with what U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres has referred to as an “epidemic of coup d’etats” in Africa and in the middle of a rapidly spiraling dispute in Ethiopia that has actually fueled a major humanitarian crisis.

    Blinken, especially, is not going to either Ethiopia or neighboring Sudan, where a military power grab triggered a political crisis and overthrew the nation’s shaky shift to democracy. Both crises are still expected to be a major subject of discussion during his journey, a senior State Department official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Foreign Policy.

    ” We have more than sufficient diplomatic engagement to address our foreign-policy objectives in those places, and Secretary Blinken is really, really focused on advancing our interests and the interests of individuals of Sudan and the people of Ethiopia throughout his journey,” the senior authorities said. (U.S. President Joe Biden’s unique envoy for the Horn of Africa, Jeffrey Feltman, frequently goes to both nations.)

    Blinken’s first journey to Africa was initially set up for previously this year, however it was postponed after he turned his attention to the quick collapse of Afghanistan in August, according to 3 officials familiar with the matter.

    Now, with the trip moving on, a top program product for Blinken will be on “rejuvenating democracies,” the senior official stated. Enhancing democracy abroad has been a major foreign-policy top priority for Biden since he took office, culminating in a virtual Summit for Democracy he is hosting next month.

    That program is dealing with substantial headwinds in Africa, where numerous federal governments– including of autocratic leaders whom the United States partnered with on counterterrorism and security matters– were ousted in coups in the past year. Sudan’s military coup was the fourth in Africa this year, following putsches by military figures in Chad, Mali, and Guinea. Additionally, 3 other African nations– the Central African Republic, Niger, and Madagascar– fended off coup attempts of their own, contributing to the highest rate of coups and coup attempts the continent has seen because the 1980s.

    Blinken plans to meet with members of civil society in each of the three nations he is checking out, in addition to conferences with senior foreign government officials, to “demonstrate through our actions along with our words that we are investing partnerships with individuals of Africa along with the governments of Africa to advance democratic worths,” according to the senior authorities.

    Other major program items for his trip include tackling the coronavirus pandemic– establishing countries in Africa lag far behind the most affluent countries in access to vaccines– and climate modification.

    Blinken’s trip begins the heels of the major U.N. Climate Change Conference, referred to as COP26, in which African countries proposed talks on a $700 billion financing offer to assist the continent adjust to climate change and accelerate decarbonization efforts. Africa contributes an approximated 4 percent of overall global carbon emissions, but African nations are considered among the most vulnerable to extreme weather, droughts, and natural disasters spurred on by climate change.

    Published at Thu, 11 Nov 2021 23:01:24 +0000

    Blinken to Make First Trip to Africa as Biden’s Top Diplomat

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