Top US official’s visit to Eritrea indicates renewed relations, assisting sanctions’ lifting, investment, and Ethiopian peace talks

24 April 2018

US Acting Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Donald Yamamoto visited Eritrea on 22–24 April, the first visit by a top US official in years.

No details have been made public, other than Yamamoto was due to meet Eritrean officials, foreign diplomats, and US embassy staff in Asmara, before moving on to Djibouti and Ethiopia. In November 2017, Yamamoto, a former US envoy to all three countries, announced that the United States was ready to facilitate peace talks between Ethiopia and Eritrea. Ethiopia’s new prime minister, Abiy Ahmed, has said that he is ready for dialogue. However, Eritrea insists on Ethiopia’s withdrawal from occupied territory, particularly the town of Badme, awarded to Eritrea by international arbitration following the two countries’ 1998–2000 border war, but never vacated by Ethiopia.

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