U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken will travel to Kenya, Nigeria and Senegal next week to discuss security issues and other topics, the State Department said Thursday.
In Abuja, Blinken and Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari will discuss collaborating on international health security, expanding energy access and security and other issues, it said.
Blinken, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and other officials “will discuss our shared interests as members of the U.N. Security Council, including addressing regional security issues, such as Ethiopia, Somalia, and Sudan,” according to the department.
Blinken’s last visit will be with Senegalese President Macky Sall in Dakar “to reaffirm the close partnership between our two countries,” the agency said.
Blinken’s November 15-20 trip comes as the U.S. aims to boost an African Union-led initiative to end the fighting between the Ethiopian government and ethnic Tigrayans.
Tensions in Ethiopia have escalated after reports of Ethiopian authorities detaining hundreds of Tigrayans, including some who are United Nations and African Union staff members, days after the government declared a state of emergency.
“I am very concerned about the potential for Ethiopia to implode,” Blinken said at the State Department on Friday.
Blinken said the U.S. is working closely with African Union envoy, former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo, who is trying to help broker a cease-fire in the conflict.