India in focus: China appoints special envoy for the Horn of Africa | World news

Sutirtho Patranobis I Edited by Amit Chanda

China will appoint a special envoy for the Horn of Africa, a cluster of countries on a major shipping route near India, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi announced Thursday, a signal that Beijing wants to play a bigger role in the conflict. torn region.

Wang announced this in Mombasa during a joint press conference with his Kenyan Foreign Minister Raychelle Omamo.

“China will appoint a special envoy to the Horn of Africa to support efforts to address security challenges and ensure long-term peace and prosperity in the region,” said an official Chinese media report, citing Wang.

“To discuss this matter, reach political consensus and coordinate measures, China will appoint a special envoy from the Chinese Foreign Ministry to the Horn of Africa,” Wang said, according to media reports from Mombasa.

The Horn of Africa includes the countries of Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Sudan, South Sudan and Eritrea.

Wang began visiting three African countries, Eritrea, Kenya and Comoros, on Tuesday, a diplomatic tradition that celebrates the 32nd anniversary of Chinese foreign ministers choosing Africa as their first overseas destination in the new year.

China officially opened its first foreign military base in Djibouti in the Horn of Africa on August 1, 2017, the 90th day the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) was founded.

The opening of the base in Djibouti’s strategic position on the northwestern edge of the Indian Ocean has been followed closely in India because of its potential to become another pearl haven of China such as Pakistan, Myanmar and Sri Lanka.

“Djibouti, at the far end of the Horn of Africa, is the country with the smallest cultivation area on the African continent. But its proximity to the Middle East, its location on the energy transit routes and its location on the Bab-al-Mandab Strait make this country of great importance for the world powers, ”the foreign website The Diplomat had previously reported.

The region is threatened by instability in South Sudan, where China has significant oil investments, and Islamist militancy in Somalia, which often translates into fatal attacks on civilians in neighboring Kenya, where China is also making significant investments, according to Reuters.

Wang’s announcement comes as U.S. special envoy to the Horn of Africa Jeffrey Feltman, a veteran diplomat, prepares to step down this month after more than nine months in office dominated by the crisis in Ethiopia and a coup in Sudan.

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