U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is in Africa for talks aimed at halting violence in South Sudan and the Central African Republic.
VOA's Scott Stearns, who is traveling with the secretary, says Kerry arrived late Wednesday in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa. On Thursday, Kerry meets with the foreign ministers of Ethiopia, Uganda and Kenya to discuss the South Sudan conflict.
A senior State Department official has said the secretary will deliver "tough messages" for both the South Sudanese government and rebels. The United States has threatened travel and financial sanctions on those responsible for violence that has displaced more than a million people.
While in the Ethiopian capital, Kerry will hold talks with African Union officials on the C.A.R., where Muslims continue to flee their homes to escape attacks by Christian militia.
He is also due to meet with Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud to discuss the fight against the al-Qaida-linked militant group al-Shabab.
On Saturday, the secretary travels to the Democratic Republic of Congo's capital to meet with President Joseph Kabila. The two will discuss recent security gains against rebel groups in volatile eastern Congo.
On Sunday, Kerry heads to Angola for a meeting with longtime President Jose Eduardo dos Santos. He returns to Washington on Monday.