Donald Yamamoto

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Donald Y. Yamamoto
Donald Y Yamamoto.jpg
Born 1953
Seattle, Washington
Occupation Diplomat

Donald Yamamoto (born 1953[1]) is the former U.S. Ambassador to Ethiopia (2006–2009) and Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary within the Bureau of African Affairs, currently serving as acting Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs. He was appointed by President George W. Bush in November, 2006, and presented his credentials to Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi in Addis Ababa on December 6, 2006.[2]

Yamamoto was born in Seattle, Washington and later graduated from Columbia University.[3] He was formerly the United States Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, U.S. Ambassador to Djibouti (2000-2003), and U.S. Ambassador to Eritrea ad interim (1997-1998).[4]

U.S.-Chadian relations[edit]

From April 22–23, 2006, Yamamoto met with current Chadian President Idriss Déby to discuss Chad's dispute with the World Bank over allocation of its petroleum funds and the possibility of a U.S.-led, United Nations-monitored peace keeping force to end the Chadian-Sudanese conflict.

The Government of Chad repeatedly accused the Government of Sudan of complicity in United Front for Democratic Change incursions from Darfur into eastern Chad. Yamamoto is the first official in any government outside of Chad to repeat this claim, saying, "It is evident that there was safe haven and logistical support provided to rebel groups."[5]

Chad produces around 100,000 bpd (barrels of oil per day, 2013 figures) which travels through the Chad-Cameroon pipeline, owned and operated by US companies ExxonMobil and Chevron and Malaysian Petronas. The Déby administration threatened to cut off the supply of oil at the end of April if the international community did not intervene to end the rebellion or if Exxon Mobil did not pay the government $100 million.[6] The dispute was later resolved, and Chad's oil continues to flow to other countries.

Chadian-Sudanese conflict[edit]

Yamamoto tried unsuccessfully to convince President Déby to delay the upcoming presidential election which was held on May 3.

Yamamoto later said, "We held a very direct and private discussion on the issue [of whether to postpone the election]... When people say that it's too late to delay an election... it's never too late to do anything. We must focus on what is important... to have a process in place and actual ability of all the people to participate in the process. Any election that doesn't have full participation of all groups then raises issues that they would have to answer for."[7]

U.S.-Ethiopian relations[edit]

Yamamoto met with Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi on April 22, 2006, to discuss the ongoing process of democratization in Ethiopia and the Ethio-Eritrea boundary dispute. Both leaders were positive about the outcome of the meeting.[8]

Assistant Secretary of State[edit]

Yamamoto became acting Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs on March 30, 2013, replacing Johnnie Carson.[9]


External links[edit]