Statement on Appointment of Special Envoys to Africa

Mar 18, 2013 Issues: Foreign Policy, U.S.-Africa Policy

Washington, D.C.  – Today, Congresswoman Karen Bass (D – Calif.), Ranking Member of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa released the following statement applauding the announcement of a Special Envoy for the United Nations to the troubled Great Lakes region of Africa as well as the European Union’s appointment of a Special Envoy to secure and stabilize the Sahel region of the continent:

“I am pleased at today’s announcement of special envoys to help address two ongoing humanitarian and security crises in Africa.  Former Irish President Mary Robinson’s appointment from the U.N. to the Great Lakes region sends a strong signal that the international community stands ready to help area governments implement the recent peace deal aimed at ending years of conflict in the Congo – a conflict that remains the deadliest the world has seen since World War II.  I will be urging the United States to follow suit by appointing our own envoy to assist in ending this conflict, a move supported by regional leaders on the ground.

“Similarly, French diplomat Michel Reveyrand-de Menthon is a welcomed addition as a Special Envoy to the Sahel region, where ending the conflict in Mali remains a top priority.  I recently visited Mali and was briefed on the crisis by French and African military commanders.  I was also fortunate to meet with displaced families who have been directly impacted by the ongoing violence in the north.  I’m hopeful today’s announcement will help in bringing this painful chapter to a close for the families suffering through the ongoing violence.”