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Congresswoman Karen Bass

Representing the 37th District of California

Rep. Bass to the Washington Post: Questions Remain on Niger, Africa

October 23, 2017
In The News

"The sacrifice of four brave soldiers in Niger this month has raised important questions from Congress about the extent of U.S. military presence and engagement across Africa. To date, we have seen only bits and pieces of this administration’s thinking on Africa. Nine months into his term in office, the president has yet to nominate an assistant secretary for African affairs at the State Department. In July, President Trump had his daughter Ivanka Trump fill in for him in the middle of a Group of 20 session on African health and migration. Late last month, Chad, an essential counterterrorism partner in the fight against Boko Haram in the region, was added to the travel ban list.

The lack of clarity in the aftermath of the Niger incident highlights not only the need for a full, transparent congressional investigation into what happened but also the dire need for the administration to comprehensively assess what our strategic priorities are in Africa. There must be a congressional investigation into what happened in October, and the administration must be urged to develop a multidimensional strategy on the continent to minimize the possibility that a tragedy such as this happens again."

The letter appeared in print on October 24, 2017.