Today, Congresswoman Karen Bass (D -- Calif.), Ranking Member of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa, urged Secretary of State John Kerry to appoint a Special Envoy to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and the Great Lakes Region in response to the ongoing conflict in the DRC.
In response, Secretary Kerry announced that he would appoint a special envoy during testimony before the House Foreign Affairs Committee about the United States' priorities abroad and the 2014 budget.
His announcement is consistent with legislation introduced by Congresswoman Bass in March calling on the United States to take a comprehensive approach to resolve the crisis in the DRC, which remains one of the deadliest conflicts the world has witnessed since World War II.
"Let me be the first to applaud Secretary Kerry for realizing the need for the United States to take additional steps in helping to resolve the crisis in the DRC," Congresswoman Bass said. "I was pleased to hear the Secretary's commitment to appoint a special envoy to focus solely on providing U.S. leadership in bringing a resolution to the violence and instability that has plagued the DRC for far too long. I believe a special envoy will be welcome news from regional governments as well as provide a constructive partner in working with the international community in finding lasting peace for those suffering in the DRC."
Congresswoman Bass also applauded Secretary Kerry's recognition of the growing economic potential of Africa as well as the need for the United States to do more to compete with the growing economic influence of nations such as China, Brazil and India.