Today Congresswoman Karen Bass (D-Calif.), Member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and Ranking Member of the Africa Subcommittee released the following statement on Secretary John Kerry's selection of former Senator Russ Feingold as Special Envoy to Africa's Great Lakes Region:
"I am pleased that Secretary Kerry has made his decision to appoint former Senator Russ Feingold as our nation's special envoy to Africa's Great Lakes region. With the UN's appointment of Mary Robinson and now Senator Feingold, I believe there is real hope that new global attention to the ongoing crisis in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and the region can be solved through dialogue, diplomacy and continued engagement. The time of impunity, fighting, and sexual and gender-based violence waged against women and young girls must come to an end.
"The crisis in the DRC has taken the lives of some 5 million people over nearly two decades and another 2 million people have fled their homes. It is my hope that Senator Feingold will work to ensure armed groups including M23 no longer terrorize innocent people and that all nations in the region respect the territorial integrity of their neighbors.
"I look forward to working with Senator Feingold and his team in this new position and look forward to his success in bringing greater peace and stability to the region, particularly in the DRC."