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U.S. names special advisor for Africa's Great Lakes region


13:06, December 08, 2011

WASHINGTON, Dec. 7 (Xinhua) -- The United States on Wednesday named a special advisor for the African Great Lakes region in a bid to help it become an area of "sustainable peace and security."

State Department spokesman Mark Toner said that Barrie Walkley, a career diplomat who last served as the top U.S. diplomat in what is now South Sudan, has been tapped for the post.

Walkley will work closely with Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Johnnie Carson and others "to ensure that the United States provides all the support we can to help the Great Lakes region fulfill its potential and become an area of sustainable peace and security," Toner told reporters at a regular news briefing.

In addition, the envoy will "help shape, devise, coordinate U.S. policy on the cross-border security, political, economic, justice and social issues arising from the Great Lakes in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)," Toner added.

The African Great Lakes region also includes Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Kenya and Tanzania.

Tensions arose in the DRC following the presidential election on Nov. 28 marred by violence, logistical problems and fraud allegations.

In October, U.S. President Barack Obama authorized some 100 U.S. military personnel to be sent to Uganda and other Central African nations to help fight Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), which has resorted to killing, abduction and looting for years.

The LRA was listed as a terrorist group by the African Union last month.

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