President Obama has named a special envoy for South Sudan and Sudan. He has tapped his outgoing ambassador to Ethiopia for the task, reports USA Today.
During the announcement, Obama called Donald Booth “one of America’s most experienced diplomats, with broad experience in helping promote peace and prevent conflict across Africa.”
Booth is specifically charged with leading the American effort to implement security agreements the two countries. These agreements were made last year and helping resolve long-running disputes over borders and sharing of oil wealth.
“With his considerable diplomatic talents, deep knowledge of the continent and unwavering determination, I am confident that Ambassador Booth will advance U.S. interests in pursuing a durable and lasting peace between and within Sudan and South Sudan,” Obama said in a statement the White House issued after the president met with Booth.
Secretary of State John Kerry, whom Obama deployed to the region in 2010 and 2011 when he was the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations committee, was excited about Booth being named. Kerry said that he, the president and national security adviser Susan Rice are all invested in helping the two nations.
“While the ultimate choices reside with these two nations, the United States will do everything we can to support those working for peace, and we will speak with candor about those whose actions undermine those hopes,” Kerry said in a statement.