Appointment of U.S. Special Representative for the Central African Republic

Media Note
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
April 22, 2014

The Bureau of African Affairs is pleased to announce the appointment of Ambassador W. Stuart Symington as Special Representative for the Central African Republic (CAR).

As Special Representative, Ambassador Symington will play a leading role in shaping and coordinating U.S. strategy toward the CAR to end the violence, address humanitarian needs, and establish legitimate governance in CAR. He will work closely with African, European, and other bi-lateral partners, as well as with the African Union, the European Union, and the United Nations, to address the complex security, political, economic, social, and assistance issues arising in CAR. Ambassador Symington’s extensive background in, and commitment to Africa, including as the U.S. Ambassador to Rwanda and Djibouti and as Deputy Chief of Mission in Niger, make him an ideal candidate to help advance U.S. goals in CAR.

This Administration is deeply committed to stopping human suffering in CAR and supporting a peaceful and durable resolution to the ongoing crisis. The United States has committed up to $100 million this year to support the African Union and French forces that are currently working to restore security for the people of CAR. In addition, the United States is providing nearly $67 million in humanitarian assistance for CAR civilians, as well as $7.5 million for conflict mitigation, peace messaging, and human rights programs in CAR. We have sponsored high-level inter-religious dialogues to help establish a basis for national reconciliation in CAR.

We commend the leading role of the African Union and French forces in CAR, whose efforts have laid the groundwork for greater security in CAR, and we welcome the UN Security Council’s April 10 decision to deploy a UN peacekeeping operation. Ultimately, however, the people of the CAR hold their future in their own hands. We continue to urge all parties in CAR to end the violence, establish judicial mechanisms for ensuring accountability for those suspected of perpetrating human rights abuses, and move ahead toward an inclusive political transition process leading to democratic elections in February 2015 and a better future for all Central Africans.