Sunday, October 9, 2011

Is a Special Envoy To Be Named Soon?

A stray remark by a well-connected Africanist at the Great Lakes conference last week left me with the impression that the US might soon be appointing a special envoy/advisor/coordinator for the region. This is uncomfirmed! It's even possible I might have misheard the remark, so take this for what it's worth. I'll follow up soon.

As long as we're on the topic, however, it might be worthwhile to quote Rebecca Hamilton's assessment of the role special envoys played in Sudan:
Another repeated achievement of advocates, the appointment of special envoys, did not have such a positive impact. The appointment of a special envoy was a relatively low-cost way for the administration to show it was listening to advocates and advocates repeatedly understood the appointment of an envoy as a signal that Sudan was being treated as a foreign policy priority. But contrary to advocates hopes and expectations, the appointment of special envoys generally increased bureaucratic infighting with the Department of State and sent mixed messages to Khartoum. 

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