Washington, DC - The United States welcomes the African Union’s announcement of its new Special Representative for the Great Lakes Region and Head of the AU Liaison Office in Burundi, Dr. Arvin Boolell. The United States looks forward to continuing our important partnership with the African Union in promoting democratization, ending the threat of armed groups in the region, bolstering regional stability and cooperation, and ensuring that upcoming elections in several Great Lakes countries are free, fair, and peaceful—most imminently in Burundi, where critical elections are set to begin on May 26.

The United States expresses its sincere appreciation for the work of outgoing AU Special Representative Boubacar Diarra, whose steadfast and principled efforts proved instrumental in reducing tensions in the region, promoting greater stability and cooperation, and encouraging peaceful, democratic transitions.

The United States encourages regional governments, including the Government of Burundi, which hosts the AU Liaison Office, to continue their engagement and cooperation with Special Representative Boolell in pursuit of our shared commitment to democracy, stability, and economic development.