(AFP) – Oct 20, 2011
WASHINGTON — The US Senate has confirmed the appointment of the country's first-ever ambassador to South Sudan and a new envoy to Bahrain, accused of human rights abuses over a mid-March crackdown on protests.
The two envoys were approved by unanimous consent Tuesday, along with ambassadors to Luxembourg, Bangladesh, Cape Verde, Mali and Sweden.
The confirmed ambassador to South Sudan, Susan Denise Page, will be the first US diplomat to serve in the post since the country gained independence in July.
During a congressional hearing earlier this month, she urged the new state to negotiate promptly with the north to share oil revenues, warning of dire economic consequences otherwise.
Thomas Krajeski, the confirmed ambassador to Bahrain, urged the kingdom not to crack down on anti-regime protesters and to instead implement reforms.
The US State Department said in a letter made public on Tuesday that it would weigh the results of a probe into Bahrain's protest crackdown before pursuing a planned $53 million arms sale to the kingdom.
A commission was due to report back by October 30 on Bahrain's crackdown on Arab Spring-inspired protests, which authorities say left 24 people dead, including four police officers. The opposition puts the toll at 31.
Bahrain, where a Sunni monarchy has ruled over a majority Shiite population for decades, is located strategically in the Gulf opposite Iran, and houses the headquarters of the US Fifth Fleet.
Copyright © 2014 AFP. All rights reserved. More »