ACCESSION NUMBER:379692 FILE ID:AEF404 DATE:02/16/95 TITLE:U.S. DIPLOMAT LAUDS ZIMBABWE'S CONSTRUCTIVE ROLE AS PEACEMAKER (02/16/95) TEXT:*95021602.PFA SUB:ZIMBABWE CO:AMB. JOHNNIE CARSON/SENATE,#RF,WPL,(FR),HRsp *AEF404 02/16/95 U.S. DIPLOMAT LAUDS ZIMBABWE'S CONSTRUCTIVE ROLE AS PEACEMAKER (FR) (Johnnie Carson senate nomination hearing) (580) WASHINGTON -- Zimbabwe is one "of the success stories" of southern Africa, and it has played "a constructive role in trying to peacefully resolve some of Africa's most contentious political crises," says Ambassador-designate Johnnie Carson. In remarks prepared for delivery at his confirmation hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Subcommittee on Africa on February 16, Carson added that Zimbabwe has actively supported U.N. peacekeeping efforts in Somalia, Angola, and Rwanda, "and has agreed to contribute a battalion of troops to a new U.N. force in Angola." But equally important, the career U.S. diplomat told lawmakers, Zimbabwe's president Robert Mugabe "has played a direct, thoughtful, and constructive role in mediating the recent political crisis in Lesotho and in helping to resolve political differences between the leaders of Renamo and Frelimo in Mozambique." Mugabe's talks with Mozambique's leaders, he pointed out, "helped to ensure the timely and successful completion of the national elections that took place in that country in late 1994." Carson, who completed a three-year tour as ambassador to Uganda last September, noted that Zimbabwe "had a positive influence on recent developments" in neighboring South Africa, and that its "strong and effective roles" in regional affairs "have contributed to the excellent bilateral relations that exist between the United States and Zimbabwe." In support of its own and Zimbabwe's economic development goals, he said the United States has established an active bilateral assistance program, a "small, but dynamic" Peace Corps presence, and a Fulbright educational exchange program in Zimbabwe "that is the largest in sub-Saharan Africa." "We also are working closely with Zimbabwe in regional and international fora to consolidate the political, economic, and democratic gains that have been achieved throughout southern Africa," he said. Carson said that he is "genuinely optimistic about the prospects" of strengthening ties between the United States and Zimbabwe. During a 26-year diplomatic career and as a Peace Corps volunteer, Carson said, he has lived and worked "in half a dozen countries in east, west, and southern Africa." Before becoming U.S. ambassador to Uganda in 1991, Carson served as deputy chief of mission at the U.S. Embassy in Gaborone, Botswana (1986-90), and as deputy political counselor at the U.S. Embassy in Lisbon, Portugal (1982-86). He was staff director of the Subcommittee on Africa in the House of Representatives (1979-82), a member of the secretariat staff in the Office of the Secretary of State (1978-79), and deputy chief of mission at the U.S. Embassy in Maputo, Mozambique (1975-78). From 1974 to 1975, Carson studied at the School of Oriental and African Studies and at the London School of Economics. His earlier assignments included serving as a political officer at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations (1973), as a political analyst in the bureau of intelligence and 1esearch at the State Department (1971-74), and as a consular and political officer at the U.S. Embassy in Lagos, Nigeria (1969-71). Before entering the Foreign Service, he served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Tanzania from 1965 to 1968. Carson received his bachelor's degree from Duke University (1965), and his master's degree from the University of London (1975). Born in Chicago in 1943, Carson is married to the former Anne Diemer of Northbrook, Illinois. They are the parents of three children. NNNN .