- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 17, 2009

WASHINGTON (AP) - A senior administration official says President Barack Obama has chosen retired Air Force Gen. J. Scott Gration to be a special envoy to war-wracked Sudan.

Gration is a close personal friend of Obama and has considerable experience on African issues.

The administration official told The Associated Press on Tuesday that Gration is the pick of both Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. The announcement was being made Wednesday.

Gration was an adviser to Obama during his presidential campaign on a range of military and national security issues. He is also an expert on Africa who was partly raised on the continent and is fluent in Swahili.

In 2006 he accompanied then-Sen. Obama on a trip to Africa.

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