SPEAKERS CONTENTS INSERTS
Page 1 TOP OF DOC41074 CC
ZAIRE: COLLAPSE OF AN AFRICAN GIANT?
SUBCOMMITTEE ON AFRICA
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
ONE HUNDRED FIFTH CONGRESS
APRIL 8, 1997
Printed for the use of the Committee on International Relations
Page 2 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
COMMITTEE ON INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
BENJAMIN A. GILMAN, New York, Chairman
WILLIAM GOODLING, Pennsylvania
JAMES A. LEACH, Iowa
HENRY J. HYDE, Illinois
DOUG BEREUTER, Nebraska
CHRISTOPHER SMITH, New Jersey
DAN BURTON, Indiana
ELTON GALLEGLY, California
ILEANA ROS-LEHTINEN, Florida
CASS BALLENGER, North Carolina
DANA ROHRABACHER, California
DONALD A. MANZULLO, Illinois
EDWARD R. ROYCE, California
PETER T. KING, New York
JAY KIM, California
STEVEN J. CHABOT, Ohio
MARSHALL ''MARK'' SANFORD, South Carolina
MATT SALMON, Arizona
AMO HOUGHTON, New York
TOM CAMPBELL, California
JON FOX, Pennsylvania
JOHN McHUGH, New York
LINDSEY GRAHAM, South Carolina
Page 3 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCROY BLUNT, Missouri
JERRY MORAN, Kansas
KEVIN BRADY, Texas
LEE HAMILTON, Indiana
SAM GEJDENSON, Connecticut
TOM LANTOS, California
HOWARD BERMAN, California
GARY ACKERMAN, New York
ENI F.H. FALEOMAVAEGA, American Samoa
MATTHEW G. MARTINEZ, California
DONALD M. PAYNE, New Jersey
ROBERT ANDREWS, New Jersey
ROBERT MENENDEZ, New Jersey
SHERROD BROWN, Ohio
CYNTHIA A. McKINNEY, Georgia
ALCEE L. HASTINGS, Florida
PAT DANNER, Missouri
EARL HILLIARD, Alabama
WALTER CAPPS, California
BRAD SHERMAN, California
ROBERT WEXLER, Florida
STEVE ROTHMAN, New Jersey
BOB CLEMENT, Tennessee
BILL LUTHER, Minnesota
JIM DAVIS, Florida
Page 4 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCRICHARD J. GARON, Chief of Staff
MICHAEL H. VAN DUSEN, Democratic Chief of Staff
Subcommittee on Africa
EDWARD R. ROYCE, California, Chairman
AMO HOUGHTON, New York
STEVEN J. CHABOT, Ohio
MARSHALL ''MARK'' SANFORD, South Carolina
TOM CAMPBELL, California
JOHN M. McHUGH, New York
ROBERT MENENDEZ, New Jersey
DONALD M. PAYNE, New Jersey
ALCEE L. HASTINGS, Florida
JIM DAVIS, Florida
RICHARD J. GARON, Chief of Staff
MICHAEL H. VAN DUSEN, Democratic Chief of Staff
C O N T E N T S
Mr. George E. Moose, Assistant Secretary of State, Bureau of African Affairs, U.S. Department of State
Mr. Vincent D. Kern II, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for African Affairs, U.S. Department of State
Mr. Alafuele Kalala, President, Rally for a New Society
Page 5 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. Gerald R. Martone, Director of Emergency Preparedness, International Rescue Committee
Mr. I. William Zartman, Chairman, Africa Studies Department, Johns Hopkins University, School of Advanced International Studies
Mr. Salih Booker, Senior Fellow, African Studies Project, Counsel on Foreign Relations
Hon. Donald M. Payne, a Representative in Congress from New Jersey
Mr. George E. Moose
Hon. Alcee L. Hastings, a Representative in Congress from Florida
Mr. Vincent D. Kern
Mr. Alafuele M. Kalala
Mr. Gerald R. Martone
Mr. I. William Zartman
Mr. Salih Booker
ZAIRE: COLLAPSE OF AN AFRICAN GIANT?
TUESDAY, APRIL 8, 1997
House of Representatives,
Subcommittee on Africa,
Committee on International Relations,
The subcommittee met, pursuant to notice, at 1:07 p.m., in room 2172, Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC, Hon. Edward R. Royce (chairman of the subcommittee), presiding.
Page 6 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. ROYCE. This subcommittee will now come to order. There is little doubt that Zaire is facing its most serious crisis in 30 years. The stakes are high. The United States has a significant role to play in bringing about a constructive resolution to this crisis. We have this role because the United States of America can make a difference and because we have a very real interest in doing so.
The humanitarian consequences will be great if Zaire continues its downward spiral. Already there is widespread suffering in eastern Zaire. Zaire borders on nine countries and its ability to destabilize Africa is great. The Angolan peace process for one is a potential victim.
Today's problems were not created overnight. Zaire's crisis has been decades in the making. One of our witnesses will contend that this crisis is not so much a matter of external aggression, but internal decay. And I agree. While the ADFL forces are receiving foreign support, the government of Zaire, particularly its army, has proven to be a house of cards. Its day is done.
To reverse this destructive course, Zaire's political, military, academic and civil leaders, including the ADFL, must sit down and hammer out a political settlement. The result must be a new government that is genuinely representative of the will of the people of Zaire. Multi-party democracy must be at the center of this arrangement, as well as the protection of political and civil liberties. Multi-party policies are difficult under the best of circumstances, but single party democracy long ago proved to be a mirage.
Bringing this political stability to Zaire, especially free and fair elections, is a tall order, but there is no real alternative, and the United States and other nations will be there to help.
What role for Mr. Mobutu? After three decades of despotic rule, Mobutu is gravely ill, in this hour of crisis for the country he professes to serve. We hope that President Mobutu, who had bled his country, will cooperate to salvage Zaire's future. What is clear is that Mobutu has no legitimate role in a new Zaire Government. At most, he can help to bring about its creation primarily through his departure. Hopefully, Mobutu will come to appreciate that his final act could be a constructive one.
Page 7 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC In looking at the end of Mr. Mobutu's political life, it is important to look at its beginning. Mobutu came to power with a promise of bringing order to chaos. He stayed for 30 years. As Zaire moves forward, as it expels its dictator in the midst of chaos, it is crucial that the roots of dictatorship do not take hold once again.
Yes, Africa today is different from the Africa of the mid 1960's. The era of the big man seems to be waning. Still Zaire must avoid the temptation of thinking that one man alone has the answers. Mobutu alone did not bring Zaire to its abyss. One man alone cannot bring Zaire to salvation. The Administration has been criticized for not doing enough to bring about a political resolution in Zaire. At least one of our witnesses will make this case.
It does seem as if we have watched Zaire implode in slow motion over the last several years. I am concerned that our diplomatic efforts of several Administrations have produced little; that we have not fully engaged all the parties. While we may not have the influence we once had in Zaire, our influence is still considerable and we can help. We owe that effort to Zaire and to ourselves.
Before we proceed, I want to recognize the members on the subcommittee who are present. Our ranking member is Mr. Robert Menendez from New Jersey. Mr. Amo Houghton of New York is the panel's vice chair. Other members of this subcommittee present today are Mr. Donald Payne of New Jersey and Mr. Tom Campbell of California. And I would ask at this time if any members of this panel have any remarks at this point.
Mr. MENENDEZ. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I want to commend you for holding this hearing at a very crucial time in Zaire's future and in U.S. policy, not only toward Zaire, but toward Africa, and I want to welcome our panelists who will be presenting before the committee.
The political and humanitarian crisis in Zaire demands our attention, not the evasion of a strategic priority. Zaire is at the geographic heart of Africa. It is the size of the United States east of the Mississippi, has a population of 45 million people, and borders on nine other African nations. We are at a crucial moment in U.S. policy toward Zaire, and as a result, toward all of Africa.
Page 8 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The crisis in Zaire has the potential to spill over, destabilizing much of the continent. If the conflict continues to degenerate and negotiations are unsuccessful, the possibility of a full-fledged civil war is nearly inevitable, the implications of which would shake the foundations of the entire region of southern Africa.
The refugee crisis alone could involve millions and impact dozens of countries in the region, and the impact on the fragile peace in Angola could destroy a long-sought government of national unity in that country.
In my view, Zaire is the hallmark of the post-cold war indifference of the United States toward Africa. In a thirst for stability, we abandoned our quest for democracy and a respect for human rights. I think most of the world shares a desire to see an end to an era which began when the cold war was at its height and when John F. Kennedy was President.
Inaction on the part of the United States in the international community is problematic for a couple of reasons. First, because it does not formally break relations with Mobutu, a move which would send a resounding message to him and his supporters in Zaire that his life-long dictatorship is over. Second, inaction and prolonged violence could lead to a number of undesirable outcomes, including a full-scale civil war on a government which is not committed to holding democratic elections. I am also wary, and not very clear (I do not know if anyone is), of the democratic intentions of Mr. Kabila.
We cannot afford to bypass this opportunity for a transition government which is committed to holding free and fair elections, and the situation has escalated to a point where failure to engage immediately, and I hope that the State Department witnesses will speak to this, Mr. Chairman, in a landscape that is changing so rapidly will have, if it has not already, out-paced our ability to influence it.
The Council on Foreign Relations held a press conference last week in which they noted, and I quote, ''While the success of the rebellion in Zaire provides a long-awaited opportunity to end the bankrupt Mobutu dictatorship, there is great danger that further militarization will exacerbate divisions among anti-Mobutu forces and make democracy less likely.''
Page 9 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Just as too many cooks spoil the soup, in Zaire too many factions may spoil the opportunity for a democracy. The United States has a long-term interest in Zaire and in the welfare of the Zairian people. The possibility of a strong and democratic Zaire is not, in my view, far-fetched. Zaire is rich in natural resources. With strategic aid and investment in Zaire, it could be an important regional and even international economic power. The only ingredient it needs is a government committed to democracy and to the welfare of its people, and we look forward to seeing what our witnesses have to say, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Royce. Thank you, Mr. Menendez.
Opening statement? Mr. Campbell.
Mr. CAMPBELL. Mr. Chairman, thanks for holding the hearing. It is commendable that you have shown this leadership and concern.
The only point I wanted to emphasize, particular to our representatives, I know Ambassador Moose will be pursuing this in his testimony, if there is any message that the Kabila organization might take from the present situation and these hearings, I very much want to communicate the necessity for humanitarian relief, particularly to the Rwandan refugees who are caught in the forest to the west of Kisangani. I think that Mr. Kabila would show dimension for leadership of Zaire in the future without parallel if he shows compassion in this context now, and there is a great temptation because of the ethnic origins of that trouble perhaps to be a little less than compassionate because of the Hutu origins. I would urge Mr. Kabila through this hearing to show that commission and that statesmanship.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Royce. Thank you, Mr. Campbell.
Mr. PAYNE. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Let me thank you for calling this very important meeting, and commend you again for the interest that you have taken in this subcommittee, and also to my ranking member who has showed a tremendous amount of expertise and interest in Africa.
Page 10 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC And let me just say also that for many years the policy in Zaire has been a bipartisan policy, and I hope that it can stay on that level.
We all know Mobutu imprisoned Patrice Lumumba way back in 1961. We were very involved with CIA surveillance, and at that time Kabila and Mobutu were fighting each other for the same cause. They were fighting for the same cause on the same side.
The only reason I mention that is because I think in order for us to move to the future we need to be sure that we know the past. Of course, it was the height of the cold war, and today things are very different. Our policy is different too, I hope.
I know that it was U.S. policy of supporting UNITA and Savimbi, Angola, Renamo and Mozambique, and Smith in Rhodesia, constructive engagement in south Africa, Sergeant Doe after the Liberian coup; all of which I opposed but I was not here to voice that. Along with that 75 years of Belgian colonialism, the chaos that followed their leaving had Mobutu coming to power, always depending on foreign sources to prop up his regime, whether the Moroccans or the British, or whether the Belgians and the French. It was always a lot of external involvement in Zaire.
Today, though, we have a different situation. I believe that presently Zaire is not a collapsed African giant. I do not believe that it will fall apart, as many said 7 or 8 months ago. I think that Zaire perhaps has the best opportunity today that it has had in many, many years; in decades.
Today, 1.1 million refugees have returned to Rwanda, which has increased the stabilization in Uganda and Burundi. In the last 6 months the ADF forces have gained control over Kisangani, their largest city, and other areas of Zaire. There are other areas that now are under his command that we are seeing, for example, that the refugees are being allowed through negotiations with the United Nations to have air lifts to bring out those people who have been driven so far back into the bush.
The ADF has been able, as you know, to garner support from the surrounding nations, Uganda, Burundi, Rwanda, Angola and Zambia. And so this means that there is for the first time in a long time a real desire in the region to have peace and to see that country move into the new millennium, as compared to the Zairian troops who looted and stole for many years. Kabila's troops seem to be better disciplined, as we indicated, allowing the United Nations now to come in to Kisangani to have air lifts out, and also perhaps to arrange ground transportation for those who can take the trip by truck.
Page 11 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The problem has been there for any years. It is going to take some time to sort it out. But as you know, we met with Kabila in January, and he stated that he would be willing to negotiate, to have a settlement as long as Mobutu is willing to sit down and talk, and as long as a government is set up that will not be controlled by the Mobutu forces.
The question in Angola has a lot to do with what happens in Zaire, because as Zaire becomes stable then the forces will no longer get support from Zaire and I think that will force them to honor the peace agreement, and therefore the conflict, I think, in Angola will also be solved.
And so I think it is very important what happens here because the opportunity can be an opportunity that the United States could have a strong hand in, as we did in Ethiopia when there was also a similar situation, and our State Department, along with others, were able to work out an agreement where that long civil war ended. And I would hope that the United States will also be a prime mover and a party in any negotiations that go on.
Let me just say that the question of the new Prime Minister Tshisekedi, although he has made moves toward the Kabila forces, I think that having been in and out of the Mobutu regime, there is certainly skepticism on the part of Mr. Kabila and his forces that Mr. Tshisekedi will deal a fair hand.
And so, I think, just in conclusion that we have an opportunity at this point. I think that this could certainly be a turning point in the entire region. I hope that we will have a policy that will be sound and to look toward the future of Zaire so that 46 million people, and as the ranking member said, have a person who will insist that elections be held, and that that nation be restored or to be put on the right road to recovery. And so I look forward to hearing the testimony of our witnesses.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Royce. Thank you, Mr. Payne.
Page 12 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC I also want to recognize that Mr. Steve Chabot of Ohio is with us.
Any other members of the panel wish to make an opening statement?
All right, at this point in time we will move to our distinguished panel of witnesses. With us is Ambassador George Moose, Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs. He has had a long and distinguished foreign service career, and lately has been directly involved in U.S. efforts to bring the Zairian rebel movement and the Mobutu Government to the table for peace talks.
Also, we have Mr. Vincent Kern on this first panel. He is Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for African Affairs. He is an acknowledged defense expert, particularly regarding the Middle East and African issues, and he has been following the situation in Zaire for a long time.
Ambassador George Moose.
STATEMENT OF GEORGE E. MOOSE
Mr. MOOSE. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman, and members of the subcommittee. I welcome this opportunity to discuss today the recent events in Zaire and American efforts, along with those of others, to try to resolve the current crisis, and I think equally important, to build the foundation for a future peace in Zaire that is stable and democratic.
Mr. Chairman, I have prepared a longer testimony which I would request to be submitted for the record. Let me at the outset just perhaps make a few observations.
First and foremost, I fully agree with your observation, Mr. Chairman, that indeed the United States has important influence to bring to bear on the current situation and an important role to play. And, indeed, we have been actively engaged for many months now in the larger arena of the Great Lakes, but specifically now in the situation in Zaire. That influence, we believe, can be most effective when it is used in conjunction with the efforts of others. Indeed, we have spent a good deal of time collaborating and consulting with other key partners starting with the neighboring States and others in the region who are most directly involved and concerned about this conflict, but also with the Europeans and others who have influence to bring to bear.
Page 13 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Second, I would share the understandable concerns expressed by members of this subcommittee about the risks inherent in the situation in Zaire. It is quite evident that given Zaire's size and its importance in the region, Zaire's continuing instability and crisis risks instability for the wider sub-region. And that is why we have seen so much shared concern on the part of the States of the region as expressed in the recent conferences in Lome and in Nairobi about how to bring about a resolution to that situation.
But I would also agree too that there is, and I do not want to be overly optimistic at all, an opportunity, as Congressman Payne suggested, an opportunity in the current crisis to repair 30 years of mismanagement, misgovernment, corruption, and to put Zaire finally on a path toward the kind of democratic reform and prosperity that the people of Zaire certainly deserve. That is possible in this present circumstance. But if that is to be achieved, it is indeed going to require concerted and sustained effort on the part of all of the international community. Certainly the United States intends to play its full role in that.
As many of you have already indicated, the current crisis has very deep roots. It goes back some 30 years. It can be traced to the disrepair, I would say to the corruption, steady corruption of the Zairian political process, and of the Zairian economic system, and the slow pace of democratic reform in Zaire that has perpetuated a system in which ordinary Zairians have had very little voice, very little to say about their own political representation, and where abuses of authority, including abuses by the security forces, have gone virtually unpunished.
These circumstances have created a litany of grievances on the part of many, many Zairians, and those grievances we are now seeing played out in the success of the rebellion that has begun now at least 6 months in eastern Zaire and has rapidly spread to the point where rebels occupy now virtually a quarter of the territory.
Our objectives in the current situation I think are quite clear. They are, first and foremost, to try to help bring about a cessation of hostilities and the immediate negotiations of the issues and the grievances that have brought about this crisis.
Page 14 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Second, and very much closely related to that, the effort to ensure that those who have been caught up in this crisis, the refugees and the displaced persons, receive the urgent attention that they require.
And, third, to try to use the current situation to promote a credible political transition in Zaire, one that has the support of Zairians themselves, and one that ultimately must culminate in a genuinely free and fair election process.
We have been urging for some weeks now, the parties concerned, both external as well as internal, to begin that process of dialog. We are now beginning to see that effort materialize in the discussions that are now underway in South Africa. You recall that back in February the United States was instrumental, along with the government of South Africa, in initiating the first contacts between Mr. Kabila's Alliance and the representatives of the Zairian Government. Those talks did not produce an immediate outcome, but I do believe that they laid the foundations for what is now taking place in South Africa, the negotiations being conducted by Ambassador Sahnoun, who is both the U.N. Special Representative and the Special Representative of the Organization of African Unity.
The latest news that we have, and I will share this with the members of the committee is that those talks have now been recessed to allow the representatives to report back to their respective principals, and to obtain further guidance, particularly on the issue of establishing a date for a cease-fire.
The communique, that was issued out of South Africa today does reflect, however, some progress and the outlines, at least, a possible political agreement. It reflects a recognition on the part of both the government and the rebels of a need for a cease-fire, and, within that framework of negotiations, a peaceful political solution to the conflict. And both sides, in adjourning these discussions, expressed commitment into the principles of territorial integrity, the inviolability of borders, and the unity and sovereignty of Zaire within its recognized border. Both agree that all of these are issues on which they have a common position.
Page 15 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC And, finally, last but not least, the parties underlined a need for a fundamental and democratic change in Zaire. And in that regard, they concurred on the need for a process of transition leading to transparent, fair, and inclusive elections.
Now, again, these are all elements which I think offer the possibility for a political solution in the political arrangement.
I would add that if there is a second message in addition to the humanitarian one that I think should come out of our discussions and our public debate in the United States, it is indeed our absolute conviction that there must ultimately be a political solution to this problem. There cannot be simply a military one. Seeking a military solution only risks prolonging and deepening the crisis that Zaire has been in for the last three decades.
The declarations coming out of South Africa would seem to suggest that both sides now recognize this, and that therefore it is up to the negotiators and those of us who are actively supporting them to try to transform these principles now into a solid foundation for a political settlement.
I will end my observations there, Mr. Chairman, and be happy to take whatever questions the panel may have.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Moose appears in the appendix.]
Mr. Royce. We want to thank you, Ambassador Moose, for your testimony here today.
At this time I would like to recognize another member of our subcommittee here today, Mr. Alcee Hastings of Florida, and I would ask my colleague, do you have an opening statement you would like to make at this time?
Mr. HASTINGS. Mr. Chairman, I thank you, but I will ask unanimous consent to have my statement inserted into the record at this time in the interest of time.
Thank you, sir.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Hastings appears in the appendix.]
Page 16 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. Royce. Very good.
Then we will proceed to Mr. Kern.
STATEMENT OF VINCENT KERN II, DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF DEFENSE FOR AFRICAN AFFAIRS, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Mr. KERN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, members of the committee. I too am happy to come before you and talk about recent events in Zaire. I have a rather detailed statement for the record, or statement which I would ask be put into the record. I would like in these remarks to focus on two issues. One is the mission and nature of U.S. forces who are in the area poised to conduct an evacuation should that become required.
But first I would like to talk about the peculiar nature of this conflict. After some rather heavy and fierce fighting between the Alliance and Rwandans, ex-FAR, the Former Army of Rwanda, and Interahamwe, after that heavy fighting last fall, this has been a relatively bloodless fight considering that the rebels--the Alliance have been able to now gain control, as Secretary Moose said, of about a quarter of the country.
The pattern has been that as Alliance forces near a town where there is a garrison of the FAZ, the Armed Forces of Zaire, the FAZ will flee, oftentimes after having looted the city. And so when the Alliance forces come into the city they are greeted as liberators, and I believe as Representative Payne has said, they have comported themselves in these towns in a way far superior to that of the FAZ which preceded them. In fact, it is very rare for them to even garrison a town. They just move on through it as they move forward chasing after the retreating FAZ.
The major reason for this success of the Alliance, I think, lies not so much in the strength of the Alliance, but in the weakness of the Armed Forces of Zaire. There has been throughout Zaire's history an unwillingness to create a competent military force. President Mobutu, I believe, felt that this would be a threat. A coherent army with a strong leadership might move against him, and so he has played one faction off against another. He has paid his troops poorly, if at all. He has promoted people for reasons of ethnicity and cronyism rather than reasons of competence.
Page 17 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC And so it is not so much that the Alliance has broken the back of the FAZ. It is that the FAZ was broken at the time the Alliance began to engage with them.
I would like now to turn to the question of U.S. forces in the area. As you know, given what we consider to be an unstable and fragile situation in the capital of Kinshasa, in late March Secretary Cohen directed the movement of approximately 675 U.S. forces into Brazzaville, in the Congo, and Libreville in Gabon. These were Air Force and Army forces. At the same time we began to deploy the U.S.S. Nassau, which was at that time off Albania in the Mediterranean. It arrived off the coast of Zaire on the second of April.
We are now in the process of transitioning, removing those forces that we have, Air Forces and Army forces on the ground turning over. We have already turned over the NEO mission to the marines who are embarked on the Nassau, and we are in the process over the next week or so of turning over the entire mission, both the enabling forces who would remain in Brazzaville, and the forces who would come from Nassau should an NEO operation be required.
I would like to emphasize that we have not made a decision yet about the necessity of an NEO, and I would also like to emphasize that NEO protection or evacuation of American forces, of American citizens, is the only reason that those forces are there. They are not there for any sort of a political signal toward one side or another. They are not there to intervene. They are there merely as a prudent way to protect American citizens.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Kern appears in the appendix.]
Mr. Royce. Thank you.
Mr. Kern, let me ask you one question, and that has to do with conflicting reports that we hear about whether there were massacres or not in ADFL-held territory.
What do you believe is the truth about such incidents, or have you heard about such incidents?
Page 18 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. KERN. We have heard reports about such incidents. There has been a U.N. representative who has been in eastern Zaire, but my understanding is he has so far only been in the Goma area. We are very supportive of his efforts. We are concerned about reports of Alliance atrocities against young Hutu males. We are also concerned about reports of killings on the part of the government of Zaire forces in the area, as well as killings reported against or reportedly committed by the ex-FAR, the Interahamwe. And I think that all three of these charges need to be very thoroughly investigated.
Mr. Royce. OK. Thank you, Mr. Kern.
Ambassador Moose, I was going to ask you about a comment made about 2 weeks ago by Mr. Kabila. He said that ''Opposition political parties would be banned in rebel-held territory.'' And then shortly afterwards an ADFL spokesman said that, ''International election observers would not be welcome for eventual elections.''
And you have been involved in peace talks with the ADFL leaders. What is your impression of them? Do these comments concern you? Let me just ask you for your observations.
Mr. MOOSE. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Indeed, we have noted those statements, and they do concern us because they do at least raise questions about the sincerity of the commitment of Mr. Kabila and the Alliance to a democratic process.
On the other hand, I will say that in the extensive conversations we had with Mr. Kabila and his representatives in South Africa back in February, the refrain which was constantly repeated to us, and indeed which was reiterated in this latest declaration out of South Africa, is that what the Alliance seeks is a democratic transition; that it seeks to put in place a mechanism for that transition that will allow for a credible, fair and free election.
And, in essence, what the Alliance has told us is that the negotiation as they see it should be about the nature of that transition process. It should be about the creation of the transitional arrangements which will permit that to happen.
Page 19 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Obviously, we need to see not just the words but the deeds. We wish to see that statement of intention translated into effective agreements and understanding and arrangements that would permit that to happen. That is what we have made clear to the Alliance and to others in our discussions with them. It is our hope that out of these discussions now in South Africa we will find evidence that in fact that is an accurate reflection of the intentions of the Alliance.
Mr. ROYCE. And basically it is the Administration's position that Zaire cannot afford to dispense with multi-party politics in any democratic transition in Zaire? In other words, we see in Uganda the suspension of pluralist democracy, and that is the way things stand there. But this would not be found acceptable, I take it, with respect to Zaire?
Mr. MOOSE. It certainly is not acceptable to us. It certainly is not our wish or our belief of how Zaire is going to escape from the trap in which it finds itself now, as found itself for the last 30 years. And what we would hope is that what comes out of this is something that does not repeat the mistakes of the past.
Mr. Royce. Right.
Mr. MOOSE. One of the mistakes in the past in Zaire was precisely the denial of the opportunity for Zairians to organize themselves in political parties in whatever ways in order to compete effectively in the political process.
So what we will be encouraging and I think what others in the region will be encouraging is a system or a transitional process that does in fact allow for parties and elections.
Mr. Royce. Thank you, Ambassador.
My last question would be if a multinational force had been deployed in Zaire last year, as the European nations wanted, do you feel that the situation would be better now had we moved forward with that?
Mr. MOOSE. No, Mr. Chairman, I do not. We did agree to work with the Canadians and others to create a multinational force for a given set of issues, and that situation was not static. It changed rather quickly such that the original premise for our involvement in our view was no longer valid; and that to have attempted to deploy a multinational force into that environment not only would not have helped solve the humanitarian crisis, which was the foremost concern for all of us at the time, but would have complicated very dramatically the political and security situation, and put the military personnel at serious risk by doing so.
Page 20 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC So I think we were right at the time to make the decision that we were prepared to do it in the circumstances that existed in that. And I think we were also right in deciding that the situation changed so radically that it was no longer valid, no longer viable for us to do so.
Mr. Royce. Thank you, Ambassador Moose.
Mr. MENENDEZ. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Secretary, let me make an observation from my point of view. I get a sense, and I have the greatest respect for you, I get a sense that we are somewhat in a differential role here where we do not seem to be ahead of this and we do not seem to be taking the type of leadership that I think that we should. And it seems to us, seems to me that we are working with South Africa and Zaire's European partners.
The degree of our engagement seems rather limited to me notwithstanding your comments, and I am concerned. I mean, do we believe that President Mobutu has any position to play in the Zaire of tomorrow? Are we committed to that proposition?
I know we are committed to having a peaceful transition if it is possible, which right now is not the case. But are we committed? I mean, it seems to me we are not making a very strong statement about Mobutu and his continuing. I mean, this commission and the negotiations that are taking place are basically people that he has appointed on his side of the equation. I mean, does that really give us hope of any type of a negotiated settlement?
And where are we actively going beyond what you have said? I get a sense we are playing a very deferential role here in a very important part of Africa.
Mr. MOOSE. Well, Mr. Chairman, I would argue that no other country has been more active than we have been in the effort to get a negotiation underway, and that goes back several months now. I would say that the fact that the United Nations did designate a special representative was in part due to our urging, indeed of the urging of others; that the involvement of Vice President Gore and Deputy President Mbeki was critical to getting a process going in South Africa, and it is, I think, the continuation of that process that we see now underway today.
Page 21 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC We helped shape an international approach through the United Nations, through the conferences that took place in the region, in Nairobi, and most recently in Lome, we have been very actively involved. Secretary Albright has communicated directly with President Mobutu and with others on this issue.
The other part that I would underscore is that Zaire is a big country. The United States, with all its influence, is not independently and unilaterally going to impose its will or political solution on Zaire.
Mr. MENENDEZ. That is not what I am suggesting either.
Mr. MOOSE. It is going to require a concerted effort on the part of the international community.
Mr. MENENDEZ. Are we taking a position that Mobutu has a place in Zaire's future?
Mr. MOOSE. We have taken the position and had taken it publicly that what is happening in Zaire right now is a movement toward a post-Mobutu era.
I do think that the way in which Mobutu departs the scene can influence whether this is a stable transition or not. I would share the view that the Chairman expressed earlier. There is a positive influence that Mr. Mobutu could be able to play in this situation, and our effort with him is indeed to persuade him to use that influence constructively toward a transition.
Mr. MENENDEZ. It is a shame that we have not used our influence, whatever influence we allegedly had with him in the past at the appropriate times because it may have preempted where we are today.
Let me follow the Chairman's question that I believe he asked on human rights issues. I am quoting from a Washington Post article that said that the ''U.N. investigator recommended that the United Nations launch an inquest into allegations that Zairian rebels killed hundreds of Rwandan refugees.'' This gentleman, Roberto Garoton, after a 3-day visit to eastern Zaire said, ''I had indisputable evidence of mass graves and massacres,'' where he said he stood on the mass graves. ''The numbers dead,'' he said, ''I cannot say for sure. What is certain is that there was a massacre. We cannot deny that.''
Page 22 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Are we supporting those efforts in the United Nations?
Mr. MOOSE. Absolutely, yes, we are.
Mr. MENENDEZ. We are?
Mr. MOOSE. We are, indeed. We have been active both in urging the United Nations, and particularly the U.N. Human Rights Commission, to deploy investigators and observers to eastern Zaire, and equally active in urging the Alliance to accept that deployment.
I think one of the most encouraging things that has happened in the last several weeks is the Alliance's agreement to Mr. Garoton's visit, and stated that they would also receive the visits of other investigators.
We do not have any independent information or confirmation of the many, many allegations that are out there. There are a lot of allegations and almost certainly there have been significant deaths during this period attributable to many different actors in eastern Zaire. I think what is important, as Mr. Kern said earlier, is that as soon and as quickly as possible the international community, through its agencies, particularly the Human Rights Commission, deploys the necessary investigators to that region so that we can determine exactly what the facts are. We cannot independently verify any of the allegations that have been made.
Mr. MENENDEZ. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Royce. Vice Chairman Houghton.
Mr. HOUGHTON. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
Gentlemen, good to see you here. Can I ask you sort of a simple question here? What are the motivations for the Alliance to come to the negotiating table?
Mr. MOOSE. I think there are some fairly compelling motivations. One might look at the military situation and say, well, they seem to be on a roll. Why would they now agree to stop and enter into negotiation?
Well, the fact is that, yes, they have done very well in the short space of 6 months in that area of eastern Zaire where their members for the most part have identifiable roots and connections with the local population. Zaire is a very big country, and there is still three-fourths of that country not under rebel control.
Page 23 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC And even if the Alliance were able to prevail militarily, and I think that certainly is not an unreasonable proposition at this stage, there is a question of their being able to sustain whatever political dispensation they might wish to impose.
We have argued, and I believe that Zaire's neighbors and others have argued, that ultimately this is going to require a political arrangement. Now, clearly it is a political arrangement in which the Alliance is going to have a major voice. They have demonstrated that they are both a political force and a military force to be reckoned with; that they are still, in Zaire's scheme of things, only a part of the political class in Zaire: one way or another they are going to have to reconcile themselves with the other representatives.
The indications coming out of the negotiations in South Africa would seem to suggest that they recognize that ultimately there has to be a political settlement to this. I think from our perspective, given our interest in a durable solution, it is very much in our interest to encourage that effort to achieve a political outcome.
Mr. HOUGHTON. Well, thank you very much. And that makes a great deal of sense. However, it is sort of heady stuff when you have the momentum that they do, and although you can recognize intellectually there should be a political settlement, I just wonder whether the motivations are there right now for them to say, all right, long-term we must do this, so at some point we have got to cut off what we are doing and move into more diplomatic sense. I just have that question, and you have probably answered it, but I keep coming back to it because it is really the crux of any good offices of which he can offer.
Mr. MOOSE. It is a quite valid and legitimate question, and indeed I do not pretend to have the final answer. All I can suggest here is that we and other nations have looked at this situation and said if we are to have any reasonable assurance of long-term stability in Zaire, indeed if Mr. Kabila is to have some assurance that he will not tomorrow find himself a victim of others who are displeased and aggrieved by the imposition of a unilateral political settlement, then this is the moment to begin to think about what a political process would be.
Page 24 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. HOUGHTON. Well, one other----
Mr. MOOSE. There is some indication that they are prepared to think in those lines, and I think we ought to encourage them.
Mr. HOUGHTON. All right. Mr. Secretary, I would like to ask you just one more question about the French. Are we and the French playing this thing together, or are there different voices coming at the Alliance group?
Mr. MOOSE. I certainly would not say that we are 100 percent in agreement on how we perceive the situation in Zaire. But I think we are indeed in full agreement on one key point; namely, that the future stability in Zaire requires an effort to bring about a political solution.
We have spent a fair amount of time in consultations not only with the French, but other European partners as well. I think there is consensus on that point within the international community. We have collaborated with the French and others in conveying that message both to the Zairian parties and to others in the region as well.
Mr. KERN. If I could just add a point on the military side. In addition to the forces that we have in the area, the French, Belgians, and British also have forces, and the military-to-military cooperation with the French, as well as with the Belgians and British, could not be better. So that is working very smoothly.
Mr. HOUGHTON. Thank you very much. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Royce. Let me turn to Mr. Payne.
Mr. PAYNE. I just sort of whispered that is what Mr. Kabila was worried about, but I did not mean to make it a question.
As it has been indicated, I think Mr. Houghton really asked a key question, why should there be negotiations when the largest cities have fallen, the battalions are out that can move any time in Kinshasa.
First of all, I think that, in my opinion, we really have a golden opportunity to have some real influence. We had influence, you know, 31 years ago when we had a policy that they needed a strong man in Zaire, and it was Mobutu, and we had a very, very dominant role, probably financially more dominant than anyone else, although the French politically. And it would appear to me that if we took the same strength and posture that we took 31 years ago to move right into the center of this thing, let me just say that when we had the opportunity to talk to Mr. Kabila he said his biggest fear was the French. At that time he felt that the activities would be thwarted as they moved on with this force.
Page 25 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC That was, of course, you may recall when the humanitarian issue about getting the refugees out of Goma when the Mobutu Government said that the Banyamulenge people had to leave, and when the rebellion started moving the Interahamwe and the ex-forces of Rwanda moved the refugees back, those that were able to get out were able to get out, but there has been that intermingling of the Interahamwe and the force of Rwanda and the Zairian forces in keeping the refugees as sort of shields to some degree.
I think that we had a golden opportunity several months ago to really try to have some influence with Mr. Kabila. I think that the more time that elapses the less influence we will have. At some point it will be a military victory, and we may have no influence.
You are right that it would be difficult probably to maintain the Alliance, and the reason they call it an Alliance is that there is not necessarily one very dominant factor. It is, I think, fortunate that one person has emerged--there were questions when we went in to meet with him whether he would be able to maintain the position of being the No. 1 person leading the Alliance, and he has been able to and, I think, has strengthened his hand since that time as a matter of fact.
So one of the questions that repeatedly came up over the years was, well, Zaire is big, and what happens after Mobutu, so we have to continue to support Mobutu because we do not know what is going to happen. There is no one person that could keep it together.
Well, I think that perhaps Mr. Kabila as a person that has loomed big may be an opportunity to try to keep the country together. As a matter of fact, he said that Zaire should remain together. That is a principle that he believed in.
He also was interested in the USA having a strong part in the election process. I agree with my ranking member that I think that we could exert a lot more pressure, a lot more influence if the State Department, Secretary of State, and the Administration decided that we should take a greater role. I think that we have an opportunity to sit down with Mr. Kabila and say that we certainly could not do it to the same tune financially as we did during the past 30 years with the Mobutu regime, but we certainly could offer assistance in the rebuilding of that country.
Page 26 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC When I went there in 1991, it was a shame to see people, you know, dying at clinics where mothers were just there to die with their children because of the lack of any kind of medical facilities and the AIDS epidemic was raging in the country at that time, and there was just simply nothing done with these folks. So I started to say I think that if we had a plan, if we made some offers, if we talked about bringing in technical assistance, if we talked about trying to assist the new government moving forward, that may be some incentives because, as I indicated before, there has been mistrust with the French. Mr. Kabila felt that the French would even become engaged in the conflict. They thought that the South Africans with the Executive Outcome group that was in there at the time, they had Serbians there, some of the UNITA troops were coming down, it was felt there would be a big clash. But always the USA came up as the ones that could be a prime mover in this issue.
I just feel that we are sort of missing the boat by not having an aggressive stand. Of course, Africa is different now than it was 30 years ago, and the people in the Great Lakes Region have made decisions themselves, and, you know, they make their own policies. But I do feel that there are still a lot of people on the continent that look up to the United States to become a partner, and that if we had any opportunity, because as I indicated, once the conflict is over then the problem begins; how do you govern once you take over militarily. That is not easy. But if we could have some way to put in some mechanism so that when they take over militarily, because it is just a matter of time. When we met with him 3 months ago he said he was meeting already with Zairian troops, the FAZ who did not want to fight, and that is why I question these allegations of atrocities because it is just counterproductive to him being looked at as a liberator. Liberators do not come in and massacre people.
Now, I am not saying that isolated incidents may not have happened. We should look into it. But philosophically it makes no sense. When you are viewed as the liberator why would you then do atrocities you see.
Page 27 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC I really do not have any questions. I think the major questions were already asked by Mr. Menendez and Mr. Houghton and the Chairman. But I would just hope that we could review our lack of aggressive participation and have an Administration decision made that we ought to become involved because if Zaire becomes settled and then Savimbi and UNITA troops will have to give it up since Mobutu has been supplying them with the wherewithal to keep going, and I think that it settles another problem indirectly.
So I think we could make it more of a win situation if we just had a more aggressive policy.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Royce. Thank you.
Mr. MOOSE. If I might respond just generally to Congressman Payne. I guess I would respond on the political side that I do not know what more we could do in terms of exerting political influence in the negotiating process in our contacts with all of the various actors.
We were among the first to establish a dialog with Mr. Kabila doing so even at a time when many questioned whether our contact doing so would perhaps legitimize Kabila. But we did so back in November, in part because we were concerned about the humanitarian situation, and wanted to make sure we were doing everything possible to gain maximum access for humanitarian agencies in the area controlled by the Alliance.
And that dialog has continued, and is reflected in the fact that we are in telephone contact with Mr. Kabila probably two or three times a week.
The other side, however, and I do think you have a point here, and that is, as we look to the future there are several things that are going to be essential if indeed the negotiation effort is successful. One is a massive international effort to support whatever transition process and whatever electoral process.
The second is significant support in the reconstruction of Zaire, starting with eastern Zaire, but certainly not exclusively there. And here I do think that we are currently very handicapped by limited resources available to the Administration in providing that kind of support. While this is true particularly in Zaire, it is not exclusively so in Zaire. It is a problem that we have encountered repeatedly over the last several years as a result of the declining resources available for our foreign programs and activities.
Page 28 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC It is pertinent because I know that the committee is going to be considering even this week the markup for this year's Administration's request for foreign assistance. And I would hope that out of that process will come a recognition that indeed these are the kinds of resources that we need if indeed we are to play a meaningful and influential role in situations like the one that is currently in Zaire.
Just to come back again to the point that you mentioned, about the incentive here for Mr. Kabila. Well, I think there are several. As you mentioned, Congressman Payne, this is an alliance, and alliance members are united on some issues. It is not entirely clear that they are all agreed or in one mind about what happens once the current regime is gone. That too, in our view, is both motivation, and a fairly compelling reason for a process of negotiation and dialog.
I do not think that is out of the question. Again, I appreciate why in the current circumstances there are a lot of people who believe that Mr. Kabila can simply march into Kinshasa, but I at least take some encouragement from the fact that his negotiators now sitting in South Africa have said that what they would wish to see come out of this is a political arrangement that produces a transition that leads to an election. That is what we, I think, ought to be putting our maximum influence behind, including, I hope, the ability to offer the kind of tangible support for an elections process and for a process of reconstruction. I think those can be major incentives, major attractions not only to Mr. Kabila, but to other Zairians who participate in such a process.
Mr. Royce. Thank you very much.
I would like to recognize Mr. Campbell from California.
Mr. CAMPBELL. Mr. Chairman, thank you.
One quick followup to Ambassador Moose and then a question for Secretary Kern.
Ambassador, I wonder if I might ask that you would send us a letter as quickly as you could, by that I mean the committee, the Chairman, I would get a copy of it hopefully, that would outline what kinds of resources are needed for the immediate crisis. I note that aid has not in the past been well spent in many areas. I do not believe every problem has a money answer. But in this context here, you just made the comment for which I applaud you, that resources are needed. You are somewhat constrained by the shrinking resources.
Page 29 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Tell me, please, for this crisis what do you need and for what purposes? I think it would be very valuable to us to have that letter from you.
Mr. MOOSE. I would be very happy to do that, Congressman.
Mr. CAMPBELL. With the Chairman's permission. Thank you.
And my followup to Secretary Kern: Could you kindly spend a moment on the tactics?
Oh, Ambassador Moose, like real soon.
Mr. MOOSE. Tomorrow.
Mr. CAMPBELL. Hate to have a markup without it. Thank you.
Secretary Kern, tactics on the ground for the evacuation of the Rwandan refugees, generally referred to as the Hutu refugees who have gone farther and farther west with the advancing Alliance forces, do international organizations, possibly including the United States, do they have the tactical ability now to effectuate a repatriation to Rwanda--I think the numbers are 100,000 plus?
And do you anticipate the U.S. role in that?
Mr. KERN. Well, the largest group of refugees is in the area between Ubunda and north toward Kisangani along the river and the railroad. The Alliance has now given the international community, the UNHCR and ICRC, access to those refugees.
There are about 20,000 refugees who are in such bad physical condition that it would be impossible for them to make a march back to Rwanda. And so UNHCR is in the process of organizing an air lift to move--first to stabilize them, and then to move them back to Rwanda if they want to go. And the overwhelming number of them do seem to want to go. And it is not the defense budget, but I believe it was $3 million that came from----
Mr. MOOSE. From the State Department.
Mr. KERN [continuing]. the State Department, from AID to UNHCR to help with the chartering of airplanes to do that.
Page 30 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The other 80,000, they would move back via road, and they presently have in Zaire enough trucks to do that. They are in the process of negotiating with the Rwandans to get trucks that would take them from--there is a break in the road, and trucks cannot go through. People will have to get out and walk, and they are negotiating with the Rwandans to give them the trucks they need for the other side, to go from that point in Zaire to Goma and then back into Rwanda.
Mr. CAMPBELL. And do you anticipate U.S. military assistance in that effort?
Mr. KERN. No, we do not. We understand there was some discussion of provision by the United States of logistics planners. We never got a formal request. I was just told this morning that the British have now volunteered to do that, so we do not foresee a U.S. military role.
We do, of course, through our humanitarian assistance program, DOD's, provide excess defense articles to refugees and others, and we have been doing that in eastern Zaire, in Rwanda and elsewhere.
Mr. CAMPBELL. And regarding food and clean water and medicines for the refugees, the tactical ability exists to provide the need?
Mr. KERN. Yes.
Mr. CAMPBELL. Well, let me use the remaining 30 seconds, Mr. Chairman, in the event that the Alliance's representatives are in the audience, or Mr. Kabila himself will have access to our testimony today, let me just address a comment only on behalf of myself, it is all I can speak for, that the assistance that Mr. Kabila can offer to this humanitarian enterprise will go tremendously far in the reputation that he carries among, at least in my mind and I venture to say probably among my colleagues as we debate America's role in assisting in the creation of a new Zaire. It would grieve me terribly to learn that the human rights abuses alleged were correct. It would grieve me and I am sure my colleagues on this overwhelmingly too, find that Mr. Kabila had failed to make every opportunity available for the repatriation of refugees. Not every Hutu refugee was in Interahamwe. Not every Hutu refugee is a ''genocide.''
Page 31 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Thank you very much.
Mr. Royce. And I think Mr. Campbell speaks for the committee on that sentiment.
Mr. CAMPBELL. Thank you.
Mr. Royce. And that is the committee's view.
At this time I call upon Mr. Hastings, Alcee Hastings.
Mr. HASTINGS. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman, and I want to thank both the witnesses, and especially you, Mr. Chairman, for holding this hearing on this particular subject.
Mr. Kern, I got here late and I apologize to you and Ambassador Moose for that. But I read your statement during the course of the time of sitting here. One of the things you say is that we have no strategic interests in Zaire.
Then what the hell are we doing here? I mean, why are we holding this hearing? I firmly disagree with you. If it is the Defense Department's position that only where direct economic interest of multinationals doing business do we have strategic interest, then I gather that Zaire does not fit the category.
We have strategic interests in Korea, in Cambodia, in Malaysia, in Vietnam, and I am beginning to wonder how it is that Africa is always the afterthought, and Zaire just highlights a multiplicity of problems.
I agree with my colleague very much, Mr. Payne, in his assertions to you that there is a tremendous void in Africa, and all of us that have studied, and you have, and Secretary Moose has studied Africa recognize that void is there. Let me tell you what our interests are.
We are the remaining super power in the world today. And if we intend to keep that position, then it is in our interests to do those things that are necessary that my colleagues have talked about, that my colleague, Mr. Campbell, just raised with reference to funding, or any number of matters in Africa as yet another of the continents or that look to this country for leadership.
Page 32 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Now, I do not quarrel with your notion of strategy from a defense standpoint at all, but I do quarrel with how it is we have interests wherever we want to have interests, whenever we want to have interests, and then when it comes to Africa we do not seem to have any interest, and that is troubling to me.
I might add that we are going to have some interests in Zaire because just as soon as the rebel-held territories run into food shortages, then you are going to have to step up your assistance to NGO's and trying to get humanitarian relief there, and what we tend to do in Africa, it seems to me, is pay later rather than pay up front and develop some real leadership.
Now, let me turn to you, Mr. Secretary. I heard you say, ''I do not know how much else we could do on the political side.'' Let me make some suggestions.
First, I think the President could speak out about this matter. The President of the United States, not Ms. Albright, not you, the President of the United States. I do not think Africa ought to be an afterthought to him as well. I also think that we should and can distance ourselves from Mobutu. And among the ways that we can do that is by letting the French know that we are going to lead the international effort directly rather than wait for them or the Belgians or the British or someone else to marshal that international force that you and I know is going to be necessary in order to provide a political solution.
But if we sit around and wait for the French to do it, then tell the French that I said it ain't going to be done any other way than how they want it to be done. And how they want it to be done is to support Mobutu. Supporting Mobutu is supporting France is supporting Mobutu. If Mobutu has over a period of 31 years caused his country's disintegration, there is absolutely no reason for us to continue to play any kind of role with him whatsoever, and to get rid of him as soon as we can and give somebody else a chance to try to revitalize that country.
Now, I despair because we come to these hearings and repeatedly we go through the same ritual that does not lead to an ultimate conclusion. This country has leadership. This country is looked to for leadership. There are things that can be done on the African continent, Zaire being among them, that can demonstrate that leadership. We are always there on the humanitarian front, and that is to our great credit. But I just leave those few words with both of you. And somebody pray tell me how it is we keep talking about all these dictators in Africa, we cannot do any business with them because they are dictators. And I just got back with the Speaker of the House and the chairman of this committee from China, doing business with dictators.
Page 33 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC I am having trouble getting focused on who it is that we do business with in this work and why we do business. Africa is a great continent with an immense amount of resources that needs the exact same amount of attention that we give to everyone else. Zaire is just one of those areas.
If Clinton picked up the phone and called Kabila and asked him to come here to the United States and talk with him, Kabila would be here day after tomorrow. It would be just that simple. Netanyahu is here talking with the President about what? Peace. And Kabila needs that chance, the Alliance needs that chance, and everybody in Zaire, particularly the people of Zaire need that chance.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Royce. Thank you, Mr. Hastings.
Mr. Royce. Ambassador Moose.
Mr. MOOSE. Well, I do want to sort of put to rest any suggestion here that somehow we have been deferential to others, wherever they may be, in terms of forming our own views about that situation, and seeking to influence developments in Zaire and central Africa in ways that we think are appropriate and correct.
If anything, I would argue that the consensus that now has emerged about what needs to happen in Zaire has been strongly influenced by the efforts that we have been making over the last several months. That the whole notion of the bankruptcy of the existing political dispensation in Zaire, the need for a process that would bring that political dispensation to an end, but hopefully in an orderly fashion. And I think that is the other part of this that is important for us.
It is clear that President Mobutu, his regime, the system that has been put in place is a thing of the past. The question is how is it going to be succeeded, and can it be done in an orderly fashion, and that is what we have been trying to use our influence to bring about.
Page 34 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC And in so doing I would argue that we have shaped the attitudes and the views and opinions of a great many people in the region and in the international community.
On the issue of interest, we would not be spending the kind of time and energy and effort that we are expending if we did not believe that there was--I used the term ''strategic,'' but certainly a compelling national interest for the United States in southern Africa in a whole variety of ways. We have invested, for example, over the last 4 years enormous efforts in trying to get a peace process in Angola.
Again, I would argue that the United States was instrumental in getting that process started. The events in Zaire could put all of that in jeopardy. We therefore believe we have compelling interest in making sure that what happens in Zaire does not put at risk all that we have been able to accomplish over the last several years in Angola.
I would argue that it is critically important, given the relationship we have with South Africa, the importance of South Africa to that sub-region, that what is now happening in Zaire not put in jeopardy what has happened in South Africa.
So there are compelling national interests which are recognized all the way up the line. Again, I would simply point out the way in which the Zaire discussions in South Africa got started was through a direct discussion between Vice President Gore and Deputy President Mbeki. They both have been actively involved in this process from the very beginning.
So I take your point. I understand the concern expressed here, but I just wanted to allay any concern that somehow we are not pursuing our own sense of our own national interests in trying to bring about a solution to the crisis in Zaire.
Mr. KERN. If I could just add one or two more examples to Secretary Moose's. I think the African crisis response initiative is an example of our trying to work more with African militaries to help improve their peacekeeping abilities for Africa and other crises.
We have recently begun to provide nonlethal military assistance to Ethiopia, Eritrea and Uganda because of the threat they face from Sudan, both for the ACRI, for the so-called front line States initiative, and also for provision of aid to ECOMOG. A good portion of that comes from drawdown of DOD goods and services.
Page 35 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC One of the reasons that we are compelled to do that is because the bottom has fallen out of the security systems budget for Africa. Talking for myself personally, you are pushing on an open door for getting more resources for Africa, but they just are not there. So DOD is increasingly being called upon to act in these either humanitarian or emergency situations.
Mr. HASTINGS. Mr. Chairman, I know my time is spent but I just wanted to say to Secretary Moose and to you, Mr. Chairman----
Mr. Royce. Mr. Hastings.
Mr. HASTINGS [continuing]. that I do not think that there is any individual in America that has done more in that arena than has Secretary Moose. And I just want to make it very clear that I understand that, and I recognize what the Vice President has done. I keep talking about the President of the United States.
Mr. Royce. Thank you, Mr. Hastings.
Ambassador Moose, Mr. Kern, we want to thank you again for your testimony today.
We will now proceed to the second panel.
Mr. MOOSE. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. KERN. Thank you.
Mr. Royce. Now, before we begin our second panel I would like to thank our witnesses. But again, let me make the point that we would appreciate it if you summarized your testimony. Your testimony as written will be included in the record, but we would like you to keep it to 5 minutes, and that will allow the members of the committee to ask you questions.
It is a pleasure to introduce the members of this distinguished panel. Dr. Alafuele Kalala is president of the Rally for a New Society, and U.S. contact person for the Sacred Union, which is a coalition of Zairian political parties and civic groups.
Mr. Gerald Martone is director of Emergency Preparedness for the International Rescue Committee. He has recently been directly involved in his organization's relief efforts in eastern Zaire.
Page 36 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Dr. I. William Zartman is director of African Studies at the Nitze School of Advanced International Studies at the Johns Hopkins University. He has written extensively on conflict resolution in Africa and recently on the situation in Zaire.
Finally, Mr. Salih Booker is senior fellow with the African Studies Project of the Council on Foreign Relations. He is a long-time African activist who recently led a coalition of groups calling for a new U.S. policy on Zaire.
We will begin with Mr. Kalala.
STATEMENT OF ALAFUELE KALALA
Mr. KALALA. Mr. Chairman, my presentation is a summary of my testimony which I would like to request that it be placed in the record as an overall part of my testimony at these hearings.
Mr. Chairman and members of the Africa Subcommittee, allow me to begin by expressing my great appreciation for two things. First, for your holding these hearings and turning a much-needed spotlight on the crisis in Zaire, and the unspeakable sufferings that it imposes on all Zairians and Africans. We are very grateful to you and we deeply thank you. Second, I am honored that you have invited me as a representative of the Rally for a New Society, and a representative of the Zairian people to share our views on how best to solve the crisis and put an end to the tragedy which is underway in the heart of Africa.
Zaire is undergoing its worst crisis since 1908 when it became a formal Belgian colony snatched from the repressive grips of King Leopold II of Belgium. The threat that looms on Zaire today is of the essence of the threat that engulfed the Kingdom of Congo at the death of Dom Affonso, a 16th century king of Congo.
Indeed, when Dom Affonso, who had led his country to ruin, died, the Kingdom of Congo disintegrated. It is no exaggeration to say that over four centuries later the same prospect looms in Zaire as we are nearing the end of the oppressive Mobutu era.
Page 37 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. Chairman and members of the Africa Subcommittee, there are a good number of reasons why you, the U.S. Congress, the U.S. Government, and the American people should care about Zaire.
First, Zaire borders on nine countries. It is as large as the United States east of the Mississippi River. The disintegration of Zaire could well send shock waves throughout the entire continent of Africa, and could become a real nightmare for the international community. The disintegration of Zaire would create the situation that could take decades for the international community to come to grips with.
Second, the human tragedy that is now underway in Zaire and the potential for an explosion that will deepen human sufferings calls for the attention of all people of good will.
Third, the people of Zaire and the American people have enjoyed a long friendship. This country was involved at the birth of Zaire as a modern nation State. Henry Morton Stanley headed the American delegation at the Berlin Conference. The Zairian people fought along with the Americans during the cold war and helped the United States win that war. It will be a real token of friendship for the American people to help the people of Zaire get back on their feet. The people of Zaire have never needed America more than they do now.
Mr. Chairman, and members of the Africa Subcommittee, Mr. Mobutu and his regime are the essence and cause of the Zairian crisis. For over three decades, Mr. Mobutu has oppressed and starved the people of Zaire. He has destroyed everything in the country, including the State. Hence, nothing positive will happen in Zaire as long as the country will continue to be held hostage by Mr. Mobutu and his cronies.
All that is now raging in the country and the dismal performance by the Zairian military are a natural consequence of the overall decay of the country and of the deep discontent of the people of Zaire with the Mobutu regime.
Mr. Chairman, and members of the Africa Subcommittee, as intractable as the problem of Zaire may appear, it is our feeling that they are solvable. However, given the overall decay of the Zairian society and the Machiavellian personality of Mr. Mobutu, an exclusively internal Zairian solution may have become totally illusory. It is in light of this difficult situation that we hope that the United States of America can and should play an important role in resolving the Zairian crisis.
Page 38 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Indeed, we would like to take this opportunity to ask you, Mr. Chairman, the members of the Africa Subcommittee, and the U.S. Congress as a whole, to do your best to get the U.S. Government to undertake all the necessary steps to organize as soon as possible an international conference on Zaire. A U.S. conference or U.S.-led conference on Zaire could help develop the framework for a peaceful and lasting solution in Zaire.
The Rally for a New Society has devised a six-point plan that could be used to resolve the crisis in Zaire and help stabilize the central Africa region once and for all.
First and foremost, Mr. Mobutu must step down. This will be beneficial not only to the country, but to himself. We hope that for all practical purposes the United States can get Mr. Mobutu to accept to step down if it were to put its influence to bear. Indeed, at present Mr. Mobutu is very weak, both physically and politically. He is completely dependent on being treated on a continuous basis in a western country.
Moreover, the relentless progress of ADFL forces weakens his standing each passing day. Now, more than ever Mr. Mobutu could be offered a deal that he could not possibly refuse. Of course, it is beyond any doubt that Mr. Mobutu has lost all control and that sooner or later the ADFL forces will get him out. Thus, either he accepts to step down now, and gets an honorable way out, or he waits for the inevitable to happen and therefore incurs the risk of him and his entourage of losing everything, including the physical integrity.
It is our firm conviction that the possibility for a general amnesty for himself and his entourage could be used as a very powerful bargaining chip. An even more promising avenue is to bypass Mobutu and entice his entourage to leave. All indications are that some people within his entourage will be very much interested in such a deal since it appears that they feel obliged to hang on to power as the only way for them to ensure their safety and that of their family members. Once Mr. Mobutu steps down, a President can be elected for the transition period.
Third, the allied forces which are fighting now in the east of Zaire to topple Mr. Mobutu and his regime will then be asked to lay down their arms and to participate in a genuine government of national reconciliation. The primary mandate of the interim government of national reconciliation will be to organize within 9 to 12 months free and fair elections under the supervision of the United Nations and outside observers from Zaire's partners and nonprofit organizations. Local, regional and parliamentarian elections should take place before the more controversial Presidential elections.
Page 39 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC There is no reason why the ADFL forces should be allowed, as they have stated, to form an interim government made up solely of ADFL members. Other people have fought the Mobutu regime from within the country and from outside for quite a long time, and some even sacrificed their lives. Other sons and daughters of Zaire took up arms much earlier and did not succeed in toppling Mr. Mobutu simply because of the cold war political realities.
Fourth, Mobutu's infamous private militias, the DSP, the special Presidential division, and the civil guard will have to be disbanded. A police force must be created and the plan to restructure the army must be adopted. The nearly nonexistent Zairian army is a very bad legacy from Belgian colonization. It must be restructured.
Fifth, a United Nations multinational peacekeeping force will be sent to ensure the implementation of the accord. This will be very critical, for an undisciplined and corrupt army could not be entrusted with the delicate task of security order inside the country during the electoral process.
Sixth, to allow Mr. Mobutu and his cronies not to feel threatened by this plan, RNS is putting forth that a general amnesty be passed with respect to the last four decades.
Mr. Chairman, and members of the Africa Subcommittee, we think that this is a very simple plan that the United States can help put in motion to help put Zaire back on its feet and stabilize central Africa once and for all. By acting now it will cost far less in terms of financial resources and human suffering than if we choose to miss the window of opportunity and wait for a catastrophe to happen, which would require the expending of far greater money, effort, time and resources.
Mr. Chairman, and members of the Africa Subcommittee, we wish to conclude by providing a short answer to the question posed by your hearings, ''Does the current agony of Zaire signify the impending collapse of an African giant?''
Our answer is this: ''It is in our hands.'' By this we mean the hands of all persons of good will concerned about Zaire and Africa. The primary group here are the people of Zaire because they own the country and must play the central role in shaping its future and their own lives. But others have a role to play, and we think that one outside role player stands head and shoulders above the rest, that is the United States of America.
Page 40 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC We would like to ask to end, to call on all governments, the United States in particular, to withhold the recognition of any future government in Zaire, whether transitional or otherwise, until it agrees to abide by the following five principles: respect for human rights, freedom of expression, multiparty democracy, the natural emergence of a new leadership, rational use of country's resources within the framework of a market-oriented economy. These are, Mr. Chairman, American values.
Mr. Royce. Thank you.
Mr. KALALA. I would like to simply say that sometimes it is when everything is destroyed that the opportunity to build something new and to build something beautiful presents itself.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Kalala appears in the appendix.]
Mr. Royce. Thank you, Dr. Kalala.
I want to thank you for explaining the six-point plan of the coalition of Zaire and political parties and civic groups. But I want to remind those testifying today that we have your testimony before us, and so I am going to ask you to stick to the 5 minutes.
Mr. Martone, would you go next?
STATEMENT OF GERALD R. MARTONE, DIRECTOR OF EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS, INTERNATIONAL RESCUE COMMITTEE
Mr. MARTONE. Yes, thank you, Mr. Chairman. Thank you, committee members.
I, Gerald Martone, of the International Rescue Committee, IRC, have been working with IRC in the Great Lakes Region crisis since 1994. IRC worked in Goma, Zaire until February 1995, when we shifted our relief programs to Cyangugu, Rwanda. IRC also administers humanitarian aid to refugees and internally displaced people in Tanzania and Burundi. I have traveled extensively to the region over the past 3 years, providing emergency medical care to refugees, and oversight of IRC programs, and programmatic guidance to IRC field staff.
Page 41 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC I would like to thank the committee for giving IRC and other private and humanitarian agencies the opportunity to alert those gathered here of the enormity of the current humanitarian crisis in eastern Zaire, and to outline the response of these humanitarian agencies to this tragedy.
In October 1996, as a result of the conflict between the rebel forces and the Zairian Government, thousands of Rwandan and Burundian men, women and children which had been residing in Zairian refugee camps along the Rwandan border fled into the hills of South and North Kivu. Throughout November and December 1996, hundreds of thousands of these refugees returned to Rwanda and Burundi. Small pockets of refugees continue to return, bringing the total number of registered returnees to over 700,000 in Rwanda, and close to 100,000 in Burundi.
The question of how many refugees are still in the thick Zairian forests following this exodus in late 1996 is very heavily debated. While the media as well as several governments, politicians and organizations believed that few refugees actually remained in Zaire, most aid agencies working there, including IRC, agree that the number of refugees was at least 300,000. Within the past couple of months refugees have begun to come out of the Zairian interior in the thousands, many with swollen bloody feet, after months in the forest on muddy roads with little food or water. Their testimonies support the high estimate of refugees still remaining in these forests.
In late February of this year, I participated in a 6-day multi-agency journey into Zaire's interior to locate the isolated refugees and provide emergency assistance to them. The trip to Kingulube, which is the halfway point between Bukavu and Shabunda, was the result of a place where 40,000 refugees that had fled the forest ahead of the ADFL rebels. This mission was organized by the United National High Commission for Refugees, UNHCR.
The objective of our mission was to evaluate the needs and physical condition of these refugees reported to be massed near Shabunda, and assess the constraints of delivering aid in this area.
Page 42 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC What we discovered on that trip was that many of them suffered from many maladies, including exhaustion, dehydration, malnutrition and malaria. Many of the sores on their feet and legs, as a result of foraging in the forest for months to survive, and because of the humidity of the environment, prevented these injuries from healing. Those that were unable to continue their foot journey back to Rwanda will probably be left to die.
Among the refugees we discovered large numbers of unaccompanied children, children without any parent or legal guardian, who were severely malnourished and in need of emergency medical care. Children in refugee context traditionally have a much higher mortality than adults, with children under five comprising over 50 percent of the deaths from disease and malnutrition.
The inter-agency team that I participated on provided basic medical, nutrition and shelter assistance to those refugees that gathered around the vehicles, and encouraged them to follow the convoy back to Bukavu, and then on to Rwanda. Almost 200 refugees were later encountered on the road following us on the way to Bukavu. Approximately 40 of the most vulnerable children, we picked up and carried back to Rwanda ourselves, three of them, despite the attention and medical care on the vehicles, had died on the way.
In addition to the large number of Rwandan refugees and Burundian refugees that remain in eastern Zaire, there are still at least 40 to 50,000 internally displaced Zairians along this route. Not only have many of the Zairians been displaced by the fighting, but thousands continue to leave the country in the face of ADFL advances. Over 100,000 now reside in Tanzania, 4,000 in Uganda, close to 8,000 in Zambia, and 10,000 in Sudan.
The return of these refugees is hindered not only in their fear of the ADFL, but also the lack of infrastructure and economic opportunity in their places of origins. Their livelihoods have been destroyed, and fighting between the Zairian Government and the ADFL continues to intensify.
In closing, I want to stress the return to Rwanda and Burundi of the large refugee population within Zaire is crucial to the stability of Zaire, and to the peaceful relations in the Great Lakes Region and among Zaire and its neighbors.
Page 43 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Recently representatives from our colleague agencies, Refugees International, as well as ICRC and UNHCR have alerted the international community to the difficulties now faced by the refugees because of the rebel control of these certain areas.
The IRC strongly encourages the U.S. Government to support the initiatives of UNHCR and humanitarian agencies in eastern Zaire through the provision of logistical and monetary aid. I urge all of you to maintain the prominent leadership role and focus of the U.S. Government in addressing the needs of these isolated and desperate refugees.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Martone appears in the appendix.]
Mr. Royce. Thank you, Mr. Martone.
Professor Zartman, would you summarize your testimony, please?
STATEMENT OF I. WILLIAM ZARTMAN, CHAIRMAN, AFRICA STUDIES DEPARTMENT, JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY, SCHOOL OF ADVANCED INTERNATIONAL STUDIES
Mr. ZARTMAN. Thank you, Mr. Congressman. It is good to be back here again before the subcommittee. I would ask that the statement that I have made be included in the record, and I am going to summarize it very rapidly.
The current events in Zaire are part of the process of State collapse, and not simply a rebellion and a regime change, and are the product of internal, and not external, forces. While these internal forces have their external allies and supporters, the political vacuum created by the collapsing State of Mobutu Sese Seko attracts external involvement. This external dimension is secondary and ancillary to the internal dynamics.
I have been asked to focus on the internal dimension, but I should emphasize that what we are looking at is an internal affair and my focus does not indicate that external forces are the dominant player. In fact, the striking aspect of ongoing events compared at least to some earlier predictions has been the limited and ineffective nature of external involvement.
Page 44 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC I will not go ahead to detail all of the elements of external involvement except to repeat and underline again the statement of Mr. Kern that the elements of support behind the Alliance, the ADFL, has been limited and it was essentially an initial support to provide assistance to get the movement started, and that thereafter during this year, in 1997, the ADFL has been on its own gathering local support and recruits as it moves ahead.
It is important to recognize also that the rebel side is not the only part of the conflict that has benefited from external or neighboring African support. The Mobutu Government has as well. And it is worth noting that their support comes not from neighboring States, but from mercenaries of various kinds, members of UNITA fighting in the north of Zaire, the northeast of Zaire, and, of course, about 300 mercenaries from a number of different places who have been rather extraordinarily ineffective in gathering the FAZ back again into a fighting force.
In fact, again, as Mr. Kern indicated, and I would agree with this, there has been very little fighting at all as the rebels move north, south and westward.
Why are neighboring States involved at all? Well, rapidly again, and you have the details in the testimony, it is because Mobutu and Zaire has been involved for a long time in their affairs, and because they have a certain interest in seeing that a friendly government is established during this process in Zaire.
It should be emphasized that they are not involved to take Zaire apart. And the one statement that was made by the Rwandan President some months ago about a greater Tutsiland and about a new Berlin Congress seems to have had no international echo, no international support.
There has been frequent discussion of western military intervention in the civil war, but such an intervention would be ineffective, infeasible and ill-advised, and in any case does not appear to be under serious consideration at the present time. And I refer here as well to a force suggested in previous testimony, a U.N. force that would help the transition in the country.
The removal of the Mobutu regime is a natural and overdue process of Zairian politics, to be left to the Zairians and not to be impeded. The military front stretches for thousands of miles across most inhospitable territory, and neither peace enforcing nor peacekeeping in U.N. terms is indicated. The only useful intervention now being discussed is the element mentioned earlier of U.N. support for evacuating the remaining Rwandan refugees in northeast Zaire.
Page 45 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Thus, the world will watch Mobutu's regime collapse. It will happen in one of two ways no doubt. Either by a movement of the ADFL into the capital, and it is worth remembering that Mbuji-Mayi is only 1,000 kilometers as the crow flies from Kinshasa and only 200 kilometers from the rail head and the river line that goes down to the capital.
If this would happen, hardline Mobutists will doubtless flee; the political class in the capital is likely to spend much more effort in figuring out ways of working out good relations with the rebels than with resisting their entry. They may be successful in neither. The ADFL entry into Kinshasa may be accompanied by incidents of retaliation and bloodshed, but not on a major scale, and not as ethnic cleansing.
The other possibility would be, of course, the continuation of negotiations, and I must say for the life of me, and the answer to Mr. Houghton's good questions, I cannot see any reason why serious negotiations would be conducted by Mr. Kabila's forces at the present time.
When he is on the roll and the Mobutu regime is on the ropes, he would be interested in talking rather than simply appearing to talk and delaying negotiations, I cannot see why he would try to deal with somebody who has no authority anymore. I cannot see why he would try to prolong the life of the Mobutu regime by legitimizing that regime through negotiations. Particularly if those negotiations as earlier discussed were for a cease-fire in place, it makes no sense. If the negotiations are for a peaceful entry into Kinshasa, on the other hand, it does make some sense, and hopefully talks, which I think as peacefully minded Americans we are interested in seeing take place, I think the talks are best focused in that direction.
Let me close in saying that I think it is important to look ahead into the future regime that is taking place, to the unfolding outcomes and in such a way as to bring about a better situation for Zaire. Economic instruction is difficult. Political reconstruction in the case of collapse is even more daunting.
To keep the electoral option on the agenda, to maintain the active civil society that has emerged, to support the orientation of political energies toward effective governance, to eliminate the reemergence of a rapacious regime in a new guise--all require positive engagement by the world community, and I hope that we would be able to bring our European allies, France and Belgium, along with this as well.
Page 46 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC One final note, I think it is important not only to emphasize the unity, the territorial integrity of Zaire, to emphasize the importance of elections as a legitimizing mechanism, but also to emphasize that people who have lived 100 years in Zaire are Zairians.
That is where the crisis began 2 years ago and that is where it needs to be resolved.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Zartman appears in the appendix.]
Mr. Royce. Thank you, Dr. Zartman.
STATEMENT OF SALIH BOOKER, SENIOR FELLOW, AFRICA STUDIES PROJECT, COUNCIL ON FOREIGN RELATIONS
Mr. BOOKER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, Congressman Menendez, and other members of the subcommittee, as well as the staff. I thank you for extending an invitation, albeit on short notice for me to testify today on this subject of Zaire.
I would like to note at the beginning that the Council on Foreign Relations does not take institutional positions on policy issues, and that I am solely responsible for this statement. I will summarize my remarks as you requested, Mr. Chairman.
I would also like to submit for the record of this hearing a statement on U.S. policy toward Zaire that was signed by over 80 organizations and individuals concerned with the political crisis there, who are calling for a new U.S. policy approach to more robustly support a democratic transition in that country.
I hosted a meeting on Zaire over a week ago that was the catalyst for drafting this statement, and we continue to receive additional signatories to this statement on a daily basis. The Coalition statement is attached to my testimony. Mr. Chairman, Zaire should be a major concern to those who define and implement our foreign policy for the very reasons that all of the witnesses this morning have pointed out. It is indeed the key to central Africa. Zaire will be either a force for stability, economic growth, and prosperity for all of central Africa, or it can become an even greater source of instability, conflict and impoverishment for the region.
Page 47 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC I would like to comment briefly on Congressman Hastings' point about U.S. interests. American interests in Zaire are dissimilar to those interests elsewhere in the world. In Zaire, as elsewhere, our interests are best served by promoting security, democracy and development. We have a vested self-interest in preventing the creation of zones of chaos wherever they might be in the world from Bosnia to Albania, to Zaire. Instability and chaos breed humanitarian crises, international crime, drug and arms smuggling, environmental degradation, poverty and communicable disease.
Ending conflict and supporting the establishment of democratic rule in Zaire would promote stability and offer us a partner with whom we would cooperate on the resolution of global problems. It will also reduce the costs of responding to humanitarian emergencies. And I might add here that according to our figures I believe we have already spent $150 million just since last October on humanitarian needs.
Moreover, the democratic form of governance that we seek to live by here at home is founded upon the same democratic rights that Zairians are demanding, and as such, our values are also at stake in Zaire.
Finally, and most importantly, economic development in Zaire holds the promise of creating an engine for trade and growth and the reduction of poverty throughout central Africa. It is not as complicated as it may seem, and the people of Zaire have been struggling to chart a path in this direction for a long time. Quite simply, the struggle in Zaire is one of a pro-democracy movement against a bankrupt dictatorship.
U.S. national interest and the strategic interests are not set in stone. They are defined by those who participate in defining them, and many of us did not participate in defining the national interests in a manner which required the creation and embrace of Mobutu.
Beyond our interests, Mr. Chairman, the United States has an important historical responsibility in Zaire. To many, it is a moral obligation. Our government recruited, advised and essentially contracted Joseph Desire Mobutu, as he was then known, to rule the Congo in the early sixties, supporting his ultimate grab for power in 1965 and providing him substantial sums of money over the years. The United States helped Mobutu establish the practice of purchasing his subjects' loyalty, a system that defines Zaire's political acumen today.
Page 48 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Our government now has a chance to help expedite the end of this dictatorship and bring a democratic transition process that can lead to Zaire's return to the world.
Mr. Chairman, I first traveled to Zaire as a professional staff member of this very subcommittee 13 years ago, in 1983. I witnessed Mobutu's special police beating all the UDPS representatives that we had just met with, including Etienne Tshisekedi, the current and restored Prime Minister.
If I could conclude very briefly by speaking about the statement in the attached testimony. We differ fairly significantly from Assistant Secretary of State Moose. We believe that the United States must adopt two very simple policy objectives, and that we must pursue them publicly and privately, and aggressively on both accounts.
The first objective has to be the removal of President Mobutu from power, and the second objective has to be to work with other nations to create support for a transitional government of national unity that will create a democratic transition process, ultimately realizing the democratic elections that Mobutu has for so long denied.
I thank you for accepting the full testimony in this record.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Booker appears in the appendix.]
Mr. Royce. Thank you, Mr. Booker.
I am going to reassert the point that this committee believes that Mobutu does not have any role in Zaire's future government, and I think we must be clear about that. His only possible role would be to convince his supporters to accept a democratic transitional government. I think that was the point that was made.
I am going to turn to Mr. Menendez at this point.
Mr. MENENDEZ. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I want to echo your remarks from our side. I think all of us believe that. Let me just ask you, Mr. Booker, and thank you for coming on such late notice. We are happy that you came and I am interested in your testimony.
Page 49 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Just one question before I get to the heart of your recommendations. You say this is a pro-democracy movement versus a bankrupt dictatorship. I am sure of the second. Now convince me of the first.
Mr. BOOKER. Well, in short, I think we have to focus on the long process of transition, and particularly the democratic political opposition in Kinshasa and elsewhere in the country. Civil society has largely held Zaire together at a time when the State ceased to exist because Mobutu had robbed it of all that it was worth.
The rebellion, armed as it is, is a new and significant manifestation of this yearning for an end to Mobutu's dictatorship. But I think very simply that on a national basis there is a pro-democracy movement in Zaire. The political, the democratic political opposition parties that have operated since Mobutu allowed them in 1990 have demonstrated democratic bona fides. They have suffered a great deal. Members of the UTPS, just to take as an example, have been tortured, arrested, detained. They have had family members that were assassinated. People struggling for democracy in Zaire have paid a very heavy price, and that is sort of the political class, those who have been democratic.
The rebellion, yes, we know less about the ADFL's sort of commitments to democratic principles, but we can observe from the areas that they administer that they have sought to practice democracy in terms of letting the local population decide who would be their representatives and how services would be administered.
Mr. MENENDEZ. And those local populations have the diversity of the different groups within Zaire?
Mr. BOOKER. As the rebellion moves, indeed, they are encompassing greater and greater ethnic diversity in the country. But, again, I think the point is we have an opportunity to expedite this and to ensure that democratic principles are embraced.
I think, again, what is the incentive for Kabila to negotiate, or for others to negotiate? I think it is an international community that says we are committed to helping you reconstruct your country, but only on the condition that it is done in a process that is democratic.
Page 50 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. MENENDEZ. Professor Zartman, do you have an opinion?
Mr. ZARTMAN. Yes, sir. I think there are three and a half reasons to support the idea of a democracy or open to democracy movement. First of all, this is an alliance as its name says, and it involves a number of different forces. So there is diversity there to begin with, and it has to hold that diversity together.
Second of all, even in its own plans the ADFL has talked about holding elections at the end of its 1-year transition. The nature of those elections, the details and so on are to be worked out, and that is not to be expected from them at this time, but they are committed to that.
Third, in the local administrations that they have set up, they have not set up a Maoist or a Marxist kind of administration, they have sometimes incorporated local people, I mean people who are already in office, the representatives of local society; again, a diverse kind of movement. These are appointed, but after all, this is a resistance movement that is moving ahead.
And in their own government they have included people who had been in the United States as exiled Zairians, and are now coming back to lend their expertise. And, finally, they have made statements, contracted some other times by other statements about the role of democracy and elections in their future plans beyond that 1-year deadline.
I think that what is important is that this is a movement that is open to an active American and other role in favor of continued attention to democratization.
Mr. MENENDEZ. Mr. Chairman, I will wrap up by saying that based on the comments of the Chair and the members who I have heard, and some of the testimony I have heard today, I hope that you will be willing to consider engaging with me and with other members on a resolution that clearly states our views, which are stronger, I think, than the State Department's. I tried to elicit it from the Secretary but I guess he is limited to what he is able to say about the U.S. position. At least the Congress's position states that there is an end to the Mobutu regime, and talks about a transitional government based upon national unity and based upon the principles that we would promote, similar to those being described by Mr. Booker and the 80 organizations that have spoken. Last, we talk about our concerns on the question of refugees.
Page 51 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC I think if the committee acts on such a resolution it would be, I think, a very propitious and policy-driving consideration for the committee and the Congress, and I would urge it to your attention, and I would like to work with you and the other members on it.
Mr. Royce. Again, I think there is a sense of agreement among the members of the committee that such a step is called for, so we will be proceeding, Mr. Menendez.
Do you have any other questions, Mr. Menendez, before your time is----
Mr. MENENDEZ. Yes.
Mr. Royce. All right. Let me ask a question of Dr. Kalala if I could.
Mr. Kalala. Yes.
Mr. Royce. You have said that you created the Rally for a New Society because of what you saw as the ineffectiveness of other organizations in providing a solution to the crisis.
In light of the current search for a lasting solution, how effective do you expect the existing political parties and civil associations to be?
And I am going to ask another question. Given U.S. support in the past for the Mobutu regime, how is the United States viewed in Zaire at this point? Is there sufficient goodwill for America to play an effective role as the facilitator on these talks for a transitional government?
Mr. KALALA. Yes, maybe I should take the second question. I think that as much as it is perceived in Zaire that the United States is working against the role of France, which clearly supports Mr. Mobutu, the Zairians are very well disposed toward the United States in spite of its past support to the Mobutu regime.
Mr. Royce. Everything is relative.
Mr. KALALA. Please?
Mr. Royce. With respect to France, everything is relative.
Mr. KALALA. Yes. And I think that they consider that the United States is the sole remaining super power, and that it has an important role to play. And Zairians are still convinced that Mobutu is still there because the United States has not made it clear that they want Mobutu out, and that such a statement coming from the highest level of the U.S. Government and of the Congress to ask Mr. Mobutu to go will be very helpful.
Page 52 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC And Mr. Mobutu has always played inside the country trying to show that he still has the support of the United States, and it is very much embedded in the Zairian psyche that Mr. Mobutu will remain in power as long as the United States will support him, because all attempts over the last 30 years to get rid of him since they were going against the policy of the U.S. Government failed. So I think that there is good will inside the country for the United States to play an important role.
In working on my written remarks, I went in considerable consultation with people, as well inside the country as well as outside the country, and there is a consensus that the United States can and should play an important role in solving the problem in Zaire.
As to the first question, we have realized and stated publicly, even though it is not an honor for the Zairian society, that political parties in Zaire for all practical purposes do not function really as political parties, and that is why in my statement I urged the U.S. institutions, primarily the Republican National Committee and the Democratic National Committee to try to set up training programs to help the Zairian political parties.
And there are a number of reasons to explain this lack of organization, good organization within the Zairian society. First, it is a historical question. Zairians have not had enough time to train politically because during the colonial time as you know the Congolese were not allowed to exercise any political right. And the overall traditional structures were destroyed, and that was simply for the Belgians to exercise complete power in Zaire.
After independence Mr. Mobutu did exactly the same thing, and I have said time and time again that he wanted to be the legitimate successor of King Leopold II. He did not allow Zairians to organize, and to learn organizational abilities. So that is why we got to the situation that a country of 45 million people was not showing good leadership abilities on both sides to try to solve the country's problems, and that is what led us to undertake this effort. Even though I have worked over the last 30 years with various Zairian opposition movements, and I know them quite well, that in spite of what some people could interpret, we should make this effort, because there are individual Zairians who care about the country and who would like to give good leadership to the country, and that is what led us to creating the Rally for a New Society.
Page 53 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. Royce. Thank you. Thank you, Dr. Kalala.
A quick question for Mr. Martone. Hutu militia moving west with the Zairian army have used legitimate Rwandan refugees as shields for relief supplies.
Is it really possible to separate the genuine refugees from the militiamen, in your view?
Mr. MARTONE. Yes, this is a very important question to discuss, and I am glad that it is coming up. You know, one of the problems for this particular population of refugees all along has been the fact that the wolves are among the sheep; that there has not been a successful attempt to separate the more extremist and violent elements among the group, those that perhaps participated in the genocide, from the legitimate refugees.
From a humanitarian perspective, which is the one I think we need to view this population, we should not be the judge, the jury and the executioner. Many voices coming out of the international community that have been reluctant or slow to respond to the refugees have sounded more like the voices of a tribunal or truth commission than the impartial and neutral voices of a humanitarian community.
I just want to say that even if we were an international tribunal, the international tribunal statute stipulates that populations are innocent until proven guilty. They cannot be tried in absentia, and they should not be sentenced to death.
And by rationing of aid, or by withholding life-sustaining services to these populations, we are in fact becoming culpable of that very act.
Mr. Royce. Thank you, Mr. Martone.
Mr. PAYNE. Well, thank you very much. I really appreciated all of your testimonies. And as I have indicated earlier, I do feel that there is certainly an opportunity. I think that if, as Mr. Booker said, if Mobutu felt that the United States had an anti-Mobutu policy, and that his time was up, then he would leave. I mean, there is no question about that.
Page 54 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC And so I think that our policy has not really been stated, in my opinion, and it is not clear because there is no policy, and there needs to be a strong policy of saying that Mobutu's time is up. I mean, he knows how the U.S. Government works; had many lobbyists in this country for many years. He had made sure that all of the U.S. Senators received Christmas cards, you know.
So I mean, he knows how the government works here. And so if we said his time is up, and I think that it is time for us to say it, we, although the French have had a tremendous amount of influence, the tremendous amount of hardware and the support for the Mobutu Government came from the United States, and from the Moroccans back in the sixties, coming in with the French and the Belgians at different times.
So the first thing is that I think the United States has to make it clear in its mind that it is ready to move forward with Kabila. And, of course, I know probably why they are uncomfortable with Kabila, because he was, you know, with the old fellows down in DAR, and they were talking about what was going on in the fifties and the sixties when every strong real freedom fighter was fighting for independence, and our policy was to be loyal to our NATO friends, and the NATO friends were the colonial powers. I mean it is just silly for us to expect that those who are fighting for independence and we were supporting allies of their colonial lists, that people would have a different policy, and go for support wherever they could get support. And I think that we need to get into the post-cold war days and forget the pre-cold war days, and move forward with the policy.
I mean, I think the question with the NDI and the IRI, the NDI getting all involved in the election process makes a lot of sense.
I just have a question too. When I hear about the atrocities, once again, my logistical thinking is that if a person is receiving a hero's welcome, and if the other people had been so bad, I mean, you could even be bad and be better than the militarial Zaire. I mean, since they did not get paid they had to steal. Poor refugees coming in from Rwanda were even shaken down when they had practically nothing but the clothes on their backs; when the overwhelming number came in after the genocide.
Page 55 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC And so to any of you there, and as I indicated, it is difficult to know what happens in the field, in the bush out somewhere what some particular small leader, but in your minds, and let me just ask you, what is your view of the Kabila forces and the manner in which he is attempting to conduct the Alliance's military, political and humanitarian positions? Each of you could respond if you would like.
Mr. BOOKER. Thank you, Congressman.
Very briefly, I would say on the military front the ADFL fortunately has an opponent that largely runs away, and that is why the conflict has not been as bad as it certainly could have been.
On the humanitarian front, I think he is increasingly, and the ADFL as an alliance is increasingly seeking to cooperate with the international community and humanitarian aid organizations. They see it in their interest, understandably, to cooperate. But we should understand that it is not an easy thing for them to do, to the extent that they know that there are wolves among the sheep.
It is on the political front that I am most concerned about the ADFL, and that is particularly because of Mr. Kabila's statements regarding his vision of a transitional government excluding all other political parties and civil society unless they join the ADFL. I would hope that our policy, and hopefully the Administration will adopt a policy seeking the removal of Mobutu, but I think our second objective should not be to seek to replace him with another individual, but to invest in a democratic process whereby for the first time the people of Zaire could determine their own form of government and the men and women who would lead that government.
Mr. ZARTMAN. I think, in the conditions that are obtaining now in Zaire, that the ADFL and Kabila have acted in a reasonably good way, and have in part been spared a lot of bloodshed by the fact that the enemy has run away, but in part also have set up, as I mentioned before, administrations that involved various forces that were in place throughout the country.
Page 56 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC I think we have to recognize, too, second of all, that Kabila is a consummate politician. If we look at his background as a Marxist/Maoist revolutionary, first of all, he held out for a long period against the forces of Mobutu when Mobutu had some forces. And then after having disappeared he resurfaced and turned around and became the head of a movement that was initially, essentially Banyamulenge, groups that had fought against him when he was a rebel in eastern Zaire. So he has been able to compose with groups throughout the countryside and has gotten lots of support as he has moved ahead westward in his advances.
By the same token, and picking up an earlier question about attitudes toward the United States, I think we should have no illusions about the attitudes that are obtaining now in Zaire about the United States. The United States is seen as associated with the Mobutu regime. Tshisekedi and Kabila have both said some very anti-American things. We should not be looking at either of these opposition movements as movements that are welcoming the United States or acting as U.S. agents of that kind.
As we try to return to Zaire, we are going to find ourselves faced with people who are going to be very wary of us. But Zaire needs us. In an African policy, when we have one someday, we need Zaire, and therefore we need to work together with what seems to be the strongest political force in the country, which is Kabila's.
Finally, let me say I hope, and I know it is very fashionable to beat on the French, and we always laugh a little when we mention the French. But we cannot do what we want to do in our own interest alone in Zaire. We are not that strong. We are not that engaged. We do not have the depth of interest of other people. We do not need to follow the French. We need to engage the French in the same kinds of actions that are for Western, democratic values and interests instead of engaging in a little carping war that makes people laugh about competing interests in that part of the world.
Mr. PAYNE. Mr. Martone.
Page 57 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. MARTONE. Yes, I will read a brief quote. ''Whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends--life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness--it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it and institute a new government.'' That is from our own Declaration of Independence. To some extent, many authorities have said that what is happening in Zaire is an indigenous response and solution to a political problem there.
On the issue of human rights, there are many accusations, and certainly evidence is beginning to be found. I just want to be cautious about our initial visceral response to find justice and investigate. We need to look inward at our own experience about how justice divides society.
Our experience with the Rodney King trial, the O.J. Simpson trial, what has happened to the Bosnian Serbs, and also what happened in Argentina shows us that justice does not necessarily bring about peace.
In the process of these aggressive take-overs of villages and communities by the Alliance rebels, there has been a frenzy, a contagion of atrocity and horror as soldiers, young soldiers, untrained soldiers intoxicated with power just become somewhat crazed in what they are about to do. We have experienced, we have seen that throughout the world, even in our own U.S. forces' behavior in Vietnam.
Mr. PAYNE. Mr. Kalala.
Mr. KALALA. Yes, I would like to say that overall Zairians have a positive idea of the ADFL forces at least because they create the necessary conditions to get Mr. Mobutu out. And I have said that we should not misread the reaction of the Zairian people. They do not support the rebels as such because they do not know what they are bringing in. They are supporting the end of the Mobutu regime, and that is why they are very vigilant, and they have a number of concerns.
I share some of these concerns. On the political level, the fact that ADFL forces have outlawed political parties in the area that they control is of great concern to people. It may be understandable that they can do it in a war zone, but there is no reason why they should do it after the war is ended, because Mr. Mobutu started that way, and we do not think it will be a good idea to end up with another monolithic structure in Zaire.
Page 58 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Another concern on the political level came when ADFL stated that they would like to form the transitional government for 1 year made only of ADFL members. The Zairians do not see the rationale for that, and there is a danger that after 1 year in power they may not want to relinquish power.
Generals get in power, when they get in power it is always for 6 months, and then they stay for generations, and other people, Zairians, have fought the Mobutu regime for over the last 3 decades.
Another concern came and that is the most serious one--it was stated that anyone who wanted to play a role in the post-Mobutu era should join ADFL or be treated as a Mobutuist. That seems quite dangerous and extreme.
On the military front there is a serious concern with arming 10-year-old boys. I speak as a Zairian, because we do not know how they will react, as he referred to when they are intoxicated with power, and there is a great distribution of guns inside the country. We do not know where it may lead, and that is why Zairians would like to find a negotiated settlement, even though it is clear that if left to their own device ADFL members will take the country, and they will do it not simply because they are strong, but because they have a positive collaboration of the Zairian people welcoming them, and the Zairian military itself is not willing to fight because they do not have any reason to fight for, and they would like to see an end of the Mobutu regime. They are starving as much as the whole Zairian population.
On the humanitarian front, our concern and the concern of most people has been the fact that they seem to be pushing the refugees southwest more and more without giving them proper access to humanitarian assistance. And we have made it clear that the way ADFL forces treat the refugees and displaced Zairians, we will see it as an indication whether they are abiding or not to human rights standards, and that is very, very important.
When it comes to human rights and massacres, there are two concerns. One is that it seems that ADFL forces have confiscated some communication equipment of private people. We do not know why. It can be because they are in a war zone, but what does it really reflect? Is there any effort to stifle freedom of expression or not?
Page 59 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC When it comes to massacres, this is my position. I think that it will be counterproductive for them, and we have put up a statement, that for them to undertake systematic massacres of Rwandan refugees will be counterproductive. We will oppose it as much as we opposed the genocide in Rwanda. However, it will be counterproductive for them. We have to consider the possibility that Mr. Kabila does not have complete control over his forces, and he did not have it initially. So it may be possible that some factions may have committed some crimes, not necessarily with the knowledge and the involvement of Mr. Kabila himself. That is certainly a possibility.
However, we have asked them and put out a press release that they should allow for international commissions to check on the massacres, establish responsibilities, and help reestablish the credibility of all the people involved.
Mr. PAYNE. Thank you very much. It was very complete and I do not have any other questions. I would just like to quickly respond to one or two issues.
You know, we talk about the refugee problem and how they are being pushed, they are going further in. And now when refugees are starting to die, we say, well, Kabila is not giving access for them to get out. Of course, now he said that they would allow an air lift. But people forget why the refugees came there, and it was the Zairian military with Interahamwe that kept the refugees from coming back in the first place, especially the Interahamwe that said they should stay there.
And once the Kabila forces created the rebellion on the east 500,000 refugees left. People forget that it was not Kabila keeping the refugees there. But now when a refugee dies they say he is responsible for the death. That is not fair. That is not looking at the total picture correctly. They went deeper into keeping away from what they felt was fear. And so I think when we look at the situation we need to be fair about it also.
And I agree with you too about the fact that the Alliance is an alliance, made up of groups that never even worked together. And if there were no atrocities, I would be shocked. You know, in New York another boy was shot last night, killed by a police, shot in the back. Well, they said he had a knife, but they could not find it. So things happen everywhere, and I would be shocked if we found there were no atrocities. It would almost seem untrue.
Page 60 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC But I think by the same token we have to understand, as like ECOMOG, they were in there protecting Liberia, and they decided one time they were not paid and went on a rampage for about a week or two, and then they decided that they were going to be lawful again.
So if you look at the military, we have a lot to be desired. I think Mr. Martone brought those out too.
But I just want to end, and I think that situations are different today than they were before. Mr. Kabila felt that the French were his enemies at the time. This was 3--4 months ago. He was fearful of the French. He felt the French would even bring troops into Kinshasa, and that is when he felt at that time that the United States could be a better ally to him than the French, who he felt was no ally at all. Things may be different now. And as you mentioned, everyone knows that Mobutu was propped up by the United States for 30 years, and that does not go away. But I do think that we perhaps had a better opportunity when he was not as strong 3, 4, 5 or 6 months ago than we have today.
But there also is a Kofi Annan, who I do not think would allow things that happened 20, 30, 10 years ago, to happen again. Also, you have half a dozen of the surrounding States who have said we are going to avoid having this spill into our country, and we are going to close our borders, and they are all tacitly supporting, some more aggressively, but other have just said that Mobutu has got to go, and we are going to do this to help this end.
So with all of those converging kinds of forces, I think it goes beyond the individual, and he has a lot more big guys around that he has got to contend with than just to do what he wants to do to stay in power. Of course, he likes power, I think, and it would be much more difficult in today's light.
And the final thing is that he has been the only one that has not been in and out of the government, you know. They used to say when I visited Zaire that if you are in government any time in the past 30 years, you have had to cooperate at some point with Mobutu. So that means that most people that might be in government in and out had to somewhat get along to keep along. So he stayed out in the bush, and even though the guys he was hanging out with initially people did not like here. You know, in 30 years people change, and I think they had criticisms about, Mr. Mugabe was one of his friends who I think has done an outstanding job in Zimbabwe, and also Mr. Sam Nujoma in Namibia. They gave him a bad rap for years and years until he came in and has been running that county. Well, and of course, the ANC people who in general only receive support from the other bloc. They certainly have had a democracy--about as well as you can.
Page 61 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC So I think my time has expired, but I really appreciate you--all of you have so much knowledge, I wish we could get you in with the President. Thank you.
Mr. Royce. Thank you, Mr. Payne.
And, again, I want to thank Dr. Kalala, Mr. Martone, Professor Zartman, Mr. Booker. I think your testimonies were very valuable here today. We appreciate it. Thank you very much.
This meeting is adjourned.
[Whereupon, at 3:33 p.m., the subcommittee was adjourned.]