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45–542 CC






NOVEMBER 5, 1997

Printed for the use of the Committee on International Relations


BENJAMIN A. GILMAN, New York, Chairman

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HENRY J. HYDE, Illinois
CASS BALLENGER, North Carolina
EDWARD R. ROYCE, California
JAY KIM, California
TOM CAMPBELL, California
JON FOX, Pennsylvania
LINDSEY GRAHAM, South Carolina
ROY BLUNT, Missouri
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SAM GEJDENSON, Connecticut
TOM LANTOS, California
PAT DANNER, Missouri
WALTER CAPPS, California
BRAD SHERMAN, California
BOB CLEMENT, Tennessee
BILL LUTHER, Minnesota
JIM DAVIS, Florida
RICHARD J. GARON, Chief of Staff
MICHAEL H. VAN DUSEN, Democratic Chief of Staff
LESTER MUNSON, Professional Staff Member
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ALLISON K. KIERNAN, Staff Associate



    The Honorable Bill Richardson, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations
    The Honorable Howard Wolpe, Special Envoy, Bureau of African Affairs, Department of State
    His Excellency Pascal Lissouba, President, Republic of Congo
    Mr. Scott Campbell, Consultant, Human Rights Watch
    Mr. Marcel Van Soest, Head of Humanitarian Affairs Department, Doctors Without Borders—Belgium
    Mr. Salih Booker, Senior Fellow and Director, African Studies Program, Council on Foreign Relations

Prepared statements of:
Benjamin A. Gilman, a Representative in Congress from New York, and Chairman, Committee on International Relations
Ambassador Bull Richardson
President Pascal Lissouba
Dr. Marcel Van Soest
Mr. Scott Campbell
Mr. Salih Booker
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Additional material submitted for the record:
Position paper from Oxfam International on ''The Importance of Engagement: A Strategy for Reconstruction in the Great Lakes Region''
Open letter from Amnesty International to governments hosting refugees from Burundi, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo
Amnesty International paper on ''Rwanda: No One is Talking About It Anymore''
Amnesty International paper on ''Rwanda: Ending the Silence''
Letter to Secretary Albright from Leonard Rubenstein, Doctors Without Borders
Letter to Chairman Gilman from Mr. Anne Willem Bijleveld
UNHCR Working Document on Refugees from the Great Lakes Region in Africa
Excerpts from a statement made by Mrs. Sadako Ogata

House of Representatives,
Committee on International Relations,
Washington, DC.
    The Committee met, pursuant to notice, at 11:20 a.m., in room 2172, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Benjamin Gilman (chairman of the Committee) presiding.
    Chairman GILMAN. [presiding] The Committee will come to order. We'll be taking testimony today on various issues that confront the United States in Central Africa. I ask the Committee's indulgence to proceed in an unusual manner because our first witness, Ambassador Bill Richardson, has a demanding schedule today, and has asked if we could expedite his testimony. Therefore, we'll delay our opening statements until Ambassador Richardson testifies and takes questions. I'll ask my colleagues to withhold until such time as we'll be able to proceed with opening statements. Members of our Committee will have the opportunity to make their opening statements following Ambassador Richardson.
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    Although this is a first appearance as a witness before us, Ambassador Richardson of course is no stranger to our Committee, having appeared on a number of issues before our Committee as a Member of the Congress. He has been a good friend to many of us. He has done an outstanding job representing our Nation. Ambassador Richardson is now the U.S. permanent representative to the United Nations in New York City. He recently returned from a trip to Central Africa.
    Without further ado, Mr. Ambassador, you may give your full statement or summarize it, whichever you deem appropriate. Mr. Ambassador Richardson.
    Ambassador RICHARDSON. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman, and to Ranking Members of the Committee, and to Lee Hamilton and Sam Gejdenson, and all the distinguished Members of the Committee, the chairman of the Subcommittee on International Operations, my U.N. committee, and I want to thank too first, Mr. Chairman, Howard Wolpe, a former colleague of ours who undertook this mission, and Congressman Don Payne, probably one of the most active Members in the Congress on African issues. Without their involvement, this mission would not have succeeded.
    Mr. Chairman, let me just be brief because as you know, we have an Iraq problem that I may have to deal with shortly. The mission was successful. We negotiated an agreement with President Kabila and his cabinet to allow the U.N. investigative team to proceed with its investigation. This was a stalemate. The stalemate was cracked. I wish to report this morning a favorable conversation. I spoke to our Ambassador in Kinshasa, Daniel Simpson. He was informed by the minister of reconstruction of the Congo, Minister Mbaya that they are anxiously awaiting for the team. They were wondering when the team would arrive, if it would be in early November as I had stated because they are anxious to get this investigation moving. So that is a very favorable sign.
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    Mr. Chairman, thank you for the opportunity to discuss the current situation in the Great Lakes region. The objective of the mission, as I mentioned, was to overcome the impasse between the U.N. Human Rights investigative team and the Congolese Government. We have had a continued dialog with President Kabila and other regional leaders on a wide range of issues. Our trip was 5 days. We went to seven countries.
    Mr. Chairman, let me outline briefly our interests in Africa. The No. 1 interest is integrating Africa into the global economy, promoting conflict resolution, economic development, open systems of government, better economic management, and sustainable development. The second interest is to protect our American interests and promote trade and investment opportunities, preventing drug trafficking, minimizing health and environmental risks, minimizing opportunities for pariah States, and encouraging stability and conflict avoidance. The Congo is an essential element of American interests in Africa. There are tremendous economic opportunities in that country. Thirteen percent of global hydro electric potential, 28 percent of the world's reserve of cobalt, 18 percent of industrial diamonds, 6 percent of copper reserves, rich lands for agriculture, a talented and industrious work force, one half the rain forest in Africa. The engine of growth for central Africa is the Congo. It's a bridge between developing economies in southern and eastern Africa, and poor central African nations. Stability in Congo means stability for much of Africa.
    Let me just discuss briefly, Mr. Chairman, the progress to date by the new government on a variety of fronts. Congo's progress was retarded by a corrupt Mobutu Government. There was a collapse of State functions in various areas, health care, education, basic infrastructure, and rampant corruption. The new Government of President Kabila has daunting challenges ahead. No. 1, trying to rehabilitate a nation of 45 million people. No. 2, establishing democratic institutions. No. 3, reviving the economy. No. 4, respect for human rights. No. 5, playing a stabilizing regional role. President Kabila and his government have not had any prior government experience. So setbacks are inevitable.
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    Mr. Chairman, there has been progress in that country. No. 1, the government is broadening its base to include members of the ADFL. These are opposition party members. No. 2, there has been integration of the military. No. 3, there has been an appointment of an inter-ministerial economic committee. No. 4, the press is generally free. No. 5, NGO's remain active although harassment still exists. No. 6, Kabila did appoint a constitutional drafting commission a few days before we arrived. He is sticking to a 2-year time table for national elections by April 1999.
    Problems still continue. No. 1, a ban on political party activities persist. No. 2, members of the Mobutu Government remain in detention without charge. No. 3, the government continues to violate international humanitarian principles.
    Let me discuss our human rights investigation in connection with this trip to Africa. Mr. Chairman, there are credible reports of serious human rights abuses on all sides. The United States is critically involved in pursuing a policy of supporting the U.N. investigation into allegations of massacres. A full airing of past abuses is needed, but there are problems. The Congo remains suspicious of the United Nations. The suspicion comes from failure of the international community to stop the Rwandan genocide. There has been a creation of refugee camps populated by Hutu extremists, and the continuation of aid to the camps as incursions were launched into Rwanda and Zaire.
    So what is essential in this whole issue, Mr. Chairman, is that the international community must bear responsibility for creating conditions that led to the October 1996 rebellion and subsequent human rights abuses. A key objective of our trip was to rebuild the mutual confidence between the Congo and the United Nations. Essentially important was the fact that Howard Wolpe and Donald Payne had personal relationships with President Kabila that were invaluable.
    We met with Secretary General Annan and the U.N. investigative team leaders before our trip to explore confidence building measures. In Kinshasa, as I mentioned, Mr. Chairman, we met with President Kabila and his cabinet for 4 hours to emphasize the need for cooperation. We made clear the connection between the investigation and the development of a strong long-term relationship with the Untied States.
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    After difficult negotiations, the Congo agreed to the following: Specifically, to allow the investigation to go forward. The No. 1 element in the agreement. The investigation will cover the period between March 1, 1993, and the end of this year, December 31, 1997. No. 2, the government would provide security to the team. No. 3, concurrently, the U.N. team would not interfere in Congolese political affairs. No. 4, the government would have the opportunity to review and comment on the report. No. 5, the investigation is a fact-finding mission to the Secretary General. The Secretary General of the United Nations would recommend any follow-up action in consultation with the Security Council.
    In a press conference, President Kabila endorsed the agreement unequivocally. Following our negotiation which concluded successfully with President Kabila, our team briefed regional leaders on the mission in Rwanda, in Kenya, in Ethiopia, in Eritrea, and in Angola. While in Angola, we offered our strong objections to Angolan actions in Congo-Brazzaville. No. 2, we received the commitment from the Angolans to withdraw their forces as soon as possible. No. 3, our team also warned Jonas Savimbi that he must continue the peace process or face U.N. sanctions. As my colleagues know, those sanctions have now taken effect from the United Nations.
    In Geneva, we met with the new head of the Human Rights Commission, Mary Robinson. She expressed her support for our agreement with President Kabila, as did Madame Ogata, U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees.
    Our next steps, Mr. Chairman, No. 1, with respect to Africa and with respect to the Congo, we must continue our policy of engagement. Africa is important. There are a lot of positive developments in Africa: market economies, elections, a new generation of leaders, an area vitally important to our interests. We must promote democracy and human rights and economic development in Africa.
    With the Congo, we have begun a modest aid program. We have committed $8 million of the $10 million for Fiscal Year 1997. We supported a $3 million vaccination program. While we were in Kinshasa, there was an inauguration of a project where over 700,000 children were inoculated in the city of Kinshasa. Second, we have committed $3 million through AID for local aid projects, and $2 million for NGO's to support democratic reforms. We are considering a larger program for Fiscal Year 1998. Before we present this program, we will obviously consult with the Congress and this Committee. This type of assistance for Fiscal Year 1998 would deal mostly with NGO's and local government. Direct bilateral aid is contingent on human rights investigations and democratic reforms.
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    Mr. Chairman, I want to note that the World Bank recently announced plans for a Friends of Congo Donors Conference, following the successful completion of our mission. It will take place December 3 and 4 in Brussels. It would serve a useful forum for beginning a dialog on the Congo's economic strategy and the donor's current aid plans.
    Mr. Chairman, let me close by simply stating that you have my full testimony. I have summarized it in the interests of time. We have a very high calibre of witnesses, including our new Assistant Secretary for Africa, Susan Rice, who I understand is appearing, and probably nobody knows more about Africa than Howard Wolpe. What is interesting about this mission, Mr. Chairman, is that a key component of our mission was the Congress. Representative Payne was an integral part of this Presidential mission. This is an issue that in the future we hope to develop more to find ways in which a bipartisan representation on many of these missions, at least the ones that I take, that we have the excellent congressional representation that has happened and hopefully will happen again in the future.
    [The prepared statement of Ambassador Richardson appears in the appendix.]
    Chairman GILMAN. Mr. Ambassador, we thank you for taking the time. We recognize it's a very critical period for you. We have several questions if you can bear with us. Without objection, your full statement will be made a part of the record.
    Mr. Ambassador, while I am pleased to learn that American arms inspectors will remain in Iraq until a special U.N. delegation completes its meetings with Saddam Hussein, we are concerned that once again the Iraqi leaders delayed and disrupted the efforts of these U.N. arms teams to rid that country of its weapons of mass destruction.
    Are the three U.N. envoys currently in Iraq negotiating the terms and conditions of future U.N. arms inspections which in any way would limit the role of American inspectors or the over flight of the U–2 flights? Could you just tell us what the situation is there?
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    Ambassador RICHARDSON. Mr. Chairman, the U.N. envoys, the three envoys appointed by the Secretary General are at this very moment in Baghdad negotiating with the Iraqis. They are negotiating one thing. That is, no negotiations other than enforcing the mandates of the Security Council. They have no room for negotiation. What their mandate is, Mr. Chairman, is to read Saddam Hussein the riot act. No. 2, to enforce the fact that there are U.N. Security Council resolutions and Presidential statements that state very clearly that fully and unconditionally the U.N. inspection team must operate, that the Iraqis have no right to pick and choose what members of the inspection team can leave or stay. Third, Mr. Chairman, that the U–2 flights are an integral part of this inspection, and that they must continue. The United Nations last night decided to postpone one of the flights to allow the envoys to conduct their negotiations. But they have also announced that the flights will resume next week. It is our view, Mr. Chairman, that these envoys, their objective is very simple, to restore UNSCOM, to restore activities fully and unconditionally. There is no room for any negotiation. There is no room for any new terms or modalities with UNSCOM. I want to make that clear, Mr. Chairman.
    I also want to make it clear that the United States is going to work through the United Nations diplomatically, but we are not withholding any option of any kind.
    Chairman GILMAN. Thank you, Mr. Ambassador. Just one question of you with regard to Africa. The U.N. Security Council has not condemned the Angolan incursion into the Republic of the Congo. What has our Nation done in the Security Council to hold Angola accountable for its actions in the Congo?
    Ambassador RICHARDSON. Mr. Chairman, as you know, when we initiate resolutions within the Security Council, there are a number of nations that have veto rights. Many times you have to operate by consensus. We pressed hard to have language condemning the Angolan incursion. There were what are called Presidential statements making this happen, but we were unable to get specific language in the last resolution. We tried. What we did try bilaterally, Mr. Chairman, was I personally carried a very tough message to the Angolan Government last week, along with Mr. Wolpe and Mr. Payne, that expressed our deep concern over the Angolan involvement. We very strongly pushed for the withdrawal of Angolan forces. The Foreign Minister of Angola committed to me that this would happen as soon as possible. Hopefully this will happen some time this month.
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    Mr GILMAN. Thank you, Mr. Ambassador. I have been informed that you are being called to the White House. I am going to ask Mr. Hamilton if he has just one quick question.
    Mr. HAMILTON. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Ambassador, it's a great privilege to have you here. We all appreciate the extraordinary talents you have brought to your important position. It's good to see you back in the House of Representatives, along with Dr. Wolpe. I'll have more to say about that in a moment.
    I understand you have to leave so I'll just ask one question. You describe our policy in your statement, I'm not sure you used the words orally, but as a cautious engagement with the Democratic Republic of the Congo. You know of course that many of us here have big doubts about Kabila. Your approach of cautious engagement makes sense to me. I presume what you are looking for is performance on his part in the next few months in the areas that you have identified. Are we then going to link our present and future assistance to the successful completion of this investigation that's now going on? How are we going to gauge this engagement, this cautious engagement?
    Ambassador RICHARDSON. Let me answer this very clearly, Mr. Hamilton, because this is a key question. Successful completion, unimpeded access of this U.N. investigation is a key cornerstone of our policy toward the Congo. We are seeking full implementation of the agreement. In the past, there have been a lot of words but no action. We are encouraged that there will be action this time, and a good reason is that the reconstruction minister who in the past had had doubts about the U.N. team, negotiated the agreement with us along with President Kabila. This was Reconstruction Minister Mbaya. He is the individual, Mr. Hamilton, that is pressing our Ambassador for the early arrival of the team.
    I believe that the Kabila Government wants to put this issue behind us. Let me also say that we also have other political, economic, human rights and strategic interests in the Congo. But what happened just recently, Mr. Hamilton, illustrates the importance of the Congolese Government's performance on this U.N. Human Rights team. Shortly after we concluded our agreement, the international community announced the donors conference, where they would discuss assistance and debt relief to the Government of the Congo. So there is a connection. What we want to stress, Mr. Chairman, is that human rights and the successful completion of this investigation is key to our relationship with the Congo. We do have other interests that I have illustrated, and we hope that by the Congo completing successfully this investigation with full unimpeded access, that the relationship will move positively in other areas.
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    Mr. HAMILTON. Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Chairman GILMAN. Thank you, Mr. Hamilton.
    Mr. Ambassador, I know you are being called to the White House. We thank you for being here. We hope at a future date, you will have more time to be with our Committee. Thanks for appearing.
    Ambassador RICHARDSON. Mr. Chairman, thank you. My apologies to other Committee Members that I can't take their questions. Thank you so much.
    Chairman GILMAN. Thank you.
    Mr. PAYNE. Mr. Chairman, before the Ambassador leaves, let me just publicly compliment him for the outstanding job that he's done. It's certainly apparent with the success we had in the region, but I think that his negotiating skills, his leadership of the team, his ability to negotiate and get something to take out was very apparent. I would just like to say that the press in Africa are extremely focused on our Ambassador. I think that not only in Latin America when he just got back to the United States from there, but then rushed over to the Congo and finished up with the Premier of China. In all these instances, did an outstanding job. I would just like to say that before he leaves. Thank you.
    Chairman GILMAN. Thank you, Mr. Payne.
    Ambassador RICHARDSON. Mr. Payne. I thank you. I want to also remind my colleagues that I'm working on fast track too. Any help you can give us——
    Chairman GILMAN. We'll make note of your remarks, Mr. Ambassador.
    Before introducing our next witness in our examination of our policy in central Africa, permit me to note that today's hearing is a followup to one that was held in July on developments in the Democratic Republic of Congo, formerly Zaire. There have been a number of significant events in the region since then in which the Committee is concerned. The most dramatic event took place less than a month ago in the Republic of the Congo where President Pascal Lissouba was ousted by the forces of former President Denis Sassou-Nguesso. The armed forces of Angola played a decisive role in that conflict, providing tanks, jets, and thousands of troops in support of the rebels, a fact acknowledged by the Government of Angola.
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    Our Committee has condemned the actions of Angola and the Republic of the Congo through a resolution that was introduced by Mr. Menendez. Regrettably, however, the U.N. Security Council failed to condemn Angola's actions on that matter. Anther significant event in central Africa is the agreement by President Kabila to let a U.N. Human Rights team proceed with an investigation of alleged atrocities that occurred during the takeover of Zaire. A third concern is the continuing involvement of Rwandan forces in eastern Congo, and related violence between Hutu militias and the forces of the Government of Rwanda, which has publicly acknowledged its role in the overthrow of the Mobutu regime.
    Official reports from Kinshasa indicate that Rwandan officers were in Congo as late as last week. The common thread runs through all of these issues, the admitted involvement of African nations in overthrowing the governments of their neighbors. In former Zaire, now Congo, few tears were shed over the end of Mobutu's regime. In the Republic of the Congo, however, rebels assisted by the armed intervention of a foreign power forced a democratically elected President out of office. After Mobutu was ousted, the world community fiddled, while the civil war in what then was Zaire, continued.
    Whatever one thinks of the various human rights reports and the criticisms that have been made of them, it is obvious that various militias killed tens of thousands of men, women, and children, both before and after Kabila took power. It should be the U.S. policy to stop this violence and the killing of innocent civilians and build a more stable region. These are extremely challenging issues, but effective action is imperative to resolve them.
    It also should be made clear to the Angolan Government that they must refrain from intervening in the affairs of their neighbors, and continue to honor their commitments to the Lusaka Protocol. There are concerns that Angola may become a rogue nation, showing no restraint in efforts to undermine its neighbors.
    Our next witness is a distinguished former Member of the House. But before I introduce him, I am going to ask if any of my colleagues have opening statements.
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    Mr. Hamilton.
    Mr. HAMILTON. No opening statement, Mr. Chairman, except to express a word of welcome to Dr. Wolpe. It is a very high privilege for us to have the opportunity to welcome him back to this Committee and to say a word of appreciation to him for the extraordinary service he has given in central Africa over the past several years. We have been watching it and noting, I must say with some pride, the effective work you and Ambassador Richardson have done. It's a great pleasure to have you. We are looking forward to your testimony on central Africa.
    Chairman GILMAN. Thank you, Mr. Hamilton.
    Mr. Smith.
    Mr. SMITH. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. I too want to welcome our former colleague, Dr. Wolpe, to the Committee, and thank him for his extensive briefing yesterday, which was very worthwhile.
    Mr. Chairman, almost a year ago on December 4, 1996, I chaired a hearing of the Subcommittee on International Operations and Human Rights in which representatives of several human rights organizations testified about massacres allegedly perpetrated against Hutu refugees by ethnic Tutsi-dominated rebels in what was then eastern Zaire. Even then, these rebels were known to be closely allied with the Rwandan Government. For example, on November 17, Tutsi rebels in Zaire had reportedly massacred hundreds of civilian refugees, some of whom they had lured with promises of return to Rwanda. Returning refugees had also reported that Tutsi forces had seized men and boys and did not let them return to Rwanda with their families. The refugees believed the men and boys were killed.
    I asked the Administration witnesses at the December 4 hearing about these reports. Their response was that the behavior of rebel forces in eastern Zaire appeared to be ''noticeably better'' than what had existed earlier, but that ''we too had heard these stories about the massacres'' and that we were ''addressing it and we know that the truth will come out in the end.'' That statement was by Assistant Secretary Phyllis Oakley, that hopefully the truth will come out.
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    I also asked at the December 4 hearing whether we provided military training to the Rwandan armed forces, and whether it was possible that such training or other U.S. assistance might be used in any way to help rebels who might be committing massacres. A representative from the Department of Defense, Deputy Assistant Secretary Vincent Kern said, ''I do not see any way that could possibly happen. I was also assured by our military training that our military training of Rwandan forces deals ''almost exclusively with the human rights end of the spectrum, as distinct from purely military operations'', and that we are talking about a ''kinder, softer, gentler side'' of military training. He went on to say, ''We have not provided the Rwandans with any of the sort of basic military training that you would get at Fort Bragg officer training or those sorts of things.'' That was from Mr. Kern.
    A few months later, it became clear that we had been providing Rwandan forces with training in a broad array of military skills, including psy-ops, tactical skills, and basic rifle marksmanship, whose connection to the human rights end of the spectrum is attenuated at best. It is now known that Rwandan forces were actively engaged in military operations in what was then Zaire. It has also been revealed in a report by John Pomfret for the Washington Post that Rwandan Defense Minister Kagame met with U.S. officials in August 1996 to warn them that refugee camps in eastern Zaire had to be dismantled, and that if the United Nations would not remove them, somebody else would have to do it.
    In light of these warnings, I find it hard to believe that 6 months later, in December, senior U.S. officials could have been unaware of the possibility that Rwandan soldiers and officers that we were training might be deployed in Zaire. I simply cannot believe that it did not occur to anyone in our government that Kagame might simply be keeping his promise.
    In August 1997, more than 2 months ago, I wrote a letter to the President asking when the U.S. Government first became aware of the possibility of active Rwandan participation in the Zaire operations. I asked whether upon becoming aware of this possibility and of reports that these operations included the widespread mass killing of unarmed men, women, and children, that our government felt it had a responsibility to determine whether the soldiers and officers we trained in tactical skills and marksmanship in July and August 1996 had participated in the Zairean operations.
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    I also asked what steps, if any, we took to determine whether any U.S. trainees participated in the massacres, and what we had done to ensure that current and future U.S. assistance and training to Rwandan armed forces would not inadvertently assist such conduct. In my August letter, I also asked for copies of U.S.-sponsored psy-ops that were directed against Hutu refugees in an effort to get them to return to Rwanda, and a detailed accounting of what efforts we took to determine that it was really safe for these refugees to return.
    In light of reports by Amnesty International and other respected human rights organizations that some returning Hutu refugees in fact had been murdered, the United States had an obvious responsibility to ensure that our psy-ops would not lure even a few people to their deaths.
    Finally, at the December 4 hearing, Congress was assured that the United States had set a ''strong signal'' to then-rebels in Zaire that any atrocities must cease. Unfortunately, there have been consistent and credible reports that a few U.S. diplomats in Rwanda had been such strong and obvious enthusiasts of the Rwandan Government and their Congolese allies, that this important message may not have been forcibly delivered.
    In my August letter, I expressed concern that the apparent unfamiliarity of the U.S. policymakers with the basic facts on the ground throughout the Zairean operation: that it was more of a foreign invasion than an indigenous revolution; that the Rwandan forces were apparently conducting massacres, which may have been in large part the result of these policymakers' reliance on reports from people who tended to discount negative reports about their friends in the Rwandan Patriotic Army and the Kabila forces. I urged the President to investigate whether this happened and to take appropriate action in response.
    Unfortunately, I have still not received any response to my August letter. The only unofficial response of which I am aware is that a senior State Department official had characterized my inquiries as a ''witch hunt''. Also, in Geneva recently, Assistant Secretary Oakley actually praised the Governments of Rwanda and the Congo for their mass repatriation of refugees. As a matter of fact, Refugees International in their statement took that to task and talked about glossing over some ugly truths that we should not be glossing over.
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    As I have made clear on many occasions, those of us in Congress who have expressed concerns about the uncritical U.S. attitude toward the Rwandan Government and the Kabila forces, have no intention of defending the ex-FAR or the Interahamwe or the Mobutu regime. All of these entities did terrible things and should be held accountable. The refugee camps in eastern Zaire were indeed being used for cross-border attacks into Rwanda. But in our apparent tolerance of the actions of our close allies in the Rwandan Government, in what now appears to have been our studied indifference to reports of atrocities, we may have lost sight of the fact that these camps were also home to hundreds of thousands of innocent people.
    Rwandan officers have been quoted by John Pomfret in the Post as saying that their goal in eastern Zaire was not only to shut down the refugee camps, but also ''to take revenge against Hutu refugees.'' According to Mr. Pomfret, Rwandan troops and their Congolese Tutsi allies were given a free hand to go after the Hutu refugees so long as they contributed to toppling Mobutu. Rebel officers who opposed this policy were done away with. One senior commander was gunned down by Rwandan and Tutsi troops.
    It now appears that a few months before this brutal conduct took place, we may have spent U.S. tax dollars to improve the marksmanship skills of its perpetrators. Even as it was taking place, our senior policymakers were congratulating themselves for helping to make these perpetrators softer, kinder, and gentler.
    I urge today, as I have been urging for almost a year now, that we take immediate action to determine whether the United States or any of its officials or employees has been complicit, either through action or through neglect in the massacres perpetrated by our Rwandan allies. Strong and immediate action must also be taken to convince the Rwandan Government, as well as its admirers within the U.S. foreign policy establishment, that compliance with a certain minimum standard of decency is the price of military assistance from the United States.
    Again, I must express to the Administration my sincere hope that our government's response to this episode will be vigorous enough to impress governments that might be tempted to engage in future massacres, and the U.S. officials who might be tempted to ignore or discount evidence of such massacres in the interests of promoting other foreign policy objectives. They must resist such temptations.
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    Again, Mr. Chairman, we still haven't received a copy of that responsive letter. I am told that it is in the works. I have to trust that it is. When it is made available, I would like to make it part of the record.
    Chairman GILMAN. Without objection. Thank you, Mr. Smith.
    Mr. MENENDEZ. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Let me thank you as the Ranking Member on the Africa Subcommittee for holding this hearing and for having Ambassador Richardson here to shed some light. In the past 6 months, we have witnessed enormous political changes in central Africa, some for the better like the overthrow of long-time dictator Mobutu in the former Zaire, and some for the worse, like the recent overthrow of the democratically elected government led by President Lissouba in the Republic of Congo, who is here with us today.
    Whenever a foreign military intervenes in another country, even when it generates what we consider to be a positive political change, it's a dangerous precedent because these soldiers are not responsible to the foreign government, nor are they necessarily acting with a popular mandate. We saw the result of such an action in the former Zaire with Rwandan soldiers able to act with impunity, killing their Hutu rivals who fled into the eastern part of Zaire. I hope the panels that we will hear from today will be able to shed some light on the internal political situation which has spurred these changes, the phenomena of cross-border military actions, the prospects for democracy in the region, as well as U.S. policy toward the region.
    I wish we had had an opportunity to have Ambassador Richardson hear some of these remarks. I am deeply disturbed by the recent military intervention by the Government of Angola into the Republic of Congo, which helped unseat the democratically elected government. Clearly, they did not have a popular mandate, as Sassou-Nguesso does not now from the Congolese people.
    The U.S. response has been woefully inadequate. The United States should be calling for the restoration of the democratically elected Government of Pascal Lissouba. I have not heard that yet. I have heard the Ambassador talk today about withdrawing Angolan troops, but I have not heard us call for the restoration of the democratically elected government. Instead, it is pursuing a policy of working with former dictator Nguesso, as if he had a legitimate mandate from the Congolese people.
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    Last, I would like to comment on the situation of the Democratic Republic of Congo. In May, when now President Kabila successfully ousted Mobutu, I was excited and hopeful that his leadership would mean the restoration of civil society and democracy in the Democratic Republic of Congo. I am still hopeful. I remember our meeting with President Kabila while we were at the OAU summit. But after 5 months in power, I think there is good reason to be concerned about where we are headed in the Congo. That is not to suggest that President Kabila's intentions are anything but democratic, but I think there are concerns. His obstruction of the U.N. investigation into human rights abuses, and the most recent negation of the OAU and regional support for sanctions against Burundi are cause for concern.
    Last, democracy as a form of government in Africa is still emerging and being shaped into its own African entity. That is something we want to encourage. Yes, we should continue to stay engaged. However, I believe that it's crucial that the United States and the international community be consistent in their support of governments which uphold democracy and abide by their regional and international commitments, and in their criticisms of governments which disregard these commitments. To do anything less is to promote parochial interests on a continent where parochial interests have been a policy guide for far too long, and at the great risk of stymieing the emergence of African democracy. That is a risk I don't believe that we can afford. I look forward to hearing Dr. Wolpe's comments as well as hearing from President Lissouba.
    Chairman GILMAN. Thank you, Mr. Menendez. Any other Members seeking recognition? If not, we'll now proceed.
    Mr. PAYNE. Mr. Chairman.
    Chairman GILMAN. Mr. Payne.
    Mr. PAYNE. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman, for calling this very important hearing. As you know, it's been indicated I had the privilege to travel with Ambassador Richardson and the special envoy to Burundi and the Great Lakes region with Dr. Howard Wolpe. We, as you know, had the opportunity to meet primarily with Mr. Kabila about the stalled U.N. investigation process and other bilateral issues.
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    As it has been indicated by the Ambassador, I was extremely pleased with the outcome of the meeting with President Kabila and the regional leaders. The delegation had fruitful discussions with the leaders, the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Meles, President Isains Afwekki of Eritrea, Vice President Kagame in Rwanda, Foreign Minister DeMoura in Angola, and Mr. Savimbi of UNITA, and President Moi. So we had an opportunity to discuss many of the region's problems.
    Today's hearing is important for many reasons. Most important in my view is to take a look at the big picture and ask what went wrong in 1994, 1995, and 1996 in the Great Lakes region which has created the current problem that we have today. It's not a footnote or anecdotal to say that incidentally something happened in Rwanda in 1994, but then go and spend 20 minutes to talk about what has happened in the past year if we are going to be fair about this whole thing. By doing that, and just singling one entity, all we are doing is continuing the cycle of violence. There has to be some kind of counter-cyclical mandate to stop the cycle.
    But if we are going to focus only on one area, we're not going to deal with the total problem because the problem is more than some Tutsi soldiers. You have got Interahamwe, you have got ex-FAR, you have got a million people who were killed in the genocide. But this always becomes a footnote, that incidentally something happened before, but now these various issues must be the only concern. I think that that's wrong. I think that this will not get to the bottom of the issue, so what can we do to stop the cycle of violence. If we only concentrate on one area, then the other will feel free to do whatever they did before. That's not the answer.
    There have been atrocities on all sides, and all sides have to be made accountable to that. The fact that there were a million refugees that went to Zaire, the former Rwandan army and militia who were responsible for deaths of close to one million people used the refugees as hostages. Weapons were brought right into the camps while U.N. officials looked the other way. The camps were used as military training grounds to launch cross-border attacks in Rwanda, which no one talked about as they were going on.
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    So after the Mobutu regime was ousted in May, some people wanted to save the corrupt dictator under the guise of peace talks, and to try to stop the military intervention so they could have a shared government. But the new breed of leaders in the region decided that enough is enough. Another thing that's going on, is that the new leaders are saying we need to get rid of the old corrupt governments and people who supported them so that we can move forward with democracy. The defeat of Mobutu also denied the enemies of Rwanda a safe haven, which they have had for many years. UNITA had many bases in former Zaire and kept their troops in fighting readiness by virtue of having a safe haven in Zaire.
    The refugees, many of whom were held hostage by the militia and their allies returned home, ending a huge humanitarian disaster. The Alliance and the regional leaders did what the international community miserably failed to do—put an end to the suffering of innocent refugees. It is ironic that the Kabila Government and its allies in the region soon became the target of attacks, instead of accepting and acknowledging the accomplishments of these leaders.
    The international community soon began to point fingers. As a matter of fact, just 2 weeks ago in northern Rwanda, there was an incursion of Hutu militia in northern Rwanda that attacked a village and killed innocent people. So it still goes on. As I indicated, all sides are wrong.
    It is important that we put things in perspective. What did the United Nations do at the height of the Rwandan genocide? It pulled out the peace keeping troops and left innocent citizens to be brutally murdered. What did the U.S. Government do? We did absolutely nothing. The United States pushed a resolution for the pull-out of those troops. Also there were people who were willing from Africa, not from the West, but from Africa, were willing to go in to protect the people, but there was no support for that in the United Nations. What did the French Government do? I don't want to go into that, it would take too long. So as we look at what went on, I think that there is a lot of, as I indicated, there is a lot of blame to go around.
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    So as I conclude, thus, the relentless clamor for an investigation of the alleged massacres by the Kabila Government must be seen in this context. I went there to urge the government to allow the investigations to begin. I think if wrongdoings are proven by the Government of Kabila and the alliance, then they should be brought to task, just as others should. The issue here is not whether this investigation should take place but it's how do we bring the focus of the entire Great Lakes region into this, including what happened during Operation Turquoise? All of these are areas that are interesting to me.
    The regional leaders have accepted the U.N. investigation into the alleged massacres in eastern Zaire, but the international community should also be equally ready to investigate itself. I strongly believe that the international community has lost credibility in the eyes of the people of that region when it abandoned the poor and the helpless to die in the genocide. They also denied the innocent the right to live. So as I indicated, there is certainly enough to go around.
    This kind of selective amnesia that we have at times, to just forget what happened in the past, I think is dangerous. It is wrong. I look forward to hearing from the witnesses. Once again I look forward to us coming up with a resolution to the problem so that we can move forward. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Chairman GILMAN. Thank you very much, Mr. Payne. Any other Members seeking recognition? Mr. Royce, the distinguished chairman of our Subcommittee on Africa.
    Mr. ROYCE. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I would like to just make my opening statement for the record. I'll just submit that.
    Chairman GILMAN. Without objection.
    [The prepared statement of Mr. Royce appears in the appendix.]
    Mr. ROYCE. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I would like to ask a question of Ambassador Wolpe. I would like to say it's good to see you again, Ambassador. We have very much enjoyed the meeting we had in Africa. We have several of the Members of the Committee who were with us on that trek. We appreciate your engagement on these issues and all that you have tried to do.
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    Chairman GILMAN. Mr. Royce, if you would withhold questions until Dr. Wolpe has an opportunity to make his statement.
    Mr. ROYCE. Very good, Mr. Chairman. Thank you.
    Chairman GILMAN. Thank you, Mr. Royce. Now after a long delay, we're pleased to hear from Howard Wolpe, who is now special envoy in the State Department's Bureau of African Affairs. We're honored to have you back with us once again. Howard is a former Member of our Committee. He served for 10 years as the chairman of our Africa Subcommittee. He is one of America's most distinguished Africanists. He is a visiting fellow at the Foreign Policy Studies Program at Brookings, and is a former faculty member at both the University of Michigan and Western Michigan University. Howard has written and edited numerous books and articles on African issues. He is a recipient of the African American Institute Star Crystal award for excellence and numerous other important awards. Howard received his doctorate from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
    Howard, we welcome you back to our Committee. We look forward to your testimony. You may put the full statement in or summarize, whichever you see fit.
    Mr. WOLPE. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. I am delighted to be here. It seems a bit strange to be on this side of the table, particularly in this Committee room. But I am delighted to be back among a number of friends and former colleagues.
    Rather than offer a prepared or to read a prepared statement, what I would like to do is take just a few moments to underscore a few of the themes of Ambassador Richardson's testimony, and provide a little bit more context to American policy in this region.
    I want to underscore what Ambassador Richardson began with. Much is at stake in how the Democratic Republic of the Congo evolves in the weeks and months ahead. It is really difficult for all of us to grasp fully the immensity of this thing we call the Congo. The Democratic Republic of the Congo is as large as the entire United States east of the Mississippi, a single country. And the new government has inherited what can only be described as a vacuum. The 30 years of Mobutu-ism meant the total destruction of infrastructure, the total elimination of virtually any State institutional capacity. Perhaps one of the saddest political legacies of the Mobutu years is the legacy of distrust among the Congolese themselves. They were so fragmented by virtue of the breakdown of any internal communications system, and so manipulated politically by the previous regime, that people don't know who they can trust, one to the other inside the Congo, which poses enormous political challenges, aside from those that are in the economic realm.
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    If the Congo falls apart, this is a country that borders nine different countries. If it falls apart, the consequences can be truly cataclysmic, not only for the people of the Congo, but for the entire region. Much of the remarkably exciting economic renaissance in southern Africa has been inspired by events in such countries as South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe and elsewhere, much of that progress can be totally undermined as a consequence of the refugee flows and other fallout that would be the consequence of the implosion or explosion of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
    On the other hand, if somehow the Congo can come through this very difficult transitional period and emerge with a stronger institutional base with democratic institutions, with a market-oriented economy, then there is the potential for the Congo, not only to begin to lift up the quality of life for its own people, but also to become a very powerful economic engine for the entire region. In terms of regional economic activity, that potential is unlimited.
    So there is much that is riding on what happens in this country in the weeks and months ahead. That is of interest not only to the United States, but it is of vital interest to all the countries of the region themselves. They understand, as a matter of their self-interest, that the Congo transition must succeed.
    Second, the politics of this region, this has already been pointed out in different ways, is very very complicated, with internal conflicts of many of the States in the region spilling over into other States and destabilizing the entire region. For 30 years, Zaire and Mobutu were at the center of much of this regional turmoil, supporting or giving haven to rebel groups in Uganda, in Angola, in Burundi, in Rwanda.
    Third, there is no conflict that has been more violent and destructive for the entire region than that conflict involving Tutsis and Hutus, these are two really separate conflicts. The one in Burundi and that in Rwanda have some characteristics in common, but many characteristics that are quite different. It's very dangerous to generalize across the two conflicts.
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    I cannot go into details here, but the important point that needs to be underscored is that this conflict is not the product of ancient tribal antagonisms, as so much of the popular media still tend to suggest, but a very recent pattern of economic and political competition that have their origins in the colonial period and in the process of democratization itself. It is perhaps the most intractable conflict anywhere on the African continent.
    I have been engaged now, almost a year and a half, in working on particularly the Burundi conflict. I have never seen a conflict in which the levels of fear, of distrust, are as great as they are in this instance. Each side is absolutely convinced that if they do not kill first, they will be killed. You have a whole psychology, if you will, of preemptive murder. It is that fear, it is that insecurity that of course received even greater momentum by what has been the watershed event in recent years. That was this remarkable terrible genocidal violence of 1994 in Rwanda, which claimed, the estimates are between 800,000 and a million lives, within a period of only a few weeks.
    You cannot grasp the difficulty of dealing with the Congolese issue or any of these other questions in the region without comprehending the enormity of that genocide and of the aftermath of that genocide. It was followed by a huge refugee outflow into the adjacent countries. Both the former Zaire and Tanzania received most of these refugees. Refugee camps were established that ended up under the political control of the very people that have perpetrated the genocide. Then, in effect, the international community ended up essentially because of the concern about trying to provide aid to legitimate refugees, effectively sustaining these refugee camps that had become essentially armed camps that were destabilizing, that were launching attacks into Rwanda, that wanted to perpetuate, to continue the genocide.
    In addition to that whole question, of the mixing of the genocidists with the former refugees, with the refugee populations, particularly in Zaire, in addition, you had the ethnic cleansing of Tutsis in Masisi, aided and abetted by members of Mobutu's own government. The entire region of this part of the continent, I don't mean just the States immediately effected, but if you go up into Eritrea, to Ethiopia, into Tanzania, Kenya, the entire region feels enormously betrayed and let down by the entire international community and by the U.N. system. There was no effective response to the genocide itself in Rwanda. There was no effective response to the mixing of populations of the genocidists with the refugee populations in the refugee camps, the refugee camps that in fact were on the border, in proximity to Rwanda. There was no effective international response to the ethnic cleansing in Masisi.
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    It is important to understand how the continent reacted then to the suggestion that was made initially that the entire focus of the human rights investigation should be upon the most recent months, beginning with the introduction of the alliance and the Kabila operation inside the Congo. From their standpoint that was, as one leader said to me, to focus upon the consequence, in some respects, rather than the causality, upon only one part of the totality of what had happened.
    Let me say, the execution of the human rights mission by the United Nations we believe is absolutely indispensable, not simply in order to allow the rest of the international community to fully engage the Democratic Republic of the Congo in the tasks of reconstruction and development, but in and of itself. If this cycle of violence is to have any possibility of ending, we must see an end to the culture rather of impunity. People must be held accountable for criminal acts so that it will no longer be possible to say that all Tutsis are responsible for crimes, all Hutus are responsible for crimes. That there will be some clarity that the people who actually did the crimes will be held accountable, that there is justice, that there will no longer be impunity for these acts of terrible ethnically inspired violence. That's why the human rights investigation is important. That is why we continue to do everything we can to ensure that it go forward.
    It is also important, given the history I have just described, that a human rights investigation be comprehensive, that it look at all acts of all massacres, all parties that were involved in this terrible history of killing and destruction. That is now what I believe Ambassador Richardson was able to successfully negotiate in his conversations both with the United Nations and conversations with the Congolese—an understanding that the investigation must go forward, but it, in fact, will be comprehensive.
    Let me just say finally, that this issue of the perceptions of Africa as it relates to the international community, and the U.N. system, is a very serious problem that we will continue to wrestle with, even well beyond the issue of the implementation of the human rights investigation. The breach must be closed between the U.N. agencies on the one hand, be it the UNHCR or what have you, and this region of Africa on the other. It can be closed. One of the things that I find very encouraging is the beginning of a serious dialog, of an effort to understand what went wrong, what can be set right so we will not repeat the mistakes of the past into the future. Responsibility for what has happened in the Congo must be shared not only by the African States of the region, but by the entire international community.
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    Let me close with those brief remarks, Mr. Chairman. I look forward to receiving questions of yourself and of the Committee.
    [The prepared statement of Mr. Wolpe appears in the appendix.]
    Chairman GILMAN. Thank you, Dr. Wolpe.
    Dr. Wolpe, what is your reaction to the numerous reports by NGO's and the humanitarian organizations that our embassy in Rwanda is hostile to their missions? Have you had an opportunity to review that?
    Mr. WOLPE. Not only have I had an opportunity to review the reports, I have also spent many hours in the embassy myself in Kigali. I think there have been some times when there have been differences in judgment between officials in the embassy and one or another organization, but I do not believe that there has ever been any softness, as has been suggested, in the concern about human rights atrocities, whether they are perpetrated by Rwandese forces or by any other forces. I know because I have been involved in many of the government demarches myself, that we have repeatedly, and our Ambassador has repeatedly, whenever we have had a reason to believe that there are credible reports of inappropriate conduct, of atrocities, of killings by government forces, those concerns have been brought very directly and very forcefully to the government.
    Chairman GILMAN. Thank you, Dr. Wolpe. I am being called to another meeting. I am going to ask our distinguished chairman of our Subcommittee, Mr. Royce, to take over the chair at this time.
    Mr. ROYCE. [presiding] Mr. Gejdenson.
    Mr. GEJDENSON. Thank you. Dr. Wolpe, it's good to have you back here. I had the privilege of serving with you in the House. Often times we got a sense that government finds people with the least amount of knowledge and sends them in that area. It is refreshing to see you in an area where you have undisputed expertise.
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    It is obvious that when one changes his position from an outside rebel to the operator of a functioning or attempting-to-function government, that individual has to change to be successful. There are obviously grave concerns over Mr. Kabila's past. I had people come to my office to talk about being—one of the people had been kidnapped by him when he was a rebel force in the country, and I think extorted about a half a million dollars from the families of the kidnapped victims. I think many of them feel that their plight, with serious financial and other consequences has been ignored. I understand the need to move forward.
    I guess my question to you is, is the U.S. policy working in conjunction with other national governments in the sense that what are the Europeans doing, what are other African powers doing? Are we in a coordinated effort there? Not that you can give a time line, but do you get a sense of when we might see some more institutionalization of democratic institutions?
    I know the elections have been targeted, but prior to election, you need the kind of institutions that will guarantee due process and courts and what have you. Those are the real building blocks of then a free and open election.
    Just one additional comment. I think back there was no single individual in this Congress that put a greater effort into ending apartheid in South Africa. Your contribution to Africa was tremendous before you got this new appointment. I expect to see a lot more from you.
    Mr. WOLPE. Mr. Gejdenson, thank you so much for your generous remarks. Let me try to respond. You really asked I think two kinds of questions. First, as it relates to international response, all of the member States of the region are working very hard to try to be of maximum assistance to the Kabila Government. As I said earlier, because they understand this as a matter of their own self-interest. So they are providing technical assistance, they are providing political advice and counsel, they are providing assistance in restructuring the military and training police units that will be separate from the military and not part of a political operation for a change. So that is ongoing.
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    Within the international community, we have been in very close contact on an ongoing basis with the European Union and with the Japanese Government, and on a bilateral basis with the other European Governments. I think that there is a common interest in wanting to be helpful. There are obviously differences in nuances, in emphasis on the part of different governments. I think that a very important event about to take place that will permit an opportunity both to assess where we are and to coordinate efforts, will be the donors' conference that is going to be taking place in Brussels on December 2 and 3.
    Everyone has been saying that it was very important to all concerned, that there be no obstacle to an independent human rights investigation. People were deeply concerned that that would make it impossible to generate the kind of support necessary to engage as fully as many of the countries in Europe and around the globe would like to engage. That has been made very clear, I think, to the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
    The World Bank now is indicating an affirmative interest. They were very pleased by the agreement that's been reached. They are looking forward to initiating discussions that relate both to met ways of rescheduling debt, as well as beginning to identify met ways in which the international community can be of most effective assistance. I am encouraged by that development internationally.
    As it relates to the progress that the government is making, it clearly is a mixed record. The acceptance of the U.N. team is clearly good news. So is the appointment of a constitutional drafting commission to begin this political process. Some deadlines have been missed earlier, but now they are back on track in terms of the 2-year electoral deadline that President Kabila had committed to. The establishment of an inter-ministerial economic team is good news. They have had great difficulty, this new government, in trying to organize themselves internally. So now they have created a mechanism to try to put together a more coherent economic plan and set of proposals to take to this meeting of donors that will be taking place in Brussels. All that is on the positive news side.
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    There has been some movement as well toward creating a broad-based government. The Alliance has not been exclusive. It has reached out. Most of the Governors at the provincial level come from UDPS, the former so-called opposition to Mobutu in the Mobutu era. There are many non-Alliance people in the cabinet itself.
    On the other hand, there are also things that we find disturbing. The ban on political party activity is still in place. We still have people being detained, Mobutuists being detained without charge. The issue here is due process, as you referenced just a moment ago. It's part of the democratization effort. Only yesterday an American citizen, the Telecel International vice president was detained for 12 hours. We appreciated the rapid intervention when we asked for some assistance on the part of some parts of the government that understood this was wholly inappropriate, and frankly a very unwise action. It's certainly not the way to build confidence in the investor community in doing business in the Congo. But he was released after 12 hours. We think that, we hope that, more members of the government have come to understand just how inappropriate and counterproductive that kind of action is.
    I make this observation to say that we're going to have to, I think, not look at single events, but rather longer-term trends. This will not be a smooth process. There will be bumps along the road. But compared to where they were the first day they assumed office and today, I think you can only conclude that there have been some important signs of some progress.
    Mr. ROYCE. Ambassador Wolpe, if I could just ask you a question about the role that mercenaries have traditionally played in putting African dictators in power and keeping them in office. We have had groups like Executive Outcomes and other firms that have tried to legitimatize these soldiers of fortune. Do you believe the former Rwandan and Zairean soldiers and the Interahamwe militiamen will join organized military groups or will they constitute rogue soldiers for hire? And should the former Rwandan and Zairean soldiers remain viable militarily? How much of a danger will they pose not only to their home countries, but also to vulnerable regimes in the region?
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    I guess I would last ask you which countries are most in danger for mercenary-backed coups. If we on the Committee could get some of your insights.
    Mr. WOLPE. You ask easy questions, Mr. Chairman. I frankly cannot make a judgment as to whether or not these elements that you describe will put themselves out for hire, if you will, on a commercial basis. I can certainly make a judgment that they are an enormously destructive force.
    The ex-FAR, Interahamwe, some of the ex-FAZ, are alive and well and operating in parts in different countries in the region, even as we speak. We have seen evidence in just recent days of the launching of new attacks with the genocide advocacy pamphlets being distributed inside Rwanda itself. So the destructive potential of those kinds of folks on the ground, not apprehended, not being held accountable, is considerable. Also, it is possible, that whether for hire or not, that they end up affiliating themselves for short-range political purposes with other rebel operations that may emerge from time to time in one zone or another. So they represent a very dangerous and destabilizing element.
    I think I would rather pass on your last question in identifying governments that may be more susceptible to this kind of manipulation than others.
    Mr. ROYCE. That sounds fair, Howard. Thank you, Ambassador.
    I am going to turn to the Ranking Member, Mr. Hamilton.
    Mr. HAMILTON. Howard, I'm interested in your view of Kabila. What is his vision of the Congo? What kind of a man are we dealing with here?
    Mr. WOLPE. I have met with Mr. Kabila now on several different occasions. I was impressed from the very beginning with his focus. His life's agenda politically had been focused upon an end to Mobutu and Mobutuism. What he means by that, and he has expressed it to me and to others, an end to this total culture of corruption that was institutionalized in the Mobutu years that has been so debilitating for the entire society. He speaks of democracy and his goal of ending personal tyranny.
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    Mr. HAMILTON. Do you think he's a democrat?
    Mr. WOLPE. My sense of it is that he does want to see a democratization. Whether we would call what he sees in the end democracy or not remains to be seen. He has not flushed out in great detail his sort of constitutional notion of what a democratic system might look like. He has done some things that we find—that we are uncomfortable with, such as——
    Mr. HAMILTON. You basically believe he wants to move in the direction of an open, accountable, transparent democratic government over a period of time?
    Mr. WOLPE. They are certainly doing some things that I think are pointing in that direction. I mean, for example, they are now organizing a national reconstruction conference. With a great deal of fanfare and publicity, they have indicated that they want this conference to be proceeded by provincial conferences. They want every sector and segment of society to be involved at the grassroots in this exercise. I just would cite that at least as some indication of an intention to attempt to begin to reach out.
    Frankly, we wish that he would reach out even more aggressively to validate, for example, some of the elements of the opposition that were fighting Mobutu earlier. There has not been that kind of validation which politically would have been helpful in making clear his commitment to inclusiveness and to the democratization process.
    Mr. HAMILTON. Why hasn't he reached out?
    Mr. WOLPE. I don't want to say he hasn't, that there have been no overtures, no initiatives. There have been some. But not to the extent that I think would be more helpful. Part of what we are seeing, I think, is a playing out of the legacy that I referred to in my opening remarks. This legacy of extraordinary mistrust among the Congolese people themselves given the history of fragmentation. People are building relationships. People are trying to identify ways in which they can work together. That will take some time.
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    Mr. HAMILTON. Ambassador Richardson said we are considering a larger program in Fiscal Year 1998. My recollection is our program today is about $10 million. Is that right?
    Mr. WOLPE. That's correct.
    Mr. HAMILTON. How much larger are we thinking, what amount, and what kind of benchmarks must be reached before we would increase aid to that country?
    Mr. WOLPE. We have indicated to the government that we want to see continued movement in the areas of democratization, of human rights, and creation of the development of the government's institutional capacity. I cannot tell you today the details of what might be coming forward. We certainly will be consulting with the Congress on that. There are, as you know, restrictions still in law both in terms of——
    Mr. HAMILTON. But you have in mind a number of benchmarks that must be reached, and I presume some way of trying to measure whether progress has been made toward those benchmarks. Is that correct?
    Mr. WOLPE. That's right.
    Mr. HAMILTON. And your judgment about how much progress has been made will determine in part your total figure, I presume?
    Mr. WOLPE. That's correct.
    Mr. HAMILTON. One final question with regard to Rwanda. They are continuing to intervene in the Congo. Is that correct? Rwanda?
    Mr. WOLPE. Well, they clearly are involved with the Congo. When you talk about military intervention, we have in recent weeks, there has been the withdrawal of a number of Rwandese units. There seems to be an effort being made right now in the Congo to withdraw Rwandese troop units.
    Mr. HAMILTON. You were in Kigali?
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    Mr. WOLPE. That's right.
    Mr. HAMILTON. Did you say to them at that time that the United States wants them to stop intervention in the Congo?
    Mr. WOLPE. We have made clear from the beginning that we want to see a Congo free of foreign forces. We early on during the conflict itself, we were——
    Mr. HAMILTON. The same message to Angola and to Burundi?
    Mr. WOLPE. Absolutely. And earlier, we were very explicit in urging non-intervention even as the conflict was in process.
    Mr. HAMILTON. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Mr. ROYCE. Thank you, Mr. Hamilton.
    Mr. Smith of New Jersey.
    Mr. SMITH. Thank you very much. Dr. Wolpe, thank you for your testimony. Let me just ask you a couple of questions. Physicians for Human Rights, in a letter to Secretary of State Madeleine Albright dated September 17, and signed by Leonard Rubenstein—and I would ask, Mr. Chairman, that the full letter be made a part of the record—makes the point that one of the gravest assaults on refugee protection in history has occurred, and UNHCR has pulled out. I don't think you have mentioned that yet. In the view of many of us, that's a major league setback when a group like UNHCR pulls out because of the situation in the Congo.
    The letter points out, and I would just like to read very briefly from it. ''We welcome the strong statement issued by the State Department on September 5 regarding the refoulement of Rwandan refugees from the Congo. We fear, however, that the statement will not be heeded by the Rwandan or Congolese authorities because it stands in marked contrast with other more numerous statements and messages of support for the Government of Rwanda from the U.S. Embassy in Kigali. Numerous human rights and humanitarian groups have found the U.S. Ambassador and his staff to be outspokenly critical of them'' that is to say the human rights groups and humanitarian people and their efforts, ''particularly of the work of the UNHCR. The U.S. Embassy has also publicly defended the Rwandan Government's human rights record and its actions, and minimized reports of human rights observers in both Rwanda and Congo. Physicians for Human Rights regards the human rights situation in both the Congo and Rwanda as among the direst in the world.'' Then it goes on to talk about the dangers to human rights.
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    Now you have indicated earlier that, if I heard you correctly, it seems not to be a problem with our folks there. Yet we have heard these things from respected human rights organizations, and we have heard this repeatedly stated to our Subcommittee. While some lip service—and maybe some true sentiment—is expressed toward those who are the victims of human rights abuses, we continue to coddle the governments, even when these reports continually document these abuses.
    So how would you respond to the statement by Physicians for Human Rights?
    Mr. WOLPE. Thank you very much, Mr. Smith. First of all, with respect to UNHCR, we protested vigorously at the forced repatriation of the people from their transit camp that triggered the decision to stop UNHCR operations in Goma specifically—not in the rest of the country, but in Goma. We continue to hope that that relationship will be repaired. My understanding is that there have been discussions that are ongoing between UNHCR and the government that will allow resumption of a full program inside the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
    As it relates to the issue of whether or not we have been—let me simply respectfully say that for those of us who have been deeply involved in this issue now for many many months, it is simply I think untenable to suggest that human rights violations have been looked at without the appropriate severity either by the embassy in Kigali or by our government generally. There have been repeated conversations, entreaties, expressions of concern when appropriate.
    It is also true that we have praised what we regard as a remarkable reintegration effort that has occurred. You have in Rwanda in the last very few months some 1.4 million refugees that came back into the country, moved back into their home communities, resumed their lives. The vast mass majority of those people have done so comfortably.
    There have been some people that have been arrested, because of allegations that they were complicit in the original genocide. There have been some people that have been killed when there have been what we regard as human rights violations, an absence of due process. We have raised those issues with the Government of Rwanda.
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    But it is important again, I submit, that we understand the enormity of the challenge. I don't think I have ever seen a more traumatized society than the Rwandese society. The country's total population is about 6 million. Almost a third of the population had been in exile at one time or another in recent years. Suddenly that third of the population returned to the country, with enormous stresses, enormous strains. You have some in the Rwandese Government that fortunately recognize that the only solution to Rwanda's long-term political future is a focus upon reconciliation, a multi-ethnic power sharing, of empowerment of the overall population. You have others within Rwandan society and government that I'm sure feel very exposed by that strategy and would much rather adopt a policy that is much more focused upon ''kill first and ask questions later''.
    What we are trying to do is work with the government to see to it that the policies of reconciliation, of power sharing, of democratization will prevail. Because in the final analysis, we believe that's the only solution to a stable future of Rwanda. I would add that that can only happen in the context of a system of justice.
    Mr. SMITH. Let me just say, Howard, we should pay attention when human rights organizations consistently criticize our people on the ground. I'll never forget during those years in El Salvador and Nicaragua—and I was one of those Republicans who felt the Government of Duarte, for example, was different than some of the others. Still, when I read reports that were coming out from the human rights organizations, I believed them—not absolutely, but I wanted to see the mutual reinforcement of a message, and then come to a sound conclusion, even though it might be contrary to what, in that case, the Reagan White House was saying. Our government seemed to have been dropping the ball in El Salvador and in Nicaragua and some of the Central American countries.
    Now these same people who have no political ax to grind are saying this about our own government in terms of this cozying up to the Rwandan Government. I mean, it runs through all of these reports. Again, the Physicians for Human Rights aren't pro-Kabila, they are not anti-Kabila. They are pro-victim. They make the very, very serious charge that our own government people want to gloss over it, as Lionel Rosenblatt of Refugees International said in his statement recently. Then I look at what Phyllis Oakley is saying at the United Nations. When other Western Governments are taking a defensive posture with regard to UNHCR, our government turns around and defends Rwanda and Congo and applauds them on their take-charge attitude. Now there seems to be an imbalance there.
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    Again, the human rights groups—what is their agenda? Their agenda is to care for the victim. Wherever the chips fall, that's where they fall. I do understand the long-standing history here. Just like there have been long-standing histories elsewhere where there has been impunity and violence. But that doesn't give us any reason to want to excuse further impunity and violence in any way, shape or form. I know you'll say we have spoken to them, but they get mixed messages, it seems to me. The human rights groups seem to be reinforcing that in a strong way.
    Mr. WOLPE. Let me say, Mr. Smith, first of all that as you probably know from my own history, I don't think that there is any organization or set of organizations that do more important work than that of the human rights organizations. We have welcomed their focusing upon these issues.
    I mentioned the tasks of reconciliation and multi-ethnic power sharing as the key to the Rwandese future. The other key that I started to spell out is justice. As long as there is a culture of impunity, for Tutsis or for Hutus, that allows criminal acts to go unchallenged, then you will have a cycle of violence that will go unchallenged. So we see the task of justice as absolutely critical to this overall process of reconciliation and nation building, if you will. With that we concur entirely.
    I must say to you that that doesn't mean that with each and every judgment, each and every observation, we would necessarily concur. I mean there was one report that, for example, American forces were involved in rebel and other military operations in the Congo. You read that in one of these reports. That was simply not true. Now I'm here to tell you that sometimes observations may not be, in every instance, accurate.
    But again, in terms of our policy, it is very clear. We believe that it is in the interest of Rwanda to challenge all human atrocities whether they are committed by government forces or by civilians, by rebels, or by the government itself.
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    Mr. SMITH. Let me ask you a followup. You have already denied it. According to the Boston Globe, U.S. agents were seen with rebels who ousted Mobutu. It leads off, ''U.S. intelligence agents and diplomats secretly accompanied the rebel forces of Laurant Kabila during the victorious 7-month civil war in the former Zaire, according to U.S. and European officials.'' It says here, in this page one Boston Globe article, that ''European intelligence sources have leaked reports to the European press that U.S. Special Forces participated in the fighting in eastern Zaire. A French military officer interviewed recently said that as many as 100 armed American troops were detected by French intelligence in the conflict.''
    Mr. WOLPE. Let me say I have read a lot of stories in the media that I can only describe as fantasy.
    Mr. SMITH. So that's fantasy?
    Mr. WOLPE. That is fantasy. That is absolutely not true. Let me just tell you what the story is. On one occasion in November 1996, a U.S. colonel accompanied a civilian humanitarian assessment team into the eastern Congo. Except for the defense attache and normal embassy Marine security guards in Kinshasa, that was the only U.S. military presence in the Congo.
    Mr. SMITH. Let me ask you a question with regard to the investigation team. If the evidence finds that the Alliance and the Rwandan army indeed killed hundreds, perhaps thousands of unarmed refugees and Congolese villagers—and the human rights groups have asserted that—what effect will that have on the Administration's foreign aid policy toward the Congo? And will we push the United Nations to seek indictments against those who have perpetrated these crimes?
    If I am not mistaken, and correct me if I'm wrong, so far the agreement with Kabila is that the fact-finding team will fact find only, and not recommend any kind of punishment or disciplinary action. Maybe that's been changed. Maybe it has not. But once we get the information—one of my biggest disappointments as Chair of the Helsinki Commission, and I mentioned this to you yesterday, is that in all of the efforts to find, track down, and prosecute war criminals in Bosnia, Milosevic isn't even on the screen, and has been deliberately taken off that screen, is not being looked at for his not just complicity, but his actual beginning and then cessation of the war in the former Yugoslavia. Yes, they'll go at Mladic, they'll go at others, but not Milosevic—he has been somehow sandbagged and protected. There is no active investigation, I'm told, into his alleged crimes. Even our former Secretary of State, Larry Eagleburger, as he was leaving office said that he believed him to be a war criminal. In this case, what happens if the evidence leads to Kabila himself?
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    Mr. WOLPE. As you have pointed out, the team itself will be engaged in fact finding. It will be for the Secretary General and the Security Council to come forward with recommendations for a response based upon that investigation, and based upon, I'm sure the government's own response. Obviously our hope would be that if there is an identification of specific individuals that are culpable or believed to be culpable for atrocities, that the government itself will act to hold those people accountable within their own legal process. But if not, then that is something that would be then before the United Nations, and there are other mechanisms that we have used in the past that——
    Mr. SMITH. Does the team have the political capability to follow wherever and to whomever the leads may take them, even if it's right to Kabila's door?
    Mr. WOLPE. That is our understanding.
    Mr. SMITH. Can we count on the government itself to take action?
    Mr. WOLPE. We believe, as Kofi Annan indicated that he believes, that the understandings that have been reached will permit a fully independent, fully impartial investigation that will enable the team to do whatever is necessary.
    Mr. SMITH. In your view, does the team have sufficient resources—that is to say trained investigators and others, support staff, even right down to clerical to adequately do the job?
    Mr. WOLPE. They are still in the process of staffing up, so I think we can't give you a definitive judgment at this point. The point you make is valid. It is important that this be adequately resourced and staffed.
    Mr. SMITH. Could you advise the Full Committee and our Subcommittee as to what realistically is needed to do the job? Because the biggest complaint, especially prior to the war crimes tribunal in Bosnia, from the U.N. leader, the head of the panel of experts who testified before our Committee, was that they, he believed, deliberately understaffed that effort so that only a bare bones picture would be painted, rather than the full and as near as possible comprehensive.
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    I'll never forget, Mr. Chairman, when I was Ranking Member on the Western Hemisphere Subcommittee, and we heard from the three expert and very, very honorable people who led the inquiry in the truth commission in El Salvador. They complained, and complained rather bitterly, that they did not have the resources to track down and follow through on leads. So, although they would get general headings, they couldn't get the minutia that was necessary to follow down where the evidence might lead. If it went to the top government people, so be it. But they complained, and they did so at our hearing. They did so prior to embarking on their mission.
    So I think we have to make sure that that is adequately staffed. If it means an additional contribution from the U.S. Government, it seems to me that in the interests of truth and doing justice to the victims, we need to make one. So if you could let us know as soon as possible what that looks like, and if an additional voluntary contribution is needed, I think in a bipartisan way we could encourage the Administration to do that so that there is no lack of resources being brought to bear on this.
    Mr. WOLPE. Thank you. We will do that, Mr. Smith.
    Mr. SMITH. I appreciate it.
    Mr. ROYCE. Thank you, Mr. Smith.
    Mr. Payne of New Jersey.
    Mr. PAYNE. Thank you. I will be very brief. I know that Mr. Wolpe has been here a long time and His Excellency is waiting to testify. I have to run for a moment, but I will be right back.
    I would just like to once again thank Ambassador Wolpe for the outstanding job that he has done. I wish that my colleague, Mr. Menendez, was still here when he talked about incursion from outside countries into, for example, countries in the region, the Congo and others. It is certainly not the first time that this sort of behavior has happened. As a matter of fact, I think that one of the reasons that we have such a serious problem in Zaire is because, as you know, a cold war decision was made by the Administration at that time to destabilize the Government of Zaire. Our CIA was helpful, it's alleged, in the assassination of Patrice Lumumba, for starters. So our C–130's brought in troops from Tunisia and Togo to prop up the Mobutu Government, not only in 1965, 1969, 1972, French troops did that.
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    So when we talk about incursion into countries from neighbors, we weren't even a neighbor, but the U.S. Government was involved. So I think that it's important that all of the facts be put out on the table, and would certainly like to indicate that I think that your work is very valuable and very important.
    As I indicated, I think that if wrongdoings are found, that those people from the Kabila Government, officers that perpetrated crimes should be brought to task. I think that if there were any wrongdoings, there should be a followup to attempt to prosecute those who are wrong. So I don't have any problem with that happening. I do think though that I wish that all of the human rights groups, which I have been a part of for many years as former chairman of the World YMCA's Committee on Refugees and Rehabilitation from 1969 to 1981 in Geneva, I wish that we could have had the human rights groups really making a cry out when we watched close to a million people butchered in Rwanda, when we saw the United Nations pick up and leave because it looked difficult. But in Bosnia, when it looked difficult, what the United Nations did was to send in more troops. So the Presidents in the region say that evidently an African life is not very important, but a European life may be important because the United Nations behaved just the opposite when it was in Africa.
    I wish that we could have had the pressure. I have seen more reports on situations from January to the present from human rights groups which is excellent. I hope that they continue. But we almost heard a murmur, not even a mumbling word. If we had the same intensity, I'm talking about intensity, in 1994, we may have been able to persuade the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations to insist that the Security Council deploy some of the African peacekeepers that were willing to go in, people from Ghana and from Botswana, who were ready to be flown in and equipped to prevent the genocide from going on. But the intensity was not that great.
    I commend the human rights groups for maybe waking up. Rip Van Winkle woke up. I wish we had awaken because if we had the pressure on the U.S. Government to ask the United Nations to do something, if we had the pressure from the human rights groups when we saw the genocide on television. We saw more people killed in 3 months than has ever happened anywhere in the world on television. When the Holocaust happened, there was not television. We did not see it. We heard about it and after it was over we saw it when the war was over. Here we were watching it, and all we did was to run and to hide, and to have a few groups to give reports.
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    I have not seen a report like the ones I have seen here on the entire million-person genocide in Rwanda. I just cannot understand the tremendous intensity at this point. I commend it. I think that this kind of interest from human rights groups and NGO's really brings the attention of the world. The whole world is looking at what happened from January to the present.
    But had we had that in 1994, perhaps we could have had someone intercede in the genocide so that so many people would not notice. We called three hearings, in which we had very few people attend. I see some people here that I never saw at those hearings. We tried to get the U.S. Assistant Secretary to say there was genocide going on. The word was never used. We wondered, we had hearings in rooms one-third this size and one-half as filled. So I just am one that has a record of wanting to see the human rights of people upheld. I feel very strongly that if wrongdoings, and it appears, it seems that wrongdoings have been done, they should be certainly brought to the attention and we should attempt to prosecute those who did it.
    Like I said, it's just revisionary government, revisionary history when I can guarantee that had the same amount of attention been done by these same groups, you may have been able to save half a million people, at least. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I have no questions for the Ambassador.
    Mr. ROYCE. Thank you, Mr. Payne, and Dr. Wolpe again. Thank you. We look forward to continuing to be engaged with you on these issues of great importance.
    Mr. WOLPE. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. Thank you, Mr. Payne.
    Mr. ROYCE. We are now going to have our second panel. As our witness, we have President Pascal Lissouba. We will ask him to approach the microphone at this time.
    Our single panel consists of President Pascal Lissouba, of the Republic of the Congo. President Lissouba was elected in August in 1992 in Congo's first democratic elections, with 61 percent of the vote. After a 4-month civil war that left thousands of Congolese dead and hundreds of thousands displaced, President Lissouba was forced to leave his country last month when Denis Sassou-Nguesso and his military forces backed by the Angolan military took over the capital city of Brazzaville.
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    President Lissouba received a doctorate in genetics from the Sorbonne in Paris. He later served as Minister of Planning, Minister of Agriculture, and Prime Minister following independence. After leaving government, he served on the faculty of a French university, and served as an official with UNESCO. He returned to Congo in 1991 to reenter politics and the Committee is very fortunate to have such a distinguished witness, particularly one who has played such a prominent role in democracy and the issues we are discussing today.
    Mr. President, we welcome your testimony. We are going to ask you to constrict your opening remarks to exactly 5 minutes. This timer will be set for 5 minutes. So please feel free to submit your written remarks later. We will put those in the record. Mr. President.
    Mr. LISSOUBA. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Chairman, and distinguished Members of this Committee, thank you for this opportunity to share my views on the situation in the Congo. I would like indeed to thank the Members of this Committee for endorsing the resolution condemning the military intervention of the Angolan army into the Congo. Angola has forsaken all diplomatic resolutions and used the military forces as a course of first resort. Angola should stand down on its policies of strong arm diplomacy.
    Your Committee has recognized that Angola has violated the U.N. charter. Your action will send a strong message that the United States will stand up for democracy. Your response is also a recognition that the future of democracy in Africa is on the line today and that line has been drawn across the soil of the Congo-Brazzaville.
    Since our independence from France in 1960, the Congo-Brazzaville has been ruled by successions of authoritarian leaders. From 1979 until 1991, the Congo-Brazzaville was ruled by Colonel Denis Sassou-Nguesso. His regime was noted for its corruption and the violations of every form of human rights. By 1991, the Congolese people rose up and demanded an end of this dictatorship. Following the 1-year transition, the first free elections were held. Sassou received 17 percent of the popular vote, and was eliminated in the first round. Receiving over 60 percent of the vote in the final round, I have been elected.
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    In 1997, and in accordance with our constitution, we had been preparing for the next Presidential elections which were scheduled for June 1997. All of the political parties had agreed to disarm their militia, but that did not happen. Colonel Sassou-Nguesso knew he could not win the election, and launched his coup. Thousands were killed and the infrastructure destroyed. All mediation efforts failed. Finally, with the help of the Angolan army, Sassou seized power and installed himself as Head of State. Human rights violations bordering on genocide are a daily occurrence. The Congo is now a slaughterhouse and Sassou is the butcher. Without any domestic basis of support, Sassou's Government will be extremely repressive with no hope for an election.
    What is the future of democracy in Africa? Does the Congo experience mark a turning point in the movement toward establishing democracies in Africa? Is the United States still committed to support the democratic process in Africa? Or has it become too much of a burden? Should this act of economic and political piracy be rewarded by conducting business as usual?
    I believe, Mr. Chairman, that America can help restore democracy in the Congo. The United States can continue its legislative pressure. The United States can take the lead in calling for the United Nations to provide a special representative for the Congo and for outside monitors to ensure the protection of human rights. The United States can work with humanitarian agencies to help provide relief for Congolese refugees. The United States can insist that free elections under international monitoring be held without delay. The United States can lead in the organization of an international peacekeeping force in the Congo to ensure the implementation of the foregoing.
    These actions will help turn back toward democratic process. A failure to take strong and decisive action will encourage other would-be dictators to try to seize power sometimes as agents for other international political and commercial interests and through violent means. Thank you for this opportunity to address this body. I have provided the Committee with other information that I hope can be included in the record of this deliberation.
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    Mr. Chairman, thank you for your interest and also for your patience.
    [The prepared statement of President Lissouba appears in the appendix.]
    Mr. ROYCE. Thank you very much, President Lissouba. Let me ask you a few questions. The first would be the discussion that African nations had about an international peacekeeping force that never really materialized that was supposed to back up the diplomatic efforts to establish peace. Are you disappointed in the failure to field a peacekeeping force or do you feel that there was ever the necessary atmosphere for such an operation to succeed in your country?
    Mr. LISSOUBA. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. I think that without this kind of forces for the time being, all the elections in Sassou-Nguesso's rule would be a masquerade because he is organizing it himself. He destroyed all the parties. Only his own party remains, so he can organize the election as he wants, and win. It is why, sir, for the time being, these should be a very good help for the Congo democracy.
    Mr. ROYCE. I had the honor of attending the Organization of African Unity meeting in Zimbabwe in June with some of my colleagues here. At that meeting, the OAU pledged not to accept the Sierra Leone coups or any future overthrow of a democratic African Government. As I recall, it was unanimous. To what extent is the OAU keeping its pledge by supporting your government and refusing to recognize General Sassou-Nguesso's regime?
    Mr. LISSOUBA. Thank you very much. I am afraid because I don't know exactly what are the OAU decisions on the matter. But it should be a very bad example and shame for Africa, the democracy in Africa. But on my side, I am not interested to come back as the President of the Congo. What I would like is to restore democracy in the Congo, full stop. If I want to go back, it is through elections and openly. But such kind of elections should be very transparent, and as we have said, under your first question.
    Mr. ROYCE. Let me follow up on that. If it becomes the case that in the future elections are held, what can the United States and the international community do to ensure that the dictator does stand for election? I mean at one point in your testimony you said that Sassou would not stand for election. What could we do, looking forward, the international community and the United States, to make certain that at some point in the future there are elections?
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    Mr. LISSOUBA. I think that we have to restore the freedom in our country. All the parties should be restored. All opinion should be expressed. To do so, I think the first piece, as we have said, should be the forces to secure all the people and to ensure that the elections should be open and very free. If not, no need to hope that democracy will come back.
    Mr. ROYCE. I was going to ask if you felt the international community sent a signal either intentional or not to the Government of Angola that it could intervene in your country with impunity. I remember the reports that the Angolan Government move with 3,500 troops and tanks, armor, planes, bombarded Point-Noire with great loss of life. Do you feel that the international community sent a signal that allowed Angola to believe that it could do this with impunity?
    Mr. LISSOUBA. Thank you very much. I think that Angola's Government did not understand exactly the importance of the actions taken by themselves. Concrete steps should be mentioned to make them go out of the Congo. These have not been done. Now, as we are speaking, Congolese has no army as such. We have some militia from Sassou. They are not the army. The army has dislocated and many of them have been killed. They have no ammunitions, and when they are like that, they say OK, let us go now. They have been killed.
    Mr. ROYCE. When they attempted to surrender?
    Mr. LISSOUBA. Yes. It means that when we would let Angolans go back, we should be sure that none of them will be somewhere to help Sassou-Nguesso as it is. Thank you very much.
    Mr. ROYCE. Let me ask you another question. You can answer this if you feel comfortable with making an observation. I leave it to you. But what role, Mr. President, do you believe the French played in the overthrow of your government?
    Mr. LISSOUBA. It is a shame because France has been our model for democracy. Now it is a shame. That is only what I can say.
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    Mr. ROYCE. Thank you, Mr. President. What impact will Sassou's reign have on the stability of Congo? Do you believe that he will be able to govern the country effectively? That's my last question.
    Mr. LISSOUBA. With the help of his masters, and with forces he can do something, but nothing concretely for the population. It is only for himself and for his masters.
    For the time being, this is not well expressed in my speech, many of our intellectuals of the Congo are now outside as refugees. This also is the thing that I hope, that the Congressmen will pay attention to them. They went out with only one shirt and one pants. For the time being, they are like that. They are waiting for small help. Sassou cannot build the country, cannot monitor this country, cannot manage this country himself or with the Marxists who are with him. During 29 years that they ruled the Congo, we did not receive any good achievement.
    Mr. ROYCE. Prior to the elections.
    Mr. LISSOUBA. Yes. Before there were elections, indeed.
    Mr. ROYCE. Thank you, Mr. President. I am going to turn to my colleague, Mr. Payne, from New Jersey.
    Mr. PAYNE. Thank you very much. Since I was unable to hear His Excellency's testimony, I will not ask very many questions or any. I just might have one question though. Having recently returned from Angola, meeting with the government there and Mr. Savimbi on two accounts, one to insist that the Government of Rwanda remove itself from Congo, but also to ask Mr. Savimbi to turn over his weapons and to demobilize his soldiers and to give an honest account of soldiers. So we were talking to both parts of the government. I think it is wrong for military coups to take over legitimately elected governments. So I think that it is unfortunate in your case.
    I just have a question regarding UNITA which was in the Congo-Kinshasa fighting against the Alliance when the Kabila forces came. I just wonder, we hear about the Angolan soldiers that went in several weeks ago. I wonder if there were any UNITA involvement in your country in this recent experience?
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    Mr. LISSOUBA. Thank you very much, Mr. Congressman. As Mr. Chairman stated now, through my CV, you can see that I am not a young man. I know Angola's leaders, but not Savimbi. They are too young. When I have been Prime Minister 30 years ago, I have seen only Neto, Agostinho Neto. It is myself, we went to the port, to Brazzaville port to collect him when he has been run away by Mobutu. It means that I know very well the leaders at this level, not dos Santos, not Savimbi.
    After that, as my CV informs you, after that I left all the politician aspects and I have been in UNESCO 10 years, sir. When I came back, having been elected without making any publicity in my country except the campaign for election.
    I don't know Savimbi. I met him once again when they start the negotiations between themselves. Only after that, that I met Savimbi. Twice. We did not discuss any problems regarding war and so on. But peace, only peace. Savimbi gave me good revelations and informed me why he has been taking weapons against dos Santos. But he agreed that he cannot do anything like that before. When the negotiations start, all these soldiers come to him himself and ask him, ''You are intellectual, sir, you Savimbi, you are intellectual. You have to go in the ministry. You should be minister. But what can happen for us. Look. Some of them have only one arm. Some of them, one leg. Some of them no wife and so on. What we can do now, you. All this has been made for you, the intellectual. You should be minister. But what should be our resort of this war. Twenty years of fighting.'' He said I cannot at all do again this kind of experience, please. Let this be the last war. I have in my mind for Savimbi. Nothing is between Savimbi and Lissouba. He has maybe made some commercial activities, but nothing else.
    I went myself twice to see dos Santos, myself, look in Africa when you are these things. Those who have that (grabs white hairs) you should be respected. But it is myself who went to see dos Santos, to let him know that please have peace in Cabinda, and also with Savimbi. But I did not assist him because I don't know exactly what happened between these two leaders. But with Cabinda as Cabinda is in the same frontier as myself, I offer dos Santos to put forces to secure this frontier. Nothing else. He agreed.
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    But I have been surprised to see that he put his troops at this same frontier and invaded my country. Point-Noire first, and my own country also incidentally. With destroying everything, this country has been the country who received all the Angolan people when they were struggling against the colonialists, during the colonialism war. That is to thank us who have received them. It is why they knew very well this country and they send their troops to destroy everything. And themselves, it is the communique made by the Angolan Government saying that 2,000 people have been killed in Ludima. Ludima is a small town in which we received many of the future intellectuals from Namibia and from Angola.
    It is only what I can tell you, sir. I sent him also many letters to Mr. dos Santos to say that Savimbi has nothing to do with me, absolutely nothing. He did not give me any penny, any weapon, any ammunition. Nothing at all.
    Mr. PAYNE. Thank you very much. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Mr. ROYCE. Thank you, Mr. Payne. Again, thank you very much, President Lissouba, for your testimony here today.
    We are now going to go to the next panel of witnesses. We very much appreciate your making this trip.
    Mr. LISSOUBA. Thank you very much.
    Mr. ROYCE. I will make a copy of your testimony, Mr. President, and send it to the other Members on the Committee with a note that we would direct them to read that testimony.
    Mr. LISSOUBA. Thank you very much.
    Mr. ROYCE. Thank you, sir.
    I have a letter from Congressman Smith of New Jersey, which we will have entered into the record. The letter is from the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees.
    [The information referred to appears in the appendix.]
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    Mr. ROYCE. We will now ask our last panel to come forward, starting with Mr. Marcel Van Soest.
    Mr. Marcel Van Soest is an experienced relief expert and health advisor, who began working as an epidemiologist with Doctors Without Borders in 1993. He has overseen missions in Ghana, Costa Rica, Sierra Leone, China, and several in the former Zaire. He was a member of the team working in eastern Zaire following the 1994 influx of Rwandan refugees. From January until May 1997, he was head of Mission for Doctors Without Borders in eastern Zaire. Since then, he has been working as the head of the Humanitarian Affairs Department in Amsterdam. Mr. Van Soest holds a masters of science degree in epidemiology and the social geography of developing nations from Catholic University in the Netherlands.
    Then we will have Salih Booker, senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and the director of its African Studies Program. Prior to joining the council, Mr. Booker worked in Africa and the United States for numerous international donor institutions and African NGO's, including the UNDP, the Ford Foundation, Carnegie, and Bernard van Leer Foundation, the African Development Foundation, and Africare. He is a former staff member of this Committee. Mr. Booker is a member of numerous Africa-focused associations. He was educated at Wesleyan University, the University of Ghana, and the London School of Economics.
    We also have with us Mr. Scott Campbell. He spent July and August of this year in the African Great Lakes region conducting research on civilian massacres in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. He has spent the last 3 years in the former Zaire working with human rights groups and humanitarian relief organizations. In 1994 and early 1995, he worked in refugee camps in eastern Zaire researching hate speech from former instigators of the 1994 Rwandan genocide, and investigating the political structures in the camps. In 1995 and 1996, he coordinated the International Human Rights Law Group's field office in Goma. Prior to this year in Zaire, Mr. Campbell worked in the Central African Republic and in Central America. He has two masters degrees from Columbia University.
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    Gentlemen, we welcome your testimony. We will start with Mr. Campbell.
    Mr. CAMPBELL. Thank you, Chairman Royce. I would like to thank you for holding these important hearings and inviting me to testify. I would like to submit a written statement in addition to this oral testimony.
    For the last 3 years, as you mentioned, I have worked in the Democratic Republic of the Congo with local groups seeking democracy and human rights. This past July and August, indeed I conducted research regarding the mass killings committed in Congo during the war that brought President Kabila to power. These abuses are described more thoroughly in a recent report published by Human Rights Watch. This report falls in the series of reports from Human Rights Watch that describe cycles of violence in the Great Lakes region.
    I would like to remind the Committee that our organization was involved actively in reporting before and during the genocide in 1994, and was very disappointed with the response from the international community to our own calls and those from other human rights and humanitarian organizations to stop the preparation of the genocide in 1994, and certainly to halt it once it had begun. Our reporting has repeatedly stressed that only by insisting on accountability from all sides, can we hope to put an end to cycles of violence followed by impunity in the Great Lakes region.
    The phenomena of soldiers without borders and the emergence of new political and military alliances in the east central Africa region presents the U.S. Government with new questions concerning how to promote the long-term stability that is necessary for the economic growth and sustainable development that we would all like to see. My written testimony outlines the importance of establishing States based on the rule of law and the respect for human rights in achieving these goals.
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    This morning, I would like to summarize three key points from my written testimony. Our most recent report describes what is really the latest round of gross human rights violations in the Great Lakes region. It puts them in a historical context necessary to understand why they occurred, and what we can do to try to prevent further cycles of violence in the region. Most of the killings were carried out by forces from the Rwandan Patriotic Army and Kabila's Alliance of Democratic Forces. Most of the victims were Hutu refugees, including men, women, and children. Many of them were far from areas of combat.
    Despite past assurances from Kabila that as Ambassador Richardson stated this morning, he is anxious for the U.N. team to move forward, the United Nations to date has been blocked from investigating these massacres, a situation that may change following the important agreement negotiated by Ambassador Richardson. I would like to point out that this agreement does present certain loopholes for the Congolese Government to be held less than accountable for, for its actions, as well as the fact that the Congolese Government around the time that this agreement was drawn up in Kinshasa, claimed there were 1,000 heavily armed ex-FAR in the Mbandaka area, one of the regions that the U.N. team was hoping to visit. That's why I think we need to be sure that the United States shows that it's very serious, as of course this would present a possible pretext for preventing the team from being deployed in areas where it is concerned that massacres may have taken place.
    So I think the United States needs to show that it's serious about demanding accountability in the region from all sides, both the winners and the losers of conflict. This indeed will involve making sure the U.N. team is able to carry out its mission on the ground in Congo, and that there is appropriate followup at the level of the Security Council.
    We also need to insist on justice for those who carried out the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, as well as denounce ongoing human rights violations in Congo, Rwanda, and elsewhere in the region today.
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    If the justice is not for all, the justice will be perceived simply as reprisals against the losers. The lesson for State leaders and rebels alike becomes rather than do not commit war crimes, simply do not lose while committing war crimes. If the United States is not willing to hold our partners in the region accountable for the most basic of human rights violations, and at the same time we are willing to provide them with assistance and political support, we are in fact condoning their actions and becoming a part of the cycles of violence in the region.
    The second point I would like to make this morning is that long-term stability necessary for economic development in the Congo will come through the establishment of a democratic society based on the rule of law, not a rule by exclusion. Contrary to testimony we heard this morning from the Administration, we believe that Mr. Kabila is taking the Congo down a very worrisome road of exclusive politics and repression. He has isolated himself by banning political parties, many of which fought the Mobutu regime and would be natural allies. Kabila established by decree the constitutional commission mentioned earlier this morning. This commission, I would like to point out to the Committee, is composed of members only of the ADFL movement, but it does include several family members of ministers of Mr. Kabila's Government.
    Over the past weeks, Mr. Kabila has sent increasingly cold signals to the vibrant Congolese civil society, stating that international aid for Congo should flow only to the Congolese Government, excluding both international and national non-governmental organizations. While we feel that aid should flow through non-governmental organizations today, Mr. Kabila has indeed put that assistance to the Congolese people into question by excluding them from the reconstruction process.
    Mr. Kabila's exclusive politics and failure to move Congo closer to democracy has created enormous frustration and resentment among the Congolese population. This frustration is lending support to those who advocate change through violence, creating a real risk for further instability in Congo and the region. Mr. Kabila's security forces continue to multiply in number, and engage in repressive methods reminiscent of abuses committed under the Mobutu regime. This brutality and a lack of legal procedure throughout the Congo are exacerbated tension and increasing the potential for violence in Congo today.
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    A final point I would like to make today is that economic assistance to Congo should be based on calibrated benchmarks. The Congolese people, as you know, have long suffered under the Mobutu regime, and are in desperate need of assistance. But United States aid dollars alone will not necessarily mean help for the Congolese people, a lesson clearly illustrated by Congo's past. Billions of dollars in aid for the Congolese channeled through Mr. Mobutu never reached the populations in need, as Mobutu was never held accountable for these funds.
    For the time being, aid to alleviate poverty in Congo should flow primarily through non-governmental channels in support of humanitarian, development, and human rights initiatives in key areas such as health, education, infrastructure, and the rule of law. The organizations of the Congolese civil society have the experience and the competence of the Congolese people to bring with the help of international partners real assistance to the population. We hope that both national Congolese organizations and international NGO's will be allowed to participate in this reconstruction.
    But if Mr. Kabila continues not to be held accountable for his actions, and continues practices of the exclusion of important parts of the Congolese society, our aid dollars are likely to be wasted.
    Let me conclude with a few benchmarks as this subject has come up a couple of times during the hearing this morning, related to U.S. assistance to Congo. While aid to Congo should flow immediately through non-governmental organizations, aid to the central government in Kinshasa should be based on, in addition to what Ambassador Richardson mentioned this morning concerning the progress that we need to see on the U.N. team, at a minimum a lifting of the ban on political parties. Second, that non-ADFL members and representatives of civil society be included in decisionmaking bodies in Congo, such as the constitutional commission which is composed solely of members of the ADFL. Third, Congolese development organizations and international NGO's must be allowed to participate in the reconstruction of the Congo. Last, we need to see a clear commitment from the Congolese Government for the respect of basic civil rights, including freedom of the press, and freedom from arbitrary arrest.
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    Understanding abuses from the past and having the will to hold all accountable at the various levels, including that of the international community, and admitting our failures is key to preventing the repetition of cycles of violence in the region. It will be tragic, however, when the abuses of the past create guilt complexes that allow us to justify the violations of today.
    Mr. Chairman and Mr. Payne, thank you very much.
    Mr. PAYNE. [presiding] Thank you very much, Mr. Campbell.
    We'll now hear from Mr. Van Soest.
    Mr. VAN SOEST. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. On behalf of Doctors Without Borders, Medecins San Frontieres, I am very grateful for the opportunity to attend this hearing and to give testimony on the crisis in Central Africa. As you know, Doctors Without Borders has been working with local and refugee populations in Central Africa since 1985. Today we would like to highlight once more our key humanitarian concerns and express some misgivings about responses provided by the U.S. Administration to recent developments.
    In the eyes of the humanitarian organizations working in the region, the United States has appeared as having no clear policy on how to deal with the humanitarian crisis in the region, which has had significant effects on the population. None of this could be explained by lack of information, as Doctors Without Borders and other organizations have systematically provided local authorities and the U.S. Government with early warning signals and evidence of serious problems in the region.
    Confronted this past year with severe impediments to providing assistance to both local and refugee populations in areas of Congo and in Rwanda, we have been very vocal in expressing our concerns about security and protection of civilians, especially in the light of attacks on civilians in Congo which prompted the U.N. Human Rights Commission investigations, attacks on civilians and relief workers in Rwanda and Burundi, severe restriction of movement imposed on relief teams in eastern Congo and western Rwanda, and even the recent announcement of an imminent expulsion of the UNHCR from Goma.
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    As a medical organization, Doctors Without Borders believes that all humanitarian efforts should be aimed at stabilizing the health status of populations so as to reduce mortality and minimize risk for disease and epidemics. Since November 1996, despite numerous appeals to the parties to the conflict, to the United Nations, and to the U.S. Administration, our teams have been prevented from having continued access to the refugee and local populations in need and in danger.
    Mortality and morbidity surveillance carried out in Tingi Tingi, Kisangani and Mbandaka in three periods during which the ADFL did not exceptionally deny us access, and retrospective mortality surveys carried out more recently among refugee groups that reached the Congo Republic provide striking patterns of mortality linked to access status.
    Doctors Without Borders conducted a retrospective mortality survey among a group of refugees last July in the refugee camp in Congo Republic. Those refugees had fled the attacked camps in Kivu Province, and had undertaken a forced march over a distance of some 1,500 kilometers under the control of elements from the old Rwandan army and various militiamen. The study reconstructed the size and history of the original group. The survey shows that of every five people from the original group who left the Kivu camps in October 1996, only one made it to Congo Republic, one was reported dead, and three could not be accounted for. Of those reported killed, 95 percent were the result of violence, and 5 percent died from disease. A part of the refugee population whose fate could not be accounted for in this particular survey were the ones who stayed behind or had to stay behind due to exhaustion.
    I recall my visit to Kisangani at the end of March where I joined the first mission to the refugees south of Kisangani. I saw those walking skeletons. I saw the faces, arms and feet of women and children destroyed by infected bullet wounds, and the more south I went, the more bodies I saw dead or almost dead. Those were the people dying from starvation and disease which were not covered by the previous-mentioned survey. It was very obvious that during the period between the evacuation of humanitarian agencies in Tingi Tingi and at the time I saw the same refugees again south of Kisangani, death rates had increased enormously, death rates which were already high at the Tingi Tingi camps.
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    The mortality rates of the surveyed population from October 1996 through May 1997 show that when humanitarian organizations did not have access, deaths primarily by violence, dramatically increased. Over the past year, various U.S. Government officials have pledged to help to find appropriate diplomatic solutions to the accessibility of refugees and to questions of human rights abuses. We have been at a loss to reconcile the public statements made in Washington with concrete actions in Central Africa and fail to understand why the repeated appeals and fact-finding provided by several humanitarian and human rights agencies have been disregarded in diplomatic practice.
    It is our hope that one of your first recommendations to the Administration would be to consider limitations on the access and flexibility of movement offered to relief organizations as an early warning indicator of deteriorating humanitarian conditions. Of course we, relief workers, cannot protect populations from genocides or massacres. That was amply proved in April 1994. But lack of access and other obstacles to providing assistance are signals of serious developments in the region. Whenever such access problems appear, Washington ought to act immediately and decisively through diplomatic channels. This action would spare the embarrassment months after the fact of having to impose human rights abuse investigation on actors that the Administration fully supported, while the abuses occurred. It could also spare thousands of lives.
    I call for a clearer direction. We implore the U.S. Government to seriously consider these conflicting signals and the impact they have had on the humanitarian policy being formed by the new Congolese Government. We were relieved to see that Ambassador Bill Richardson's visit exacted a positive response from President Kabila, concerning the U.N. investigative commission. But the pattern is evolving that is similar to what we saw in Rwanda in 1995 and Burundi in 1996, whereby the new government in Kinshasa is starting to enforce controls over humanitarian agencies, limit their programs, and create national press campaigns condemning them and the U.N. agencies.
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    Although the United States certainly does not have control over such internal matters, we believe that the lack of a clear U.S. policy in the region contributes to such internal decisions. We call for a clearer direction and a more cohesive approach in your humanitarian policy.
    As long as politicians do not take the first line of responsibility for establishing the truth, both at-risk populations and humanitarian actors remain endangered. Lack of impunity has a price, whether paid in political terms or human life. But the pursuit of truth is not the sole province of humanitarian agencies. Given the choice, we would prefer to be in the field saving lives and providing medical care to people rather than compiling reports and speaking about them, even before such an esteemed audience. We look forward to your leadership in the region which we are sure will save lives in the future. Thank you.
    [The prepared statement of Mr. Van Soest appears in the appendix.]
    Mr. PAYNE. Thank you very much. We'll hear from our final witness of this panel, Mr. Booker.
    Mr. BOOKER. Thank you, Congressman Payne. Thank you and the Committee for this invitation. I would like to begin by noting that the Council on Foreign Relations takes no institutional stand on foreign relations issues, and that I am solely responsible for this statement which I will now summarize and submit the full statement for the record.
    Mr. Chairman, if there are no objections, I would also like to submit for the record of this hearing a recently released report by Oxfam International entitled ''The Importance of Engagement: A Strategy for Reconstruction in the Great Lakes Region.''
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    [The information referred to appears in the appendix.]
    Mr. BOOKER. Oxfam's report offers a broader vision for international engagement in Central Africa than those which have thus far framed the public debate on this troubled region. I share this broader vision.
    In recent months, there has been a schism developing between those who have focused more narrowly on the U.N. investigation and those who believe the progress of that investigation should not be the major determinant for U.S. policy toward the Democratic Republic of the Congo. This latter community, in which I include myself, believes that there is a larger agenda in the region that includes the legitimate objectives of the investigation, but also encompasses the need and recognizes the opportunity to promote security, economic reconstruction, and democratization in Central Africa in a manner that helps the region turn away from conflict and toward peace.
    In other words, it is an opportunity to promote a strategy aimed at respecting all of the rights of all of the people of the region and not just investigating the past to determine the truth. I believe that it would be in the U.S. national interest to participate in an unprecedented effort of coordinated international engagement with the transitional government of Laurant Kabila, the Congolese civil society, and the pro-democracy political forces of that country. Indeed, the question shouldn't be whether or not to engage, but rather in what manner, toward what objectives, and at what level of resources should we engage. We should be engaged in supporting a successful transition in the Congo because its future will greatly influence the economic and democratic prospects for all of Central Africa and many countries beyond the sub-region.
    In the United States, unfortunately we seem unable to perceive the full magnitude of the positive transformation that can occur in Central Africa. The departure of long-time dictator Mobutu Sese Seko in May was the single-most important development in Africa since the end of the apartheid in South Africa. Just as South Africa has gone from being a negative force destabilizing all of southern Africa to become a source of stability, a force for democracy and an economic engine for growth in the region, so too can the DRC become a positive force in Central Africa.
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    American interests in Congo are not dissimilar from those elsewhere in the world. In Congo, as elsewhere, our interests are best served by promoting security, democracy and development. We have security, political and significant economic interests in the DRC. Beyond our interests, the United States has an important historical responsibility in the Congo, and to many it's a moral obligation.
    As you pointed out, Congressman, the United States and the United Nations were complicit in the start of this cycle of violence with impunity because of their involvement with the assassination of the DRC's first and only democratically elected Head of State, Patrice Lumumba. Because of the failed policies of the international community in the past which have contributed to the impoverishment of the Congolese people and to the spread of conflict in the region, the international community faces a serious credibility gap. By developing a coordinated and coherent strategy among all actors involved, there is an opportunity to demonstrate the positive value of international cooperation in Central Africa, while addressing serious past failures and helping build a new economic and political environment in the region.
    The pursuit of international coordination should remain constant, but the strategy, whether pursued bilaterally or multilaterally, should remain the same, and should focus on developing programs of security cooperation, economic reconstruction, and support for a democratic transition process as urgent priorities.
    The objectives of U.S. engagement in Central Africa in general and in the DRC in particular, I believe should be the following. First, security. We need to help restore security to the region's people by supporting the establishment of national accountable and professional armed forces which will ensure the security of their populations in support. We should also support the establishment of police forces that are similarly professional and accountable.
    We should not just be concerned with investigating past abuses, but very much concerned with helping to build those institutions that these countries need to ensure that their citizens' human rights are respected today, and that there is a secure environment in which they can live. We should also uphold agreements to preventing the illicit trafficking of arms in the region.
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    Second, reconstruction. We should help rehabilitate key transportation and communication infrastructure throughout the Congo and the region and key health and education infrastructure. Reconstruction aid should be flexible and fast dispersing. Cooperation in this area should be extensive, and partners should focus on large-scale projects that can also involve large numbers of the population in their implementation.
    Third, democratization. We should help ensure that the transition to an elected and accountable government in Congo is a successful one. Supporting the evolution of a transparent and inclusive transition process encompassing the development of a legal framework for governance in the electoral system, and the freedom of association in political activity necessary to ensure the participation of the population.
    These three objectives should be pursued, must be pursued simultaneously. But it is progress toward achieving the last objective which must guide decisionmaking on the level of cooperation with the transitional government.
    Finally, I would like to talk about resources. In a way, I believe benchmarks are irrelevant if resources are insignificant. I think to date we have not been talking about significant resources for the challenge ahead in Central Africa in terms of reconstruction and reconciliation. The level of resources needed to pursue this kind of strategy outlined above are considerable, but worth the investment.
    In short, we need to talk about debt cancellation. We need to talk about significant investments in infrastructure reconstruction and other forms of development cooperation. Washington should be prepared to make a multi-year commitment to invest in development cooperation in the DRC over the next several years to promote security, reconstruction, and democratization to ensure that the post-conflict transition is successful, very much as we did in South Africa.
    In conclusion, Mr. Chairman, due to the recent efforts of Ambassador Richardson, Congressman Payne and Special Envoy Wolpe, the government of DRC has now agreed to allow the U.N. investigation to go forward as amended. The priority now must be to mobilize extensive international support to create a secure environment for the people of the DRC to restart the country's potentially dynamic economy, and most importantly, to promote a legitimate process that can join the forces that liberated Zaire from Mobutu with the pre-existing democratic forces in that country that have struggled so long to establish an accountable government based on the rule of law.
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    To focus almost exclusively on the U.N. investigation will undermine our ability to promote what must be the higher goal of helping the Congolese to achieve a successful transition. There are certain to be potholes along this path, but we should persevere. Ultimately, the best guarantee that this cycle of violence with impunity will end is a successful transition to a government that respects the people of the DRC and their human rights.
    Let me close by saying that the United States could and should play a lead role in helping to support such change in Central Africa. We are actually on the verge perhaps of witnessing the development of a new and more coherent continent-wide Africa policy in the United States. There is a new Africa policy team in the Administration. The Congress has become much more active on African affairs again, thanks in large part to the leadership of both of you two gentlemen who remain with us, and also because of the African Growth and Opportunity Act and the President's partnership. There is a new economic vision of Africa.
    The African Crisis Response Initiative, with all its faults, offers a framework for debating and developing a new security policy toward Africa. But the absence of a clear initiative in the area of supporting democratic transitions in key countries such as the Congo could easily undermine these other efforts in the economic and security domains. It is time we recognized the positive importance of Africa and became committed enough to invest in its future at a level it deserves. Change in the DRC offers an opportunity to help turn the entire Central African region from conflict to peace and the pursuit of economic development. We must not waste it. Thank you.
    [The prepared statement of Mr. Booker appears in the appendix.]
    Mr. ROYCE. [presiding] Thank you. We have a quorum call on, which means we have about 5 minutes to get to the floor for voting. But I am going to turn to my colleague, Mr. Payne from New Jersey. I hope you'll keep your responses succinct. Thank you.
    Mr. PAYNE. Thank you very much. It's one way to muzzle me. There's 5 minutes to get to the floor. Let me just say that I think that Mr. Booker's summation said much of what I would move toward in my questioning. I would like to mention that I agree too with Mr. Van Soest, who indicated that we had no policy. I agree. The United States had no policy. The French had a policy, bad policy, but a policy. We had no policy, bad or good, simply responded to whatever it was. I think, as Mr. Booker mentioned, we now have a team. We may be moving a policy. The G8 met in Denver. Africa was on the agenda. NGO's were invited to participate. All new. So I am very encouraged by that.
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    Mr. Campbell, I do know that Africa Human Rights Watch does an outstanding job. My point was that there should have been more. If the intensity that has gone on to move this, and I don't excuse this government, chips must fall where they may. I firmly believe if the same amount of energy was put into the beginning of the genocide there, I doubt if it would have gone on. The United Nations would have had to go back. People would have said it was wrong. But not you, but the general community was virtually silent.
    The Doctors Without Borders were in the camps at Goma when I went there, but there was no political statement about the arms that were there and the Interahamwe that were intimidating the people. You are not a political group, that's for sure. But if some of that could have come out, there may have been alarm, or at least moving the United Nations into doing the right thing.
    Finally, I agree, we heard Mr. Hamilton ask well what is going to happen with our money. The money that was given to Zaire was covert. No one knew how much it was. It went through the Intelligence Committee. It was secret. We know that Mobutu ended up with $8 billion, it's estimated, in the bank, so I don't know how much of that was ours. But we are now going to give that intense questioning, and would have been more if they hadn't left, on $10 million. Currently that's 20 cents a person. We want to know well, now let me see who is doing what and what's doing what, and how is it being spent. Are we sure it's going to the right—20 cents a person. Ten million dollars for 50 million people, and we have got a book this thick about what you should or shouldn't do. At least the EU, and you are part of that from Amsterdam, have $500 million that they want to dispense in 3 years, $175 million a year. They are saying we're ready to move, let's start moving forward. The United States is talking about $10 million and a whole lot of not strings, but ropes bound around people. I think the right thing should be done. I think the $10 million is a disgrace. I think that if the United States is going to get serious about trying to stabilize that region, we ought to get serious about having some real commitment right now. It is in fact a joke if we're talking about our aid to the Congo in that region, which we want to restrict at that.
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    So with that, I will yield back. I think we have about another 6 or 7 minutes though.
    Mr. ROYCE. We have 3 1/2 minutes. I want to thank the witnesses for their testimony here and for their trip down today.
    Mr. Payne of New Jersey, thank you. We're going to adjourn this hearing at this time, and go to the House floor to vote. We appreciate it. Thank you.
    [Whereupon, at 2:04 p.m., the Committee was adjourned, subject to the call of the Chair.]


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