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48–477 CC









MARCH 5, 1998

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Printed for the use of the Committee on International Relations

BENJAMIN A. GILMAN, New York, Chairman
HENRY J. HYDE, Illinois
CASS BALLENGER, North Carolina
EDWARD R. ROYCE, California
JAY KIM, California
TOM CAMPBELL, California
JON FOX, Pennsylvania
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LINDSEY GRAHAM, South Carolina
ROY BLUNT, Missouri
SAM GEJDENSON, Connecticut
TOM LANTOS, California
PAT DANNER, Missouri
BRAD SHERMAN, California
BOB CLEMENT, Tennessee
BILL LUTHER, Minnesota
JIM DAVIS, Florida
RICHARD J. GARON, Chief of Staff
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MICHAEL H. VAN DUSEN, Democratic Chief of Staff

Subcommittee on International Operations and Human Rights
CHRISTOPHER H. SMITH, New Jersey, Chairman
HENRY J. HYDE, Illinois
CASS BALLENGER, North Carolina
LINDSEY O. GRAHAM, South Carolina
TOM LANTOS, California
GROVER JOSEPH REES, Subcommittee Staff Director and Chief Counsel
ROBERT R. KING, Democratic Professional Staff Member

Subcommittee on Africa
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EDWARD R. ROYCE, California, Chairman
TOM CAMPBELL, California
JIM DAVIS, Florida
TOM SHEEHY, Staff Director
GREG SIMPKINS, Professional Staff Member
JODI CHRISTIANSEN, Democratic Professional Staff Member


    Hon. Howard Wolpe, Special Envoy, Bureau of African Affairs, Department of State
    Mr. Salih Booker, Senior Fellow and Director, African Studies Program, Council on Foreign Relations
    Dr. Alison L. Des Forges, Consultant, Human Rights Watch/Africa
    Mr. Roger Winter, Executive Director, U.S. Committee for Refugees
    Mr. Adotei Akwei, African Advocacy Director, Amnesty International
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Prepared statements:
Hon. Christopher H. Smith, a Representative in Congress from New Jersey and Chairman, Subcommittee on International Operations and Human Rights
Hon. Donald M. Payne, a Representative in Congress from New Jersey
Hon. Howard Wolpe
Mr. Salih Booker
Dr. Alison L. Des Forges
Mr. Roger Winter
Mr. Adotei Akwei
Additional material submitted for the record:
Washington Post article, February 26, 1998, page A17, ''Mass Slaughter Was Avoidable, General Says; Ex-Leader of Peacekeepers Testifies at Rwandan's Trial,'' submitted by Hon. Donald Payne
Report on the Mudende Camp Massacre and Kanama Cave Stand-off, David J. Scheffer, Ambassador at Large for Ward Crimes Issues, December 16, 1997

House of Representatives,
Subcommittee on International Operations and Human Rights, and Subcommittee on Africa,
Committee on International Relations,
Washington, DC.
    The Committee met, pursuant to notice, at 1:08 p.m., in room 2172, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Christopher H. Smith [chairman of the Subcommittee on International Operations and Human Rights] and Hon. Edward R. Royce [chairman of the Subcommittee on Africa] presiding.
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    Mr. SMITH. [presiding] The Subcommittee will come to order. Good afternoon.
    Today's hearing is the second in a series that began over a year ago, in November 1996, to examine the causes and possible solutions of one of the greatest and longest standing humanitarian crises in the history of the world.
    In 1994, at least half a million men, women, and children, mostly ethnic Tutsis, were slaughtered by Hutu extremists who then controlled the Rwandan military. Later in 1994, after the Tutsi-dominated Rwandan Patriotic Army had defeated the former government, an estimated 2 million Hutus fled to the neighboring countries. In the country that was then called Zaire, an estimated 1.2 million went to refugee camps established by the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees. Unfortunately, these camps provided safe haven not only for genuine refugees, but also for former members of the Rwandan army and associated Hutu militias who had committed atrocities against their Tutsi countrymen. These elements, the so-called ex-FAR and Interahamwe, used the camps as bases for armed incursions into Rwanda. UNHCR and donor nations, including the United States, were unable or unwilling to separate the terrorists from the refugees.
    Late in 1996, the refugee camps in Zaire were attacked and overrun by ethnic Tutsi militias supported by the rebel alliance of Laurent Kabila with the active support of the Rwandan Patriotic Army. Many of the refugees, including innocent men, women, and children, as well as ex-FAR and Interahamwe, were killed. Over a half a million returned to Rwanda. Many thousands of others remained in the Congo, where they faced starvation, disease, and armed attackers. The UNHCR and relief organizations were denied access to these refugees by the Kabila forces. Many thousands more died or were killed during 1997, even after Kabila had consolidated his power over Zaire and renamed it the Democratic Republic of Congo.
    When President Kabila took office and took power, he promised elections within 2 years. Now he says this will be impossible, and that governments who want to hold him to that original promise ''understand nothing of what is going on in the Congo.'' Last month, the Kabila Government arrested Etienne Tshisekedi, a long-time democracy advocate, who was the most prominent opponent of the Mobutu regime, and remained the most visible opposition leader in the Congo under Kabila. He has been forced into internal exile in his home province in the east. Meanwhile, the UNHCR claims that some 30,000 to 50,000 of Rwandan Hutu refugees remain dispersed and unaccounted for throughout the DRC.
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    The Kabila Government effectively has forced the UNHCR to stop trying to help these people. Kabila has repeatedly obstructed the U.N. investigation into alleged massacres of civilians by his forces. The investigators finally began about a month ago, over a year after some of the massacres are alleged to have taken place.
    In Rwanda, the State Department Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 1997 bluntly notes that the Rwandan army ''committed thousands of killings of unarmed civilians in the past year, including routine and systematic killings of families, including women and children.'' One of such massacres is said to have occurred in a complex of caves in Kanama in October 1997. According to Amnesty International reports last December, between 5,000 and 8,000 civilians were killed after they fled into the caves in an attempt to escape the RPA. The Rwandan Government strongly denied the allegation. The U.S. Ambassador at Large for war crimes issues, David Scheffer, visited the mouth of the caves under RPA escort on December 15 of 1997, but did not go in. He dismissed the Amnesty International account based on his assumption that ''if there were thousands of dead bodies in the caves, the smell of death would have been much more powerful and the flies more numerous.'' There has been no further investigation.
    Meanwhile, an armed Hutu insurgency involving ex-FAR and Interahamwe forces continues, especially in northwest Rwanda. In response, the Rwandan Patriotic Army has continued its counter-insurgency efforts. Both Hutu insurgents and the Rwandan Government have continued to commit serious atrocities against civilians. In a December 1997 attack in a refugee camp, presumed Hutu extremists killed over 300 Tutsi refugees, including women and children, who had fled to Rwanda from the Congo. The U.S. Government has characterized the attack as genocidal.
    In Burundi, fighting continues between the Tutsi military government and rebel forces from the majority Hutu population. Both sides commit atrocities against civilians. An estimated 200,000 people have been killed since October 1993. The Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 1997 contains numerous reports of massacres by government soldiers.
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    Despite the deeply flawed human rights records of the Governments of the Congo, Rwanda, and Burundi, and despite the fact that none of these three governments is a democracy, the official U.S. posture seems to be that things could be a lot worse. The best thing that can be said for Laurent Kabila is that he is not Mobutu. The best thing that can be said for the Rwandan Patriotic Army is that they have killed far fewer innocent civilians than the army they replaced. Even the military dictator of Burundi has been regarded by our State Department as a moderate by the standards of military dictators in this part of the world. Largely on the strength of these attributes, our Government has provided assistance, including military assistance, to the Government of Rwanda, and is preparing an assistance package for the Congo.
    Critics of this policy believe that the United States has not learned the lessons of the failures of its past support for ''big chief'' politics in the region: A preference for the strongmen, because they supposedly represent the best hope for stability. These critics fear that the new leaders may turn out to be smoother talking versions of the strongmen of the past. A lasting peace must be based on reconciliation. Reconciliation must be based on democracy and respect for human rights.
    The Administration and its supporters suggest that assistance and cooperation must come first, in the hope that human rights and democracy will follow. This is the road of constructive engagement, and is a road that has been exceedingly well traveled in recent years. Perhaps some day, it will lead to freedom. So far, it only leads to Beijing, Hanoi, and Jakarta.
    In November 1996, the Subcommittee on International Operations and Human Rights held a hearing on many of these issues that we face today, with some of the same witnesses that we will hear from today. At that hearing, the U.S. Government witnesses predicted a speedy restoration of peace, order, and justice. Almost a year and a half later, the people of the Congo, Rwanda, and Burundi are still waiting, and they are still suffering.
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    I want to thank our witnesses in advance for being here, for taking time out to give us the benefit of their insights and understanding. At this point, I would like to yield to the chairman of the Africa Subcommittee, Mr. Royce, from California.
    Mr. ROYCE. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I appreciate very much the fact that we are holding a joint hearing about the ongoing crisis in the Great Lakes. Looking back on the massive genocide that Rwanda and Burundi suffered in 1994 and 1995, it's important that we learn from this horrific chapter. Lessons learned will make us better able to address today's challenges in the Great Lakes. With the threat of renewed full-scale genocide looming, the situation in this region today is serious.
    The United States has a very important role to play in preventing such a disaster. I am pleased that we will hear from the President's special envoy to the region, Howard Wolpe. I just want to share with Howard, your appearance today before this Committee, as your past appearances before the Africa Subcommittee, are very much appreciated. I will also share that we appreciated the briefing you gave us in Africa. We acknowledge the high esteem with which you are held by your counterparts from other countries around the region that are engaged there in trying to bring peace. We know they look to you for leadership in this effort.
    Ethnic hatreds have gone on unresolved and have inspired repeated attacks by Hutus against Tutsi-dominated governments in Rwanda and Burundi. There have been bloody responses by these governments, including bloody responses in the Congo. Sadly, the people of these three countries still live in terror. An estimated 1,000 persons a month are killed in Burundi alone. Killing in Rwanda approached the same magnitude. There is the problem of arms in the hands of former government troops, militias, and rebel groups from the Congo, Rwanda, and Burundi. These arms have been used in continuing insurgent attacks in these nations, and pose a threat for other nations in the region. There is reason to believe that some of these weapons were used in the overthrow of the elected Government of Congo Brazzaville last year.
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    Ultimately, there will be no peace in the region unless a resolution of longstanding political and economic issues is found. The tension is more than ethnic. This will not be easy. Our special envoy and others are facing a great challenge, but their efforts are critical.
    Again, I want to thank the former chairman of the Africa Subcommittee for testifying here today. I realize you are just back from the region. We all await your report. Thank you.
    Mr. SMITH. Thank you very much, Mr. Royce.
    Mr. Menendez.
    Mr. MENENDEZ. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I am happy to see that we are having a hearing on the Great Lakes region. I am happy to see our former colleague who I met the first time in my first trip to Africa here before us today. Unfortunately, the ethnic violence that resulted in the deaths of over a half a million Tutsis in 1994 continues to plague the region. Attacks on Hutus persist, and retaliations from the Tutsi-led Rwandan People's Army are never far behind.
    Just recently a group of about 2,000 Hutu rebels raided a commune southwest of Kigali, killing 19 people and releasing some 600 genocide suspects from jail. While these events are not on the scale of the genocide of 1994, they are not uncommon. The degree of hatred and mistrust perpetuated by historic issues of political and economic control between Tutsis and Hutus suggest that this conflict is far from over, unless the people of the region decide they have had enough of violence and actively work to attain peaceful coexistence and an acceptable balance of power.
    Now it's not clear to me where the civilian population stands, whether they support the rebel forces out of fear or loyalty, and I would like to hear some of those observations. I have certainly not picked sides in this fight. However, what is clear is that Hutus comprise upwards of 85 percent of the population. Given that fact, it seems unlikely that a Tutsi-led Government can rule Rwanda peacefully without bringing the Hutu population on board.
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    I think what I would like to hear today is how long we expect this conflict to continue, whether it escalates or dissipates, who is perpetuating the violence, what role, if any, should the United States play under those circumstances? I asked our USAID administrator earlier today in a hearing about the Great Lakes Initiative. I am wondering how in fact we do that under the circumstances of the instability that exists in the region. I would like to hear maybe some responses to that. And whether the United States and the international community can be effective and unbiased mediators in bringing the two sides together.
    On another matter, I remain very concerned about the Government in Congo, Kinshasa. President Laurent Kabila has repeatedly stated his intention to make that country a full-fledged democracy. Yet to date, his actions overwhelmingly contradict his words. Kabila's continued obstruction of the U.N. investigation into atrocities, the detention and harassment of opposition leaders and journalists, and the use of firing squads are not actions undertaken by democratic governments, at least under my definition of what constitutes a democratic government.
    I hope that our panelists will speak to both the situation in the eastern Congo and Rwanda, as well as to the embryonic government in Kinshasa, as far as their experiences on the situation on the ground, prospects for peace and democracy, and direction of U.S. policy in the region.
    Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I look forward to the testimony of our witnesses.
    Mr. SMITH. Thank you very much, Mr. Menendez.
    Mr. Chabot.
    Mr. CHABOT. No opening statement, but I do want to thank both of the chairmen for calling this very important meeting. I look forward to hearing the testimony here this afternoon. Thank you.
    Mr. SMITH. Thank you, Mr. Chabot.
    Mr. Payne.
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    Mr. PAYNE. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. Let me thank both chairs of the Africa and the Human Rights Subcommittee for calling this very important hearing on the crisis and the ongoing crisis in the Great Lakes. I visited the region several times before the genocide of 1994 and a number of times after. I am sure that everyone will tell you that this is probably one of the most difficult issues I have ever come across. It is one of the most difficult issues that we have confronted anywhere in the world. I am not impatient, the same way that I'm not impatient with what is happening in Northern Ireland. I am not impatient with what is going on in Cyprus. I am not impatient with what's going on in the New Independent States. I am not impatient with the poor record in Russia. I am not disappointed with the tremendous increase that we had to put in Bosnia, including troops and money. So when it comes to the Great Lakes region, when it comes to the Congo, when it comes to less than a year that these fledgling countries have been trying to bring themselves together, I am not as impatient.
    Let me just say that I have a statement that I'll just add for the record. But I would just like to perhaps have put in the record the February 26 Washington Post story regarding the mass slaughter which was avoidable, said the general who was in charge of peacekeeping in Rwanda. In Rwanda, when it became difficult, the peacekeepers left. In Bosnia when it became difficult, we sent 22,000 additional troops. I would like to have a balance when we discuss difficult issues in the world, and not have a standard for one region, and other standards for others.
    I will simply ask that my testimony be entered into the record. I commend Secretary Albright on her recent trip to the Great Lakes region, finally acknowledging that perhaps the United States did not give the leadership in the United Nations when there were countries that were interested in attempting to assist, but our thwarting of that movement was perhaps a judgment that, revisited, may have been done in a different way. Thank you.
    Mr. SMITH. Without objection, Mr. Payne, both your opening statement and the Washington Post article will be made a part of the record.
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    [The information referred to appears in the appendix.]
    Mr. SMITH. Ms. McKinney.
    Ms. MCKINNEY. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I would just like to thank you and Chairman Royce for calling this hearing. I would also like to acknowledge the very difficult work of Ambassador Wolpe as he traverses the Great Lakes region trying to help in a very very difficult situation and ratchet down the spiraling violence there, and to at least enhance the security and do what we can in the United States to enhance security of all of the people in the area.
    I would like to also associate myself with the remarks of my colleague, Congressman Payne, in acknowledging the difficult tasks that were at least spoken of by our Secretary during her recent trip there. I would just like to state for the record that the Belgians have completed an inquiry of Belgian conduct during the 1994 genocide period. We read with interest that the French are about to do the same. I think it would be very helpful and instructive if the United States were to do something similar in that regard, because we know not only by the Secretary's admission, but by published reports, that the United States has a share in what happened and the lack of international response to an outrageous situation.
    So I would like to commend you, Mr. Chairman Smith and Chairman Royce, for calling this hearing, and suggesting that as we discuss these very difficult issues, that this should be merely a beginning, and certainly not an end point. I anticipate the testimony of the witnesses, and look forward to questioning. Thank you.
    Mr. SMITH. Thank you very much, Ms. McKinney. I am very pleased to introduce the panel. The Honorable Howard Wolpe, a former Member of Congress, often sat in this chair as head of the Africa Subcommittee. He is presently serving as the Administration's special envoy to Africa's Great Lakes region. A former Member of Congress, Mr. Wolpe also served as a visiting fellow of the Brookings Institution, and a faculty member of Western Michigan University and the University of Michigan. He has written numerous articles on Africa and the management of ethnic and racial conflict, and just returns to Washington from having been in that part of the world. So if you have jet lag and if you yawn, we certainly will understand.
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    Mr. Wolpe, your full statement will be made a part of the record. But please proceed as you wish.
    Mr. WOLPE. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. I want to begin by expressing my personal appreciation to both you and to Chairman Royce for convening this hearing. As you have indicated, we have submitted the full text of our testimony for the record. What I would rather do at this stage is to make some introductory remarks based in part upon my recent travels through the region, and then also I will attempt very briefly to summarize the larger testimony that is before you.
    I personally appreciate this hearing because it signifies your recognition of the enormous importance of the Great Lakes region to the future of Africa. There is probably no part of Africa that offers greater potential or is faced with greater challenges than the Great Lakes region. American policy toward this region is confronted with the same mix of opportunity and challenge.
    On the one hand, this zone holds enormous promise. If actively nurtured by responsible committed governments and engaged friends, it can bring into the global economy new emergent market democracies that will substantially enlarge the transformation that is well under way in southern Africa and anchor much of Africa's future.
    On the other hand, if the region's acute dangers are not brought under effective control, Central Africa could become a broad swath of failure and instability and human suffering that would imperil Africa's integration in the world economy and prevent the realization of the continent's human and economic potential.
    I have just returned from 2 weeks in the region, attending the Kampala Regional Summit on Burundi. I visited several of the regional capitals as well. In the course of my conversations with these Heads of States of this region and of the members of the international diplomatic corps that's operating there, I was reminded of several key facts that I believe we all need to keep in mind as we approach the policy debate about how we should best approach this region. First of all, there is a broad recognition of just how high the stakes are among all of the regional states. All are making serious efforts to cooperate in addressing the myriad of challenges in realizing the region's economic potential. They all welcome a genuine partnership with the United States, a partnership that's based upon the recognition of both mutual interests and as previous speakers had suggested, shared responsibility for the calamities of the region. A partnership that is characterized by an open, candid, and mutually respectful dialog.
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    Second, as you all well know, there is not a single crisis in the Great Lakes, but perhaps at least three crises that are distinguishable, with different causes and dynamics, but which constantly feed back upon one another. There is the institutional and political vacuum that is the Democratic Republic of Congo's inheritance from the Mobutu years. There is the continuing civil war in Burundi. There is the continuing insurgency of genocidaires in Rwanda.
    Third, there is no issue that continues to be more critical to understanding the psychological and political dynamics of this region than the 1994 Rwandan genocide. There is not a conversation one has with people within this region that that is not brought vividly home. First, this insurgency does continue. In many respects, the genocide of 1994 remains an ever-present psychological and political reality, not only for Rwanda, but for the entire region. Levels of fear and insecurity throughout the region remain very high as does inter-ethnic suspicion and mistrust, particularly with regard to Tutsi-Hutu interaction. The failure of the international community to respond to the 1994 genocide in a timely way, the subsequent failure to insist upon the separation of genocidaires from the refugee camps, or to respond to the ethnic cleansing of Tutsis in the Masisi zone of the former Zaire, all seriously impaired the credibility of the international community and its institutions.
    Some international commentary and criticism is therefore received with some amazement by regional leaders, who ask why it is so difficult for the West to understand the Rwanda genocide in the same way we have understood the genocides that have occurred in Europe. Some of the continuing reality of the 1994 genocide is evident in these notes on Rwandan society today. Half of Rwanda's population has been killed, wounded, uprooted or returned from long-term exile during the past 4 years. Many Rwandans are living together for the first time since national independence in 1962. Up to 120,000 children are orphaned. As many as 85,000 households are headed by children. At least a quarter of a million children are now unaccompanied minors whose parents were killed or remained in exile. According to one recent survey, eight of ten children have experienced a death in their immediate family during the 1990's. In addition, almost all children in Rwanda saw corpses, went through or witnessed rape and sexual assault. The majority believed that they would die in the course of the violence to which they were exposed. Thousands of female survivors, including young girls, were raped during the genocide. One of the world's poorest nations prior to 1994, by 1997, Rwanda had become the second least developed country on earth.
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    Back in June 1996, there was an international roundtable that was convened in Geneva on the subject of Rwanda. USAID chief of staff, Richard McCall, quoted a U.S. official who had come to Rwanda almost immediately after the genocide and witnessed firsthand the human carnage of that genocide. This American eyewitness cautioned, and I am quoting McCall's paraphrasing actually of this individual. ''That if you are going to understand what is happening in Rwanda today, what will happen tomorrow, next month, or for years to come, you have to understand genocide and the enduring consequences of genocide. It permeates, affects, influences human behavior so totally that it is remarkable that the survivors and the government have been able to exercise the degree of restraint that they are exhibiting.''
    McCall then noted the tendency of the international community to want quick fixes and to become impatient with the genocide's extended aftermath. I am quoting him again. ''We expect the Rwandans to put this tragic episode of human history behind them and to get on with the future. Don't dwell on the past. It's as if we are dealing with a country that came out of a fairly normal civil war. Nothing is normal about genocide. This is the first sitting government faced with the dilemma of actually prosecuting a genocide that was directed at the particular ethnic group of many officials of the government.''
    Did McCall's words have as much validity today as they did in 1994? After all, it is less than 4 years since the terrible tragedy of genocide unfolded in Rwanda.
    Now let me turn very quickly to a very short precis of American policy toward the region, our evaluation of very recent developments in the three countries in particular. In the immediate term, our goals in the Great Lakes region are first, to stabilize the Democratic Republic of the Congo so the democratization and economic development can advance, and the impoverished Congolese people might be given a new sense of hope and possibility. Second, to stop the genocidal killings and other communal violence in Rwanda and eastern Congo and in Burundi. Third, to advance increased respect for human rights and humanitarian principles and the development of justice systems capable of ensuring accountability and the end to impunity.
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    The Democratic Republic of the Congo is absolutely critical to the future of Central and Southern Africa. As we discussed in our previous hearing, it is a country that is as large as the entire eastern United States, east of the Mississippi that is. It borders on nine countries. It has the third largest population in Africa.
    U.S. policy remains one of engagement. Our purpose is to try to support a successful transition from the Mobutu era. The record of the government continues to be very mixed. In recent weeks, very candidly, recent developments, particularly on the political front, have been more negative than positive. We have seen the detention and harassment of journalists. We have seen trials of civilians by military tribunals. This very week we saw another 16 executions, including 14 civilians with virtually no semblance of due process. This is totally unacceptable.
    The detention and subsequent internal exile of opposition leader Tshisekedi and the harassment of other political figures all are on the scale of negative developments. These kinds of actions belie the government's stated commitment to democratic reform. From our perspective, rather than helping to produce greater stability in this admittedly enormously difficult transition, these actions are having precisely the opposite result of heightening public tensions and insecurities.
    I made the observation last time I was before you, Mr. Chairman, that one of the enduring legacies of the Mobutu years is the remarkable sense of distrust among virtually all Congolese, not only of the government, but of each other. Ironically, we are seeing that distrust played out in actions that instead of attempting to include and bring people together, are keeping people at a distance and feeding further distrust and further suspicion. It is terribly counter-productive from the standpoint of nation building.
    But there are also some positive developments that bear mentioning. The government is still on course, actually, notwithstanding this one report to which you cited but which I think was a bit out of context. It's still on course with it's 2-year timetable for political reforms leading to elections. The cabinet that was constructed is relatively broad-based, and includes many people from opposition parties, way beyond the original AFDL. There has also been some progress in the economic area with international institutions, the World Bank, the IMF having recently sent teams into the Congo, and coming back encouraged by the new level of coordination and the new emergence of economic plans that make sense for the future. There's still a long gap to the implementation of those plans, but they came back with a rather upbeat assessment of recent development in the economic area.
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    The U.N. human rights investigators are now deployed in Mbandaka, and an advance team has gone into Goma. The government has also accepted another 3-month extension of the team's mandate at the request of the United Nations. Clearly that's something that needs to be continued to be monitored, but we are encouraged by the new evidence of some cooperation now finally between the government and the U.N. team. Finally, there are improved security conditions in much of the country with the notable and very worrisome exception of the Kivu Provinces bordering Rwanda and Burundi.
    It is against that backdrop that we are continuing to believe that there is no alternative really but engagement with this government and more importantly, with the people of the Congo. To disengage is to allow the people to suffer unnecessarily, and is only to invite in our view, far greater dangers and instability that could ripple across the entire region.
    Turning to Rwanda—Rwanda continues to embark upon its rebuilding effort. Most of the country is at peace. The economy has rebounded from the 50-percent decline in gross domestic product in 1994. Nonetheless, serious security concerns remain in the northwestern part of the country. We have seen new hate propaganda calling for the extermination of all Tutsis and for attacks upon Hutus that are viewed as too cooperative with the government. We have seen genocidal attacks on civilian targets, refugee camps, villages, passenger buses and taxis. The government remains confident that it is in control of the situation, but it acknowledges that it will take time to end the insurgency entirely.
    RPA forces have at times responded with excessive, indiscriminate use of force. Consequently, at times civilians have been killed not only by the insurgents, but by the RPA. Recently the RPA has shown more restraint. There appears to be a decline in the number of abuses attributable to the RPA. The Government of Rwanda, in recognition that such abuses only fuel popular support for the insurgents, has taken steps to strengthen its military justice system, and has welcomed American and other international support in this effort.
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    Civilian justice remains a major bottleneck to political transformation. But the Government of Rwanda has begun to offer up new approaches designed to speed up judicial processes, to release those for whom there are not good prosecutable files, or who were elderly or under a certain age. Some 3,000 persons under those categories so far have been released. The government is considering modification of its genocide law and its approach to these cases to speed the process of reducing its caseload substantially.
    It is agreed that foreign legal professionals can make a contribution. We recently sent an assessment team into Rwanda to engage in a very detailed conversation with Rwandan authorities about ways in which we might make a further contribution to assisting in the justice area.
    Then of course Secretary Albright announced in her recent visit the launching of a Great Lakes justice initiative for the entire region, a big segment of which would be Rwanda-directed. These include funds available for training, for public outreach and education, support for conflict prevention and alternative dispute resolution. Justice is a key element of return to lasting political stability in Rwanda. It is also going to be necessary to give accelerated attention as the Government of Rwanda has recently declared its intention to develop the local community and widen democratic participation at the local level. We look forward to working with the government in those areas as well.
    As far as Burundi is concerned, there is, as always, good news and bad. The good news side is there is some evidence of a very significant widening of the internal dialog between the Government of Burundi on the one hand, and the national assembly on the other, and some interesting and important confidence-building measures that seem to be emerging inside the country.
    On the good news side as well, we have had recent reaffirmations by both the Government of Burundi and the principal armed rebel group, the CNDD, of their interest in restarting talks that might create the conditions for a suspension of hostilities within the country.
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    The bad news is there is still no formal negotiating framework in place within the region. This only invites greater violence and greater danger. We continue to press for the quickest possible startup of an all-parties negotiating process so that all parties, internal and external, will have a place at the table so that the fundamental issues underlying the Burundian conflict can begin to be addressed.
    Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for indulging me these few moments of trying to summarize what is a much lengthier statement. I look forward to receiving your questions and those of your committees.
    [The prepared statement of Mr. Wolpe appears in the appendix.]
    Mr. SMITH. Mr. Wolpe, thank you very much for your very fine presentation, going from one country to the next and showing the interconnectedness. I look forward to reading your full prepared statement later on.
    Let me just ask you, with the new consultative meeting on aid to the Congo coming up in the next few months, has the Administration defined the criteria that will govern U.S. assistance? Will there be specific benchmarks, particularly in the area of human rights, rule of law? What are we looking for in the way of this kind of criteria?
    Mr. WOLPE. We remain strongly committed to progress on democratic reforms, to respect for human rights, and to economic restructuring. In our view, progress on all those fronts is required if there is to be a successful transition. Any assistance to the Government of the Congo would be modest and carefully targeted to achieve progress in these areas. We will not provide budget support or aid to the security forces of the Congo. Given its inexperience and lack of capacity, we cannot expect the new government to move ahead on constitutional reform, election preparations, rehabilitation of the judiciary or even basic economic planing without some outside assistance. So we are continuing to monitor the government's record, which as I have just indicated is mixed to date. If their performance erodes, we retain the option of limiting our support to non-governmental actors and regional local governments only. While providing most of the assistance through the NGO community, it is presently intended to provide some as well directly to the government.
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    The precise package will be worked out, and the precise means of reaching this decision will be worked out in consultations with the Congress. In our view, however, the stakes are simply too high to sit on the sidelines keeping score. We must instead try to work to shape a more positive outcome for the people of the Congo and of the region.
    Mr. SMITH. As you know so well, after Mr. Tshisekedi met with Jesse Jackson, the special envoy for democracy in Africa, he was arrested and then internally exiled. I understand that Secretary Albright did call President Kabila. What is the current situation with him? Is he still in internal exile?
    Mr. WOLPE. He is still in internal exile. You are correct. Secretary Albright did have a direct conversation with Kabila to express our deep concern. Reverend Jackson, the President's envoy for the promotion of democracy in Africa, traveled to the Congo to meet with representatives of the government. We were disappointed that the government did not agree to a Kabila meeting with Reverend Jackson; so he met with members of civil society and other political groups precisely to underscore the importance that we attach to a much more inclusive environment, which we believe is fundamental to the interests of the new government in creating a stable basis for a transition to a democratic society. So we continue to press these points on the government. We are also being joined in that effort by the regional states themselves.
    Mr. SMITH. How have we responded to the Kabila Government with regard to the death sentences and some of the other sentences that have been handed down by the government?
    Mr. WOLPE. We have indicated that we abhor all processing of civilian cases by military tribunals without any semblance of due process. We have specifically condemned both sets of executions that have occurred. There were large numbers of people executed in a single day. We have made very clear that in our view, those actions of the government only undermine its credibility because it calls into question its claim to establishing a government based upon the rule of law.
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    Mr. SMITH. How does he respond, and how many people are we talking about that have been executed? How many civilians have been prosecuted by a military tribunal?
    Mr. WOLPE. The most recent executions involved 16, of which 14 were civilian and two were military. Approximately 40 total people have been executed. Approximately half of them civilian, half of them military.
    Mr. SMITH. What are their alleged crimes?
    Mr. WOLPE. The allegations vary, I think, from murder to armed robbery.
    Mr. SMITH. What has been the response of Mr. Kabila when we have made these protestations?
    Mr. WOLPE. The government has argued that they are in the process of building up judicial systems, and they are trying to make clear that they are serious about such issues as corruption. While we are pleased to have the emphasis upon eradicating corruption, and we think that the government is sincere in that effort, we continue to insist that even anti-corruption prosecutions must respect the rule of law and due process.
    Mr. SMITH. Does he understand the outrage on the part of the American Government with regard to these courts and these mass executions or doesn't he care?
    Mr. WOLPE. Well, first of all let's be clear. There are a lot of people involved in the Congo who do care. There are many people in the government that I am convinced do care. But I can not give you a direct response to that, not having asked the question of the President in recent days.
    Our hope is that it will become clear by the condemnations that these actions have elicited, not only by our government but other governments as well, that this is not helpful in securing the degree of international confidence that is required to permit us and others to provide the kind of assistance we would like to provide in this transitional period.
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    Mr. SMITH. When Mr. Kabila allowed the U.N. investigators to search out suspected sites where massacres may have occurred, was there concern expressed by our government the length that a site is left to be cleansed—so that the bodies or whatever might be removed? Was there a concern that that time period might lead to a sanitizing of alleged massacres?
    Mr. WOLPE. We have had that concern. We have constantly expressed to the government the importance of allowing the investigation to go forward as quickly as possible without interference. That has been a difficult undertaking, that discussion, as you know. In part for reasons that we discussed on previous occasions, having to do with the whole historical distrust of the U.N. system, going back to the genesis of this conflict, concerns by the government that the only issue that would be investigated would be crimes that may have been committed in the most recent months of the AFDL takeover as distinct from the crimes that had occurred prior to the takeover.
    There were a lot of different issues involved. But we have continued from the very beginning to urge the quickest possible response, and to argue that any semblance of non-cooperation would really further impair the credibility of the government as well.
    Mr. SMITH. What do you think the aggregate will be, the package of aid? How much are we talking about?
    Mr. WOLPE. The Secretary has indicated that we plan to come to the Congress with a package in the neighborhood of $35 to $40 million in bilateral aid, and to contribute some $10 million to the World Bank Trust Fund that has been established for the Congo. That remains our intention. As I indicated a moment ago, any bilateral assistance will be channeled principally through the NGO's, although we would also plan to provide some modest, carefully targeted aid directly to the central government for technical assistance to key ministries such as justice, health, and finance, to promote democratic reform and the rule of law, and to improve public health.
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    I should indicate that of course we have a long consultative process yet to go through, and the precise contours of the package, the manner in which this might be decided still lies in front of us.
    Mr. SMITH. Let me just ask one point. I mentioned this in my opening statement about David Scheffer and his visit to northwestern Rwanda. Has the United States undertaken any other investigation of this incident other than the smell test, that he said he would have smelled rotting bodies and corpses if such a thing had happened? Has the Rwandan military prosecutor undertaken an investigation into this incident as well? What is being done to get to the facts?
    Mr. WOLPE. Well, I do not know of other investigations that have been undertaken. There have been other visitations to the site from other countries. I want to just read Mr. Scheffer's findings. ''There is no visibly credible evidence'' he stipulated ''that thousands of civilians were killed by RPA forces at the volcanic caves near Kanama north of Gisenyi. However, there was evidence'' he indicated ''that humans had in fact died in the caves.''
    It should be noted that there is some question about the original reporting about the allegations of thousands. It may be that initial allegation that was the farthest from reality rather than the failure of a subsequent investigation.
    Mr. SMITH. It is my understanding that, of the four caves, he didn't enter any?
    Mr. WOLPE. Pardon?
    Mr. SMITH. Three of the caves were sealed off by the Rwandan army, and he never entered them to do any kind of visual inspection?
    Mr. WOLPE. Probably for the same reason that some of the Rwandese, these soldiers were not anxious to enter the caves either. That's a dangerous undertaking, obviously.
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    Mr. SMITH. Nothing else is contemplated in that area to try to determine what happened?
    Mr. WOLPE. I am not sure what you are suggesting. I mean we obviously do not have the means or the capacity, unless we want to put large numbers of troops on the ground, to undertake the kind of military operation that would be required to search the caves in that fashion. I don't think you are suggesting that. Absent that, I am not too sure what the options that would be available are.
    Mr. SMITH. What have we asked of the Rwandan military in terms of an investigation? What kind of request have we made of them?
    Mr. WOLPE. Well, we have had discussions with the military. They permitted us to visit the site. They have not only in this instance, but in other instances, taken action where there was—I cannot speak to the specific site here. But the Rwandan authorities have on a number of occasions acted to prosecute individual soldiers that were believed to be involved in atrocities or in other acts of military in discipline. The military justice system is acting on those cases. They have asked us for assistance with that system.
    In one instance very recently, one soldier who was guilty of an ethnically motivated assassination was prosecuted by an American-trained prosecutor. So that we are working in that fashion to see that there is justice brought to bear when it is possible to do so.
    Mr. SMITH. Amnesty International wants to go to the caves. My understanding is that the government won't let them. Will we join them in requesting that that kind of access be afforded to Amnesty?
    Mr. WOLPE. I am advised that in fact, as I said earlier, not only other governments and diplomatic representatives have visited the caves, gone to the sites, the caves are available if you wish to go there. The government does not restrict access to the caves. From a security standpoint, there is some thinking that that is a somewhat dangerous proposition. That might be one of the reasons that there's not been an inspection inside the caves themselves.
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    Mr. SMITH. Do you think Amnesty would have the assurance that they could go and do an investigation there?
    Mr. WOLPE. I can not speak for the government in that instance. I can only report that there have been many visitors, NGO's and diplomatic representatives that have actually visited the site in question.
    Mr. SMITH. Thank you, Mr. Wolpe.
    Mr. Menendez.
    Mr. MENENDEZ. Thank you. Ambassador, thank you for your testimony, and more importantly for your service to a region that you are infinitely familiar with. I read all of your testimony in addition to listening to what you had to say. Let me ask you a few questions with reference to the package on the Congo.
    The Congress should decide to provide a waiver to the Administration to send assistance to the Congo. I heard you talk about the majority of the resources going to NGO's. But do we have a sense of what we are talking about giving the government out of your $35 or $40 million in bilateral assistance?
    Mr. WOLPE. I can not give you precise figures today. I did indicate earlier though the subject areas that assistance would be directed to, such as of democratic reform, rule of law, an improvement of public health. We have been doing some work with civil society now. Pardon?
    Mr. MENENDEZ. I'm not trying to hold you to an exact amount, but is that roughly 10 percent, 20 percent, 30 percent?
    Mr. WOLPE. Well, the majority of the assistance, I assume somewhere over 50 or 60 percent of the assistance would probably be directed to NGO's. Perhaps a larger sum than that.
    Mr. MENENDEZ. What is the government's ability to manage the type of money that we would be talking about that they would in fact receive?
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    Mr. WOLPE. Much of the NGO assistance that I'm describing to you, which would be the largest part——
    Mr. MENENDEZ. I'm talking about the non-NGO.
    Mr. WOLPE. Part of the assistance will be directed at enhancing institutional capability. The real problem right now is the government at the national level does not have much capability. That is——
    Mr. MENENDEZ. That is my concern and my question. You know, I understand the NGO part. I am concerned about how much is going to go to the government itself, in view of what I view as the incapacity of the government in its present state to be able to manage and administer what would be large sums of money.
    Mr. WOLPE. It's not money transfers we are talking about. We are talking about primarily technical assistance to, for example, the Ministry of Health. Incidentally there's a very fine health minister in the Congo that has a very clear set of priorities and has really been very forward leaning in developing a very progressive approach to issues of public health within the Congo. The Minister could, for example, assist in immunization campaigns, in developing strategies for public health work.
    Likewise, in the Ministry of Finance. Clearly there is a need for economic assistance and for technical advice and counsel. It is that kind of assistance we are describing here. Not cash payments to the government.
    Mr. MENENDEZ. And to the extent that you are talking about then assistance to the government, you are talking about giving assistance of the nature that you have just described, there would be no cash payments to the government?
    Mr. WOLPE. That is correct. What we are talking about is technical assistance, training assistance, institutional capacity.
    Mr. MENENDEZ. So individuals that we would contract to provide these services?
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    Mr. WOLPE. That is correct.
    Mr. MENENDEZ. All right. And what type of conditions, if any, or calibrated responses in our overall aid package are we looking to derive in the Congo? I know what your goals are. I heard you testify. But are we just going to give this open-ended or are we creating any sense of calibrated responses by the regime?
    Mr. WOLPE. If it became clear, for example, that what assistance was being extended was not having any impact, for whatever reasons, we reserve the option to suspend that kind of assistance. But if your question is, are there certain criteria that must be met in advance in a very precise fashion, we submit that that is almost certainly to create a self-fulfilling prophesy. We don't think it would be productive to be quite that precise.
    Mr. MENENDEZ. So if while we are in the midst of this $40-million-plus package, we still have executions, if we have interference with the U.N. investigation that is going on, if we have other actions taking place, further arrests of journalists, continuing forced exile, internal exile, are we looking at those things that we know we face presently going into the Congo and that we hope to affect by virtue of our plan? Are we looking to live through that through $40 million worth?
    Mr. WOLPE. Let me say, first of all, that we are continuing on a daily basis to press the concerns with respect to human rights, inclusiveness, the building of democratic capacity within the country, because we regard those not only as matters of value that are precious to us, but as matters that are vital to the self-interest of a stable Democratic Republic of the Congo. We want to continue to engage the people of the Congo in that kind of dialog, as well as to engage in their efforts at really reclaiming what they have received, which is an institutional vacuum, the inheritance of the Mobutu years.
    We propose to engage the Congo in the same fashion as we would engage any country in which we have bilateral assistance programs. If there is a coup, if there is a total disruption of the capacity for the provision of services, if it is clear that assistance programs are not being used as they were designed, then they will be terminated. We think that it is not helpful to pre-judge the outcome, but it is much more helpful instead to begin the process of engagement.
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    Mr. MENENDEZ. I don't disagree with you. We always have, whether it be in the Congo or other places, however, a concern of the difference between what our expectations are and the reality of using U.S. taxpayer funds in any entity, in any place, with any government that in fact executes its people, violates human rights, and does a whole host of other things.
    So the question in my mind is, are we giving legitimacy? Not at the beginning, I know what our expectations are and I join with you in our expectations. However, as the Ranking Member on the Africa Subcommittee, I would be concerned about what type of safeguards we have. As we are spending $40 million in taxpayer monies and some of these things do not begin to dissipate during the process, do we in fact seem to be supporting a government that is not moving toward those standards by which we would want to see, whether it be the Congo or any other place, to move forward?
    Mr. WOLPE. You raise some very important questions. They are questions that we have examined very very carefully. What is unique about the Congo in comparison with almost any other country that we could identify to have a similar conversation about, is the absence of any meaningful institutional capacity, particularly at the national level. There is nothing there. So the issue is do we provide an opportunity for the Congo to establish the kind of minimum capacity that can function as a state? We do not really have state capacity at this point.
    Now I want to underscore that we do not see ourselves as providing assistance in order to assist a government. What we do see ourselves doing is providing assistance to a transitional process and to the people of the Congo. We think it is very important to keep our eyes on the ultimate goal, which is to try to help create within the Congo conditions of security for its people, conditions whereby economic growth can begin again to take place, where people can have a better future than they have enjoyed over the 30 years of Mobutu-ism.
    The issue is the transition. The issue is the people of the Congo. As reprehensible as some actions of individual government officials or actions of the government may be, and we will do everything in our power to make clear just how unacceptable those are, we do not want to unintentionally deny the people of the Congo an opportunity for a better future and for a transition to institutions that would have far greater legitimacy because they would be the product of a democratic process.
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    Mr. MENENDEZ. I share with you that concern. I agree with you that they have no institutional capacity for the most part at this time. However, I do believe that they have an institutional capacity to understand right versus wrong in some cases. So I would hope that we are not willing to forgo that standard, a rather simplistic standard, especially when we have these executions and what not.
    My last question, the Administration has requested $25 million for a Great Lakes initiative, which largely focuses on the restoration of justice programs, including a military justice program. Given the ongoing tensions that exist and the violence in the region, how do we intend to implement such a program? Do we not risk being seen as taking sides in this conflict that has existed for some time by, for example, working with the Rwandan Government? I am concerned. I like the goals. I am concerned again about how those in the region themselves will be viewed, and how are we going to go ahead and programmatically perform and implement the programs that we are suggesting here in a way that draws credibility and respect and doesn't seem like we are reinforcing those things that people have opposed?
    Mr. WOLPE. One of the underlying terrible consequences of the political instability within Rwanda and Burundi is a culture of impunity that has taken hold, in which many people who have done terrible crimes have been held wholly unaccountable. The reason for the focus upon issues of justice is precisely because it is important to differentiate the perpetrators of crime from the entire ethnic group. Clearly not all Hutus were involved in the genocide. Some did terrible things. Equally clearly, not all soldiers have been responsible for RPA massacres. Some have.
    So what we are attempting to do is to work with the Rwandese authorities who understand that any kind of lasting stability in the country must see an end to the culture of impunity. Thus Hutus and Tutsis alike will understand that crimes will yield accountability.
    Regarding your question about taking sides, we ought not be at all reluctant to make clear our opposition to the genocidal ideology that underpinned the genocide of 1994, and we ought not be insensitive to the enormity of the task of reconstructing the country that has gone through this kind of experience.
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    We are working with all Rwandans, Hutu and Tutsi, in this effort at working at community development, reconciliation programs within local communities, at the national level helping to strengthen systems of civilian justice and military justice. I think that is in our interest to assist in those efforts.
    Likewise in Burundi, where we are deeply involved, I think both Tutsis and Hutus understand that we are determined to try to help facilitate a negotiation, to help facilitate dialog between the two groups. I don't think either sees us as a partisan in an ethnic sense. But we are committed to the process of democratic transformation in Burundi as we are in Rwanda.
    Mr. MENENDEZ. Well, thank you. I would love to see an outline of how it is that you intend to implement this program. I have heard your answer and I understand your goals. I would love to see the outline as to how you intend to——
    Mr. WOLPE. Let me say just in quick response. We are doing much already. Partly what we are going to be doing is expanding the initiative. But American dollars are being used to help train, to help provide facilities for the courts, in public education efforts. There are a number of ways that are very easy for us to access if the Rwandan Government and people request that kind of assistance.
    Mr. SMITH. Thank you, Mr. Menendez.
    Mr. Payne.
    Mr. PAYNE. Thank you very much. Let me commend you, Ambassador Wolpe, for the very difficult task that you have. I think that it's really one of the, as I indicated before, one of the most difficult situations I have ever been engaged in. I would just like to add for the record a Washington Post article, Three Countries Fare Hutu Rebels Wrath. Refugee attacks on Tutsis cost lives, threaten stability in Rwanda, Burundi and the Congo. Which goes through a whole series of Hutu extremists who are still having cross-border fights of massacres.
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    The thing that I am hoping to see us move forward, and I listened very carefully, and this is the third time I have heard this story about the caves. We are stuck on the caves. Now the caves are bad. Whatever is in the caves is terrible. But I don't understand the focus on one incident or alleged incident with a total disregard for the rest. That's not balanced.
    Mr. SMITH. Will the gentleman yield?
    Mr. PAYNE. Sure. I would be glad to yield.
    Mr. SMITH. At both our previous hearing and a number of statements that I have made, I have expressed concern that just as a refugee is a refugee is a refugee—I don't care their race, ethnicity, color—the same goes for victims. When we get a sense that diplomats are brought to an area and are not allowed full and unfettered access, to use the words that we use so often vis a vis the Iraqi situation, it seems to me that something is being hidden. It's just symptomatic of a larger problem. But this Subcommittee has addressed and continues to address atrocities committed, whether it be by Kabila's people, Rwandan, Hutu, Tutsi, whoever. I think the record is very clear that we have tried to stand with the victims and the oppressed, not the oppressor.
    Mr. PAYNE. All right. Well I certainly agree with you that a victim is a victim. We shouldn't take sides on victims. I am simply looking at your opening statement which I didn't have an opportunity to hear, but I had an opportunity to read. Perhaps after the hearing, maybe you'll read it again, the one you wrote, and then we could probably have a discussion about a sort of onesidedness. I appall killings anywhere too.
    You know what? I am opposed to the death penalty. Many of the people here are not. I'm sorry that other Members are not.
    Mr. SMITH. If the gentleman will yield on that. I oppose the death penalty too. But reasonable people can disagree on that. But I am opposed to it too. So what's the point?
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    Mr. PAYNE. Well, the point is this. They have had 40 executions, they say, in Congo. I think it's horrible. Texas will execute more than 40 in the next or two. There was a person executed in Virginia where they had the evidence that they knew he was innocent, but the time had passed for an appeal. In Arkansas, a man was so mentally deranged that he thought that he could save a piece of the pie that he had for his last supper to have it the next day to eat. He didn't even realize he was going to be executed.
    So a country that has no system of justice, they don't have public defenders, they don't have a legal system that we would like to see, there were trials. They said what were the charges, killing, robbery and so forth. All right. Whatever their system of justice, of having a trial, was held. People were therefore executed. I think it is terrible. But I think it is just as terrible in Texas where death row will have that many. If they execute no more in the Congo, Texas will exceed that.
    So when we take a view at justice, I think that we need to take it in the full context or so-called justice, I would call it so-called justice, but I think that when things are taken out of context as summary executions, I think it's appalling. But I do become concerned and disturbed at the unevenness that this has generally brought up.
    I would ask for this article chronicling since January (see article on mass slaughter) the killings of the Hutu rebels to be added into the record. I just want there to be balance. I want to reiterate I am disappointed that the Government of Congo has a poor justice system. I am opposed to the death penalty. So therefore, these 40 executions by the government after their trials I abhorred. I think it's a disgrace. The same way that I think that the death penalty that we have here in this country is also as brutal and as inhumane as it is in the Congo.
    Now the question that I have is that there is a feeling that there should be no appropriations because a government or a regime is not working well, not living up to our expectations. Ambassador Wolpe, how do you feel we could attempt to see that the aid gets to the humanitarian, that it serves the humanitarian purposes that we would like for it to do? I understand what you said, but there's a philosophy that we should not evidently give assistance to a government like this that we have some problems with. What is your take on this, since you spend more time in the region than anyone else?
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    Mr. WOLPE. Well, let me say we have for the last several months, we have actually been involved, as we indicated in an earlier hearing, in the provision of some assistance to NGO's operating at the provincial level in the Congo. That assistance has been very well utilized. We have offices actually based in three different cities within the Congo, four actually, in a position therefore to work closely with the recipient organizations in these programs. One example of where American assistance was greatly valued by the Congolese themselves was in the effort at building a dialog between a civil society and local government authorities around the national reconstruction program that was instituted and has since been suspended unfortunately by the national government. But at the local level, it yielded a whole range of very important dialogs and new partnerships among people that had not been able to work together previously.
    There are some very specific infrastructure improvements from drainage systems and the like, sewage systems, that have been financed by American assistance, that have led to measurable improvements in the quality of life of people within those communities. So we are in a position to monitor and to work with people in the development of that kind of effort.
    As far as technical assistance to the national government would be concerned, since that largely would be in the form of training and technical assistance, we would in fact be in a direct position to retain control over the assistance, because it would be technical advice that would be being provided.
    Mr. PAYNE. My final question, I think my time has expired, initially when the United Nations had a team to go into the Congo and so-called have the investigations, of course the team was headed by a Togolese. As you know, Mobutu and its government was assisted by Togo. As a matter of fact, Mobutu visited Togo on his way back to Europe for an operation. Now if I were the new government and you were going to send someone in to investigate alleged atrocities, and you had a team of three, led by someone whose country is very hostile, do you feel that this may somehow prejudice, whether it's right or wrong, do you think that the United Nations in their wisdom or lack of it, I mean there's a lot of countries if they want an African, there are a lot of sub-Saharan countries, do you think that might have developed some pre-judging?
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    Mr. WOLPE. I don't want to respond very specifically here because I think it's more important that we now look to the future. The process has been launched. There seems to be a more constructive relationship and cooperative relationship between the U.N. team on the one hand, and the government on the other. Clearly however, there was, I think, fault on all sides in the original startup of this effort that only compounded the backdrop—that played against a backdrop of much suspicion and mistrust.
    Mr. PAYNE. OK. I'll yield the balance of my time.
    Mr. SMITH. Thank you. Ms. McKinney.
    Ms. MCKINNEY. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I have got a few questions here. The first question I would like to pose is about the Emergency Refugee Migrant Assistance program. It is my understanding that this is a fund that was designed to assist with refugee problems. Last year the $20 million that was spent on Rwanda was very helpful. Each year the fund is appropriated about $40 or $50 million. Right now the fund has a total of about $120 million in it. The President's request for Fiscal Year 1999 is for only $20 million. Could you tell me why the Administration is requesting less money for this program, given the tremendous amount of need that exists in the Great Lakes region? We understand that the African continent is responsible for the second highest number of refugees in the world.
    Mr. WOLPE. Mrs. McKinney, I can not speak to the specifics of the budgetary request. I will have to get back to you on that.
    Ms. MCKINNEY. I look forward to you getting back to me on it. I think that this is a pot of money that is sitting there that would be available for the refugee problem in the Great Lakes region. We need to use it.
    [Mr. Wolpe's reply was submitted following the hearing.]

    According to the Fiscal Year 1999 Congressional Presentation for Foreign Operations, the $20 million request will replenish the Emergency Refugee Migrant Assistance (ERMA) fund to approximately $100 million—the ceiling amount the Migration and Refugee Assistance Act of 1962, as amended, authorizes.
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    My next question is about the President's visit to Africa. Of course we know that the Africans anticipated the announcement of the President's itinerary. That visit is being well planned for by folks on the African continent. But I find it strange that the President would not include on his itinerary one stop at one of the genocide sites in Rwanda. Could you explain to me why one of these genocide sites was not included on the President's itinerary and are you doing anything to alter those plans so that such a visit could become a priority for the President?
    Mr. WOLPE. I can not speak directly to the specific decisions that were made about scheduling. Obviously there were many competing demands and many visitations that we would have liked to have made that are not going to be possible on this particular trip.
    What I can indicate though is that the President and the Administration generally, as manifested first in Secretary of State Albright's trip and in the upcoming visit of the President, intend to deal very forthrightly with this issue. In fact, one of the purposes of the presentation that was made by Secretary of State Albright before the OAU in Addis was to lay out our sense that it is absolutely vital that there be an acknowledgement of shared responsibility, that there be a willingness to engage in a very different kind of relationship with this part of Africa, a relationship based not upon the kind of paternalism that's characterized our approach to the past, but on a real sense of partnership, and a willingness to assume responsibility and to engage fully in the tasks of reconstruction both in countries that have experienced genocide and other countries that are going through other kinds of conflict and turmoil. So you will find that theme very much in evidence in the course of the President's trip.
    Ms. MCKINNEY. Mr. Wolpe, I have to respond that I can't imagine the President going an hour and a half away on the European continent from a genocide site and not visiting. I can not imagine for the life of me why the President would stop an hour and a half away and not visit a genocide site, recognizing what the people of this region and in the country of Rwanda in particular are trying to go through right now.
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    Mr. WOLPE. I will certainly relay your concerns. Thank you.
    Ms. MCKINNEY. Thank you very much. I have more questions. Chairman Smith points out that the lasting peace must be based on reconciliation. We have seen you talk about in your testimony an increase in the hate messages that are being put out through the propaganda. Could you tell me what it is that you believe the United States can do to counter this increase in hate propaganda?
    Mr. WOLPE. Let me just describe first of all that there are two kinds of messages. One is that which is delivered by hate radio. On December 11 this past year, there was a broadcast from Bukavu in eastern Congo which encouraged the expulsion and the extermination of ethnic Tutsis. That particular broadcast coincided with the movement of extremist Hutu militiamen from eastern Congo to Rwanda. We have detected no transmission since that day. Although this may have been an isolated event, we are well aware of the previous devastating impact of hate radio in the region, and are developing strategies to counter that threat.
    We are working to augment messages of ethnic cooperation, of healing and reconciliation. The Voice of America broadcasts in local languages in the region, enjoys a wide audience, and we're examining how we might better utilize Voice of America programming to promote peace and inclusivity. We have also sent a team to the region to assess how we might further advance reconciliation through grassroots activities, through village plays, through radio dramas and the like.
    Jamming hate broadcasts requires detailed information of the location of the transmitters and the frequencies being used. We are exploring this issue, and will be able to provide you with further details in a classified briefing if you would like.
    Ms. MCKINNEY. I would like that.
    Mr. WOLPE. The other kind of propaganda is that which is disseminated by way of tracks, of paper tracks. Obviously there is no direct means that we would have in terms of being able to impact on that. But when it comes to the radio, we think we can be of assistance.
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    Ms. MCKINNEY. I have two additional questions, if that's OK. One question is about your use of the word ''impunity.'' I also have some concerns about the use of the death penalty. I understand that there have been no executions yet of those people who have been convicted of genocide in Rwanda. How do you anticipate that the problem of impunity can be resolved without resort to the death penalty?
    Mr. WOLPE. You are correct in your assertion. There have not as of this day been executions in Rwanda, though the Rwandese authorities have made clear that they do reserve the death penalty and do intend to apply it in some specific set of cases. I think the question you raise goes to one's own personal feelings and views about the death penalty. I am not sure it would be appropriate to engage in that kind of dialog. I think the Rwandese authorities themselves are saying that they would reserve the death penalty for those who were most culpable in leading the genocide, and that they would provide lesser punishments and lesser discipline for those that were less involved in the leadership of that.
    Ms. MCKINNEY. Are we talking about 30,000 people?
    Mr. WOLPE. What's the number?
    Ms. MCKINNEY. Those level-one genocidaires?
    Mr. WOLPE. We do not have any numbers as to who would fall into the category of those that would be subject to execution if convicted of crimes under the genocide law. I can not respond directly to that question.
    Ms. MCKINNEY. My final question relates to some accusations that have been made about the Rwandan army and its commitment of atrocities. Can you tell me if there has been a change in the policy of the Rwandan Government as it relates to its army so that there would be fewer or no atrocities?
    Mr. WOLPE. Well, there has been certainly a further building up of the military justice system, prosecutions of military that engage in acts of undiscipline or that commit atrocities and abuses. As I said, in recent months, though we think it still needs to be closely monitored, there has been actually a decline in incidents in which it would appear that the RPA were responsible for abuses.
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    Ms. MCKINNEY. Thank you.
    Mr. ROYCE. Thank you. Ambassador Wolpe, I did want to make a request myself. I would like to be a part of the briefings on hate radio if I could at the time.
    Mr. WOLPE. Sure.
    Mr. ROYCE. I want to thank you for your patience. Unfortunately there is a markup going on right now on IMF funding. So that's why some of us are going back and forth for votes. But one of the things I wanted to ask about was reports that suggest the Government of Rwanda officials consider genocide to be an ideology so deeply ingrained in the psychology of the ex-FAR and Interahamwe that they act with genocidal instincts. Do you view the genocide as an ideology? If so, what does that say about the prospects for peace? In your opening statement, you talked some about the force of genocide and the effect that has had on the majority of the population. What do you foresee there as prospects for peace?
    Mr. WOLPE. I am not familiar with any conflict anywhere on the face of the African continent to which there is attached the level of fear and insecurity, mistrust, suspicion, than that which attaches to the conflict between Tutsi and Hutu. Contrary to much popular commentary, this is not a conflict that manifested itself in the fashion which it is playing itself out today in pre-colonial times. It would appear that indeed the colonial experience itself, in which colonial authorities created essentially new ethnic definitions by elevating Tutsis within the social and political hierarchy of their respective countries, and implicitly further subordinating Hutus, may have in fact really helped to accelerate the sense of division and distrust. The democratization process, particularly in Burundi as it unfolded, further compounded the competition between Tutsi and Hutu. In the case of Rwanda, one segment of the Hutu population, one segment of the leadership, played upon anti-Tutsi prejudices and sentiments in order to mobilize its support among the Hutu population. There was a very self-conscious intentional development of an ideology of genocide, a very systematic orchestrated campaign of genocide.
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    The implication of your question becomes very difficult to get beyond that. You are absolutely right. Can it be done? I think the answer is yes. But it can only be done with a great deal both of time and patience and perseverance, and the creation of conditions of greater security for the entire population, and creating in the long-term sense a set of political institutions in which everyone can feel a sense of real ownership so that there is a real sense of one nation.
    One of the actions that the new government took upon coming to power was to abolish the use of identity cards, which had been developed by the Belgians during the colonial years. That was a much welcomed and constructive initiative. There has also been the tendency, however, to try to dismiss or to suppress, if you will, any discussion of ethnicity. I am not sure that that does not make more difficult the ultimate resolution of the fears and the suspicions. I think it is important that some of those issues be out on the table for discussion, where one acknowledges that there are maybe distinctions, but those distinctions don't have to have the importance they have had historically.
    So it is going to be a long time in terms of trying to rebuild the possibility of people to trust one another at the local level, a long time to recreate a sense of institutions, economic and political, in which people feel that they are just, that they are inclusive, that they are really representative of a single nation.
    Mr. ROYCE. There are controversial plans that the Rwandan Government has attempted to implement called the villagization plan. The critics have argued that the plan is poorly conceived and will produce forced relocations and probably produce new social tensions. Do you know what the U.S. position is on the plan and would USAID support such a program? What is our reaction to that?
    Mr. WOLPE. We frankly don't yet have a very clear sense of what the plan is. There has not been any implementation of that effort, though there has been much discussion of the concept. We would certainly have concern about forced relocation in initiatives that almost by definition would have the consequence of heightening tensions and insecurities.
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    Rwanda is a very poor country. It is one of the most densely populated on the continent. Given its population, Rwanda has tremendous land shortages. So there is a lot of discussion about ways of trying to get a handle around the issues of efficient land utilization and allocation of resources. Those are legitimate questions, important questions the government needs to be struggling with. We would, of course, hope that whatever solutions are developed, whatever strategies are pursued will be based upon consensual approaches that will seek to reduce tension and to provide a real sense of participation on the part of the total population in both the decisionmaking and in the implementation of such plans.
    Mr. ROYCE. OK. Let me ask you one last question about the situation in eastern Congo. According to published reports, ethnic Tutsi soldiers have deserted the Congolese armed forces with their weapons, armed Mai-Mai tribesmen are staging diversionary raids to allow Hutu rebels to filter back into Rwanda, and various armed elements are fighting against the Kabila Government. How serious a threat does this fighting in eastern Congo pose to the country's stability, in your opinion?
    Mr. WOLPE. We regard the zone of instability to which you refer in the Kivus, particularly in Northern Kivu, as the most volatile zone in the entire region, and a zone that instability within which can impact not only on the Congo and its stability, but also on Burundi, Rwanda, and Uganda. It is a very dangerous situation with a lot of forces at work, ex-FAS, ex-FAR, Interahamwe, Mai-Mai, a whole range of ethnically-based local militias. It is really a very dangerous mix, and we are very concerned.
    Mr. ROYCE. Ambassador Wolpe, I want to just thank you one more time for your presence here today and your testimony. I have got another vote in the markup so I am going to have to leave. But thank you once again.
    Mr. SMITH. Thank you, Chairman Royce.
    I too want to say thank you, Mr. Wolpe, for your expertise and your good work that you are doing. I thank you for your time, which was rather considerable at today's hearing.
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    Mr. WOLPE. Could I just add just one last comment? Some mention was made, Mr. Chairman, of the Scheffer report. I would just urge all of your Committee Members to look at the full report that Assistant Secretary Scheffer prepared. I think it is a little bit unfortunate that it was somewhat dismissed as a very casual kind of effort. The Ambassador at Large for War Crimes issues is a human rights attorney, an experienced investigator. He went out to the region precisely because of Secretary Albright's concerns in the aftermath of the terrible massacre that had occurred. He, in addition to visiting the massacre site at the refugee camp, made this trip into the area.
    I think he has some context to offer as the basis for his conclusions that lend rather much more weight than perhaps has been suggested up to this point.
    Mr. SMITH. I appreciate that. I think every Member should read it. The point that I picked out was on page 12 and thereafter where he did visit the caves and that's where that smell test came in. I mean there is nothing out of context whatsoever. So I take your point.
    I would like to thank you, Mr. Wolpe, again for your testimony, and ask our second panel if they would proceed to the witness table.
    Mr. WOLPE. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
    Mr. SMITH. We have four panelists remaining. Salih Booker has directed the Council on Foreign Relations Africa Studies Program since November 1995. Prior to joining the Council, he worked as a consultant to numerous international NGO's and as a professional staff member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs in the U.S. Congress. Mr. Booker was educated at Wesleyan University, the University of Ghana, and the London School of Economics and Political Science.
    Dr. Alison Des Forges is a consultant to Human Rights Watch, has undertaken some two dozen missions to the Great Lakes region of Central Africa. She has provided expert testimony regarding the Rwandan genocide to the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, as well as to judicial authorities in Canada, Belgium, and the United States. Trained as a historian at Harvard and Yale Universities, Dr. Des Forges has written numerous articles and monographs on Rwandan history.
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    Roger P. Winter has served as executive director of the U.S. Committee for Refugees (USCR) since May 1991. He has also served as executive director of the Immigration and Refugee Services of America since January 1994. In his work for USCR, he is responsible for the organization's program of field work with refugee populations worldwide, though his personal concentration is on East and Central Africa.
    Finally, Adotei Akwei is director of advocacy for Africa with Amnesty International. Before joining Amnesty International, Mr. Akwei served as Africa program director for the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights in New York. Prior to that, he worked with the American Committee on Africa and the Africa Fund.
    Mr. Booker, if you would begin.
    Mr. BOOKER. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. I would like to begin by noting that the Council on Foreign Relations takes no institutional position on foreign relations issues, and that I am solely responsible for this statement. I am just going to summarize my remarks, and would ask that my statement be entered into the record.
    Mr. Chairman, I have been fortunate enough and honored to testify in the Congress over the past year twice on the important developments occurring in Central Africa. In preparation of today's testimony, I had to ask myself has my point of view changed, has my analysis changed because of unfolding developments in the region. I think I will remain fairly consistent with my previous testimony. I think American interests in the region are very similar to elsewhere in the world, promoting security, promoting economic development and perhaps most importantly, promoting democracy and governments accountable to their citizens.
    I also feel that the initial defeat of the genocidaire in Rwanda and the overthrow of Mobutu in the Congo offer important, incredibly important opportunities to help turn this entire region away from conflict and toward peace. I also believe that the United States has an important historical responsibility in the region, which I have explained at length before, because of our decades of support to the Mobutu dictatorship.
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    But I think the most important point in what I'll try to confine my remarks to is that I really do believe that the Congo, now named the Democratic Republic of Congo, is the key to the region, and that without a solution in the Congo itself, it will be very difficult to achieve lasting solutions to the conflicts in Rwanda, Burundi, or even in Angola or in any number of the nine countries that share borders with this enormous and rich country that is the Congo.
    I think U.S. policy options toward the countries in the region, I have testified before, that I don't believe it is a question of whether or not to engage. I think we have no choice but to be engaged. I think we have to discuss more what are our objectives of the engagement and what kind of resources are we going to bring to this engagement. I won't repeat the details of all these arguments that I have made in previous testimony.
    In terms of recent developments, let me just say that I wanted to differ with Special Envoy Wolpe regarding some of the characterizations, particularly in the Congo, because I see it as less a mixed picture. I think the trends are almost wholly negative. This is a country that I have a great deal of hope for. But very clearly, the Government of Laurent Kabila has increasingly cracked down on democratic forces and civil society in that country. Instability in that country is also further aggravated by the resurgence of various other armed forces by the mutiny and problems within the army. But the greatest cause of insecurity is political exclusion. It is the exclusion in the reconstruction and political transition process that hopefully will take that country from the days of Mobutu to a government that's more accountable to its people.
    So I think to characterize the cabinet as inclusive is not accurate. I think to characterize Kabila's Government as on schedule with the 2-year timeframe is also perhaps too hopeful. We are only a year away from the elections that Kabila promised at the time of his inauguration. There is great controversy over the constitutional commission as being not representative of the full breadth of political views in that country. But more importantly, this is an enormous country that is not easy to organize an election in. Without free political activity, none of the political parties or democratic forces in that country are in a position to organize toward a future where they could contest for citizens votes, to form a government that would be representative of the people's wishes and accountable to it.
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    Let me skip very quickly to conclude on the objectives of U.S. engagement and how I think we should approach them. I think some of my comments may be controversial because I think security is something we should not run away from in the DRC. I actually believe the United States should be encouraging a regional discussion of security cooperation with the Government of the Congo. I think it is not possible to simply avoid this issue.
    The average citizen is facing abuses at the hands of an ill-equipped police force or unreorganized army. So we may criticize the abuses of the Congolese army or the police force. But we have to appreciate the conditions they are operating in and the fact that no one in the international community, save a few neighbors in the region, is prepared to offer the kind of security cooperation necessary to professionalize the armed forces and the police forces.
    Other witnesses will testify more specifically about Rwanda and Burundi. I would just add that I think that we really do need to begin to think in terms of security cooperation for the Government of Rwanda, precisely because of the increased insecurity that threatens the prospects of reconciliation in that country, coming from primarily the former genocidaire.
    On reconstruction, I think we have to be very serious about a commitment to support economic reconstruction in Congo, both because of its need, our historical responsibility, and the potential. Special Envoy Wolpe pointed out the current package would be largely going through NGO's, but I think we have to be serious about a commitment to help rebuild the state and state structures in the Congo, which will be important to serve the Congolese people beyond the rule of a Kabila or any other individual who might come to power in that country.
    I would have to point out that the resources we are committing are rather meager when you consider the size of that country and you consider its enormous needs. What is important perhaps therefore is U.S. international leadership. I do believe that the members of the European Union, as well as the international financial institutions look to the United States for political leadership as well. Many of them may be far more prepared to put up more money, but they do want to see the United States committing serious political leadership on this issue of reconstruction.
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    Finally, the issue of democratization, which I think is the most important and I think all of the Members today have raised important questions about that. I would simply say that we should have a commitment to this transition to an elected and accountable government. We should try to assure that it's a successful transition. This is the cause for concern right now. There is not a serious indication of a commitment on the part of the Kabila Government to a legitimate transition, a transition that will establish a legal framework and enjoy the popularity of the majority of the population.
    In conclusion, I would just say that President Clinton will be visiting the region at the end of this month. He will stop in Kampala, Uganda, where he will meet with the summit meeting of any number of Heads of State from the region. It could be as many as seven. It could be as few as four or five. They have not publicly released the names. But clearly at that meeting in Uganda, the crises that you are focusing on today will be a major item on that agenda. I think it will be an opportunity for the United States to clearly articulate what its policy toward the region will be, and what kind of leadership it will provide. But the United States is going to need the partnership of these countries in the region to try and help apply pressure in the case of the Congo to ensure it's a successful transition, but also to provide security cooperation so an environment is created where freer political and economic activity can occur. Thank you.
    [The prepared statement of Mr. Booker appears in the appendix.]
    Mr. SMITH. Thank you very much for your testimony.
    Dr. Des Forges.
    Ms. DES FORGES. Mr. Chairman, I am Alison Des Forges, consultant to Human Rights Watch. I am a specialist on Rwanda and Burundi. I thank you for the invitation to testify here this afternoon and the opportunity to listen to the stimulating exchange which you and the other Committee Members had with Mr. Wolpe.
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    The recent trip of Secretary of State Albright to Africa, the upcoming trip of President Clinton, which has been mentioned here, all are indicators of a new tone in the Administration's approach to Africa, and specifically to this region of the Great Lakes. The legislation before the Congress as well, in terms of the economic development package for this region and the amendment which Chairman Smith and Mr. Gilman introduced, are other indicators of the importance which is now being given to this region and the hopes attached to it for economic development and for trade.
    These hopes really depend essentially on the question of stability because there can be no positive change in either political or economic terms without a resolution of the security questions which Mr. Booker has just mentioned as well. The past in this region has shown us foreign powers very willing to be complicit in unproductive patterns of government in the interests of a superficial kind of stability. This was certainly true with Mobutu. It was true with Habyarimana in Rwanda. It was true with military officers who ruled in Burundi until finally the region exploded in the ghastly violence first in Burundi, and then with the genocide in Rwanda.
    When the refugees returned home to Rwanda more than a year ago and when Kabila took power not quite a year ago, there was a great deal of hope on the part of policymakers that we would be entering a new period of relative calm and stability. That has not proved to be the case. You heard Ambassador Wolpe testify a few minutes ago to the enormous dangers which he sees in North Kivu region of the eastern DRC. The situation in southern Kivu is equally disquieting. I heard yesterday that the Banyamulenge, who were of course the group originally who gave Kabila his impetus, have now taken the important city of Uvira and are openly in conflict with the government army.
    In Rwanda, last weekend there was a very significant attack in the prefecture of Gitarama. Certainly not the first, but the most significant in terms of numbers so far, somewhere between 2,000 and 4,000 insurgents who crossed the river which has marked the kind of psychological as well as geographic limit of that northwestern quadrant which people have talked about as being sort of the home base of insurgent activity. That has been traversed now and a very substantial number of insurgents have attacked in the communes of Nyakabanda and Bulinga. In Nyakabanda in the past couple of weeks, 52 people have been killed by the insurgents, 16 of them children.
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    So this is a sure indicator of the important base which exists for this insurgency within Rwanda. It's no longer enough to talk as Ambassador Scheffer did of reinforcing frontiers, because this is no longer something which is coming from outside across the border. This is something which has a substantial base within Rwanda itself. That needs to be admitted and dealt with by the Rwandan Government and by other governments which wish to be helpful. The fact is there that the insurgents are getting a significant response from the population at large.
    In Burundi, the situation sometimes looks more promising because there are intermittent talks going back and forth between the government and the insurgent movements, but the military action continues. The relative stability which we saw at the end of the year in Burundi was purchased at the cost of an enormous number of civilian casualties, particularly as the government forced hundreds of thousands of people into regroupment camps.
    The inherent danger of continuing violence in this region increases the importance of dealing with that question of impunity. If we are facing a prospect of continuing military action, and it seems that we really are facing that in all three countries, there must be a very firm resolution on the part of the U.S. Administration in terms of insisting that the laws of war be observed, that international humanitarian law be observed. Both the government armies and the insurgent movements have killed more civilians than they have killed people under arms from the opposite side. The people who are suffering in this situation are the unarmed people who are being forced to choose sides one or the other.
    In this context, the most helpful thing the U.S. Government can do is to insist to all parties that those laws protecting the lives of non-combatants must be observed. Now clearly this is easier in dealing with the government armies than in dealing with the insurgent armies. In Burundi, you can at least present this as a program to the insurgent leadership because the leadership is recognized and known. In the case of Rwanda and the DRC, the situation is far more difficult because there is no acknowledged leader at this time. But certainly it should form an essential pillar of the U.S. policy in the region to make that protestation, to make that point clear with whomever has the power to direct the course of military action.
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    In addition, the United States must firmly and consistently insist upon investigation of all allegations of abuses by armed forces of whatever kind, official or unofficial. I noticed in Ambassador Scheffer's statement, his recommendation that the United States send its own investigator when such allegations are reported. That may not always be possible, but there are mechanisms already operating on the spot which the United States has encouraged in the past and which it should continue to encourage, namely the field operations of the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights. These offices operate with varying success in the three countries. But certainly additional political and financial support on the part of the United States and other donor nations is crucial to allow them to do their job in investigating and documenting these allegations.
    Similarly, the United States has taken a relatively strong stand in terms of insisting on free access to the U.N. investigatory commission in the DRC. Ambassador Wolpe gave us a rather optimistic assessment of how that is beginning to work apparently. We had an unconfirmed report yesterday from Mbandaka that witnesses who had appeared before that U.N. investigatory commission were subsequently arrested and interrogated by security services. This is something which should clearly be followed up very carefully because the commission can not do its work if people are afraid to come forward with their testimony.
    When investigations reveal good evidence for prosecution in the cases of these grave and serious human rights abuses, the local governments must be encouraged to bring people to trial. Ambassador Wolpe talked some about the progress in the Rwandan context, and certainly it is commendable to see a renewed seriousness in the prosecution of soldiers charged with human rights abuses. In the past, the prosecutions and the punishments allocated have been something of a charade, amounting to $30 and a minimal jail sentence for violating the necessity of providing help to people in danger. This for commanding officers who are in charge of military operations that cost hundreds of civilian lives.
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    It is a most welcomed development to see the far more serious prosecution which took place during January of Major Bigabiro, who was charged with killing civilians during the course of the genocide of 1994. It's interesting to note that this case had been in process since 1994 when Major Bigabiro was arrested, subsequent to a number of allegations, including ones by Human Rights Watch, of his having killed civilians in the prefecture of Gitarama. The case then rested until January. I would like to speculate, and I think with some expectation that there is good reason for this, that it was Secretary Albright's visit to the region and perhaps her insistence upon military justice which helped to move Rwandan authorities in the direction of this more serious prosecution of Major Bigabiro.
    Certainly the other case mentioned by Ambassador Wolpe of an American-trained prosecutor in the case of the assassination of an officer of the gendarmerie is also an important example of how the judicial system can respond to pressure from the outside to improve itself.
    We can not expect that the national judicial systems will be able to cope with the load of cases connected with acts of genocide and violation of international humanitarian law which have taken place and are currently taking place in the Great Lakes region. The United States has been a strong supporter of the international criminal tribunal for Rwanda. We are in favor of the extension of the mandate of this tribunal, both in time and in geographic scope, so that it would deal with acts of genocide and violations of international humanitarian law up until the present in Rwanda, in Burundi, and in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
    We too are completely in favor of vigorous engagement with the governments of the region. There is nothing to be gained by ignoring what they do. There is nothing to be gained by failing to use the considerable influence which we have with them. We would recommend most strongly that aid be given in a productive and efficient way with targeted increments based upon the continuing improvement of the human rights and democratization record, the improvement of the rule of law in these countries, and that there be built into the program a provision for constant monitoring of the use of the money.
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    I know that there was a lot of back and forth between Mr. Menendez and Ambassador Wolpe on this very issue, but I would like to stress the importance that the programs be conceived of with a built-in mechanism for monitoring. Otherwise, the monitoring often does not happen. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    [The prepared statement of Ms. Des Forges appears in the appendix.]
    Mr. SMITH. Dr. Des Forges, thank you very much for your extensive testimony. I would like to ask Mr. Winter if he would proceed then.
    Mr. WINTER. Thank you. I want to focus on Rwanda. I want to point you to this report by my colleague, Jeff Drumtra. If you are looking for some practical ways to be helpful and with a good comprehension of the context in which programs can be moved forward in Rwanda, I suggest that this report is one good place to start.
    I want to talk about Rwanda because I think we over-simplify everything about Rwanda. America is a race-conscious society. Our tendency is to do all our analysis in terms of race, even when it comes to the Rwanda situation. We tend to think only in the Hutu versus Tutsi sort of dichotomy. Let me try to say that the absolutes in terms of that dichotomy simply do not apply in the case of Rwanda, or for that matter, anywhere in the region. Let me from my own testimony just refer to two paragraphs.
    The second clear genocide in the world this century occurred less than 4 years ago. It was perhaps 80-percent effective, a very good record. It succeeded in changing the demographics of the Rwandese people forever. The international community stood by while it happened. Nobody has been convicted through international legal procedures. But the huge majority of the Rwandan population is not now engaged in violence or being directly victimized by violence despite what we think. The bulk of the country is tense because of events in the northwest, and as Alison has said, the west, but it is peaceful despite our distorted perspective of the situation.
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    There are many things wrong in Rwandan society and numerous criticisms which we make here of the Rwandan Government and its security forces. However, we persist in ethnically categorizing in making our analysis. We continue to refer to the Tutsi-led Government and army in Rwanda. In one sense, that is accurate. But it is also a fact that the majority of the current cabinet and at least two-thirds of the national legislature in Rwanda are not Tutsi. They are Hutu. There are eight political parties that hold seats in the national assembly. We can say all of that is inadequate, but it is at least part of the picture. We refer to the Tutsi-led army, and it is. However, there are perhaps 4,000 or 5,000 members of that army who are not Tutsi. I myself have stood there and watched graduating classes of the ex-FAR at Gako as they ''passed out'' (i.e. were graduated) as it is said, and were integrated, including as officers, into the RPA. Even among the recent returnees from the end of 1996, there are people from the ex-FAR who have been integrated into the RPA.
    Mr. Royce, who asked the question, is not here, but yes, it is possible to conceive of a situation, because it is factual, in which all of those in the ex-FAR are not so ingrained with the idea of genocide. There are plenty of individuals that are not. The Rwandan military has placed hundreds of its own personnel in detention, and has conducted proceedings. We criticize them because they are not moving forward adequately in all of that, but the fact is, the picture can not simply be looked at in simplistic racial terms as we Americans tend to do.
    I had members of my board in Rwanda about 2 months ago. These are not experts on Rwanda. They are American civilians who were terrified to go over there but felt it was part of their job as Americans to understand better what genocide is all about and what life after death, i.e. after genocide, is like in Rwanda. They were able to travel the country freely. Not to the northwest, and not to limited parts of the west, but the bulk of the country they were able to travel without escort of any kind, almost like American tourists, although they wouldn't like me to be heard saying that.
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    The northwest and parts of the west, as my colleague Alison has said, are at least in my view, the center of the problem. This is not a country in which massacring and killing is going on all over the place. In the northwest, most Tutsis died a long time ago, well documented by my colleagues at Human Rights Watch/Africa. That is the part of the country from which at least a half of the old government's officials came. That is the part of the country from which at least three-quarters of the ex-FAR came. That is the part of the country where genocide continues.
    I would like, if I might, because I know my time is short, to just read a passage from the Christian Science Monitor from just 2 days ago recounting the ambush of a bus that took place near the brewery outside of Gisenyi just about a month ago. It sort of spoke to the issue that Mr. Royce was trying to get to. ''Why the largely Hutu population of the northwest is so steadfast in its support of former genocide leaders is a question that lots of analysts have been trying to figure out, especially since last year. The Hutu insurgents seem solely motivated by ethnic hatred. Their attacks have been mostly on Tutsi civilians. Yet, they are fed, sheltered, and hardly ever denounced by local citizens. Blood ties alone can not account for the degree of citizen collaboration with the Interahamwe, as the rebels are called. While it is true that the rebels are in the habit of taking at gunpoint whatever is not spontaneously offered, there have been surprising demonstrations of loyalty from the civilian population. More disturbingly, there have been collective displays of solidarity during and after rebel attacks. One such display came during the attack on this bus in which 35 people were killed. Hutu peasants surrounded the bus and burst into songs of Hutu supremacy as the 35 people were massacred. It is incomprehensible says one western diplomatic. They know the army will come back and punish them, yet they stand there and cheer.''
    This is a very complicated situation. This is not a situation in which we can afford to let ourselves lapse into simplistic analysis and in particular solely into racial analysis. All Hutus and all Tutsis do not instinctively kill each other. In fact, overwhelmingly they don't. My suggestion is that you analyze the situation in terms of killers and non-killers. We ought to be after the killers, whether they are Hutu or they are Tutsi, if they kill gratuitously.
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    Rwanda is a society in transition. It is far from perfect. However, it isn't anywhere near what its repugnant predecessor was. It isn't nearly as bad as it could be. But it sure is not what those of us sitting at this table want it to be either. I have a lot of concern that we are at a point, a tipping point in the case of Rwandan society that calls for careful analysis, that calls for balanced analysis, and it calls in my view for help for the society. We have made a lot of suggestions about how to help. I agree with Salih Booker that we ought to really look hard about improved security assistance to that government.
    I believe, Ms. McKinney, that you were right on target when you raised that question about ERMA before. There's $120 million in that account that is for emergencies. We have a refugee returnee emergency with all of these people who have returned back to Rwanda. It is a government, in my view, a society that desperately needs our help at this point. But it has got to be help that understands clearly there are rights and wrongs here. These are not ethnic issues only. They are rights and wrongs. We need to be on the side of the right. Thank you.
    [The prepared statement of Mr. Winter appears in the appendix.]
    Mr. SMITH. Thank you very much, Mr. Winter, for your testimony. I would like to ask our final witness, Mr. Akwei, if he will proceed.
    Mr. AKWEI. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and Members of the Committee. I am glad to say that I don't think Amnesty International needs an introduction to any of the people sitting up there. You have all done amazing work for us. I think I'd like to express our gratitude on behalf of your work on China and also on the Great Lakes area, and also to Congressman Payne and also Congressman McKinney.
    The benefit of coming at the end of an illustrious panel like this is that most of the salient points have been made. Given the time that we have been here, I'll try to keep myself as brief as possible because I think the question and answer might be the more beneficial part of this discussion.
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    I would like to focus my comments on all three countries that have been discussed earlier, Burundi, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Then also really talk just a little bit about some of the recommendations Amnesty is making. First I would like to say that these hearings are extremely timely because they are addressing an incredibly important global crisis. They are not a Central African crisis. They are not an African crisis. They are a global one in that the situations there directly challenge and undermine universal standards of fundamental rights, and that these are the rights and norms that we have created to protect ourselves from our own worst behavior. Put more bluntly, if these violations of fundamental rights are not challenged, they can and they will spread simply by the sheer force of example.
    The Great Lakes crisis is also a global one in that even though the genocide that happened in Rwanda was located in a specific nation-state, its impact was anything but specific to Rwanda. As Roger just mentioned, it generated massive refugee flows and basically destabilized Tanzania, Burundi, and the former Zaire. This of course has also led to the disruption of food production and generated an unprecedented humanitarian assistance program which has involved countries around the world.
    The second reason I think this hearing is critical is because of the President's upcoming trip. I understand completely what Congresswoman McKinney was saying about the need to focus attention on the Great Lakes crisis and to use the President's visit there. It is unfortunate, I agree, that he is not going to address such an important issue by visiting the site. Then unfortunately he is also not going to be talking about a number of other problematic regions on the continent.
    Third, we think these hearings are important because we are concerned that the situation is not improving, and that if we sit here and discuss whether there is a genocide occurring or whether there isn't or when it's going to happen, we are missing the key question, which is whether we are not repeating the failure that we exhibited in 1994 to respond when we were all waiting for the big explosion to which there could be no walking away from.
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    Over the past year, and this will be a summary, Amnesty has been monitoring human rights developments in all three countries. Since the coup d'etat that restored President Buyoya, there are estimates that the government forces killed on the average about 400 people a month, with the rebel militias accounting for another 400. The death toll is conservatively put in Burundi at about 10,000 for 1997. There are all sorts of atrocities that happen in specific areas.
    The conflict in Burundi also generated roughly 200,000 refugees and displaced thousands of others. One of the more disturbing aspects of this has been the creation of regroupment camps, which the government has claimed are to protect Burundians from attacks. Unfortunately, many of the men and women and children who have been attacked and killed by the Burundian armed forces have been executed during these processes of regroupment.
    I think the interesting thing here is to talk about what was going on in the early 1990's when similar extrajudicial killings were occurring, not only by the members of the Burundian military, but also by members of the Hutu majority, who are frustrated with the lack of justice at the hands of Tutsi Government officials.
    I do understand Roger's point about not using these definitions. I think I would just like to use them now to go through the presentation fairly quickly. But basically the people who did not have access to control over their judicial system suffered because of it, and suffered in a major way. That led to the development of real animosity.
    There have been extrajudicial killings in Rwanda by the Rwandese Patriotic Front, as well as by members of the former Rwandese armed forces and the militias. In particular, in the northwest of Rwanda forces linked to the government and Interahamwe have escalated their attacks. They have resorted to freeing captured rebel Hutu soldiers, and massacred villages suspected of not supporting their causes.
    All of us probably remember the most dramatic one was the day Secretary of State Albright arrived in Kigali. Hutu rebels massacred around 300 Tutsi Congolese refugees in Mudende. There is little doubt that the forces linked to the former government continue to operate with the same intentions as they did in 1994, the seizure of absolute power in the country and the removal of any challenges to it.
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    However, at the same time, word began to spread of a large massacre by the Rwandan Patriotic Army at the caves in Kanama, which occurred in October. Amnesty International received information that put the death toll as high as several thousand; some of them possibly being sealed alive in the caves. Despite a swift response by Secretary of State Albright to investigate the massacre by the dispatching of Ambassador Scheffer, for which they should be lauded, no one has been able to satisfactorily investigate just what happened, and therefore to prove whether the figure was higher or the figure was lower. Until this has been done, whatever happened in those caves, the Rwandan armed forces can and will be perceived as violators by the population in the surrounding area. That is going to contribute to the tensions within the country.
    There is also the issue in Rwanda of the persons incarcerated in Rwanda's jails, where the number is roughly around 150,000. In addition to facing difficult conditions within their incarceration, they also face a judicial process that however well intentioned, is over stretched, under staffed, and under funded. For most of the population it has so far failed to deliver justice. Where cases have gone forward, they have been plagued by judicial shortcomings and have resulted in several death sentences which have only increased tensions.
    I would like to add that while some may dismiss our critique of the judicial process as unrealistic, perceptions of justice and injustice can not be underestimated in Rwanda. These trials are taking place before a volatile audience, some of whom can not wait for revenge and others already convinced that they are nothing more than a facade for reprisals, for genocide. It is all the more important that the proceedings be conducted in a manner which gives both camps as little to attack and reject as possible.
    There is also the issue of the increasing imposition of capital punishment, and also reports of summary executions. An Amnesty mission that just returned from Rwanda a couple of days ago also expressed some concern about the increasing occurrence of disappearances, not just in the northwest, but throughout the country.
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    I would like to just go through very quickly now to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where in our opinion, the government's performance so far has been very disturbing. Since coming to power, the AFDL Laurent Kabila-led regime has displayed an intolerance for criticism and debate by banning political parties, harassing and intimidating and jailing members of nongovernmental organizations and the media. Less than a month ago, as was mentioned earlier, after Reverend Jesse Jackson met with Etienne Tshisekedi, the government's response was to cancel their meeting with Reverend Jackson and ban Tshisekedi to house arrest in his own village. We have also mentioned already the AFDL's links to internal massacres in the former Zaire that occurred during their takeover and have occurred since then.
    I would like to say that in short, and move on very quickly to the recommendations, the general human rights situation in all three countries remains poor and vulnerable to further deterioration. Indeed, we believe that unless decisive action is taken to prevent this deterioration, the question is not one of whether there will be another explosion, but rather, when it will occur. Amnesty International feels strongly that the time to act is now, which I think all of us have basically agreed on, when the levers of pressure from the international community still have some structures to work with and before yet another massive loss of life occurs.
    Mr. Chairman, no one is going to say that the issues in the Great Lakes are not complex because they are. Nor will their resolution occur quickly, as some say the human rights community demands, because we know they will take time. However, for the ordinary civilian in any of these three countries, there is no more time, given the risks they face on a daily basis. At the same time, a rights-respecting environment which I think we all agree is essential to building stability and facilitating the creation of mechanisms for dialog and negotiation, will only be established if there is consistent forceful pressure and support to move in that direction.
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    With this in mind, we have indicated a couple of priorities and recommendations that we think should be taken into account by the U.S. Government. I would just like to mention two of them. We have broken them down into enabling mechanisms that will protect human rights, and disabling mechanisms that support violence.
    In terms of the means of trying to reduce the violence, I think I would have to agree with my colleagues that one was to engage the military and security in these regimes. But that does not mean a carte blanche exchange of training or of equipment. There should be a standardization and a monitoring of training and the transfer of any kind of equipment by all members of the international community at the same time to ensure that such training does not contribute to human rights violations, and that it increases the respect and protection shown by security forces toward the rights of their civilians.
    This could involve implementation of the Leahy amendment, the code of conduct which Congresswoman McKinney has been such a leader on, the Nobel Laureate Code of Arms on transfers, trying to get IMET training to be fully monitored, to be fully transparent in its human rights training programs, and also evaluated. If there is no progress shown, there should be a serious decision not to continue.
    With regards to Burundi, certainly there should be a serious attempt to stop the flow of arms going into both sides of the conflict, and possibly restarting or reactivating and enhancing the abilities of UNICOI, to ensure that the embargo is respected.
    In terms of the enabling mechanisms, I think we would specify support for the War Crimes Tribunal, and not just financial support and political support, but also managerial support. Giving people the money and not helping them actually achieve their objective is wasting U.S. taxpayer dollars.
    The final recommendation I think is the one we have all touched on very briefly. That is basically trying to protect refugee rights in such a volatile region. Refugees are at the bottom of the totem pole in terms of consideration. If there is any way to increase those, I think Roger's point about trying to get assistance, but also trying to make that assistance include a clear definition of rights and acceptable behavior and unacceptable behavior will probably help quite a bit. Thank you.
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    [The prepared statement of Mr. Akwei appears in the appendix.]
    Mr. SMITH. Thank you very much for your testimony. I want to thank all of our four witnesses for their testimonies. Regrettably, I have a high-level meeting I have to get off to at 3:30, which I am already late for. But Mr. Payne has graciously agreed to assume the Chair, so I do have some written questions I would like to present to you, but regrettably I do have to leave.
    Mr. PAYNE. [presiding] Thank you very much. I'll declare that all of the meetings for the rest of the year should be chaired by me.
    Mr. PAYNE. In fact, I was passed to the zero, so we're in charge now.
    But we certainly appreciate the testimony of the four of you. You are all expert in the field. We always look forward to hearing from you. I have so many questions, but I'll be relatively brief. It is late and we do want to hear from our other colleague.
    We heard the question regarding the political situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo. There has been what has been called disappointing because of the lack of the ability of political parties to operate. Actually political parties are not banned, it's just that they have been restricted from demonstration and overt political activity. I interestingly enough supported that initially because of the lack of trained personnel and police, and indeed military, and felt that the volatility of the situation when the new government came into power felt that substance over form, that the form looked bad but substance, that the bottom line was would less people be put in harm's way if demonstrations at that time were banned. I do think the time has come where there should be an unbanning of political demonstrations.
    But my question is this. I would like for all four of you to respond. When Mr. Kabila took over government, there was as you know a series of meetings with U.N. personnel, our U.S. representative to the United Nations, and other representatives of our government. This question of a 2-year election was fostered or was eventually declared by Mr. Kabila, that he would hold elections in 2 years. My opinion was that it was totally unrealistic at that time for a country not to have ever had real elections, because the only real election was, I guess, the election of Patrice Lumumba, and he was killed. So we have got a long period of time since any elections were recognized.
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    What is your take on that goal at that time? Do you think it was a realistic goal? Where do you think that is going at the present time? If we could just across.
    Mr. BOOKER. Thank you, Congressman Payne. I think even some of his closest advisors at the time advised him that it was too short a timeframe. I think at that moment he probably could have set a timeframe of longer by a number of years because he enjoyed that kind of popular support and a measure of international good will at the time, and because people are cognizant of the enormity of the country and the almost complete absence of any infrastructure necessary to conduct a real election.
    But he did make this choice of 2 years. I think at the time that he stated that in terms of your specific question, I feel it would have been a realistic goal if that had been pursued vigorously as a top priority. In other words, if the AFDL had sought to embrace the existing democratic forces in the country, what some analysts have referred to a marrying of the so-called revolutionary forces of Kabila and the liberation army, so to speak, with the pre-existing democratic forces that had been non-violently opposing Mobutu. That type of approach, with a concentration on establishing a constitution, electoral law, and organizing for elections, I think could have made 2 years realistic.
    I feel at this point, however, 1 year into that timeframe, that the environment is not being created in Congo for a successful election in April of next year.
    Mr. PAYNE. Thank you.
    Ms. DES FORGES. I would concur with Salih that the time table is perhaps less relevant than the direction of change. When we see the enforced rustication of Mr. Tshisekedi, and when we see the abuse of journalists who attempt to report independently on what is happening, these are the issues which seem to me of more immediate concern than sticking to a given calendar. We can all understand that sometimes we get a little behind. That happens to anyone. But what is important is the commitment to openness and to inclusiveness. It seems that that's what is in question here.
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    Mr. WINTER. Without repeating, because I agree with both of my colleagues, let me say that I think his commitment was one of what have demonstrated to be many evidences of his ill-preparedness for the job he assumed. I think it's very unfortunate that this issue of timing of elections has become the focus of everybody.
    I can remember about the eighth of July 1994, when General Kagami held his first press conference after that government assumed power. The first question he was asked was, ''And when will you hold elections?'' He said ''The bodies are still warm.'' But for those of us in the West, this is a necessary goal for us. But to make it an absolute litmus test, especially in the case of somebody like this gentleman in Kinshasa who is obviously ill-prepared for the role he had to assume, I think it's a false litmus test. We are both wrong, if we foist it on him and if he makes a silly commitment.
    Mr. AKWEI. I would just like to concur with what Alison, in fact actually all of them, said. That really it's an indication of his commitment that is really the disturbing thing, especially since there was civil society, which you know very well, Congressman, that survived under Mobutu. There was the national conference. The churches had been involved. He has basically moved further away from creating an enabling environment than he was a year ago.
    Mr. PAYNE. Thank you. There certainly was a semblance of organizations in place that could talk about elections. Of course I don't think Mr. Mobutu was ever prepared to have them. It would always get up to the point where then there would be a reorganization or a co-opting of the leadership. But there definitely was during this, at least the past 7 or 8 years prior to the new government, discussion and dialog.
    I have a question regarding this notion of the villagization which is reported in your report. How can this, in your opinion, how can this begin to go on with the instability? Do you think that there has to be perhaps more stability in order for this to move forward? Or can it move forward with the instability that currently is in the region?
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    Mr. WINTER. What we have tried to do in this report is suggest that there are a good number of efforts that may have some positive value to them that have a tendency in Rwanda to go awry. That's also true in many other places; but well-intended things that could have some positive benefit. The arguments for villagization, which I don't consider myself an expert on, really have to do with improved security for civilian populations, and secondarily, better land use in this highly densely populated country.
    The problem, from our perspective, is that while there may be a rationale, and that's for Rwandans perhaps to decide, that we have seen a pattern in which the government seeks to do something and implements it in a way that is defective. They are doing the same thing with their reorientation program in which it's not a bad idea from our perspective to try to reorient people away from a genocidal mindset. But on the other hand, if you make it a requirement for folks to go through it in order to get a job, but then you run it in a fashion that doesn't really facilitate people to actually pass through it and get jobs, then it becomes a source of instability and perceived injustice.
    We are afraid in this case of seeing a government attempt to implement a program in a ham-handed fashion. We don't want to see people compelled to leave their land in order to go into some villagization arrangement. So we have a lot of concerns about it from that perspective.
    Mr. PAYNE. I have some other questions, but I have been advised by staff I shouldn't get into a dialog. Unaccustomed as I am to be in the Chair, you know, we could sit around here and have a little roundtable discussion, you know. But let me yield a little of my time to the gentlelady from Georgia.
    Ms. MCKINNEY. I'm glad that the chairman, the temporary chairman is just that temporary, or else the gentlewoman from Georgia would never get a chance.
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    Ms. MCKINNEY. Thank goodness we're friends though.
    First of all, I would like to commend you, Mr. Winter, for the Washington Post op-ed that you wrote a few days back which I thought was excellent. I did my fair share of circulating it around the globe. I would like to commend all of you for your commitment to the people of Africa.
    I note with some interest that there seems to be some consensus here on this panel about the potential role for U.S. military training. Now you know I am sometimes accused of being a knee-jerk liberal, anti-military type person. For that reason, I requested to serve on the National Security Committee. So now I find myself in a unique position on a unique committee. But I am also interested in this whole subject of security and insecurity. How in the world can you move toward democracy or economic development if there is no security?
    Could you talk to me briefly about how you could envision such U.S. military cooperation. Also second, if you feel that a second round of hearings that would explore specifically the security situation with participation from DOD and others who would be able to make some specific recommendations would be appropriate.
    Mr. BOOKER. On the idea of the hearing, I think it would be an excellent idea. On the question of the Congo in terms of security cooperation, I think unfortunately I'll be quite frank. I think politically it would be difficult to get the Congress to agree. However, I think the issue has to keep being raised and debated in terms of direct U.S. participation.
    But I think there are immediate things that the United States can do, such as supporting international police. There is an international police body that does indeed provide training, et cetera, has in Haiti, et cetera. So there are other multilateral mechanisms we can talk to that we could participate in perhaps in providing that kind of assistance.
    In terms of military reorganization, I think it might be very appropriate and perhaps even during the President's trip, to talk to SADC, the Southern African Development Community, which of course the Congo is now a member of, and which has its own central organ for security cooperation, joint training, et cetera. Because as it is now, I think this lack of addressing these problems are a major cause for insecurity. I come to this conclusion because of my last visit in Congo, where even critics of the AFDL and of Laurent Kabila's rule expressed a need for international engagement to provide security cooperation.
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    In the case of Rwanda, I think again, it politically is a difficult and sensitive issue. But I think what we are seeing in terms of increased insecurity in Rwanda forces the issue onto the table. I think we should address it forthrightly.
    Ms. DES FORGES. I am glad you raised the issue because after I had finished speaking, I was busy turning over my words in my mind thinking maybe I wasn't clear here. I think maybe I wasn't clear.
    On the security issue, there are two things that must be said. First of all, the importance that we must attach to the Rwandan Government and to other governments looking at the situation as it is falling on its face, and recognizing the extent of this insurgency, I think it does no good to keep on talking about the northwest quadrant if in fact there are 2,000 to 4,000 insurgents in Gitarama. Gitarama is the heart of the country. It's not the northwest quadrant.
    The argument that the people in the northwest are either family of insurgents or this is the homeland of Habyarimana, or whatever other kinds of explanations you might want to give for there being a base for the insurgency in the northwest, those kinds of arguments do not hold true on this side of the Nyabarongo River. If people on this side of the Nyabarongo River are letting 2,000 to 4,000 insurgents go by their front door without saying ''boo'' that tells us something about the situation which needs to be dealt with frankly and openly.
    My second point is that we do not advocate U.S. military assistance to Rwanda. But if such assistance is to take place, we would insist that there be a high level of awareness of the responsibility that the United States undertakes in such circumstances should there be significant violations of international humanitarian law, either by American troops or by Rwandan troops associated with American troops.
    Ms. MCKINNEY. Ms. Des Forges, it's my understanding that recently there were some insurgents who came from the northwest part of the country into Gitarama and they were turned in by the people of Gitarama and subsequently lost their lives in a clash with the armed services. So how do you square that occurrence that just happened a few days ago with the assertion that inside Gitarama itself there are 2,000 to 4,000 insurgents?
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    Ms. DES FORGES. Both happened. Different parts of Gitarama no doubt. It's a prefecture that has a number of communes. I did not myself see the 2,000 to 4,000. Right? I'm basing this on news accounts. I did speak to someone who traveled through Bulinga commune yesterday and there was an ambush on the road in Bulinga yesterday. So those are my sources of information. But it's very possible, even in the northwest as Roger pointed out, this is not a situation of all-out war on every square foot of the territory. There are pockets of calm and there are pockets of conflict. My point is though that if you are finding pockets of conflict in Gitarama, it does not say that all of Gitarama has now gone over to the insurgents. But it does say to you here is a warning signal, here is a signal that these people are spreading their base and that the government needs to find some way to deal with this. The recommendation would be that they deal with this by looking at their own policies of political exclusion rather than attempt to deal with it militarily.
    Ms. MCKINNEY. After I hear from the other witnesses, I would like to come back to you on this issue of political exclusion.
    Mr. WINTER. Well, you finally got to a point where we don't have solidarity at this table. Let me just suggest that I wouldn't use the term ''instability'' like Salih Booker did. I wouldn't use the term ''insurgency''. What we have is a resurgence and continuation of genocide. These are the same people or many of them with the same philosophy. They may not have been involved a few years ago. This is a resurgence of genocide. Although I wish to God that it were not true, my belief is that for those who are committed to that philosophy, it will take force of arms to deal with them. I wish it weren't true, but I believe that that is the case here.
    Mr. AKWEI. I think I would have to agree with Alison that Amnesty would never enthusiastically call for military training, with the exception of training that was specifically focused on building capacity, and with respect for promotion for human rights. I think that we have all worked on areas of past performance which have been less than satisfactory in terms of U.S. military training.
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    Ms. MCKINNEY. Yes. I understand.
    Mr. AKWEI. So I think this is an extremely complex issue. But Salih's point is right, that there is a need for some type of training. It's probably best done not through a bilateral means, but through a very open transparent and multilateral system which is focused on principles or built on principles like the United Nations promotes respect for human rights, peace keeping, standards of behavior, the things that you have been trying to work on in the code of conduct.
    I think that Roger's point about this being a resurgence of genocide is appropriate, but it may not really make that much of a difference in the final, in the end result in that the violence that is being perpetrated by both sides contributes to the instability of the region, and that both sides are guilty of atrocities.
    Ms. MCKINNEY. Mr. Chairman, can I ask one more question?
    Mr. PAYNE. Yes. You may.
    Ms. MCKINNEY. Mr. Dictator.
    Ms. MCKINNEY. Mr. Strongman.
    Ms. MCKINNEY. I would like to return to the issue that Ms. Des Forges brought up about the political exclusion. Could you just talk a little bit about that briefly, please?
    Ms. DES FORGES. The RPF at the time of its formation and before it began its military action, developed a platform which was very strongly committed to multiethnic action. That continues to be its official position.
    The government which was put in place in July 1994 observed the terms of the Arusha Accord, which was an accord that assigned roles in the government by political party. Right? It was basically a negotiated agreement among political parties with the exception that the MRND, the party that was held to be chiefly responsible for the genocide, was not granted the seats in government which had been allocated.
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    The people who joined that first government included a number of spokesmen who had authentic and real bases of power. So that it represented in a sense a coalition of forces. I think here, for example, of Alexis Kanyarengwe, who was a military man from the northwest, who had significant alliance at one point with Habyarimana, fell out, left the country, joined the RPF, and brought a significant part of northwestern Rwanda to the RPF.
    Kanyarengwe was the first President or chairman, he had both titles, of the RPF. He subsequently served as Minister of Interior. He has been progressively marginalized, and finally has left, has no longer either the position in a ministry or a position in the party structure.
    Tsesendishonga, a second example, a young man with a significant base of political power, a member of the RPF, came from the western part of Rwanda, served with the troops throughout the phase of the building up of the organization and the act of warfare and so on and so forth, was the interface between the organization outside the country and political forces inside the country. Became the Minister of the Interior. Left the government in 1995. Subsequently left the country and has become a significant opponent to this government.
    Ms. MCKINNEY. Where is he now?
    Ms. DES FORGES. I believe he is in Nairobi. I make no judgment on the rights or wrongs of these various cases. I could give you, if we had time, I could give you six, seven or eight more.
    Ms. MCKINNEY. Maybe we can follow up.
    Ms. DES FORGES. OK. But my point here is simply that right or wrong, these were authentic voices that had local power bases that were important to exploit, and that those voices are no longer part of this government structure. Because of that, there is less of a root system for the government to draw on. So that when an insurgency threatens, they simply do not have the same root system in the population in order to fight that insurgency. That's all I am saying.
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    Ms. MCKINNEY. Thank you, witnesses, and thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Mr. PAYNE. Thank you very much. The point brought out about the SADC having its own kind of a training system or security or others, I look at ECOMAG as sort of a regional military training operation. Although it sort of did have some positive impact, the majority of the time in Liberia it also proved to be very unstable, turned into banditry at one point when they decided to just rob Liberians. Do you honestly think that SADC is strong enough or properly equipped to be able to provide the same kind of training as the IMET program?
    I know that the Rwandan Government would like to have assistance from IMET to attempt to professionalize their military and to deal with the ever-mounting security problems. How would you rate the regional groups?
    Mr. BOOKER. I think the armed forces of the SADC countries have a higher degree of professionalism than the Nigerian military. They are also accountable, all of them, to civilian governments. I think a regional multilateral mechanism like that would be politically important also to the Congolese, both the government and the people. I think it would be politically important for us in the United States to be able to play some role and cooperate. So I don't suggest it as an alternative to IMET or U.S. bilateral programs. I just don't see that as politically feasible in the short term, and this is a short-term problem. So I think that's something that could possibly be promoted right away.
    You already have Angolan involvement in Congo in a big way during Kabila's rise or ride to power, and continued involvement to some degree. You also have Tanzanian involvement increasingly apparently, in terms of training and other roles in the reorganization of the military. But this is all being done rather haphazardly and not with a clear plan and a full sort of multilateral agreement of how it could be accomplished.
    Mr. PAYNE. Just finally, on the refugee question, Mr. Winter, the refugee department here in the United States now headed by Ambassador Taft, is looking at the so-called mixed marriages for the possibility of resettlement in the United States. I suppose most of them are in Tanzania. Have you looked into this matter? Do you feel that this would be a special category of people that ought to be given special attention in the refugee program?
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    Mr. WINTER. I have not looked at it specifically. But mixed marriages in a situation of communal violence, which is what we are talking about here (we have the same thing in the resettlement from the former Yugoslavia now), tend to be people who feel ill at ease security-wise in a community which is ethnically identifiable because one of the partners feels at risk.
    You recall that the issue of killing within mixed marriages was one of the features of the genocide. It was very often the case that Hutu men, in particular, would be told that they had to kill their Tutsi wives. In many cases they refused to do that, were themselves killed. In some cases, they did that. So this does seem to me to be a particularly vulnerable population. I am not somebody who encourages a lot of resettlement just willy nilly, but this does seem to me to be a particularly vulnerable population if they are going to be required, as many people in Tanzania have been, to return to Rwanda.
    Mr. PAYNE. Thank you. Just the last question. You know the Mai-Mai and Interahamwe extremists are sort of getting together. There is some feeling that there seems to be pulling together a kind of an organized campaign. Does anyone feel this or do you think it's just a continuation of the past, that there is not a kind of conspiracy of coming together and trying to have another final plan?
    Mr. BOOKER. My simple response would be I don't think there is a conspiracy, but this is how conspiracies develop and emerge. In other words, I think there could continue to be an increased coordination among these various forces to the extent that they feel their interests are served. That only serves to further undermine stability, particularly in eastern Congo. That's a kind of military insecurity I think that is extremely dangerous right now in that part of the region.
    Ms. DES FORGES. It seems to me at the time of the genocide itself, there was already some propaganda in eastern Zaire in talking about the distinctions between the Bantus and the Ethiopids. Right? So it's an idea that has been around for a long time. I don't think you would call it a conspiracy. I think that there remains enough differences among these people, differences based on local cultural values, differences based on personal rivalries and so on, that you are not going to see any massive movement to take things over. But you are going to see a continuation of what has already been the case. That is, exchanges of arms, exchanges of training, maybe a few men from one group go and lend their hands to another group and that kind of action for sure. In the same way that you have seen that kind of thing also happening on the part of government forces.
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    So what is happening is a transnational divide here. It's a new cutting across that goes across national boundaries on ethnic terms.
    Mr. PAYNE. With that, I once again thank all of you expert witnesses. I think you all add a great deal to our continued search for a solution. Thank you very much.
    [Whereupon, at 4:05 p.m., the Subcommittee was adjourned, subject to the call of the Chair.]


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