Prepared Testimony and Statement of Wayne Madsen, Author:
“Genocide and Covert Operations in
SUFFERING AND DESPAIR: HUMANITARIAN CRISIS IN THE CONGO
HEARING BEFORE THE SUBCOMMITTEE ON INTERNATIONAL OPERATIONS AND HUMAN RIGHTS
OF THE COMMITTEE ON INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
ONE HUNDRED SEVENTH CONGRESS
MAY 17, 2001
Serial No. 107–16
Subcommittee on International Operations and Human Rights, .17 May 2001
Centre for Research on Globalisation (CRG), globalresearch.ca, 24 November 2001
STATEMENT OF WAYNE MADSEN
Author: “Genocide and Covert Operations in Africa 1993-1999”, Investigative journalist
Mr. MADSEN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I am very appreciative of the Committee’s interest and support, particularly Congresswoman McKinney’s interest and support, in holding these hearings on the situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
I wish to discuss the record of American policy in the DRC over most of the past decade, particularly that involving the eastern Congo region. It is a policy that has rested, in my opinion, on the twin pillars of military aid and questionable trade.
The military aid programs of the United States, largely planned and administered by the U.S. Special Operations Command and the Defense Intelligence Agency, have been both overt and covert. Prior to the first Rwandan invasion of Zaire/DRC in 1996, a phalanx of U.S. intelligence operatives converged on Zaire. Their actions suggested a strong interest in Zaire’s eastern defenses.
For example, the number two person at the U.S. Embassy in Kigali, Rwanda, traveled from Kigali to eastern Zaire to initiate intelligence contacts with the Alliance of Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Congo-Zaire, the Kabila group.
Currently, sources in the Great Lakes region consistently report the presence of a U.S. built military base near Cyangugu, Rwanda, near the Congolese border. The base, reported to have been partly constructed by the U.S. firm Brown & Root, a subsidiary of Halliburton, is said to be involved with training RPF forces and providing logistic support to their troops in the DRC.
By December, 1996, U.S. military forces were operating in Bukavu amid throngs of Hutus, less numerous Twa refugees, Mai Mai guerrillas, advancing Rwandan troops and AFDL–CZ rebels. A French military intelligence officer said he detected some 100 armed U.S. troops in the eastern Zaire conflict zone.
Moreover, the French intelligence service, DGSE, reported that Americans had knowledge of the extermination of Hutu refugees by Tutsis in both Rwanda and eastern Zaire and were doing nothing about it. More ominously, there was reason to believe that some U.S. forces, either Special Forces or mercenaries, may have actually participated in the extermination of some Hutu refugees.
The killings reportedly took place at a camp on the banks of the Oso River near Goma. Roman Catholic reports claim that the executed included a number of Hutu Catholic priests. At least for those who were executed, death was far quicker than it was for those who escaped deep into the jungle. There, many died from tropical diseases or were attacked and eaten by wild animals.
It was known that the planes that the U.S. military deployed in eastern Zaire included heavily armed and armored helicopter gunships typically used by the U.S. Special Forces. These were fitted with 105 mm cannons, rockets, machine guns, land mine ejectors and, more importantly, infrared sensors used in night operations. U.S. military commanders unabashedly stated the purpose of these armed gunships was to locate refugees to determine the best means of providing them with humanitarian assistance.
Towards the end of 1996, U.S. spy satellites were attempting to ascertain how many refugees escaped into the jungle by locating fires at night and canvas tarpaulins during the day. Strangely, every time an encampment was discovered by space based imagery, Rwanda and Zaire rebel forces attacked the sites.
This was the case in late February, 1997, when 160,000 mainly Hutu refugees were spotted and then attacked in a swampy area known as Tingi Tingi. There was never an adequate accounting by the Pentagon and U.S. intelligence agencies of the scope of the intelligence provided to the RPF and the AFDL–CZ.
The increasing reliance by the Department of Defense on so-called private military contractors is also of special concern. Many of these PMCs, one labeled as mercenaries by previous Administrations when they were used as foreign policy instruments by the colonial powers of France, Belgium, Portugal and South Africa, have close links with some of the largest mining and oil companies involved in Africa today.
P.M.C.s, because of their proprietary status, have a great deal of leeway to engage in covert activities far from the reach of congressional investigators. They can simply claim their business in various nations is a protected trade secret, and the law now seems to be on their side.
America’s policy toward Africa during the past decade, rather than seeking to stabilize situations where civil war and ethnic turmoil reign supreme, have seemingly promoted destabilization. Former Secretary of State Albright was fond of calling pro-U.S. military leaders in Africa who assumed power by force and then cloaked themselves in civilian attire ”beacons of hope.”
In reality, these leaders, who include the current presidents of Uganda, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Angola, Eritrea, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo, preside over countries where ethnic and civil turmoil permit unscrupulous international mining companies to take advantage of the strife to fill their own coffers with conflict, diamonds, gold, copper, platinum and other special minerals, including one, columbite-tantalite, also known as coltan, which is a primary component of computer microchips and printed circuit boards.
It is my observation that America’s early support for Laurent Kabila, which was aided by U.S. allies in Rwanda and Uganda, had less to do with getting rid of the Mobutu regime than it did in opening up Congo’s vast mineral riches to North American based mining companies.
The CIA, NSA and DIA should turn over to international congressional investigators intelligence that was generated and they have in their possession, as well as overhead thermal imagery indicating the presence of mass graves and when they were dug.
In particular, the NSA maintained a communications intercept station at Fort Portal, Uganda, which intercepted military and government communications in Zaire during the first Rwandan invasion in that country. These intercepts may contain details of Rwanda and AFDL–CZ massacres of innocent Hutu refugees and other Congolese civilians during the 1996 invasion. There must be a full accounting before the Congress by the staff of the U.S. Defense Attache’s Office in Kigali, Rwanda, and certain U.S. Embassy staff members in Kinshasa who have served from the early 1994 time frame to the present time.
It is beyond time for Congress and the Administration to seriously examine the role of the U.S. in the genocide and civil wars of central Africa, as well as the role that PMCs currently play in other African trouble spots. Other nations’ somewhat less than stellar records in Africa—France and Belgium, for example—have had no problem examining their own roles in Africa’s last decade of turmoil.
The British Foreign Office is in the process of publishing a green paper on regulation of mercenary activity. At the very least, the United States, as the world’s leading democracy, owes Africa at least the example of a critical self-inspection.
I appreciate the concern shown by the Chair and Members of this Committee in holding the hearings.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Madsen follows:]
PREPARED STATEMENT OF WAYNE MADSEN
Author: “Genocide and Covert Operations in Africa 1993-1999”, Investigative journalist
My name is Wayne Madsen. I am the author of Genocide and Covert Operations in Africa 1993-1999, a work that involved some three years worth of research and countless interviews in Rwanda, Uganda, France, the United Kingdom, United States, Belgium, Canada, and the Netherlands. I am an investigative journalist who specializes on intelligence and privacy issues. I am grateful to appear before the Committee today. I am also appreciative of the Committee’s interest in holding this hearing on the present situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
I wish to discuss the record of American policy in the DRC over most of the past decade, particularly involving the eastern Congo region. It is a policy that has rested, in my opinion, on the twin pillars of military aid and questionable trade. The military aid programs of the United States, largely planned and administered by the U.S. Special Operations Command and the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), have been both overt and covert.
Prior to the first Rwandan invasion of Zaire/DRC in 1996, a phalanx of U.S. intelligence operatives converged on Zaire. Their actions suggested a strong interest in Zaire’s eastern defenses. The number-two person at the U.S. Embassy in Kigali traveled from Kigali to eastern Zaire to initiate intelligence contacts with the Alliance of Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Congo-Zaire (AFDL-CZ) rebels under the command of the late President Laurent Kabila. The Rwandan embassy official met with rebel leaders at least twelve times.
A former U.S. ambassador to Uganda – acting on behalf of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) — gathered intelligence on the movement of Hutu refugees through eastern Zaire. The DIA’s second ranking Africa hand, who also served as the U.S. military attaché in Kigali, reconnoitered the Rwandan border towns of Cyangugu and Gisenyi, gathering intelligence on the cross border movements of anti-Mobutu Rwandan Tutsis from Rwanda.
The Defense Intelligence Agency’s African bureau chief established a close personal relationship with Bizima (alias Bizimana) Karaha, an ethnic Rwandan who would later become the Foreign Minister in the Laurent Kabila government. Moreover, the DIA’s Africa division had close ties with Military Professional Resources, Inc. (MPRI), an Alexandria, Virginia private military company (PMC), whose Vice President for Operations is a former Director of DIA.
The political officer of the U.S. Embassy in Kinshasa, accompanied by a CIA operative, traveled with AFDL-CZ rebels through the eastern Zaire jungles for weeks after the 1996 Rwandan invasion of Zaire. In addition, it was reported that the Kinshasa embassy official and three U.S. intelligence agents regularly briefed Bill Richardson, Clinton’s special African envoy, during the rebels’ steady advance towards Kinshasa. The U.S. embassy official conceded that he was in Goma to do more than meet rebel leaders for lunch. Explaining his presence, he said “What I am here to do is to acknowledge them [the rebels] as a very significant military and political power on the scene, and, of course, to represent American interests.” In addition, MPRI was reportedly providing covert training assistance to Kagame’s troops in preparation for combat in Zaire. Some believe that MPRI had actually been involved in training the RPF from the time it took power in Rwanda.
THE BA-N’DAW REPORT
The covert programs involving the use of private military training firms and logistics support contractors that are immune to Freedom of Information Act requests is particularly troubling for researchers and journalists who have tried, over the past several years, to get at the root causes for the deaths and mayhem in the DRC and other countries in the region. These U.S. contractor support programs have reportedly involved covert assistance to the Rwandan and Ugandan militaries – the major backers of the Rassemblement Congolais pour la démocratie (RCD factions and – as reported by the UN’s “Panel of Experts on the Illegal Exploitation of Natural Resources and Other Forms of Wealth of the DRC” — are responsible for the systematic pillaging of Congo’s most valuable natural resources. The UN panel – chaired by Safiatou Ba-N’Daw of Cote d’Ivoire — concluded “Top military commanders from various countries needed and continue to need this conflict for its lucrative nature and for temporarily solving some internal problems in those countries as well as allowing access to wealth.” There is more than ample evidence that the elements of the U.S. military and intelligence community may have – on varying occasions – aided and abetted this systematic pillaging by the Ugandan and Rwandan militaries. The UN Report named the United States, Germany, Belgium, and Kazakhstan as leading buyers of the illegally exploited resources from the DRC.
Sources in the Great Lakes region consistently report the presence of a U.S.-built military base near Cyangugu, Rwanda, near the Congolese border. The base, reported to have been partly constructed by the U.S. firm Brown & Root, a subsidiary of Halliburton, is said to be involved with training RPF forces and providing logistics support to their troops in the DRC. Additionally, the presence in the region of black U.S. soldiers supporting the RPF and Ugandans has been something consistently reported since the first invasion of Zaire-Congo in 1996. On January 21, 1997, France claimed it actually recovered the remains of two American combatants killed near the Oso River in Kivu province during combat and returned them to American officials. The U.S. denied these claims.
COVERT AMERICAN SUPPORT FOR THE COMBATANTS
As U.S. troops and intelligence agents were pouring into Africa to help the RPF and AFDL-CZ forces in their 1996 campaign against Mobutu, Vincent Kern, the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for African Affairs, told the House International Operations and Human Rights Subcommittee on December 4, 1996 that U.S. military training for the RPF was being conducted under a program called Enhanced International Military Education and Training (E-IMET). Kathi Austin, a Human Rights Watch specialist on arms transfers in Africa, told the Subcommittee on May 5, 1998 that one senior U.S. embassy official in Kigali described the U.S. Special Forces training program for the RPF as “killers . . . training killers.”
In November 1996, U.S. spy satellites and a U.S. Navy P-3 Orion were attempting to ascertain how many Rwandan Hutu refugees were in eastern Zaire. The P-3 was one of four stationed at old Entebbe Airport on the shores of Lake Victoria. Oddly, while other planes flying over eastern Zaire attracted anti-aircraft fire from Kabila’s forces, the P-3s, which patrolled the skies above Goma and Sake, were left alone.
Relying on the overhead intelligence, U.S. military and aid officials confidently announced that 600,000 Hutu refugees returned home to Rwanda from Zaire. But that left an estimated 300,000 unaccounted for. Many Hutus seemed to be disappearing from camps around Bukavu.
By December 1996, U.S. military forces were also operating in Bukavu amid throngs of Hutus, less numerous Twa refugees, Mai Mai guerrillas, advancing Rwandan troops, and AFDL-CZ rebels. A French military intelligence officer said he detected some 100 armed U.S. troops in the eastern Zaire conflict zone.Moreover, the DGSE reported the Americans had knowledge of the extermination of Hutu refugees by Tutsis in both Rwanda and eastern Zaire and were doing nothing about it. More ominously, there was reason to believe that some U.S. forces, either Special Forces or mercenaries, may have actually participated in the extermination of Hutu refugees. The killings reportedly took place at a camp on the banks of the Oso River near Goma. Roman Catholic reports claim that the executed included a number of Hutu Catholic priests. At least for those who were executed, death was far quicker than it was for those who escaped deep into the jungle. There, many died from tropical diseases or were attacked and eaten by wild animals.
Jacques Isnard, the Paris based defense correspondent for Le Monde supported the contention of U.S. military knowledge of the Oso River massacre but went further. He quoted French intelligence sources that believed that between thirty and sixty American mercenary “advisers” participated with the RPF in the massacre of hundreds of thousands of Hutu refugees around Goma. Although his number of Hutu dead was more conservative than the French estimates, the U.N.’s Chilean investigator, Roberto Garreton, reported the Kagame and Kabila forces had committed “crimes against humanity” in killing thousands [emphasis added] of Hutu refugees.
It was known that the planes the U.S. military deployed in eastern Zaire included heavily armed and armored helicopter gunships typically used by the Special Forces. These were fitted with 105 mm cannons, rockets, machine guns, land mine ejectors, and, more importantly, infra red sensors used in night operations. U.S. military commanders unabashedly stated the purpose of these gunships was to locate refugees to determine the best means of providing them with humanitarian assistance.
According to the French magazine Valeurs Actuelles, a French DC-8 Sarigue electronic intelligence (ELINT) aircraft circled over eastern Zaire at the time of the Oso River massacre. The Sarigue’s mission was to intercept and fix the radio transmissions of Rwandan military units engaged in the military operations. This aircraft, in addition to French special ground units, witnessed U.S. military ethnic cleansing in Zaire’s Kivu Province.
In September 1997, the prestigious Jane’s Foreign Report reported that German intelligence sources were aware that the DIA trained young men and teens from Rwanda, Uganda, and eastern Zaire for periods of up to two years and longer for the RPF/AFDL-CZ campaign against Mobutu. The recruits were offered pay of between $450 and $1000 upon their successful capture of Kinshasa.
Toward the end of 1996, U.S. spy satellites were attempting to ascertain how many refugees escaped into the jungle by locating fires at night and canvas tarpaulins during the day. Strangely, every time an encampment was discovered by the space-based imagery, Rwandan and Zaire rebel forces attacked the sites. This was the case in late February 1997, when 160,000, mainly Hutu refugees, were spotted and then attacked in a swampy area known as Tingi Tingi. There was never an adequate accounting by the Pentagon and U.S. intelligence agencies of the scope of intelligence provided to the RPF/AFDL-CZ.
An ominous report on the fate of refugees was made by Nicholas Stockton, the Emergencies Director of Oxfam U.K. & Ireland. He said that on November 20, 1996, he was shown U.S. aerial intelligence photographs which “confirmed, in considerable detail, the existence of 500,000 people distributed in three major and numerous minor agglomerations.” He said that three days later the U.S. military claimed it could only locate one significant mass of people, which they claimed were identified as former members of the Rwandan armed forces and the Interhamwe militia. Since they were the number one targets for the RPF forces, their identification and location by the Americans was undoubtedly passed to the Rwandan forces. They would have surely been executed. Moreover, some U.S. military and diplomatic personnel in central Africa said that any deaths among the Hutu refugees merely constituted “collateral damage.”
When the AFDL-CZ and their Rwandan allies reached Kinshasa in 1996, it was largely due to the help of the United States. One reason why Kabila’s men advanced into the city so quickly was the technical assistance provided by the DIA and other intelligence agencies. According to informed sources in Paris, U.S. Special Forces actually accompanied ADFL-CZ forces into Kinshasa. The Americans also reportedly provided Kabila’s rebels and Rwandan troops with high definition spy satellite photographs that permitted them to order their troops to plot courses into Kinshasa that avoided encounters with Mobutu’s forces. During the rebel advance toward Kinshasa, Bechtel provided Kabila, at no cost, high technology intelligence, including National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) satellite data.
AMERICAN MILITARY SUPPORT FOR THE SECOND INVASION OF CONGO
By 1998, the Kabila regime had become an irritant to the United States, North American mining interests, and Kabila’s Ugandan and Rwandan patrons. As a result, Rwanda and Uganda launched a second invasion of the DRC to get rid of Kabila and replace him with someone more servile. The Pentagon was forced to admit on August 6, 1998 that a twenty man U.S. Army Rwanda Interagency Assessment Team (RIAT) was in the Rwanda at the time of the second RPF invasion of Congo. The camouflaged unit was deployed from the U.S. European Command in Germany. It was later revealed that the team in question was a JCET unit that was sent to Rwanda to help the Rwandans “defeat ex FAR (Rwandan Armed Forces) and Interhamwe” units. U.S. Special Forces JCET team began training Rwandan units on July 15, 1998. It was the second such training exercise held that year. The RIAT team was sent to Rwanda in the weeks just leading up to the outbreak of hostilities in Congo. The RIAT, specializing in counter insurgency operations, traveled to Gisenyi on the Congolese border just prior to the Rwandan invasion. One of the assessments of the team recommended that the United States establish a new and broader military relationship with Rwanda. National Security Council spokesman P. J. Crowley, said of the RIAT’s presence in Rwanda: “I think it’s a coincidence that they were there at the same time the fighting began.”
Soon, however, as other African nations came to the assistance of Laurent Kabila, the United States found itself in the position of providing military aid under both the E-IMET and the Joint Combined Exchange Training (JCET) programs. U.S. Special Operations personnel were involved in training troops on both sides of the war in the DRC – Rwandans, Ugandans, and Burundians (supporting the RCD factions) and Zimbabweans and Namibians (supporting the central government in Kinshasa).
As with the first invasion, there were also a number of reports that the RPF and their RCD allies carried out a number of massacres throughout the DRC. The Vatican reported a sizable killing of civilians in August 1998 in Kasika, a small village in South Kivu that hosted a Catholic mission station. Over eight hundred people, including priests and nuns, were killed by Rwandan troops. The RCD response was to charge the Vatican with aiding Kabila. The Rwandans, choosing to put into practice what the DIA’s PSYOPS personnel had taught them about mounting perception management campaigns, shepherded the foreign press to carefully selected killing fields. The dead civilians were identified as exiled Burundian Hutu militiamen. Unfortunately, many in the international community, still suffering a type of collective guilt over the genocide of the Tutsis in Rwanda, gave the Rwandan assertions more credence than was warranted.
The increasing reliance by the Department of Defense on so-called Private Military Contractors (PMCs) is of special concern. Many of these PMCs — once labeled as “mercenaries” by previous administrations when they were used as foreign policy instruments by the colonial powers of France, Belgium, Portugal, and South Africa — have close links with some of the largest mining and oil companies involved in Africa today. PMCs, because of their proprietary status, have a great deal of leeway to engage in covert activities far from the reach of congressional investigators. They can simply claim that their business in various nations is a protected trade secret and the law now seems to be on their side.
PROFITING FROM THE DESTABILIZATION OF CENTRAL AFRICA
America’s policy toward Africa during the past decade, rather than seeking to stabilize situations where civil war and ethnic turmoil reign supreme, has seemingly promoted destabilization. Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright was fond of calling pro-U.S. military leaders in Africa who assumed power by force and then cloaked themselves in civilian attire, “beacons of hope.”
In reality, these leaders, who include the current presidents of Uganda, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Angola, Eritrea, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo preside over countries where ethnic and civil turmoil permit unscrupulous international mining companies to take advantage of the strife to fill their own coffers with conflict diamonds, gold, copper, platinum, and other precious minerals – including one – columbite-tantalite or “coltan” — which is a primary component of computer microchips and printed circuit boards.
Some of the companies involved in this new “scramble for Africa” have close links with PMCs and America’s top political leadership. For example, America Minerals Fields, Inc., a company that was heavily involved in promoting the 1996 accession to power of Kabila, was, at the time of its involvement in the Congo’s civil war, headquartered in Hope, Arkansas. Its major stockholders included long-time associates of former President Clinton going back to his days as Governor of Arkansas. America Mineral Fields also reportedly enjoys a close relationship with Lazare Kaplan International, Inc., a major international diamond brokerage whose president remains a close confidant of past and current administrations on Africa matters.
The United States has a long history of supporting all sides in the DRC’s civil wars in order to gain access to the country’s natural resources. The Ba-N’Daw Report presents a cogent example of how one U.S. firm was involved in the DRC’s grand thievery before the 1998 break between Laurent Kabila and his Rwandan and Ugandan backers. It links the Banque de commerce, du developpement et d’industrie (BCDI) of Kigali, Citibank in New York, the diamond business and armed rebellion. The report states: “In a letter signed by J.P. Moritz, general manager of Societe miniere de Bakwanga (MIBA), a Congolese diamond company, and Ngandu Kamenda, the general manager of MIBA ordered a payment of US$3.5 million to la Generale de commerce d’import/export du Congo (COMIEX), a company owned by late President Kabila and some of his close allies, such as Minister Victor Mpoyo, from an account in BCDI through a Citibank account. This amount of money was paid as a contribution from MIBA to the AFDL war effort.”
Also troubling are the ties that some mining companies in Africa have with military privateers. UN Special Rapporteur Enrique Ballesteros of Peru concluded in a his March 2001 report for the UN Commission on Human Rights, that mercenaries were inexorably linked to the illegal diamond and arms trade in Africa. He stated, “Mercenaries participate in both types of traffic, acting as pilots of aircraft and helicopters, training makeshift troops in the use of weapons and transferring freight from place to place. Ballesteros added, “Military security companies and air cargo companies registered in Nevada (the United States), in the Channel Islands and especially in South Africa and in Zimbabwe, are engaged in the transport of troops, arms, munitions, and diamonds.”
In 1998, America Minerals Fields purchased diamond concessions in the Cuango Valley along the Angolan-Congolese border from International Defense and Security (IDAS Belgium SA), a mercenary firm based in Curacao and headquartered in Belgium. According to an American Mineral Fields press release, “In May 1996, America Mineral Fields entered into an agreement with IDAS Resources N.V. (“IDAS”) and IDAS shareholders, under which the Company may acquire 75.5% of the common shares of IDAS. In turn, IDAS has entered into a 50-50 joint venture agreement with Endiama, the Angola state mining company. The joint venture asset is a 3,700 km mining lease in the Cuango Valley, Luremo and a 36,000 km2 prospecting lease called the Cuango International, which borders the mining lease to the north. The total area is approximately the size of Switzerland.” 
America Mineral Fields directly benefited from America’s initial covert military and intelligence support for Kabila. It is my observation that America’s early support for Kabila, which was aided and abetted by U.S. allies Rwanda and Uganda, had less to do with getting rid of the Mobutu regime than it had to do with opening up Congo’s vast mineral riches to North American-based and influenced mining companies. Presently, some of America Mineral Fields’ principals now benefit from the destabilization of Sierra Leone and the availability of its cut-rate “blood diamonds” on the international market. Also, according to the findings of a commission headed up by Canadian United Nations Ambassador, Robert Fowler, Rwanda has violated the international embargo against Angola’s UNITA rebels in allowing the “to operate more or less freely” in selling conflict zone diamonds and making deals with weapons dealers in Kigali.
One of the major goals of the Rwandan-backed RCD-Goma faction, a group fighting the Kabila government in Congo, is restoration of mining concessions for Barrick Gold, Inc. of Canada. In fact, the rebel RCD government’s “mining minister” signed a separate mining deal with Barrick in early 1999. Among the members of Barrick’s International Advisory Board are former President Bush and former President Clinton’s close confidant Vernon Jordan.
Currently, Barrick and tens of other mining companies are helping to stoke the flames of the civil war in the DRC. Each benefits by the de facto partition of the country into some four separate zones of political control. First the mineral exploiters from Rwanda and Uganda concentrated on pillaging gold and diamonds from the eastern Congo. Now, they have increasingly turned their attention to col-tan.
It is my hope that the Bush administration will take pro-active measures to stem the conflict in the DRC by applying increased pressure on Uganda and Rwanda to withdraw their troops from the country. However, the fact that President Bush has selected Walter Kansteiner to be Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, portends, in my opinion, more trouble for the Great Lakes region. A brief look at Mr. Kansteiner’s curriculum vitae and statements calls into question his commitment to seeking a durable peace in the region.
In an October 15, 1996 paper written by Mr. Kansteiner for the Forum for International Policy on the then-eastern Zaire, he called for the division of territory in the Great Lakes region “between the primary ethnic groups, creating homogenous ethnic lands that would probably necessitate redrawing international boundaries and would require massive ‘voluntary’ relocation efforts.” Kansteiner foresaw creating separate Tutsi and Hutu states after such a drastic population shift. It should be recalled that the creation of a Tutsi state in eastern Congo was exactly what Rwanda, Uganda and their American military advisers had in mind when Rwanda invaded then-Zaire in 1996, the same year Kansteiner penned his plans for the region. Four years later, Kansteiner was still convinced that the future of the DRC was “balkanization” into separate states. In an August 23, 2000 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article, Kansteiner stated that the “breakup of the Congo is more likely now than it has been in 20 or 30 years.” Of course, the de facto break up of Congo into various fiefdoms has been a boon for U.S. and other western mineral companies. And I believe Kansteiner’s previous work at the Department of Defense where he served on a Task Force on Strategic Minerals – and one must certainly consider col-tan as falling into that category — may influence his past and current thinking on the territorial integrity of the DRC. After all, 80 per cent of the world’s known reserves of col-tan are found in the eastern DRC. It is potentially as important to the U.S. military as the Persian Gulf region.
However, the U.S. military and intelligence agencies, which have supported Uganda and Rwanda in their cross-border adventures in the DRC, have resisted peace initiatives and have failed to produce evidence of war crimes by the Ugandans and Rwandans and their allies in Congo. The CIA, NSA, and DIA should turn over to international and congressional investigators intelligence-generated evidence in their possession, as well as overhead thermal imagery indicating the presence of mass graves and when they were dug. In particular, the NSA maintained a communications intercept station in Fort Portal, Uganda, which intercepted military and government communications in Zaire during the first Rwandan invasion. These intercepts may contain details of Rwandan and AFDL-CZ massacres of innocent Hutu refugees and other Congolese civilians during the 1996 invasion. There must be a full accounting before the Congress by the staff of the U.S. Defense Attache’s Office in Kigali and certain U.S. Embassy staff members in Kinshasa who served from early 1994 to the present time.
As for the number of war casualties in the DRC since the first invasion from Rwanda in 1996, I would estimate, from my own research, the total to be around 1.7 to 2 million – a horrendous number by any calculation. And I also believe that although disease and famine were contributing factors, the majority of these deaths were the result of actual war crimes committed by Rwandan, Ugandan, Burundian, AFDL-CZ, RCD, and military and paramilitary forces of other countries.
SUMMARY It is beyond time for the Congress to seriously examine the role of the United States in the genocide and civil wars of central Africa, as well as the role that PMCs currently play in other African trouble spots like Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Equatorial Guinea, Angola, Ethiopia, Sudan, and Cabinda. Other nations, some with less than stellar records in Africa – France and Belgium, for example – have had no problem examining their own roles in Africa’s last decade of turmoil. The British Foreign Office is in the process of publishing a green paper on regulation of mercenary activity. At the very least, the United States, as the world’s leading democracy, owes Africa at least the example of a critical self-inspection.
I appreciate the concern shown by the Chair and members of this committee in holding these hearings.
 Lewiston, NY and Lampeter, Wales, UK: Edwin Mellen Press, 1999. <www.mellenpress.com>
 Colum Lynch, “U.S. agents were seen with rebels in Zaire: Active participation is alleged in military overthrow of Mobutu,” BOSTON GLOBE, 8 October 1997, A2.
 David Rieff, “Realpolitik in Congo: should Zaire’s fate have been subordinate to the fate of
Rwandan refugees?” THE NATION, 7 July 1997.
 Georges Berghezan, “Une guerre cosmopolite,” (“A cosmopolitan war,”), Marc Schmitz and Sophie Nolet, editors, Kabila prend le pouvoir (“Kabila Takes Power) (Paris: Editions GRIP, 1998), 97.
 André Dumoulin, La France Militaire et l‘Afrique (The French Military and Africa) (Paris: Éditions GRIP, 1997), 87.
 “Fighting with the rebels,” ASIA TIMES, 1 April 1997, 8; Jacques Isnard, “Des ‘conseillers’ américains ont aidé à renverser le régime de M. Mobutu” (“American advisers helped to oust the regime of Mr. Mobutu”), Le Monde, 28 August 1997; “Influence americaine” (“American influence”), La Lettre du Continent, 3 April 1997.
 Dana Priest, “Pentagon Slow to Cooperate With Information Requests,” THE WASHINGTON POST, 31 December 1998, A34.
 Christian Jennings, “U.S. plane seeks “missing” refugees in east Zaire,” Reuters North American Wire, 26 November 1996.
 Lynch, op. cit.
 Hubert Condurier, “Ce que les services secrets français savaient” (“What the French Secret Services Knew”), VALEURS ACTUELLES, 30 August 1997, 26 27.
 “Priests Speak of Massacres, Destitution,” All Africa Press Service, AFRICA NEWS, 24 March 1997.
 Lara Marlowe, “Rwandans got combat training from U.S. army, paper claims,” THE IRISH TIMES, 28 August 1997, 11.
 Condurier, 27.
 “Helping Africa to help America,” JANE’S FOREIGN REPORT, 4 September 1997.
 Donald G. McNeil, Jr., “In Congo, Forbidding Terrain Hides a Calamity,” THE NEW YORK TIMES, 1 June 1997, 4.
 Edward Mortimer, “The moral maze: The dilemmas of African conflict cannot be avoided by identifying one side as victims and the other as aggressors,” FINANCIAL TIMES, 12 February 1997, 24.
 “Oil Wars in the Congo,” ASIA TIMES, op. cit; Frederic François, “A la recontre du Kivu libéré: carnet de route (janvier-février 97)” (“Recounting the liberation of Kivu: the roadmap (January February 1997),” Marc Schmitz and Sophie Nolet, op. cit., 57.
 Robert Block, “U.S. Firms Seek Deals in Central Africa,” THE WALL STREET JOURNAL, 14 October 1997.
Milan Vesely, “Carving up the Congo,” AFRICAN BUSINESS, October 1998, 12; <http://www.marekinc.com/NCNSpecialDRCWar080198.html>
 Lynne Duke, “Africans Use Training in Unexpected Ways,” THE WASHINGTON POST, 14 July 1998, A10
 “Washington urges peace as U.S. team goes to Rwanda,” Agence France Presse, 5 August 1998.
 Colum Lynch, “Congo, Rwanda appear headed to full scale war,” THE BOSTON GLOBE, 6 August 1998, A1.
 Richard Morais, “Friends in High Places,” FORBES, August 10, 1998, 50.
 “RWANDA: Government denies busting UNITA sanctions,” UN Integrated Regional Information Network (IRIN), March 13, 2000.
 “Former Okimo Boss Named Rebels’ ‘Minister’,” AFRICA ENERGY & MINING, No. 245, February 3, 1999.
[TRANSCRIPT OF SUBCOMMITTEE DISCUSSION FOLLOWING THE MADSEN TESTIMONY]
[Note: the discussion immediately following Wayne Madsen’s statement to the sub-committee pertains to the testimonies of Mr. Ali Baldo, Father Bahala and Mr. Wayne Madsen]
Mr. TANCREDO. Thank you, Mr. Madsen, for your really quite extraordinary testimony. I am sure and I know it has peaked all of our interest, and there will be a number of questions I am sure directed specifically to you.
I am going to start off with the focus of my questions to Mr. Ali Baldo and to Father Bahala. First of all, human rights activists and others hailed the end of the Mobutu regime, never anticipating the human rights legacy that would be left by Laurent Kabila. Now there is similar enthusiasm about the selection of Joseph Kabila. However, earlier this week the African Association for the Defense of Human Rights declared that there had been little improvement so far.
Do you think, sir, that it is fair to make an assessment after only 100 days of the new Kabila Administration? How much time should pass before an evaluation can take place of this nature, and how should the United States and this international community proceed with the new leadership?
I would like you to address those if you could. Mr. Ali Baldo, you may go first.
For example, there has been a commitment and implementation of a decision to close down all unacknowledged detention places in Kinshasa and a change of all commanders of security agencies. There are several of them, and they are competing always without any accountability.
However, the worst problems of insecurity in rural areas and under government control areas is basically the lack of institutions and the lack of accountability. We do not see an effort to address these issues.
Therefore, despite the government’s closure of unacknowledged or unofficial detention places, agencies like the National Intelligence Agency and the military’s Department for Suppression of Anti-Political Activities continue to detain people, to arrest them. The issue is really to hold the security forces accountable, and this, to our knowledge, has not been done so far.
The government has promised to improve the political environment. It has failed to repeal or to amend the decree laws that limit or prohibit political activities. The decree law, which was signed by Laurent Kabila,the father, in 1999, does not——
Mr. TANCREDO. Say that again. They have failed to repeal——
Mr. BALDO. To repeal the law regulating political activities, which prohibits political activities and does not recognize pre-existing opposition political parties. If there is a seriousness about improving the political environment, we believe that the government of Joseph Kabila should really amend that decree law.
There is also a decree law about associations, which also does not recognize the existing associations like ASADU and all the other civil society groups in the Congo, which are very active, very vibrant, and the only bodies in the country that are really acting and sort of dedicated to the population.
That law has also to be amended to acknowledge the existence and recognize the existence of pre-existing associations, so institutionally the reform has yet to happen.
Mr. TANCREDO. Thank you.
Father Bahala, would you like to comment on that?
Father BAHALA. I would just like to add to what Mr. Sulaiman has just said. I went to Kinshasa when I went back into the field, and we feel there has been some improvement in the democratization in the country. Maybe he was not aware of it, but this morning President Kabila has signed a decree that liberalized the political parties in the country.
I participated in Kinshasa in meetings that were preparing a national conference on human rights, so we feel that there is improvement in the sense of a collaboration between the government and the civil society.
Something that I also would like to add is that as they keep talking that there is no progress in terms of human rights and democratization in the Congo, we look and say it is a common situation in the whole central African region, so one of the questions is when you look at the situation of Rwanda, Burundi and Uganda, why are they asking something of the Congo and not asking from the other countries?
If you look, for instance, in Rwanda it has been 6 years since the genocide has taken place, but so far nobody has talked about elections or anything, you know, in the sense of democratization. All the people want is that it be a fair request of all the parties.
That is why in talking about the Lusaka Accords, for instance, they ask that the Congolese enter into a dialogue with the rebels. Now, the question is why are we not requesting, for instance, that Rwandans and Ugandans and Burundians also enter into a dialogue with their own rebels?
I would like to finish by asking this. How can we organize a dialogue between Congolese when more than half of the territory is under occupation? For instance, there are reports today that the troops that are being redeployed from the front are being redeployed in the occupied territories somewhere else, so how can you organize a dialogue in those conditions?
We know also today that Rwanda is taking prisoners out of prisons in Rwanda and sending them in the Congo to exploit minerals. Also, there are reports, and we see armed forces who are in the region, and they come in to kill people, burn parishes and create insecurities, so how can you return to a normal situation with that kind of thing going on?
Mr. TANCREDO. Thank you very much.
I have several other questions. I am going to, however, postpone them at least because I want to make sure that Ms. McKinney is able to fully exploit this opportunity, except for one thing.
I am just wondering to the Ambassador. Do we have any specific information about the proclamation that was signed today that was referred to by Father Bahala? Do we know anything about it?
You do not have to testify, but if we can obtain that information as soon as possible I would certainly appreciate it. Thank you.
Now I am going to turn it over to the Ranking Member, Ms. McKinney, for her questions.
Ms. MCKINNEY. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I would like to have the opportunity, if it is needed, for further clarification after you have posed your second round of questions to go back and——
Mr. TANCREDO. Of course. Of course.
Ms. MCKINNEY. I would also like to state that I have significant volumes of information to submit for the record, and I would like to receive that information from Father Bahala as well for submission to the record.
Mr. TANCREDO. Without objection.
Ms. MCKINNEY. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
The first question I have is about the recent statement of Colin Powell, and this is directed to anyone who would desire to respond.
Colin Powell said that he would visit Uganda. The question is, one, should he go? Two, who should he meet with if he goes? Three, what should his message be?
Mr. BALDO. Yes. I believe the Secretary of State should go to Uganda, and I believe that his message on the situation of the presence of Uganda in the Congo should be very clear and straightforward, simple talk, you know.
Uganda is present in the Congo as an occupation power. Uganda is a signatory of the Geneva Conventions. It is obliged to respect the provisions of protocol of the Geneva Convention 4 and in addition Protocol 1. It is not doing that.
Uganda, as we document in our publications, is involved in attacks against civilians. Uganda is recruiting Congolese children for its war effort against the government. We document that as well. Not only are these children being trained within the Congo, but some of them are brought for training across the border in Uganda proper.
Ugandan officials, and that is to say commanders of the Ugandan army, have been implicated in war crimes by overseeing the execution of non-combatants. We have located incidents that we have documented. What is the Ugandan army and government doing about holding these military commanders accountable for war crimes basically?
The message should really be a confrontation on the conduct of the Ugandan army and the areas under its occupation in the east. This message has not been addressed to the Ugandan government, and I think it is about time that people speak out about these issues.
Ms. MCKINNEY. Yes.
Mr. ROBERTS. I need to preface this with the fact that I am a scientist and not even slightly diplomatic in nature.
When I read in the paper that the U.S. Ambassador in Kigali is saying that the war in the east cannot be resolved until the Congolese solve the security problems and then I hear last year that our Ambassador in Kinshasa has said publicly that this war cannot end until the foreign armies are withdrawn, it implies to me in my ignorance that we do not have a policy for the region and for this conflict.
I am ecstatic at the notion that Colin Powell will go to any country involved in this conflict for nothing else that it dramatically increases the chance that he will develop a policy so that we can say the same thing on each side with great consistency and every voice of the U.S. Government.
If he goes, I will do somersaults for joy, and I hope he would meet with the highest level folks both militarily and politically that he can, and I hope that whatever his message is, it is a message that will be given to Kabila and to everyone involved in this conflict.
I did not say this in my testimony, but it is in my report. If you look at who has been killed in the 148 murders that we have documented, and when I say the word murder, two-thirds are gunshots. The next most common is attacking. The next most common is burning alive in their huts. That is what I meant by violent deaths in our report.
An equal number have been committed by the opponents of the RCD than the RCD it would appear. There are no good sides in this conflict, and that makes Colin Powell’s job really hard. I am the first one to say that. The more time he spends there thinking about it, the better off we all are.
Ms. EDGERTON. Les may be the first one to say it, but let me follow up and state that Colin Powell, if he were to go to Uganda, would be welcomed greatly by I think all of us here on the panel and many in the humanitarian assistance community.
Last Friday, Colin Powell spoke to our board of directors at Refugees International and reassured us that the Administration is committed to conflict areas and to assisting with conflict resolution. However, he gave no specifics.
If he were to go to Uganda as Secretary of State, I think that high level, Museveni and on down, speaking about the exploitation of resources as is in the U.N. exploitation report that you referred to, child soldier recruitment that has been taking place across borders. Those are Congolese children that Sulaiman just referred to who are trained in Uganda and other areas of occupation that are occurring across the Ugandan border, as well as possibly reaffirming the humanitarian rights necessity of following humanitarian or human rights records in order to be a legitimate international player for Uganda.
Mr. MADSEN. Congresswoman McKinney, I just want to make a point that whatever Colin Powell does in Uganda, he certainly might not want to emulate what the previous Administration did there.
Ms. MCKINNEY. Yes.
Mr. MADSEN. I was in Kampala 2 weeks after President Clinton’s trip to the country back in 1998. I was sitting with the leader of the opposition there, Mr. Lukemuzie, at the Sheraton Hotel in Kampala. Incidentally, we had a number of Museveni’s secret police sitting around eavesdropping from other tables on our conversation, which I think is endemic of the situation in Uganda.
Mr. Lukemuzie told me. He said when President Clinton was in Uganda, he did not even want to spend 5 minutes meeting with the members of the opposition. You know, he went on to say, you know, I used to look to the United States, you know, the statue of liberty and all those things that I admired America for.
When your President was here, not only did he not want to meet with any of the members of the opposition; the Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Susan Rice, basically lectured them and told them they ought to really get off of this democracy kick and start to learn how to accept Museveni’s one party system of government.
It was very embarrassing, number one, to sit there and have to hear the leader of an opposition complain about the United States and the Clinton Administration’s policy, so I would just urge Secretary of State Powell to make sure he can make amends for the last Administration and meet with the opposition in Uganda as well.
Ms. MCKINNEY. What is the military relationship between the United States, Uganda and Rwanda in terms of bases, relationships with leaders, and training relationships that would allow the United States to turn a blind eye to the kind of egregious behavior, actually criminal behavior, on the part of its allies?
That is for anyone.
Mr. MADSEN. Okay. I will step up to the plate on this one first, I guess.
The background to the U.S. relationship with the RPF government and Uganda goes back to 1990 before the original invasion of Rwanda by the RPF from Ugandan soil, and it has taken many different roles. It includes, as I mentioned in testimony, covert and overt assistance.
There is, of course, the overt assistance, the African Crisis Response Initiative, which Uganda seems to be in and out of that program depending on whether they are being suspended for human rights violations or failure to withdraw troops from the DRC, but, more importantly, it is included in what they call Joint Combined Education and Training Program, JCET, Enhanced International Military Education and Training.
President Kagame himself was attending the U.S. Army’s staff college in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, at the time the invasion was launched in 1990. I have been told that Kagame has very close ties with the U.S. military, including the Defense Intelligence Agency. Many members of his upper echelons in his military and intelligence structure who, incidentally, I understand may be indicted here by the U.N. war crimes tribunal, were trained by U.S. personnel. That goes right through the military and the RPF intelligence structure.
With Uganda, there were reports of a number of U.S. intelligence and military bases. There is, of course, the base that is often reported in Cyangugu, Rwanda, but also other bases around the country.
Ms. MCKINNEY. Do we know about any military bases in Uganda?
Mr. MADSEN. Well, when I was visiting Uganda there was, of course, a lot of talk about an intelligence selection facility in Fort Portal, which was then closed and moved elsewhere, but it was apparently involved in picking up signals from then Zaire during the initial invasion from Rwanda, that country.
There has also been a number of reports that personnel from the U.S. Special Forces in Fort Bragg have been involved in training not only Ugandan military forces for SPLA guerrillas in the northern part of Uganda, and there have been reports of a military training base in Ginga in the eastern part of Uganda, so there are ample reports of U.S. military presence in both of those countries regardless of whether they are under suspension by ACRI at any given time.
That seems to be a revolving door with ACRI. When they decide to suspend, it is usually for a couple of weeks or a month, and then they are back in.
Ms. MCKINNEY. I remember in the mid 1970’s Henry Kissinger’s policy was to arm the UNITA and FLNA in Angola in the Angolan struggle for self-determination against the NPLA. Because of the fervor in the United States on the part of African-Americans, African-American men were recruited in a very insidious and cynical twist to go and fight in Angola on the wrong side.
Now, are African-Americans being particularly recruited to go into Uganda and Rwanda on behalf of the United States? Do you know anything about any of that?
Mr. MADSEN. I have talked to people who have been in eastern Congo and also in Uganda that claim to have talked to/been with African-Americans with the Special Forces. I think this also gets into an area of, you know, who is actually in the military and who may not be because I have also been told that some of the people with the American forces spoke fluent Swahili, so are they contractors? Are they U.S. military personnel? Just who are these folks?
I think this gets us to the roots of the problem with these covert activities. We do not know who is doing what. The covert nature of these activities, you know, leaves congressional investigators, reporters, other people out of the picture. It is hard to get the information on them, but I think definitely what has been going on since the early 1990’s as far as the U.S. is concerned needs some sunshine because in this case that would be the best disinfectant to find out just what was going on, who knew what when and when did they know it.
Ms. MCKINNEY. In about 1995 or thereabouts at a briefing that I received from the State Department, I was told that the Congo was too big and that it was unwieldy and something really needed to be done about that. I was also told that I should not expect Laurent Kabila to last for any length of time. The prescience of the Clinton State Department in this regard is remarkable.
The question I have is about the delivery of humanitarian assistance into the eastern part of the Congo. I think it was Dr. Roberts who pointed out that Kinshasa is a long way from where the fighting or the problems in the east are taking place.
If we understand that there are some people who really want the permanent partition of the Democratic Republic of Congo, how do we address the humanitarian situation without furthering that partition that is against all the precepts of the organization of African unity and international law, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera?
Mr. ROBERTS. First of all, I need to point out that we in the NGO community normally bend over backwards to remain neutral in conflicts like this.
Secondly, that there are certain things happening right now, such as children dying of measles at extraordinary rates that could be stopped by vaccinating those kids, and that should be done. It is quite independent of whether or not we are propping up or increasing the probability of longevity of a regime we do not like.
Vaccinating children, providing a few minimal things to keep people alive until the political process has sorted out I think does not necessarily interfere with your political efforts to have one unified Congo or whatever it is that the world community and the Congolese, more importantly, decide is their destiny.
I do not think there is any inconsistency with keeping children alive and pursuing some political objectives which you may have.
Ms. EDGERTON. Congresswoman?
Father BAHALA. I just want to add a small something about the integrity of the national territory of Congo.
We hear the U.S. supports the integrity of the territory, but the Congolese people when they look and they hear the type of statements that you refer to, we fear that there is a plan to sell our country, and I would like to go on record and say that is something that nobody in the Congo accepts. We do not accept that, and we refute that idea of partitioning our country.
I would like to say that if anybody thinks that they are going to continue that idea, then they are going to meet with the type of resistance that you have seen with militias springing up everywhere because the Congolese people refuse categorically that idea.
We also have the impression that the international community has something that may cause two readings of the situation in the world. For instance, when the same situation took place in Kuwait and in Kosovo, the whole international community mobilized itself to defend the international law in that matter, but now here in the Congo it is another story.
Now I would like to talk about humanitarian assistance. I can tell you something about that because I was there. I was a witness when the situation in Rwanda took place. The whole international community mobilized itself to feed the Rwandese refugees when they came and they crossed the border into our country. They mobilized millions of dollars to help out.
When the Hutu refugees were massacred, nobody said absolutely anything. Now today we are being held responsible for being genociders just because of what has happened there.
We also are wondering why is there not any type of help given to the Congolese people who are today living under the same kind of the brunt of what I would call the consequences of the conflict? They are living in misery basically.
Also, I would like to end by saying that, should there be any sort of humanitarian assistance, the civil society and the churches are very well structured in the region to take on such a task.
Ms. EDGERTON. Congresswoman, if I may? We in the humanitarian aid community, NGOs, when we meet with U.S. foreign policy officials are told that humanitarian access and humanitarian assistance are not necessarily linked at all to the political U.S. foreign policy process of whatever country aid is being delivered to.
I want to say today that that is probably something that works two ways. You can deliver benign humanitarian aid in a way that it is not at all a reflection of U.S. foreign policy, nor should it be brought to the negotiation table as some kind of chit to be traded away.
Mr. MADSEN. I just wanted to make one point about the breakup of the Congo. I mentioned the previous Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs. I am afraid from what I have read, the next person to fill that post it just seems like neither the last Administration or this Administration can get that thing right.
Mr. Kansteiner, who has been nominated to assume that function, wrote a couple of things that are troubling. Back in 1996, he called for the division of the Congo and the Great Lakes region between primary ethnic groups creating homogeneous ethnic lands that would probably necessitate redrawing international boundaries and would require massive ”voluntary” relocation efforts.
In another piece he wrote for the Pittsburgh Post Gazette last year he stated that, ”The breakup of the Congo is more likely now than it has been in 20 or 30 years.”
It is also troubling that Cansteiner once worked for the Department of Defense where he worked on the Task Force on Strategic Minerals. Obviously what was said today about the criticality of these natural resources to the problems, to have a person involved with U.S.-Africa policy who served on such a board is very troubling.
Ms. MCKINNEY. Thank you. I just got a note here that Cansteiner’s confirmation is today at 4.
I have 2 minutes to go and cast a vote. I will run there. I will run right back. I apologize. Let us recess, and then we will take up with Dr. Roberts.
Mr. TANCREDO. I extend my apologies to the witnesses for the interruptions that we have had in this process. It is, unfortunately, the price you have to pay.
Also to assure you, do not be concerned if we are talking here and you are trying to provide testimony. It is not just for our elucidation. It is for the record, which is extremely important for all of us. Your comments will be taken into consideration, I assure you.
I want to continue with and follow up to a certain extent anyway on what I understand to be Ms. McKinney’s line of questioning, and that is, first of all, again this would be to any one of the members of the panel.
Who should the parties to the peace process be, the foreign governments supporting the rebels or the rebel leaders themselves? Along with that, whom should the international community and U.S. pressure to talk to President Joseph Kabila and his officials?
Does anybody want to take a whack at that?
Ms. EDGERTON. I will start with the first one and then probably hand over to Father Bahala, who can speak more readily to this.
It is called an inter Congolese dialogue for a reason. It is a national dialogue. I think the occupying forces are very interested in being a part of the national dialogue. I think that is a mistake. The sooner the dialogue takes place, the more legitimacy the occupying forces who are occupying parts of Congo have in actually having a place at the table. I think it is a very dangerous policy to follow.
Mr. TANCREDO. Go ahead.
Mr. BALDO. The world has several layers. One layer is an international law. Occupation forces are present as occupying powers in Congo, and there is a need for negotiation between the Congolese government and with the occupying powers of Rwanda, Uganda and Burundi to obtain their withdrawal and preservation of the total integrity of Congo.
There is also a civil war in Congo. At that level, there is a big question about the legitimacy of several of the rebel groups. We know that let us say the Congolese Rally for Democracy signed the peace agreement in Lusaka not as a movement, but as 50 individual members, founders of that movement. Therefore, if you look at the reality of the rebel movement there are several leaders claiming to represent that.
I knew of a faction, the Offcide Nationale, which is a one man rebel group headed by Rogen Bala. This is a covert operation for the exploitation of diamonds in the town of Bafasundi in northeastern Congo. This is his only legitimacy, and that is to protect the interests of Uganda.
The Congolese Rally for Democracy liberation movement headed by Wamba dia Wamba groups about six members, founding members, of the original Congolese Rally for Democracy, who are operating from exile from Garselam, Gaproni, Kampala, Brussels and who operate as a revolutionary movement that is distributed through faxes and e-mails and to demand that they be presented in discussions and associations.
They represent no one. They do not have any constituency on the ground. They do not have any military power or control over whatever. They only seem to have put their name on the Lusaka agreement.
There would be a lot of sorting out that needs to be done. I believe the fact has to be acknowledged that these are not groups backed by Rwanda and Uganda. These are political fronts for Uganda and Rwanda in the occupation of Congo.
Mr. TANCREDO. Do we not then risk along with, and whoever wants to continue answering the original question please feel free to do so. I just want to add do we not then risk legitimizing these organizations, any organization, any rebel group, if we make them part of the peace process?
Mr. BALDO. Now, in occupied areas there are genuine and legitimate representatives of the population. These are the local civil society groups and community organizations, which are the only access on the ground with any real constituency of any kind, coming mainly from their role in maintaining or sustaining the survivability of the Congolese population for the kids not only since the beginning of this war, but since the state has totally collapsed under Mobutu. It was these actors who really stood by the population and are still trying to protect the survival of communities in eastern Congo.
The inter Congolese dialogue should not be allowed to be hijacked by the rebel groups and by some political operation groups, but rather the efforts should be maintained to ensure that genuine civil society organizations in occupied areas are the ones which are represented.
Mr. TANCREDO. What a challenging situation you have presented for us.
Father BAHALA. Yes. I would like to bring a historic witnessing to what happened here. On August 2, when the rebellion between ”inverted commoners” came into Bukavu, what we saw on the ground was Rwandan troops that had just been thanked by President Kabila and asked to go back to their country. That took place on July 27.
Then a week afterwards we saw an old man coming there into the region and saying that he is representing a movement. That was Wamba dia Wamba. What we are saying is this man came in a week, or actually 3 weeks after we have seen movements of Rwandese soldiers in Bukavu.
Today, the population has never endorsed this war as its own war. What the people fear when they look at the Lusaka Agreement is that all of a sudden it came to legitimize something that the people regard as invasion. Today, the rebels, again in quotation marks, leaders are despised by the people because the people realize that they have absolutely no backbone apart from their godfathers.
As a matter of fact, Rwanda and Uganda spend their time ridiculing these people. Yesterday it was Zaidi Ngoma. Then it was Ilunga, then it was Wamba dia Wamba. Now we see this young man called Onusumba. We are sure he is going to go as well. Basically what it is, is they are being ridiculed by their godfathers as I call them.
Now about the inter Congolese dialogue. Yes, it is something that is necessary. However, it needs to be given specific goals and goals that, you know, will end in peace results. We want to see the installation of a true democratic process. We want to see good management, good governance.
Today when you look at all these political parties, you know, we do not know who their members are. That is the first thing. Who are the members of the political parties? The second thing is that the rebel groups live in fear because they, first of all, have blood on their hands.
Second, they are afraid of sitting face to face to confront their own brothers. In this whole situation of fear you wonder how the dialogue is going to take place.
We think that there should be first and foremost the withdrawal, the departure of the foreign armies so that at that particular point the Congolese can speak soul to soul with each other.
Mr. TANCREDO. Thank you very much.
Ms. EDGERTON. If I can just add on?
Mr. TANCREDO. Mr. Roberts?
Ms. EDGERTON. I am sorry.
Mr. TANCREDO. I know Mr. Roberts is also desirous of speaking, so go ahead.
Ms. EDGERTON. Just to follow quickly on that same point, some of the difficulties of having occupation endure longer and longer.
The current political structure in the Goma held territories, the Rwandan held territories, are actually being trained across the border. They are being brought into Rwanda, the local politicians. In January and February, 475 local politicians were held in Rwanda for 6 weeks for a ”training” into what it is to be in RCD held territory.
Civil society in the Congo is currently without a voice, and the occupying forces are making sure that the political will is not with the civil society, but rather backs the occupying forces. This gets stronger as time goes on and we do nothing.
Mr. TANCREDO. Mr. Roberts?
Mr. ROBERTS. I would actually like to broaden your original question and ask how can we create an environment where dialogue and peace negotiations might happen?
I am not an economist. I have only worked in seven wars, but I have never seen a war so economically driven. I have heard a lot of people say this war is auto financed, at least in the east. It must be true from my hundreds of kilometers on foot and thousands of kilometers of going around in the bush.
The scale of mineral exploitation which all is leading by helicopter elsewhere is just immense. It is just immense. I fear that with so many economic forces driving this war to expand the status quo that there are always going to be things to sabotage the inter Congolese dialogue and the other things that we value.
Let me give you just a couple of tiny examples. I am told by Herbert Vice, who is a professor in New York and went out to the eastern Congo last year, that rough diamonds in Kisangani are more expensive than rough diamonds in Brussels, Belgium. Why? Because every drug dealer, every person in Africa who has cash they want to launder, go to Kisangani, and they are happy to lose 10 percent of their cash so they can put it in a Swiss bank account and come up with a chit and look official.
I am told by a friend who works in Uganda, an employee of the U.S. Government, that it costs $500 to get a car across the border in Uganda and across the front of this war. Why? Because people who carjack vehicles in Kenya and Uganda launder them across this war.
There are a lot of economic interests in keeping this war going, and I would hope that one part of our policy would be to create an environment where the economic incentives—we cannot stop them. We do not have that much control, but probably we could dissuade them.
If a country is the fourth largest exporter of diamonds in Africa and they have no diamonds, we probably ought to be able to say hey, that does not seem very acceptable.
Mr. TANCREDO. It strikes me as you share this kind of information with us that there are so many similarities to this particular problem in the Congo and in a number of other countries in Africa. I am certainly more familiar with Sudan myself.
After so many years of strife and when that strife takes on other aspects, not just ethnic or villages, cultural and all the rest of it, but now an economic component, the intransigence of all sides becomes incredible. Everybody assumes the status quo is okay essentially because it is either profitable financially or from the standpoint of power.
Peace is a fearful thing. What will happen under those conditions, you know, to power, to the money that pours forth? It just complicates the situation so dramatically. I think that you have certainly accurately portrayed it, but I keep wondering about the extent to which any of the various political parties that exist in the country, opposition parties.
In your estimation, Mr. Baldo perhaps in particular, is there any one or more political parties that today has the kind of infrastructural support that we could look to as being a viable governing body should a time come that we can actually look to free elections and that sort of thing? Is there anything there today, or does it all have to be created?
Mr. BALDO. During the campaign to chase Mobutu out of power, the Union for Democracy and Social Progress proved that it has some national constituency.
Mr. TANCREDO. That is headed by?
Mr. BALDO. Headed by Tshisekedi.
Mr. TANCREDO. Yes. I have met him.
Mr. BALDO. Yes. Many of that party in the east and in the south and central of Congo actually played a major role in facilitating by then Laurent Kabila, the rebel leader and his ADL, the Alliance for the Democratic Forces for Liberation of Congo. The way they did it was by organizing civil disobedience campaigns in towns like Isgarnia and elsewhere. They called them ghost towns whereby people just simply stay at home to mark their opposition to the government of Mobutu.
I believe that is a thought which has some national dimension. The other part is like the Union for Independent Federal Republicans in Lumbashi, Katanga, I think has some more regional priorities and concerns, but they are very powerful in Katanga. There are really several parties which have national support. That is what I am trying to say.
Mr. TANCREDO. Let us assume for a moment that in order to bring this thing to a successful conclusion that it would require the support of the United States and other parties to get behind the Kabila government. Let us just take that as a hypothetical for a second and really support their efforts in every direction and every way that are identifiable in terms of a positive outcome.
In doing that, do we risk damage to those or potential damage, I guess I should say, to those parties that do exist today? If we put all of our efforts behind the Kabila government, is there a possibility that we actually weaken what sort of opposition might exist there, a legitimate opposition in the country?
Mr. Baldo? Okay. First let me ask Mr. Baldo if he has a response to that. If not, we will go to Father Bahala.
Mr. BALDO. Yes, sir. Very quickly, the issue is lack of legitimacy. President Joseph Kabila is there because he is the son of Laurent, so there is a general problem of lack of legitimacy. I have described it, and the government statements are the same.
I believe that Kabila, the son, feels that there is a lot of endorsement of international support, unconditional support, and may be tempted actually to try and marginalize all other forces in the Congo.
Mr. TANCREDO. Yes.
Mr. BALDO. By the way, the other forces are not only the political opposition. As I said, there is a vibrant grassroots national civil society movement. The Congo is very much engaged in national issues, economic, as well as social and so on. Therefore, these are the forces that are detained.
Any kind of support for Joseph Kabila would have to take into account the fact that he must be held accountable to ensure freedom of association, participation and assembly for all other social actors and political actors in the country.
Mr. TANCREDO. Thank you.
Yes, Father Bahala?
Father BAHALA. As a journalist, I have observed how political parties function in my country. To add to what Mr. Baldo has said, I would like to say that the political parties that were created after 1992, meaning after the democratization move by Mobutu, come with different characteristics.
Apart from the big parties that Mr. Baldo has referred to such as UDPS and PDSC and MNC, we have also witnessed, you know, Mr. Mobutu encouraging the springing up of other parties that are called bread and drink parties.
That came up to 400 parties, some of which you would see is just the father and the mother and the children, and they make up a party. That is what today actually makes the biggest difficulty in the legitimacy of the parties.
The second problem is that the big parties that we are talking about, such as UDPS, are today subject to internal division so before giving them any type of support one question that should be asked is in whose name are they speaking.
For example, let us talk about the party of Mr. Tshisekedi when, for instance, he takes up the stand that he can create a political platform by talking with the rebel movement. That brings up the question of orientation in the sense that there is another, I would say, faction side of his party that is under the leadership of Mr. Kibasa Maleba, who are coming on record and saying that they disagree with the move, you know, to ally with the armed movement.
So today if Mr. Kabila, for instance, has no party we think that is a good thing because it is not about having a political party. It is about having a vision of society. What we are witnessing and we are observing is that none of these political parties seem to have a true project of society that aims at transforming the lives of its people.
What it seems like is that people who are getting into politics want to arrive in power without election, so our stand is to encourage elections. And we, the civil society, say with or without the inter Congolese dialogue we want to go to elections.
Mr. TANCREDO. Thank you very much.
Perhaps I should add not that there is a lack of political parties out there I understand, from what you are saying. It is just that perhaps the Bahala party is the next thing we ought to consider. You certainly are an eloquent spokesman.
Ms. EDGERTON. Congressman Tancredo, if I can just add in at the end of that——
Mr. TANCREDO. Of course.
Ms. EDGERTON [continuing]. Because of Father Bahala’s excellent testimony just to show you that Congolese civil society is very passionate, very active, very engaged, but they are currently without a voice.
What we should be able to do is bolster them through the inter Congolese dialogue so that they do have a voice. They will be able to decide their own political parties, to have them. As you can see, they are capable, passionate and committed.
Father Bahala is one member of civil society who deserves our support as a civil society member. They will have their own political parties. They will be able to choose that. They have already had two national elections in a country that has absolutely no infrastructure. That alone is impressive.
If we can just get them to a point where they actually can dialogue, I think we would have been of assistance.
Mr. TANCREDO. Thank you.
I am going to the questioning now, and then we will wrap up after my compassionate, capable and passionate companion here takes over.
Ms. MCKINNEY. I will try to be brief, Mr. Chairman.
First question. Jean-Pierre Magabe, a former RPA intelligence officer who fled Rwanda and has testified that Paul Kagame planned the downing of the plane carrying Javier Romana and Entorea Mera, testified to me on April 6 of this year that RPA soldiers massacred innocent Congolese and blamed it on the interahamwe.
Is there any evidence that the U.S. has trained soldiers who participated in massacres?
Mr. MADSEN. Congressman McKinney, certainly the evidence is quite clear that the U.S. has trained not only the top leadership in Rwanda, but through these various military training programs that has gone down to the level of colonel, lieutenant colonel and even down to senior non-commissioned officers.
I would note that the recent report that the U.N. is seriously considering now indicting Kagame himself, Colonel Niamwasa, Colonel Jacques Enziza, Colonel Kabarave and Colonel Embengura. Embengura, I might add, was held directly responsible for some very heinous massacres in not only Rwanda, but also amongst the non-genocide Hutu refugees in eastern Congo.
The fact that these people, who were trained by the United States, it is now being considered that they might be indicted for war crimes. I think now more than ever I think the U.S. military and the intelligence community should turn over any evidence that it has. What training did they provide? When did they provide it? What was the level of effort involved with U.S. covert support for the RPF beginning in 1990 with the initial invasion?
Maybe there we can also get at who was responsible for the downing of the aircraft that triggered that terrible genocide in Rwanda in 1994 that led to a counter genocide against Hutus in Zaire and then Congo in the years following.
I think now more than ever, based on people who have defected like Mugave from the RPF, and I might add many others have defected. There are other international investigations taking place with French Judge Brugiere and another former French Judge named Jean-Pierre conducted a separate investigation and came to the conclusion that the RPF was responsible for the downing of that presidential aircraft that triggered this terrible confrontation.
Ms. MCKINNEY. You successfully answered two questions and then forced me to pose me another one. Just for a bit more explication, in a conversation that I had with the Deputy Foreign Minister of Angola I mentioned the fact that the United States turned a blind eye to the 1994 genocide, and I was complaining about that. Of course, now we know that the United States did more than turn a blind eye.
The response from the Deputy Foreign Minister was which genocide? I think we have had testimony here today to suggest that we have genocides occurring inside the genocide, additional genocide, counter genocide, but we just sort of talk about 1994, the downing of the plane, unleashed this torrent of violence and what has happened in terms of genocide, counter genocide, genocide inside genocide that has happened as a result of the fact that a foreign power, as we know, was involved in aiding and abetting in the downing of the airplane and that that foreign power has yet to be named or to make any kind of accountability for its participation in this disaster that we are talking about today.
Mr. MADSEN. As I mentioned, the French and the Belgians, their Parliaments have both looked into this matter. If they were the foreign power that was responsible, I would doubt that they would have any interest in holding hearings, having testimony, doing a thorough investigation.
You are correct, Congresswoman. The only power that has yet to step to the plate, and now we even have the British saying they are going to look at, you know, the role of private military companies. The only power that has not stepped up to the plate and conducted an investigation is the United States.
We have had OAU investigations, United Nations investigations. There have been investigations by Canada, but as yet the United States has not conducted any sort of independent investigation, and I really think that in this case maybe the guilty party decides to remain silent.
Ms. MCKINNEY. I would just also like to add that not only does the guilty party choose to remain silent, but Madeleine Albright—the OAU report said or one of the persons writing the report said that they did not understand how Madeleine Albright could live with herself for what happened there.
We wrote a letter to President Clinton and to Madam Albright requesting the cables since she said she screamed because she did not like the orders that she received. We wanted to see those cables. We have not received even yet a decent acknowledgement of the letter that we sent.
Did you want to say something?
Mr. MADSEN. Well, I think that this Subcommittee deserves much credit in trying to get that information out of the Administration as early as 1997. I know Congressman Smith sent about the letter, and what he got was, you know, and I gave him a lot of Freedom of Information Act requests.
I have to say, you know, that the Subcommittee asked for information on what role the U.S. military may have played in training members of the Rwandan military. He got back information back on the civil war in Lebanon. In the FOIA community, we call that a non-responsive answer to a FOIA request basically that did not answer any questions.
I have to assume that the non-responsiveness was probably due to the fact they did not want that issue looked into any further.
Ms. MCKINNEY. It is amazing to me that the people who were involved in the coverup of the information regarding the plane crash, they all got promotions and the prosecution of the genocide, for that matter.
Colby Annon, who in the Carlson report is fingered in 17 of the 19 identified failures, got a promotion to Secretary General championed by Madeleine Albright. Lewis Arbor, who quashed the investigation, the U.N. investigation into the downing of the airplane, got a promotion to Canadian Supreme Court championed by Madeleine Albright.
Madeleine Albright herself, who claims she screamed—she was doing more than screaming, I believe—got a promotion, too, to Secretary of State. It is a shame. It is a disgrace. Bill Clinton should be ashamed of himself.
Anyway, the Rwandans say that they have spotted interahamwe in Zambia. What does that portend for yet the widening of the war at the same time that Museveni says that he wants an additional $100 million U.S. for security purposes?
Mr. MADSEN. Well, the fact that they are now bringing Zambia into this, I am afraid that what we could have happen is if Zambia becomes a target there is also a rebellious movement with some legitimate claims in the western part of Zambia.
Page 134 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC If the presence of interahamwe in that country leads to U.S. intelligence people going in and private military companies——
Ms. MCKINNEY. The so-called presence of interahamwe.
Mr. MADSEN. Exactly. The so-called presence. Will they be used for other purposes in putting down yet other rebellions?
Of course, Zambia is far from a democracy. Zambia borders on Namibia, and there is a problem on that border. Namibia, of course, is also a source of diamonds. There has been a great find of diamonds recently on the Namibian coast, so I am just concerned that as I sort of postulated when I first looked into this matter.
Was the destabilization of Rwanda an excuse to be able to get to the natural resources of Zaire and then Congo? I believe today that it was, and any other type of foray into other countries on the continent could have the same goal in mind.
I really think that to talk about the so-called interahamwe in Zambia could be an expansion of what has already been a very costly war.
Ms. MCKINNEY. Mr. Chairman, if you would just indulge me for a moment?
Father Bahala has traveled tens of thousands of miles to be here. This is the one shot at getting this information into the congressional record that students generations from now will look at this record, and they will know what happened. If you will see it nowhere else in the media, you will see it right here.
I would like to ask the question because I saw Madeleine Albright sitting on the stage with Leon Pinetta, and she had the biggest, hugest diamond sitting on her earlobes that I could imagine.
Could you tell me the role of Maurice Templesman in U.S.-Africa policy and in what might be happening today in Congo and Sierra Leone?
Anybody? Okay, Wayne. Go ahead.
Mr. MADSEN. It looks like it is me. Well, Maurice Templesman, who probably heads up one of the largest diamond cartels in the world as far as trading in diamonds, his involvement in Congo goes back many, many years, and it is certainly very sordid.
He was in Congo back in the early 1960’s. He was present when Patrice Lumumba was assassinated. He was a colleague of the CIA station chief there, Mr. Larry Devlin. It is thought that he basically was involved in handpicking all the Congolese leaders up to practically the present time.
When current President Joseph Kabila visited Washington, quite surprisingly, a few weeks after his father’s assassination, of course, he had a meeting with Maurice Templesman.
I am quite concerned about the relationship or at least the influence that Templesman had in the last Administration because when you look at where the Administration chose not to act, they were in areas that are sources of diamonds—Congo, SierraL eone, other countries in the region. I think that is very troublesome. Even countries where there may not be diamonds.
We certainly turned a blind eye to the atrocities committed by Charles Taylor. Now we know that he is one of the major bankrollers of the RUF in Sierra Leone.
I am quite concerned about influence peddling in the last Administration and whether that influence peddling led to a U.S. foreign policy that chose to look the other way when all these conflicts, civil wars occurred for the purpose of enriching the bank account of people like Maurice Templesman.
Ms. MCKINNEY. It is amazing to me that you could have a U.S. policy in Sierra Leone that cleaves itself to hand choppers and rapists of 12-year-old little girls, which is what the Albright policy in Sierra Leone was, and then we find out through U.N. documents that Maurice Templesman said to Fotay Sanko in the rough that we can do business together. That is documented in the United Nations report, which will be submitted for the record.
We also would like to submit for the record the Carlson report, the Fowler report and the most recent Bondau report.
Madam Bondau has been subjected to death threats because she chose to tell the truth and name names. Now, if the international community will allow this one lone woman who stood up for justice to be mowed down by the very people who are committing all of these crimes, then who are we? We are all complicit.
I just have one final question. I would like to note the mysterious circumstances under which Archbishop Catalico Awisay was murdered,—you do not have to say it, Father Bahala—the United Nations worker who was said to have committed suicide. I wonder if there is any investigation going on of that murder? That United Nations worker was looking into the expropriation of resources by the Rwandans and the Ugandans from eastern Congo.
The list continues to grow of people who are fleeing Rwanda. They say that their lives are in jeopardy. Murders are being committed. Those murders were preventable.
Then to each of the panelists in conclusion I would just like to ask you one question, and that is is there any topic that we did not discuss here today that needs to be put on the record?
Let us start with you, Father Bahala.
Father BAHALA. Thank you, madam, for being the advocate of those who have no voice.
I just want to add three points here. The first one is that all of our efforts are crushed by the impression that we get that there is an international coalition to silence us; so when we tell people to live in peace, to work for peace, it is like our efforts are practically hollow in front of what the other people are doing.
It is that international lie that we ask that you denounce today; that the American people would know really what goes on in Central Africa and that it is a vast enterprise of accreditation of resources over there.
Next, I would like to say something about the question of ”interahamwe militias” for Rwandan security. I would like for the U.S. Government that is known to, you know, give support to Uganda and Rwanda to just ask a simple question to these countries. What are really their concerns about security?
Countries cannot by themselves, and this is creating a problem, invade other countries because once you start doing that it means that anybody who feels that they are a little bit stronger than another one would just do that, go and invade another country to solve whatever they perceive as the problem.
Now, the questions that really need to be asked that we are asking that the U.S. ask Rwanda is that these interahamwe, how many of them are there? Where are they? What do they, Rwanda, intend to do with them? If there are 10,000 of them or 15,000 of them, what are they going to do with them so that at least those questions are going to be answered and we can start moving from there.
The last point I would like to add, madam, with your permission is about the word economy and looking into how the plundering of the resource of the Congo is organized. The question here is when you look at the diamonds or the coltan, timber, et cetera. This I am really asking as a priest and a human rights activist. Do all those things really require or is it worth the death of so many people? Does the world economy progress in this case?
For instance, let me say it in another way. Does the U.S. get any benefits really by getting the diamonds and the coltan from a divided Congo? Or would it be more to its credit if it got these riches from a unified Congo that could also progress with bilateral accords.
Mr. BALDO. Thank you, Madam Chair and Mr. Chairman. I would like to highlight two problems really; the link between human rights violations and the humanitarian crisis in Congo. I will give two specific examples.
One is the situation in Kisangani. In June of 2000, Uganda and Rwanda went to war for the control of Kisangani. Because of its strategic value, it is for the control of the control for the selling and buying of diamonds and all the available cash not from Africa, but there are several shady characters from all over the world who come in by night with lots of cash and depart by night with small bags of diamonds, so it is the black market of diamonds which is involved.
In the fighting in June, 760 Congolese were killed in the cross fire between the Rwandan and Ugandan armies. Four schools were destroyed partially or totally, leaving children without any schooling. Several dozens clinics and hospitals were totally knocked off functioning. Places of culture, which are protected under international law like the cathedrals, were also damaged.
There is an international decision of the U.N. Security Council, a resolution asking or mandating actually reparations from these two countries for the Congolese population. Nothing is happening. Why is it not happening? Because I believe there are double standards.
The issue of the fact that Uganda is the largest recipient of World Bank money in the African continent has benefitted from the total forgiveness of its foreign debt. Uganda and Rwanda rely on international financial institutions for more than half and including budgetary support for more than half their national budgets.
All this has really encouraged them to adopt this attitude of ignoring even the resolutions calling on them to pay for direct criminal violations in Congo. Therefore, I believe we are facing a situation of group criminality by these actors in Congo leading to this damage.
The concern of this Committee should be how could a new U.S. foreign policy apply pressure to where they should be applied on the perpetrators, on the abusers, on the relenters of international laws and standards. The issue is accountability. Make these two countries pay for the damage done to the Congolese population. This is a very localized incident where if we are concerned about the humanitarian crisis we could really get some accountability for it.
The other dimension is real scrutiny of international financial institutions and bilateral support of continents involved in the Congo. We have not covered that point so far in the discussion. I would like to bring it to your attention.
Mr. ROBERTS. Thank you, Congresswoman, for that great question to close with.
Actually, yes, we have not yet talked about the most important thing, which in my self-interest would be what are we going to do to keep me from having to go back and interview all those wretched souls in eastern Congo again next year? Two point five million people sounds like a statistic to you. It sounds like a library packed with wretchedly tragic novels to me.
I have heard some things I like, but I have not yet heard the crisp things that could be done and that you could actually instigate without spending much money to help us march along toward having a coherent policy confirming our findings, doing some sort of assessment to either throw away the U.N. report officially in terms of the U.S. Government’s official position.
Was the U.N.’s report on exploitation fair or not? If it was not fair, we should come up with our own coherent line. Is the humanitarian response that we are undertaking appropriate and a prudent and logical expression of American compassion? Has it been done well? Should it be greater or less?
There are some things you could do that would stimulate us to be a better player, and I would really love to before the day is over hear that something crisp is going to happen about what we do next.
Ms. EDGERTON. Thank you. While accountability is important, and I do applaud your efforts, Congresswoman, on unearthing things that we were moving forward without unearthing, the withdrawal of foreign troops is essential.
Today we have only mentioned Rwanda and Uganda, but there are also Burundian troops. There are Angolan troops. There are Zimbabwean troops, and there are Namibian troops in the Congo. That needs to be put in the record, I believe.
We want to see more congressional action and pressure on humanitarian issues. That is why we came here to testify today, and I think that the overwhelming evidence provided by Les Roberts and his colleagues, the interviews, the dozens of interviews, hundreds of interviews that we conducted in the east of the Congo, as well as in Kinshasa can attest to the fact that there is a humanitarian crisis going on right now of grand proportion.
The U.S. response has not been appropriate or proportional to that crisis, and we would like to see congressional action so that we can respond appropriately to the emergency.
Mr. MADSEN. I would just add that I think one of the major issues involved with the torment in Africa has to do with the war gods. By god, I do not mean God. I mean gold, oil and diamonds.
The whole reason actually when I was investigating the plane crash in Rwanda several years ago, which led to me writing a book, one of the reasons I really stuck with the story and expanded it was when I found out that American Mineral Fields, a company, AMF, was so involved in the first invasion of then Zaire. When I found out that its international headquarters was located in Hope, Arkansas, I have to say it got my curiosity somewhat.
Now, I have never been to Hope, Arkansas, but I was very curious why would an international mining company locate its headquarters there. I soon found out why. Without getting into all the involvement of people in the Clinton Administration with that type of business, I would just say that I think the Bush Administration may be as close to the oil part of that god as the Clinton Administration was with the diamond part.
I would hope that unlike the Clinton Administration, this Administration has a chance to not let our Africa policy be influenced by these major multinational companies who do not care one whit about human rights, the suffering of people. They concern themselves about profit margins.
Because oil is getting more important, as we know, with this energy crisis, I would just hope that interest in oil and exploitation does not come at the expense of the people in Sudan, Equatorial Guinea, Nigeria and Angola. I would hope that, you know, a couple years from now I am not writing a book about the debacle of the Bush Administration in what could be, you know, human rights violations in those countries.
That is the only thing I would add. We have a chance not to make the same mistake that the last Administration made.
Ms. MCKINNEY. Well, I would just like to say thank you to all of the witnesses.
Mr. ALIMASI. Before when we get into the halls and you catch me on this, I wanted to go on record to say that I made a terrible mistake earlier when I was translating the section where Father Bahala talked about bishops and priests that have been killed.
I said women have been killed. Father Bahala actually said women were buried alive. I want to go on record, you know, making that correction.
Ms. MCKINNEY. Okay. Whatever truth you have gotten together or previously has come because of the actions of this Subcommittee. Whatever actions you have gotten in the past have come as a result of the advocacy of this Subcommittee. Has it been enough? It has not nearly been enough.
Whatever letters have been written have been written as a result of what we have learned during the past 7 years on this Subcommittee. We have more to do, but you have more to do too because, quite frankly, one congressional office cannot do it all. I cannot even convince my colleagues to be here today.
You are going to have to help. All of you are going to have to help. There is going to have to be a mobilization of public opinion. You are going to have to write letters to the newspapers.
It is not good enough for Human Rights Watch to put out a report that is not reported, that is not commented on, that is not cajoled into every one of these congressional offices and the White House as well. I guarantee you I will do whatever needs to be done, but it is not nearly going to be enough.
Mr. Madsen failed to mention the fact that Banro Corporation is actively roaming around. That has George the elder Bush sitting on its board of directors or whatever. People are in powerful places, and they benefit.
I would say before, Dr. Roberts, you said that the U.S. did not have a policy. I think the U.S. does have a policy, and we are seeing it.
Chevron is still pumping oil. The diamonds are still coming out. The mineral resources are still coming out. People are benefitting. It is just not the people that we want to benefit.
I would also add that now we have seen newspaper reports that Bill Gates is interested in what is happening in eastern Congo, and the fact that he provided or the foundation provided funding for your study is one good use of that money, but we also must marshal all of the forces to do more than we all have done. It is not nearly good enough.
Mr. TANCREDO. I thank all of the witnesses for their testimony. It has been provocative and I think quite profound. I share my colleagues’ desire to make sure that the information is as widely distributed as possible, and as much as can be done from our point of view anyway will be done.
We can only hope that because a new day has dawned here and new players are on the scene that they will change the course of policy in this area of the world and that they will be successful in their attempts to do so.
I have great hope and I have great confidence in the Secretary of State. One of the ways that we will determine whether this confidence is well placed to see exactly how and what kind of policy this country does develop vis-a-vis Congo, Sudan and a variety of other places that have begged for our attention for quite some time.
Again, I want to thank all of you for your very, very important words and your presentation today.
This Committee is adjourned.
[Whereupon, at 12:30 p.m. the Subcommittee was adjourned.]
Copyright, US House of Representatives, Committee on International Relations 2001.