Will Congo get a mention in the Obama/Romney foreign policy debate?


KPFA Evening News, 10.14.2012

Millions of people have died violently, or in refugee or iDP camps, since U.S. military partners Rwanda and Uganda invaded the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 1996 and 1998. Will Congo get a mention at Tuesday's presidential foreign policy debate?



KPFA Weekend News Anchor: Turning now to Africa news, the Democratic Republic of the Congo has received little mention, if any, in the presidential candidates' foreign policy statements, despite the ongoing Congolese holocaust in which six million people have died, and, despite the involvement of U.S. military partners Rwanda and Uganda. Congolese, Congolese Americans, and Africa advocates still hope, however, that the presidential candidates will speak to Congo during Tuesday evening's foreign policy date. KPFA's Ann Garrison has the story.

KPFA/Ann Garrison: Erica Kamba, a Congolese American social worker with the Boston-based Congolese Development Center, made a videotape of this message for the CNN I-Team which has been collecting questions Americans want the presidential candidates to answer on Tuesday evening.

Eric Kamba: Thank you, CNN. My name is Eric Kamba. I’m a U.S. citizen, originally from Congo. Here is my question to the two candidates. Millions of Congolese people have died as a result of the invasion of Rwanda and Uganda in 1996 and 1998, and the support of the rebel groups by both countries. Hundreds of thousands have been raped as a weapon of war. Today nearly a half million are refugees and IDP Eric Kamba, Congolese American social worker and activist persons as a result of the Rwandan-backed rebel group M23’s attacks. But the news of the international conflict is all about Libya and Syria. What is the view of these two presidential candidates about the crisis in Congo?

KPFA: Maurice Carney, Executive Director of Washington D.C.-based Friends of the Congo, says that, although the world has vowed that this will never happen again and would not allow it in Europe, it is happening now in Congo and the world is silent. 

Maurice Carney: There’s a global consensus that exists that says it’s OK for nearly six million Black people to die in the heart of Africa and for us to be silent.

KPFA: In 2006, then Senator Obama, in the Obama Congo Relief, Security, and Democracy Promotion Act, wrote that Congo’s neighbors, Uganda
a, Rwanda, and Burundi, were, QUOTE, “using the presence of real or perceived hostile militias as an excuse to interfere in Congo." UNQUOTE.
Obama's legislation, which became Public Law 109-456, expanded the powers of the Secretary of State to cut aid to countries involved in illegal resource extraction in Congo. As President, however, Obama has continued the 
close U.S. military partnership with Rwanda and Uganda.

For Pacifica, KPFA and AfrobeatRadio, I'm Ann Garrison.


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