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"Even the Vatican has spoken out in defense of the Archbishop; why can't the United States?"

February 16, 2000

WASHINGTON--Today Congresswoman McKinney demanded that the United States drop its policy of being mum on the human rights abuses and crimes against humanity that are being committed in the Democratic Republic of Congo by proxy forces controlled by U.S. allies, Uganda and Rwanda. McKinney was responding to a press release by Roberto Garreton, United Nations Human Rights Representative to Democratic Republic of Congo, which criticized human rights in rebel-held areas. Garreton's' report expressed concerns about the situation of the Monseignor Archbishop of Bukavu and the inhumane treatment occurring to citizens under the territorial control of the RCD-Goma and the RCD-ML. McKinney noted that these factions are under the control of our allies Rwanda and Uganda.

During a briefing to the House International Relations Committee by Secretary of State, Madeline Albright, Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, Ranking Member of the International Operations and Human Rights Subcommittee was critical of America's foreign policy. We still have a military relationship with Rwanda, that we have not yet voiced our concern about the situation of the Archbishop of Bukavu, Monseignor Kataliko and that we continue to cover-up and make excuses for our successive policy failures with respect to this region. Secretary Albright replied "that she was aware that McKinney is well informed and promised to look into the issue of the Archbishop."

Congresswoman McKinney stated that "the failed U.S. foreign policies of the past have abetted the current climate of ethnic hatred, genocide, revenge, crimes against humanity, and violation of international law."

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