back to News Briefs | Cynthia McKinney | co-globalize | rat haus | Index | Search | tree

Return to the Homepage!
House Legislation

House Legislation

Tolerance and Inclusion the Key to Resolution in Congo

"The potential of chaos spreading is very high."

August 5, 1998

WASHINGTON -- As fighting and political unrest in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRoC) continues to rise, Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney (D-Ga.), who sits on the House International Relations Committee openly expressed her disappointment and disbelief saying, "It is most unfortunate that only one year after the overthrow of one of the world's worst dictators, this region has disintegrated into a state of chaos, with warring factions leaving bodies in the streets," stated McKinney. "I had hoped that this would have been a new beginning for DRoC and cautioned President Kabila against becoming Mobutu II. We are in contact with our friends on the ground in DRoC and in the surrounding countries. Our concern right now is that restraint be exercised by all parties and a negotiated settlement reached rather than by the use of force. The United States should prepare to take the diplomatic lead on this particular foreign policy issue," continued McKinney.

McKinney traveled to the country formerly called Zaire at the time of the uprising that brought Laurent Kabila to power and then again with a US diplomatic envoy, which included former US Ambassador to the UN Bill Richardson. "Laurent Kabila made a soft landing in Kinshasa at my urging and through the work of the State Department. This gave me hope that he would keep his other promises to move toward free and open elections, a free market economy, and respect for human rights," stated McKinney, who is closely monitoring the situation. "The potential of chaos in DRoC spreading to its neighbors is very high. Angola is already a powderkeg that doesn't need any kindling. Spreading violence across the central African landscape must be prevented at all costs and we will use our good offices in any way appropriate to save lives on the Continent and to promote U.S. interests. President Kabila might still be able to retreat from this ethnic abyss, but time is not on his side and lives hang in the balance," stated McKinney.

Despite State Department orders Tuesday night for all American citizens and all non-emergency government employees to leave Congo, McKinney remains hopeful that a resolution can be reached. "I have to remain optimistic in this very delicate situation that the surrounding states will play an integral role in finding a peaceful solution, increasing tolerance and inclusion of all ethnicities. It is most unfortunate that this unrest comes after President Clinton's promises to the Continent, and at a time when the world is beginning to look for great strides to take place there," concluded McKinney.

News Briefs Home

Constituent Services | House Legislation | News Briefs
Guestbook | Congress Online | Tours & Flag Info | GA's 4th District

back to News Briefs | Cynthia McKinney | co-globalize | rat haus | Index | Search | tree