Friday, June 6, 2003
The Committee on Conscience has convened a forum with policymakers and human rights experts to consider the crisis in Congo. The forum included George Rupp, John Prendergast, Alan Eastham, Bertrand Lortholary, Paul Nana Simo, Herb Weiss, and Alison Des Forges.
JERRY FOWLER: Good afternoon. Welcome to the Holocaust Memorial Museum. Thank you for coming in on such a beautiful day. I heard on the radio coming in that this is the only beautiful day we’re going to have for the rest of the summer, so I think it signifies the importance of what we’re talking about today that people have come in even though we’re seeing our first sun in so long.
My name is Jerry Fowler, and I’m the staff director of the Holocaust Museum’s Committee on Conscience. The mandate of the Committee on Conscience is to alert the national conscience to threats of contemporary genocide and related crimes against humanity.
It was part of the original vision of the museum that it would be a living memorial, living in the sense that it would address contemporary events. As Elie Wiesel and the President’s Commission on the Holocaust told President Jimmy Carter in 1979, a memorial unresponsive to the future would violate the memory of the past.
The committee was created shortly after the museum opened 10 years ago. Over time, it has spoken out on a number of issues, including Bosnia, Kosovo, East Timor. We’ve done a number of programs on Rwanda. Unfortunately, it was after Rwanda that that committee was created, and, in part, as a response to the genocide in Rwanda.
This is the first time that we’ve addressed the issue of Congo. In some ways, I’m quite ashamed of that. I think we should have been doing things before, but we are now engaging on the issue, and this will not be the last time that we’ll use this forum to discuss this issue.
Before we get started, I’d like to particularly thank Refugees International and the Great Lakes Policy Forum for their assistance in publicizing this and in setting this up. We have with us from Refugees International in particular Anne Edgerton and Cliff Bernath. They brought copies of their latest report on MONUC, which were taken very quickly, so there are no more outside. But I’m sure if people talk to Cliff or Anne or go to their Web site, they can get copies of it.
I’d also like to welcome Ambassador Faida Mitifu from the Democratic Republic of Congo. Madame Ambassador, thank you so much for coming. Thanks to all of you.
This museum just celebrated its 10th anniversary. I think it’s clear that this museum has struck a chord in the American nation. When it opened, we thought that maybe 500,000 people would come through the first year and then it would tail off after that. In fact, 2 million people came through the first year and 2 million people came through the year after that. Every year, the visitation stayed constant, 2 million people per year, until the events of September 11th depressed visitation to our city overall.
We’ve been, in assessing where we are, trying to figure out why it is that the museum has struck such a chord. I think that one reason is that in this particular story that we tell upstairs in our permanent exhibition, there are compelling universal themes. In the permanent exhibition upstairs, we see something fundamental about human nature and the whole range of human behavior, from unimaginable evil to extraordinary goodness.
In the story that the exhibition tells, we see the consequences of apathy and inaction, we see a particular case of how governments, institutions, and individuals stood by and did little or nothing to prevent the near extermination of European Jewry as well as the persecution and murder of millions of others.
But the Holocaust also suggests, and I underscore suggests, the potential for individuals, groups, and nations to respond to and confront those who violate human rights and who threaten or enable genocide.
If we look back to the 1930s and 1940s, we ask why did some stand by while others responded? Why did most stand by while relatively few responded? This museum doesn’t provide an answer to that question. Indeed, as Elie Wiesel said 10 years ago when the museum opened, there is no answer. If anything, this museum is a response in responsibility.
It’s in that spirit that we’ve convened this forum today on the crisis in Congo, not because we have any particular insight into exactly what can and should be done. We even have trouble categorizing it by the concepts we usually use.
Is there a threat of genocide in Congo? There are certainly some very sober people, such as Gareth Evans of the International Crisis Group and the editors of “The New York Times,” who are starting to use that word. I don’t know.
But I do know that we cannot afford to waste time in distracting debates about definitions, whether it is genocide or merely, and I use quotation marks, “merely” an appalling series of crimes against humanity. The scope of the crisis is too great to ignore. What should we do about Congo? This museum does not provide an answer, but it is a response in responsibility.
I mentioned that our exhibition suggests the potential of individuals, groups, and nations to respond to human rights violations and threats to genocide, and we do that through telling the stories of rescuers, such as Raoul Wallenberg, after whom the street in front of us is named, and the Danish people. One of the stories that we tell is the story of Varian Fry. How many people in here have heard of Varian Fry? I know Dr. Rupp has. Relatively few. Next time you go through our exhibition, and I hope you go through sometime soon, you should check out Varian Fry.
He was a young American. In fact, the Holocaust memorial in Israel, Yad Vashem, has a list of what they called the “Righteous among Nations,” people who took risks to save lives before and during the Holocaust. There are about 20,000 names on that list and there’s one American, and that American is Varian Fry.
He went to unoccupied France in 1940 on behalf of a group called the Emergency Rescue Committee to help refugees fleeing the Nazis. Through courage and cunning and at risk to himself, he assisted thousands, thousands of refugees, including some of the best-known intellectuals and artists of the 20th century, such as Marc Chagall and Hannah Arendt.
Well, I bring this up in part because he’s an inspiring example, and I know that so many of you are doing work that follows in his footsteps. But I also bring it up because the Emergency Rescue Committee that sent Varian Fry to France ultimately became the International Rescue Committee, which among all its important work has played a particularly vital role in alerting all of us to the extent of the Congolese catastrophe.
We’re very privileged today to have with us Dr. George Rupp, who’s the president and CEO of the International Rescue Committee. Dr. Rupp is about to celebrate his first anniversary as the head of IRC. Before going there, he was one of our nation’s most prominent leaders in higher education, enjoying highly successful tenures as the president of Rice University, Columbia University, and as the dean of the Harvard Divinity School. Everywhere he’s been, he’s provided energetic and visionary and innovative leadership, qualities that I have no doubt will benefit the IRC, will benefit all of us in responding to the Congolese crisis.
Please join me in welcoming Dr. George Rupp.
GEORGE RUPP: Thank you very much, Jerry. I think I probably should just sit down since you have said what needs to be said. The International Rescue Committee is honored to join in orchestrating or organizing this occasion. We have the shared history that Jerry just described.
The Emergency Rescue Committee, our antecedent, was founded at the suggestion of Albert Einstein in a letter written from Europe saying he thought it really was urgently required that there be an organization, he said, a committee formed that would rescue refugees from Nazi-occupied Europe and resettle them in the United States. Those are our origins.
We’re proud of that history. We’re delighted that we’re still represented on the fourth floor and Varian Fry’s story is told. We’re pleased that from the very beginning, there was recognition of the important role that he played.
As Jerry indicated, the International Rescue Committee also has been involved for a long time in the Great Lakes Region of Africa. We became involved in Rwanda in 1994, in Burundi in ’96, in Uganda in ’98, and we’ve been in the Democratic Republic of Congo, then called Zaire, since ’96.
We do there what we do in 30 countries around the world: Water and sanitation work, community-based health care that, in the case of the DRC, reaches about a million people. We’re also active in structural rehabilitation of schools, health centers and hospitals, and other kinds of infrastructure. But the reason that we are most often associated with the DRC, certainly in the press, is because we’ve been central in trying to document the scope of the catastrophe in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
We have done that through a series of mortality surveys. The series began in 1999, when we did a health assessment in the Katana health zone, which is 20 miles north Bukavu. We found that there was a crude mortality rate that was three times the baseline for sub-Saharan Africa, which in turn is more than double what it is in the United States -- or the baseline is double, so six times what the crude mortality rate is in the United States. For those of you who are really into data, that means 3.8 deaths per 1,000 people per month.
Then in January 2000, The New York Times had a front page story in which it said that perhaps as many as 1,000 deaths had occurred in the conflict that was going on in the Congo. It seemed to us that was wildly understating the seriousness of the situation since our estimates based on this one health assessment had 22,000 estimated deaths just in one health zone.
So we decided we would do a more careful and systematic study of what was going on in Eastern Congo. One of our staff, Les Roberts, an epidemiologist, led a study in which we did a series of surveys: first in 2000, then in 2001, and then again in 2002. Those surveys were very consistent in their findings.
The first, the 2000 survey, found that there were 1.7 million deaths beyond the baseline over a period of 22 months up to the time of that survey. In 2001, our estimate was that there were 2.5 million deaths above the baseline of what would have been expected without the war over the period of the previous 32 months. Now these numbers, 1.7 in 2000 and 2.5 in 2001, are really the middle of a range. We don’t have the illusion of precision here, but they’re conservative estimates, and therefore, not at the high end of the range.
Then this last year, 2002, we did a survey, and the number was 3.3 million in Eastern Congo alone since August of 1998.
That means that the catastrophe over these 4-1/2 years, or now 5 years, in Congo is the largest humanitarian disaster in terms of mortality ever, greater than the Biafran conflict which it has now overtaken. It is the single largest number of deaths in any conflict since World War II.
These mortality surveys are careful, systematic, corroborated, they’ve been published in the Centers for Disease Control publications. I don’t think they’re any longer seriously disputed in their accuracy. But numbers tend to make most people’s eyes glaze over, so let me put the 3.3 million in terms that seem to me to capture what is at stake.
That would be the equivalent of the number of deaths in the World Trade Center every day for 3 years. Every single day for 3 years running. Now it’s stretched out a little longer than that so it’s not 3,000 every single day, but that’s the magnitude of the disaster in a country that has a population about a fifth as large as the United States.
Now let me say a little about the situation now, because that is really the set of premises on which our panel -- the backdrop against which our panel will be speaking. The news certainly is horrible: 3.3 million deaths in 4-1/2 years is a horrific number. But there’s also at least a glimmer of better news; namely the rate of excess mortality is significantly down in the past year, and there are reasons for that improvement.
There’s a peace accord that has not always been honored, but at least honored in part, especially between Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. There’s been the withdrawal of Rwandan troops beginning in August 2002. There have been UN observers; 5,500 of them, but those numbers are going to increase. There’s been greater humanitarian access.
In all of those ways, there are reasons for slight optimism, but it seems to me extremely important for us to recognize just how precarious the situation still is. That’s been evident in the reports in recent weeks that focus on the Ituri region. That’s an example. It’s only an example. The tribal groups at war there, the Hema and the Lendu, are only a small subset of the population. Together, they total less than a million people in a country with a population of over 50 million. But it’s an example of how precarious the peace can be because as Ugandan troops have withdrawn from the Ituri region, they clearly left behind well-armed proxies who have continued to kill each other at a shocking rate.
The panel is going to talk about what we do going forward, but since I won’t be on the panel, I can’t help anticipating just a little bit. It seems to me that a couple of steps are inescapable. There has to be greater international security presence. In that respect, the commitment, really the leadership, of the French government in being willing to send in troops seems to me enormously important, and it’s gratifying that the US has provided at least verbal support so far.
I know from talking to Charlie Snyder, who’s the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State responsible for Africa, that at least the professionals in the State Department feel very strongly that this initiative by the French needs to be supported.
Secondly, we need to see that development assistance for Rwanda and Uganda in particular is linked to the way they perform in following through on their obligations in the DRC.
Thirdly, the security presence has to be there in order to make secure the borders of the DRC, and in particular, to end control by Rwanda and Uganda of the natural resources of the DRC, which is a huge ingredient in fueling the conflict.
Finally, we need to aid and support the peace process. That means rebuilding the DRC’s army and police, and it also means building a decent government. That is going to be a huge project. The DRC has suffered from inadequate government from the time of the voracious colonial exploitation of King Leopold and his successors in Belgium, the corrupt government of Mobutu Sese Seko, and then the chaos since 1994. What Congo needs more than any other single accomplishment is decent government.
The situation in the DRC, whether we call it a genocide or not, is without question the largest humanitarian catastrophe in our world today. It urgently demands a response from all of us. I look forward with all of you to hearing from our panel as to the next steps we should be taking.
Thank you very much for being here.
JERRY FOWLER: Thank you, Dr. Rupp. I see Alison has made it just on time, waiting for her cue. There’s also a few people standing in back. There are some seats in the middle. Maybe if people who have empty seats next to them the people could move in just a little bit, we can accommodate everyone.
We’re very privileged to have an expert panel to discuss in greater detail some of the issues that Dr. Rupp has raised, and if the panel can file on up as I’m introducing you.
Moderating the panel, we have from the International Crisis Group John Prendergast, who is the co-director of the Africa program and a former official with the State Department and the National Security Council. We have Alison des Forges, who is senior advisor to Human Rights Watch, a historian by training, who has worked for a long time on the Great Lakes, particularly Rwanda and Burundi, but also the Democratic Republic of Congo. We have Alan Eastham, director of Central Africa at the United States State Department. Bertrand Lortholary, who is the counselor of African Affairs at the French Embassy and chief of staff to the ambassador of France to the United States. We have Professor Herbert Weiss, he characterizes himself as a student of the Democratic Republic of Congo; emeritus professor at City University of New York. And Paul Nana Simo from the International Human Rights Law Group, who provides substantive support on a range of technical assistance programs and is in very close contact with civil society groups on the ground in Congo.
So I look forward to this discussion. Thank you very much.
JOHN PRENDERGAST: Well, thank you all very much for coming. That felt a little bit like a cattle call there.
As the Washington policy wonk that I am, I really pride myself on being as substantive and as dispassionate about these issues that we all grapple with as possible. But when you begin to start talking about the Eastern Congo, you simply cannot be limited by normal human discourse.
Nothing comes close to what has happened in the Eastern Congo across the globe over the last 6 years. It is the epicenter of African crises, if not crises around the world. The current approach I think in very broad terms, is hopelessly inadequate, and that’s the regional approach from the international community and the approach taken by the parties to the conflict to resolving it.
For example, MONUC, 4,600 troops now out of 8,700 authorized and perhaps 20,000 needed. The current multinational forces, the boots are hitting the ground as we speak, is sending 1,200 troops to one town to create a little island of stability in a sea of instability and interethnic killing. It’s window dressing while the house burns down, and we’re fiddling while the Congo continues to burn.
The current lack of response to the Congo over the last 6 years is even more consequential in cumulative terms and in human terms than the non-response to the Rwanda genocide that happened between April and June of 1994. It’s unthinkable, it’s unacceptable, and I’m very glad the Holocaust Museum’s taken a first stab at pushing for greater accountability and better answers.
The Ituri response, and I hated when I was working in a policy position like Al [Eastham] now to hear people say this, but the Ituri response is a test case, you know, for the international community, for the Eastern Congo, for the Congo itself, for all of Africa.
The problem, though, is that the deployment to Bunia will just displace the killing to outside of the city. The forces will be able to watch the killing, the burning with their binoculars, but won’t be able to respond unless very aggressive and different interpretation of the mandate than we expect will occur. We can’t forget that the fighting continues south of Ituri, even though all the press has been in Ituri and Bunia lately, in the Kivus, with a death toll that’s really much, much higher than that in Ituri.
Now to stop the killing, we urgently need some solutions. I hope that in the following hour and a half or whatever we have, we’ll get some good ideas on these. But the issues that I think we need to address, in fact, parallel very much what George has told us. How do you make the Bunia intervention successful? What are the ingredients? What are the specific objectives that need to be undertaken for this 2-month bridge, and then the handoff to make Ituri a less contested and conflicted area?
Secondly, how do you stop the support for these proxy militias that are ripping the Congo to shreds? They’re all supported. They all have external patrons or internal patrons, and those patrons are in Kinshasa, in Kigali, and in Kampala. There needs to be penalties imposed, specific penalties. We can hopefully talk about that over time if, going forward, it’s found that assistance continues to be provided to any and all of these militias.
Third, how do you counter the war crimes and the acts of genocide that have been perpetrated now for the last few years? Again, what are the penalties? Are you talking about an international court? Are you talking about some mechanism to the ICC? Talking about some kind of a commission of inquiry that starts to gather evidence? What’s the relevant response to what is happening there?
Fourth, how do you support the transitional government in Kinshasa and the composition and professionalization of a new national army? What are the requirements? What is the support needed from the international community? Because that in the end is going to be the best guarantee for a future that is free of what we’re seeing now.
Then finally, the old issue, how do you increase international engagement and political will? How do you sufficiently enflame the consciences of the world, the very purpose of this museum, in order to respond more appropriately?
Now I personally may or may not have any of the answers, but I’m sorely tempted to get on my soapbox and start preaching at you what we ought to do. But you didn’t come here for that. You came here to hear this excellent panel, I hope, and it’s time for them now.
We always give this long two to three minute introductions reading these boring biographies, including my own. I’d rather try to give you a little story about each one of these, and we’re just going to go straight from right to left in each one.
Al Eastham is a serious veteran of Congo affairs. He arrived in 1992 to be the head of the political section of the US Embassy when Melissa Wells was our ambassador. He focused specifically on Kinshasa politics and on Katanga. He was in the front row seat watching the unraveling in very, very slow motion of Mobutu’s authority. He was in that seat for 2 full years and has kept an eye on the situation there ever since. Now he’s director of Central African affairs.
Al, take it away.
ALAN EASTHAM: Thanks very much. I don’t know whether to say that a lot has changed in Congo, formerly Zaire, since I lived there in 1992 to 1994, or whether to say nothing has changed, but there are aspects of both that we could talk about.
The main focus of this discussion on the part of the subsequent panelists will be on the situation in Ituri and in Bunia specifically, so I don’t think I’ll go through that in very much detail. Instead, I think I’ll talk about some of the principles that guide what we in the US Government have been doing, and what we intend to continue to do, as we attempt to respond to the crisis in Bunia and also the several other crises which with less vividness affect the Democratic Republic of the Congo at present.
One of the leading features of the Democratic Republic of Congo is its complexity. There is a tendency, on the part of the press certainly, but also we in government are not immune to it and other governments are not immune to it, to focus only on one thing at a time. I think that in the case of the Democratic Republic of Congo, that is a big mistake.
When I took this job last year, one of my colleagues in the Africa Bureau said, you know, this really is rocket science because it is terribly, terribly complicated. It’s a juggling act to keep in motion all of the actions that need to be taken at a given moment to try to affect the situation in the Congo.
I would like to risk being deadly boring to those who are well-informed in the audience. I would like to walk you back through the main principle of action in the Democratic Republic of Congo and to bring you forward from a few years ago to try to figure out where we are now, because that has implications for the actions that we take in the future.
The entirety of action these days is governed by the principle that you should try to reach understandings amongst the belligerents in the Congo, those who participate in the violence which is taking place there, and then insist that those agreements be respected and implemented. It is a relatively simple matter to reach an agreement. It is a lot harder in the Congo context to get it implemented, to get people to do what it is that is said on the paper that they signed last week. We have found this over and over again in this conflict.
The fundamental understanding from which all else flows is the Lusaka peace agreement of 1999. That is the agreement that brought MONUC, via UN Security Council, into the picture. It began as a fairly conventional UN operation, which was intended to monitor an agreed cease-fire line amongst several belligerents.
At one point, there were nine principal belligerents involved in the Congo war. That meant this was a very complicated cease-fire, to identify the lines and then to police them, to enforce them amongst the parties.
MONUC has evolved over the years from that basis, through a series of other agreements, in which the original Lusaka cease-fire lines have become much, much less relevant than they were 3 or 4 years ago to the peace process. The political process in Kinshasa has concomitantly become much, much more important. There are a series of agreements that govern what it is that is to be set up in Kinshasa as a starting point for a democratic process leading to the good government that was Dr. Rupp’s culminating recommendation, and which we all hope will be implemented at some point in the future.
At the moment, the negotiation in Kinshasa is over the final point, which is the structure and organization and leadership of the new Congolese army, the security force, which will, one hopes, in some way integrate the belligerent armies in the Congo and enable that series of militias, the groupings that exist at present, to be transformed through a process of integration and demobilization into a more professional national army under a single command structure responsive to political authority in the Congo.
Now 10 years ago, when I was living in Kinshasa, I missed the first looting of Kinshasa by the army. I was there for the second one. The criteria I just described about the desired shape of a Congolese army and security force were not present during Mobutu’s time, even then. So it is going to be a huge task to try to pull together people who have been fighting one another for several years to make a single army. That is going to require very, very gifted and dedicated political leadership on the part of all of the leaders of the principal belligerent factions when they come together in the transition government, but it is an essential part of this process.
On the point of MONUC’s evolution, MONUC, as I said, started off as a conventional cease-fire monitoring organization. It went through a couple of expansion periods until it reached where we were last fall, which was a change in MONUC’s mandate to give it responsibility for demobilization, disarmament, and repatriation of the anti-Rwanda groups in the eastern part of the Congo. That process is just now coming into play with the deployment in the very recent past, in the last few days in fact, of a South African battalion to the town of Kindu, to oversee this effort in the Kivus, which is intended to carry out a task which was formally assigned to MONUC last fall in the last revision of MONUC’s mandate.
We are looking forward to seeing that process move forward even as we begin the consideration of some new proposals that the Secretary General put on the table last week, which are related to, but separate from, the authorization given to the multinational force led by the French to go into Bunia.
I didn’t understand what I just said. I hope there was someone in the audience who did. It was all a true statement, but it was such a complicated exposition, that unless you, as I do, follow this every day, it was probably totally incomprehensible. But it was indeed an illustration of how many things you have to keep in your head all at once in order to understand one small piece of the Congo problem.
In terms of the political transition, as I said, everything is done except the army part. The Secretary General earlier this week re-appointed Mr. Moustapha Niasse, who played a very important role in bringing together the Congolese parties earlier this year to create the political transition, along with a Canadian, General Baril, to go out to Kinshasa to work on this last issue with the Congolese to try to come up with the formula that works for everybody so that we can move forward.
In my view, a successful transition government in Kinshasa is going to be an essential part of solving the dreadful humanitarian crises that are unfolding at the moment in Ituri and in the Kivus. That is, it is not only the formation of a transition government that will achieve that, there are other steps that need to be taken, some of which have been alluded to by Dr. Rupp and by Mr. Prendergast. But the formation of the transition government is the only way that a long-term solution can be achieved.
I would be so bold as to say that there is no way that a foreign security presence can have anything other than a short-term palliative effect on this humanitarian crisis that we face. We will certainly support it. I’m glad that the Administration support for the French deployment has been noted. We’ve been strongly behind the French on this and have offered to help in every way that we can, both on the political side and on the logistic side in accordance with their expressed requirements for carrying out this mission. We’ve done everything that we’ve been asked to do, and I think that will continue. We’re looking forward to seeing the final unrolling of the EU component of this to see how many of our colleagues from the European Union will be participating.
The French, we understand, are there now and will be moving fairly quickly. One of the aspects of this is that we made a future commitment with respect to the onward deployment of a battalion of Bangladeshi forces who were slated to have been deployed in support of the demobilization mission in the Kivus to Ituri as a follow-on -- as the nucleus, shall we say, of a follow-on force for the French once the limited deployment that they have undertaken winds down in the fall. We are presently looking at the Secretary General’s report, which recommends that a substantially larger force than one battalion be deployed into Bunia later this year in order to stabilize the situation.
However, it is important not to lose sight of the fact that foreign forces don’t last forever. The only solution for the long-term in Ituri will be a political one, and it will require a transition government in Kinshasa as well as a lot of hard work by the local people who are trying to organize themselves to come up with a reconciliation process that will somehow end the violence.
It is also important that no party, no belligerent in the Congo arm or supply the contending militias either in the northeast, in Ituri, or in the Kivus. It is completely contrary to the spirit that has been created by the Congolese in their own efforts to come up with a unified transition arrangement. It risks derailing the Kinshasa process for interested parties to continue to feed the armed conflict and the violence, whether you call it genocide or not, that is occurring at the moment, today, in Ituri and in the Kivus.
The belligerents who do that will bear substantial responsibility for that. It will affect the relationship of the rest of the world to them, whether they are Congolese or from the outside.
Finally, our work program for this week is to attempt to work with the UN to figure out what makes sense for the future efforts of MONUC. We met this morning with Ambassador Negroponte, who is in town from New York and who will be leaving over the weekend with a group composed of his colleagues from the Security Council in New York. They’ll be going making a long trip through Central Africa and, in particular, the Congo as a preparation for what I expect to be a very important discussion the week after next, when they get back in New York, about the future of MONUC.
I think that’s enough from my side, and I don’t want to run over too much because I would like to hear some more ideas about what we ought to be doing as the Executive Branch to try to make some sense of and to do some good in the Congo.
Thank you very much.
JOHN PRENDERGAST: Thank you very much, Al, it was excellent. It really certainly warms my heart to see the American and French diplomats sitting next to each other and cooperating so closely on this issue. We asked President Chirac and President Bush to attend and to address this, but they’ve graciously deputized these two guys to help enlighten us on this.
Second, we have Betrand Lortholary. He, I’m sure in a life-changing event, was assigned to Kinshasa as a French diplomat in the year 2000 as a political officer, a TDY, to focus on, similar to Al, the internal political situation, and particularly in Kinshasa, and to help move the peace process forward. I’m sure it was a great career move, Betrand.
Also, earlier than that, he played a part in setting up -- and a very key part of setting up -- the parliamentary commission, if you all remember, in ’97 and ’98, looking at the French involvement in Rwanda from ’90 to ’94. Of course, he refuses to answer any questions on this subject -- I’m just kidding -- and now he’s the counselor for African Affairs. Obviously, he did well in his last position and he’s chief of staff to the ambassador here in France.
BERTRAND LORTHOLARY: Transcript not available.