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U.S. Department of State
96/10/11 Press Briefing in Arusha, Tanzania
Office of the Spokesman


                        U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
                        Office of the Spokesman

                             Arusha, Tanzania
___________________________________________________________________
For Immediate Release                              October 11, 1996


          ON THE RECORD BRIEFING BY SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER

                       Mt. Meru (Novotel) Hotel
                           Arusha, Tanzania
                           October 11, 1996


SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER:  Madam Minister, Mr. Minister, thank you very 
much for that generous introduction.  As the Minister said, the most 
urgent issue on the agenda today is Burundi.  As you know the United 
States condemned the July coo in Burundi and we have supported regional 
leaders in their extraordinary efforts to resolve that conflict.  The 
goals between us are certainly clear to restore democracy, protect the 
minority rights and to prevent further bloodshed.  The United States 
calls on both sides in the conflict to suspend their hostilities and to 
begin all party negotiations.  Of course, none of us from the outside 
can dictate the terms of a settlement.  That is the responsibility of 
Burundi's people.  Our responsibility is to press both sides to reach an 
agreement that allows all the people of Burundi to live together in a 
secure and democratic community.  Where we see progress in this endeavor 
we must be ready to recognize it.  Both sides have now expressed a 
willingness to negotiate.  Mr. Buyoya's decision to reopen the national 
assembly and to lift the ban on political parties is encouraging.  The 
rebel groups must know that we expect them to chose dialog rather than 
conflict.  With good faith on all sides and the continued engagement in 
the united region, we can believe that a peaceful settlement is indeed 
attainable.  However, should the situation deteriorate further in 
Burundi, the international community must be prepared to act quickly to 
prevent a humanitarian catastrophe.  Yesterday at the OAU I called for 
the creation of an African Crisis Response Force.  A force of  the 
continent shall have the ability to respond rapidly and effectively to 
crisis in Africa and beyond.

When we spoke today about our efforts to encourage the voluntary 
patriation of Rwandan refugees in our meetings, we also were identifying 
a very important problem.  We believe that it is time to close the camps 
closest to the Rwandan border, camps that pose the very greatest 
security threat.  Later today I'll be meeting with Justice Louise 
Arbour, the Chief Prosecutor of the International War Times Tribunal, a 
endeavor that is very important to the United States and one into which 
we are deeply committed.

Finally, we spoke today about the East African Nation growing political 
and economic cooperation.  It's a reminder that most of the nations and 
people of East Africa are moving away from conflict and catastrophe even 
as they work together to try resolve the crises in Burundi and Rwanda.  
I have a longer statement that I'll make available to you.

You can tell we're running a little bit behind time, so I'll ask you if 
you are interested in looking at that longer statement and now be 
prepared to take a few questions.

QUESTION:   You have said that we have one Tanzanian and an American, in 
that order.  

QUESTION:   I'd like to ask you a question, Mr. Secretary of State.  
(Inaudible)  America has been so much supportive in  (inaudible), but 
after that in the Middle East (inaudible) and then it was so quick that 
there was a summit or something like this.  And then the war broke out 
in Rwanda and Burundi, you was so quiet and then after one (inaudible) 
you come to Africa (inaudible) peace in Africa.

SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER:  I think the record is a little different than 
you have just summarized it.  The United States, of course, made a huge 
commitment of manpower and resources in Somalia, saved thousands, 
hundreds and thousands of lives.  The situation was a very desperate 
situation when we came there.  Now, as you know, we also devoted many 
resources to Rwanda, flying in water purification equipment that was 
brought to avoid disease and save many lives.  Now we are going to 
develop a African Crises Response Force which will provide a set of 
facilities and resources to deal with crises as they develop in Africa.  
I think that prevention ought to be the key word here.  So, know what 
we're suggesting (inaudible).  We don't do that, but we have been deeply 
involved in Africa and we'll continue to be involved in Africa as we are 
around the world.

QUESTION:  Mr. Secretary do you have any new commitments for the Crises 
Force and do did you bring any new ideas with you today for speeding the 
peace process in Burundi? 

SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER:  Since you've been traveling with me, you know 
that in both of our prior stops we've made commitments to the President 
of (inaudible) and the Prime Minister of Ethiopia.  We anticipate a 
(inaudible) reaction.  (Inaudible)  Here in Tanzania, the President 
indicated that he favored the concept and would be working with us to 
carry it out.  So there was just as a positive response that I could 
expect.  Every place we've gone, we've gotten a favorable reaction.  
With respect to the situation in Burundi, I had a good talk this morning 
with the President of Tanzania and after that I talked with Former 
President Nyerere and I think that we have very much a common goal and a 
common aim here.  It's very fortunate for me that I'm here today before 
the leaders of the region are meeting tomorrow to try to (inaudible) an 
ongoing strategy.  There is a good deal of commonality between our 
approach.  (Inaudible)  But the United States is here to see if we can't 
help put our shoulder to                    of the countries and regions 
that have done such a fine job up to this point and we'll be meeting 
this afternoon with the other two Presidents,  Museveni of Uganda and 
President Moi and really reflect with them on what might come next.

QUESTION:  I want to ask you, Mr. Secretary of State, now that the East 
African Community has been reestablished, the East African Corporation 
rather, what concrete steps is America taking in order to support and 
encourage them.

SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER:  I've said to the leaders with whom I met this 
morning, I thought that was a very positive step that they were taking, 
establishing cooperation (inaudible) that will make it easier for 
American business, American traders to relate to this area.  We're going 
to continue our engagement of all three countries, and I think we're 
going to do everything we can to encourage this through aid assistance, 
but probably more welcoming, through investment assistance and 
assistance in the trade field today.  This is a very positive 
development because it will make it a lot easier for American businesses 
to relate to a larger size unit, especially one that is commits free 
flow of individuals across borders and has lower tariff fare, as I 
understand they have done.

QUESTION:  Mr. Secretary, it seems to been an expression of  concern 
privately from African diplomats and leaders that when western 
paymasters are peacekeeping, and intervention force would not be as 
independent as they would wish.  What guarantees can you give on behalf 
of the west that this would not necessarily be the case?

SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER:  Well, first let me say that I have not heard 
that concern expressed in the meetings I have had in three or four 
countries, but there are certainly checks and balances in the situation 
that ensure that  result  will not occur.    First, it is the African 
countries will be providing the troops under the plan that we've 
envisioned.  And they would all have a opportunity to make a commitment 
or not make commitment at this state of a new crisis.  In addition to 
that, the mission would to be authorized and approved by the United 
Nations, which I think does give some assurance that there will be no 
overbearing attitude by the western countries.  Thank you very much for 
standing out in this warm sun with me.

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