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U.S. Department of State
96/10/11 Remarks in Tanzania
Office of the Spokesman
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Office of the Spokesman
For Immediate Release October 11, 1996
REMARKS BY SECRETARY U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE
Novotel, Mt. Meru
October 11, 1996
Good Afternoon. I have come to Arusha to meet with President
Mkapa, President Moi, President Museveni, former President Nyerere, and
foreign ministers from around the region. I want to thank President
Mkapa for hosting today's meetings and our other colleagues for
participating in them.
The most urgent issue on our agenda today is Burundi. The United
States condemned the July coup in Burundi and we have supported regional
leaders in their extraordinary efforts to resolve the conflict. Our
goals are clear: to restore democracy, to protect minority rights and
to prevent further bloodshed. These goals cannot be achieved by force
of arms or imposed by one group of Burundians over another. The United
States calls on both sides in the conflict to suspend their hostilities
and to begin all-party negotiations.
Of course we cannot 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 country.
When we see progress, we must be ready to recognize it. Both
sides have 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
choose dialogue as well. It is time for all sides to stop the killing
and to start talking.
With good faith on all sides and the continued engagement of a
united region, we believe a peaceful settlement is attainable. Should
the situation in Burundi deteriorate further, however, 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 so that the continent will have the
ability to respond rapidly and effectively to crises in Africa and
We also spoke today about our efforts to encourage the voluntary
repatriation of Rwandan refugees. The U.S. has provided $850 million in
humanitarian aid to this region since 1993. We recognize the burden the
countries of this region have faced and we appreciate their generosity.
But we must now pursue a more comprehensive approach to the problem the
We believe it is time to close the camps closest to the Rwandan
border that pose the greatest security threat. The refugees should be
encouraged to return voluntarily to Rwanda, which we believe most can
now do safely. Where that is not possible, they should be moved to
camps further from the border.
Later today, I will meet with Louise Arbour, the Chief Prosecutor
of the International War Crimes Tribunal. The Tribunal serves a
critical purpose -- not just to punish genocide in Rwanda but to deter
genocide in Burundi and elsewhere. The United States has been the
strongest supporter of the Rwanda Tribunal. I am pleased to announce
that we will contribute an additional $650,000 for its work, which will
be tied to improvements in its management. Today, I urged all the
governments of this region to cooperate fully with this effort.
Finally, we spoke today about the East African nations' growing
political and economic cooperation. The United States strongly supports
the East African Community's effort to create a single East African
marketplace. It is a reminder that most of the nations and people of
East Africa are moving away from conflict and catastrophe, even as they
try to resolve the crises in Burundi and Rwanda.
The United States will stand with them as they move toward
democracy, free markets and integration. And we will continue to work
with them as they try to heal the region's remaining wounds.
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