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U.S. Department of State
96/10/12 Remarks at Truth & Reconciliation Comm. Signing, South Africa
Office of the Spokesman


                       U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
                        Office of the Spokesman

                         Cape Town, South Africa

_________________________________________________________________
For Immediate Release                            October 12, 1996


           REMARKS BY SECRETARY OF STATE WARREN CHRISTOPHER
         TRUTH AND RECONCILIATION COMMISSION SIGNING CEREMONY

                     U.S. AMBASSADOR'S RESIDENCE
                      CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA
                         OCTOBER 12, 1996


SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER: Good morning.  I am very pleased to be meeting 
this morning with Archbishop Tutu who we all know has won the admiration 
of people all over the world for the tremendous work he has done on 
behalf of justice and reconciliation and tolerance.  I also want to 
thank Minister of Justice Omar for attending today's ceremony and the 
two of them for joining me in signing the agreement.  The agreement 
provides some $400,000 from USAID to South Africa's Truth and 
Reconciliation Commission which, of course, we all know, is chaired by 
the Archbishop.

By confronting some of the most painful episodes of its past, South 
Africa is taking up through this Commission a challenge that is faced by 
almost every new democracy all around the world.  The decision taken to 
establish such a Commission reflects a determination to find the truth 
about abuses of human rights and to assign responsibility so they are 
never repeated. This is very difficult work, but it is absolutely 
essential if South Africa is to heal the wounds and achieve true 
reconciliation.  As the Archbishop has said, "You cannot forgive, what 
you do not know."  Our grant will at least go some distance in helping 
the Commission achieve its goal, which is, of course, to compile a 
complete record of the serious human rights abuses here in South Africa, 
to investigate the fate of victims and provide their families with a 
public forum, and to provide amnesty to those who admit to politically 
motivated acts of violence.  I have read a little about the operations 
of the Commission and considering the identity of it's Chairman I am not 
at all surprised to know that it is operating in a form and in a fashion 
that will be admired around the world -- providing some relief for 
victims, giving a sense of concern, empathy and sympathy which I think 
can be an important part of the healing process. Archbishop Tutu and Mr. 
Minister, I know the American people will be very pleased to be able to 
give the kind of support that we are providing today.  I wish you Sir, 
and Mr. Minister, the very best of wishes in carrying out this  vital 
work.   

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