Sunday, August 30, 2009

USA: Obama urged to meet Kagame, Kabila and Museveni

By RNA Reporter
August 26, 2009

Kigali: Former US senior diplomat Jendayi Fraser has urged President Obama to hold a trilateral summit with Rwanda, Uganda and DR Congo if he is serious about his message of “love” for Africa, RNA reports.

Among what the former Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs says are “four quick steps … to translate the rhetoric of love into policies”, Dr. Fraser, as former President Bush's point-women on the conflict-ridden region wants President Obama to hold a summit at the White House with leaders of three countries to end the war in Congo.

Rwandan FDLR rebels are accused of rampaging the east of DRC as well as Uganda LRA rebels in the north east. The two countries were allowed to search for their rebels but the operations ended with mixed results.

Relations between the three governments remain shaky but improving after more than 10years of war which has left millions of refugees and dead. Rwanda and Uganda have already exchanged envoys with DRC but different quarters remain adamant that the conflict in the east of DRC is ending anytime soon.

“President George W. Bush helped to end the interstate wars among Rwanda, Congo and Uganda by holding individual and trilateral meetings with these leaders. Now Mr. Obama needs to galvanize U.S. efforts to end the militia violence of Rwandan and Ugandan rebel groups still operating in the Congo”, Fraser writes in the Wall Street Journal.

“The Department of Defense in particular must move from assessing to actually training disciplined Congolese soldiers capable of protecting Congolese citizens and defending their territory.”

Sounding wary of the Obama administration rhetoric, Dr. Fraser says “…U.S. policy in Africa is not about love.”

“It’s about advancing America’s core interests: promoting economic growth and development, combating terrorism, and fostering well-governed, stable countries”, she argues.

She wants the US government to place Eritrea on the list of state sponsors of terrorism because of its alleged support for Somali militant group al Shabaab. The former top envoy is also opposed to the planned extension of trade preferences in the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) to all developing countries. She also calls for a halt to the transfer of headquarters of the controversial AFRICOM from Germany to Liberia.

“These four steps, more than any love messages, will signal a real commitment that the mutual interests of the U.S. and Africa will remain strong and secure under the Obama administration,” she points out.

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