The White House
Office of the Press Secretary (Kigali, Rwanda) ________________________________________________________________________ For Immediate Release March 26, 1998
COUNTERING GENOCIDE AND PROMOTING HUMAN RIGHTS
With its history of genocide, armed rebellions, protracted internal conflicts, and mass population displacement, the Great Lakes region has been the most crisis prone on the African continent. In Rwanda, for example, up to one million people were massacred in less than four months as a result of the genocide that swept through the country. The absence of justice -- both political and socio-economic -- has been a key contributing factor to the region's crises.
Without justice, the prospects for sustainable peace, economic development and inclusive governance are bleak. However, the Great Lakes region also possesses tremendous promise. New leaders and vibrant civil societies are committed to the search for pragmatic and collaborative solutions to the regions ills.
Today's announcement complements the United States' ongoing effort to support the Rwanda War Crimes Tribunal, including $26.6 million in funding since 1994 and a projected assessment of $15.8 million in 1998.
Today's announcements include:
Through President Clinton's $30 million Great Lakes Justice Initiative (GLJI), the United States will work together as a partner with both the people and the governments of the region to support judicial systems which are impartial, credible, effective and inclusive. This initiative will be pursued in conjunction with other U.S. efforts to address ongoing challenges in the region. Following a process of consultations with interested African governments and civil society organizations, this initiative will target the following sectors:
The U.S. will consult countries currently slated to participate -- Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, and Burundi -- to further develop and target programs that will support this initiative.
Rebuilding Genocide Survivors Lives: The United States will make the first contribution ($2 million) to the newly established Genocide Survivors Fund to help survivors and communities rebuild their lives through new homes, shelters, business, churches and schools. This will supplement our ongoing programs to support Rwanda's reconstruction and reintegration of returned refugees. Institutional Support for African NGOs: The First Lady announces in her speech today at the Human Rights Center at Makerere University in Kampala a $10 million, five year program to build the capacity of indigenous African institutions to undertake activities to promote conflict prevention, mitigation and response. These resources are intended to strengthen the NGO community that forms the basis of any democratic society by funding organizations that focus on issues of reconciliation, human rights, democratic participation and freedom of the press. Supporting Rehabilitation in Northern Uganda: In an effort to support rehabilitation in Northern Uganda, the First Lady announces a $2 million program over the next three years to provide jobs and economic opportunity to those affected by ongoing rebel activity in the North. The program will focus on rehabilitating roads, dams, schools and community clinics and helping the Ugandan people displaced by violence rebuild their lives and businesses. These U.S. resources will leverage resources from other donors, including a potential $100 million investment from the World Back in the reconstruction of Northern Uganda.