Travel Diary: Secretary Clinton Calls for Greater Human Rights Commitment in the Congo

Posted by DipNote Bloggers
August 11, 2009
Displaced Persons in the Congo

Interactive Travel Map | Text the Secretary | Behind the Scenes PhotosYesterday, Secretary Clinton spoke with local reporters in Kinshasa.

In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Secretary Clinton spoke with Jaldeep Katwala of Radio Okapi and Christian Lusakueno of Raga TV. The Secretary called for a greater commitment by the Congolese government to human rights and an end to sexual and gender-based violence.

During her interview with Jaldeep Katwala of Radio Okapi, Secretary Clinton said, "The Congolese Government, of course, came out of many years of war, and that is very destabilizing to societies and very often human rights are considered a luxury during a wartime. But there are no excuses any longer, and there has to be more expected from the government here. The United States and other countries, as well as the United Nations, stand ready to assist the government in taking actions to both promote human rights, including women’s rights, and to punish violators of human rights and women’s rights. But there needs to be much more action and a greater commitment from the government."

In her interview with Christian Lusakueno of Raga TV, the Secretary said, "There has to be an agreement in the region to end the violence in eastern Congo... There has to be an end of the paying of the militias by mineral interests and other interests that buys impunity and gives these militias the free rein to terrorize people. And sexual and gender-based violence must be condemned. It must be condemned by everyone in every part of society. People need to be not only ashamed if they commit rape and other sexual violence, but they need to be arrested and prosecuted and punished so that it serves as a strong message that this will not be tolerated. We are working with your military, we are working with your government, and we are also working with the victims to provide the medical care and the support that the victims of these traumatic attacks so desperately need."

Read more from the Secretary's trip to Africa.



California, USA
August 11, 2009

Susan in California writes:

I am very grateful to Secretary Clinton and proud of the courage and commitment she is showing to women by speaking up for them in the face of an Africa dominated by the belief in the superiority of males. Her lifetime of hard work is paying off for all of us. Without a woman in the role of Secretary of State, the open discussion of rape in the DRC and the political pressure to alleviate this holocaust against women simply would not happen.

District Of Columbia, USA
August 11, 2009

Olimar in Washington DC writes:

I applaud Clinton's efforts of trying to improve the quality of life in Congo. The situation that women and girls have to endure every day is simply dreadful. I just hope that more than interviews and meetings, these efforts can translate into real actions that will favorably impact the live of the citizens of Congo and other African nations.

Maryland, USA
August 11, 2009

Patrick in Maryland writes:

I can't believe its tuesday already. I have been keeping up with Secretary Clintons travels. I think Johnnie Carson has been doing a great job, planning and help as sort of a guide for this trip/visit to Africa. I have seen some parts of Africa that have advanced in the past few years, with new housing, better hospitals and new technologys.

It is also good to hear the United Nations is working for a peaceful end to the problems of parts of there country. I think Susan Rice and her friends at the UN are working for a better future for the people of Africa. I hope in time they will be able to bring peace to Africa.

....Have A Nice Week, Netizen of the Department Of States.

............Cya....:) "Have A Great Trip".

New York, USA
August 12, 2009

Ron in New York writes:

Hillary and Africa....

There is no doubt that the people of the United States are fortunate to have Hillary Rodham Clinton as Secretary of State. No one is as knowledgable on Human Rights issues facing women, men and children, in regions where corrupt men rule, and rob resources from their own citizens. In Africa, the critical challenge remains in establishing transparency, accountability and good governance. Hillary has her eye trained sharply on these matters, and her hand
set firmly on this agenda.

suzanne t.
Maine, USA
August 12, 2009

Suzanne in Maine writes:

Dear Madame Secretary: Good for you ! You are indeed the Secretary of State and I applaud your response in the Congo.No one should be scrambling to apologize for what you said.You looked great and you were right .Healthy indignation is what it looked like to me, and quite appropriate. all the best,Suzanne Tenney Sutter Augur

August 12, 2009

Buuma in Canada writes:

It is important that Secretary Clinton has had an opportunity to meet with the victimized people in Congo, particularly the surviving raped women. My expectation is that Clinton will be an eye witness of the chaos Congolese have been through for more than a decade and will therefore be a strong voice against any further criminal plots by international firms, foreign governments and forces as well as their accomplices in DRC on civilians for economic, political and territorial benefits.

It is time for Africa-the DRC in particular- to move forward with durable peace and development for the sake of its citizens. It is time as well that powerful countries STOP watching and directly/indirectly supporting millions of deaths and rapes in Africa and other developing countries; time to seek domestic and international democracy-not just one way.

Thumbs up to the Obama administration for your inclusive peace politics - good job Clinton, I like when you cite countries in name and speak out against bad governance, people of Africa deserve better life and governments that work for them.

David S.
August 13, 2009

David in Zambia writes:

I'm a young Zambia willing to lead a team of new men and women in Zambia so that we could help bring the type of governance your government has been preaching for Africa for so long. I have been educated from both the east and the west and I have put forward a collection of ideas about how Africa can move along the right path. I have picked Zambia because it is my native country and would naturally therefore like to see it as an example for the rest of Africa.

Please visit our site: to review what how we intend to bring about positive change. The purpose of the email is to ask your guidance and help in bringing about the governance we have heard you advocate. If these ideas are far fetched and you think Zambia and Africa cannot be redeemed, please let us know and if it is not too much trouble, append a note outlining the reasons.

To say the truth, we need this in Zambia and we believe a change is possible. The RATS (Rotten Activities Tormenting Society) are cripping in all sectors of our civil society and we are afraid before long anarchy will break loose.

Is there anyone out there hearing the cry of the people of Africa? The people are fine but the leaders are killing us.

Davis Simete

General Secretary - ZANC


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