Saturday, July 11, 2009

Obama Visits Ghana

A coalition of advocates for Africa has laid out policy prescriptions for the African continent on the eve of President Obama's trip to Ghana. As a part of the policy prescriptions, Friends of Congo has presented the following prescriptions for the Congo:
1. Stop the militarization of Congo and Africa in general. Lead with diplomacy and take the military option off the table. U.S. support for military operations in the Congo and Central Africa has led to untold suffering.
2. End the AFRICOM program and the financing of the Rwandan and Ugandan militaries. The FDLR and LRA challenges can only be solved politically. There is no such thing as too much talking. More talk is needed and more diplomacy is warranted.
3. Pursue aggressive diplomacy, which is the real path to peace and stability
4. Support a political solution to the Congo conflict, which is the only sustainable answer
5. Pressure American allies, Rwanda and Uganda to cease their aggression and economic exploitation of the Congo. Sweden, Netherlands and Canada are excellent models to follow in this regard.
6. Implement policies that prioritize people over corporate profit, such as those presented by the Carter Center regarding Congo’s mining contract review process.
7. Call for a special envoy to Congo and the establishment of a Congo Caucus in Congress
8. Encourage the State Department to hold American corporations accountable via follow-up and implementation of the Carter Center and UN reports on corporate exploitation of Congo’s resources
9. Support civic and grassroots efforts and institutions in the Congo in their attempt to democratize the Congolese political space
10. Support current legislation in Congress that affects the Congo especially is at relates to violence against women and corporate exploitation of Congo’s minerals

Click here (PDF) to download the entire policy briefing book.

Read transcript
of Obama's remarks in Ghana!