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[Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents]

[Page 569]
Monday, April 13, 1998
Volume 34--Number 15

[[Page 569]]

Weekly Compilation of



[Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents]

[Page 569-571]
Monday, April 13, 1998
Pages 569-633

[[Page 570]]

Addresses and Remarks

    Andrew W. Mellon Dinner--611
    Assault weapons ban--582
        Democratic Business Council dinner in Chicago--600
        Rachel Carson School in Chicago--607
        Carroll County High School in Carrollton--619
        Roundtable discussion on tobacco in Carrollton--612
    Major League Soccer champion D.C. United--583
    Missouri, National Forum on Social Security
          in Kansas City
        Panel discussion--592
        Teleconference remarks to regional forums--588
    NCAA football champion Michigan Wolverines and Nebraska 
    Northern Ireland peace process--628
    Radio address--574
    Senator Barbara Mikulski, reception honoring--626
    Senegal, roundtable discussion with human rights activists in 

Communications to Congress

    Iraq, letter reporting--576
    Lapse of the Export Administration Act of 1979, letter transmitting 
    Vietnam, letter on most-favored-nation status--599

Communications to Federal Agencies

    Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization, memorandum--574

Executive Orders

    American Heritage Rivers Initiative Advisory Committee--606
    Waiver Under the Trade Act of 1974 With Respect to Vietnam--599

Interviews With the News Media

    Exchanges with reporters
        Oval Office--628
        Rose Garden--583

Letters and Messages

    Easter, message--625
    Fair Housing Act, 30th anniversary, message--630
    Passover, message--600
    Pilgrimage to Memphis Celebrating the Life of Dr. Martin Luther 
        King, Jr., message--575


    Education and Sharing Day, U.S.A.--599
    National D.A.R.E. Day--626
    National Former Prisoner of War Recognition Day--625
    Pan American Day and Pan American Week--631

Resignations and Retirements

    Energy Department, Secretary Federico Pena, statement--584
    Interior Department, Deputy Secretary John Garamendi, statement--624
(Continued on the inside of the back cover.)

Editor's Note: The Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents is also 
available on the Internet on the GPO Access service at http://

[[Page 571]]


Statements by the President

    See also Resignations and Retirements
    Breast cancer prevention trial--585
    Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, British and French 
    Death of Tammy Wynette--598
    U.S.-France civil aviation agreement--611

Supplementary Materials

    Acts approved by the President--633
    Checklist of White House press releases--633
    Digest of other White House announcements--632
    Nominations submitted to the Senate--633


Published every Monday by the Office of the Federal Register, National 
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[[Page 569]]

[Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents]

[Page 569-574]
Monday, April 13, 1998
Pages 569-633
Week Ending Friday, April 10, 1998
Remarks in a Roundtable Discussion With Human Rights Activists in Dakar, 

April 2, 1998

    The President. First let me say how delighted that I am to have such 
a distinguished group to discuss human rights and democracy in Africa. I 
thank our panelists for being here, and also let me thank all of those 
who are here in the audience who have worked on this cause across the 
continent in your various countries and, in at least one instance, in 
your particular village.
    I think it is clear that there has been some significant progress in 
Africa in the decade of the nineties. The number of governments that 
were elected by their people have gone from 5 to 24. But we have to be 
clear: There is still a huge human rights challenge, a huge democracy 
challenge in Africa.
    We believe that human rights are universal. That's what the 
international Declaration of Human Rights says. That's why the United 
States has worked hard to support democracy and human rights in Africa. 
Since 1989, we have worked in 46 different African nations. We have 
invested more than $400 million of our taxpayers' money to support 
elections, to reform judiciaries, to strengthen the participation of 
citizens in decisionmaking that affects our own lives. That support will 
    I have seen many heartening signs.
    And I want to say a special word of appreciation to the First Lady 
for the work she's done on these issues, especially beginning at the 
Beijing women's conference and the work that began here in Senegal last 
year on the issue of female genital mutilation, which I know she had a 
meeting about this morning.
    Would you like to say anything before we begin?

[Hillary Clinton welcomed the guests and recognized a group of villagers 
from Malicounda Bambara, praising their efforts to eliminate the ancient 
custom of female circumcision in Senegal.]

    The President. Now, let's begin. There are many issues that I hope 
we can have discussed today, and they may be covered in the initial 
comments by our speakers. We want to talk about democracy and human 
rights. We want to talk about the threat of ethnic conflict to forming a 
unified democratic environment. We want to talk about the challenge of 
investigating past abuses and working for justice while promoting 
national unity and reconciliation, issues of freedom of the press, 
women's rights. There are a number of things that I hope we can deal 
with today.
    But again, I want all of you to feel free to say mostly what it is 
you want to say about where you are, what you're doing, and what you 
believe the United States can do to support your endeavors.
    Who would like to go first? Someone volunteer? Archbishop?

[Archbishop Ndingi Mwana a' Nzeki, of Nairobi, Kenya, chairman, Kenya 
National Justice and Peace Commission, explained that while Kenya has 
made advancements in democracy and human rights, corruption among law 
enforcement and political leaders has led to increased violent crime. He 
stated that the people of Kenya need U.S. support to continue their 
struggle for reform.]

    The President. Thank you very much.

[Samuel Kofi Woods, executive director, Justice and Peace Commission, 
National Catholic Secretariat, described the human rights situation in 
Liberia and urged the United States to support the establishment of 
institutions in Liberia that would safeguard the rights of its citizens 
and advance the cause of democracy. Reginald Matchaba Hove, chairman, 
Zimbabwe Human Rights Association, discussed the process of 

[[Page 570]]

following human rights abuses, stating that confession, acknowledgement 
of guilt, and forgiveness were necessary steps in a cathartic exercise 
helpful to both the abused and the abuser. He encouraged the U.S. 
Government to support local initiatives to ensure reconciliation and 
commended the President's visit, particularly to Goree Island, as an 
important gesture.]

    The President. Thank you, Doctor, very much. I don't want to 
interrupt the flow of the statements, but I would like to pose a 
question that we can return to perhaps after you all make your 
statements, if it's not convenient to address it as you go along. The 
Truth and Reconciliation Commission in South Africa to which you 
referred obviously has made a great impression on people all across the 
world, and it has a great appeal. Yet, thinking about practically how 
you would do it in another country raises the question of whether it is 
possible if the leader of the country is not someone like Mr. Mandela. 
That is, he suffered so grievously himself, he is in a position to come 
forward and say, ``This is the procedure I advocate, and if it's okay 
with me, who are you to say it's not enough?''
    So, on the one hand, since he was the oppressed, he can make sure--
to go back to something that Sam and the Archbishop said--he can make 
sure that the power of government is put at the service of the people 
who have been abused, something that others may not be able to do. And 
on the other hand, he can say to those who lost their loved ones or who 
were horribly scarred or maimed, ``I can forgive. You should, too.'' So 
there is a unique position there.
    If you sought to do something like that in other countries and we 
wanted to support it, as a practical matter, could it be done in a way 
that would either make the people who had been abused feel that they 
were at peace or, on the other hand, reach the consciousness of those 
who may be duly elected now but still may have done things for which 
they should atone? That, I think, is the problem we have all tried to 
come to terms with.
    Anyway, who would like to go next? Anyone?

[Baudoin Hamuli of the Democratic Republic of Congo (formerly Zaire), 
executive secretary, National Council of Development, Non-Governmental 
Organizations, described the positive changes that had occurred since 
President Laurent Kabila replaced former President Mobutu Sese Seko, but 
expressed concern that without a constitutionally based government, the 
opportunity still existed for abuse of power by the current President. 
He urged the United States to pressure President Kabila for more 
democratization and to support peace efforts in the Great Lakes area, 
poverty alleviation programs, and economic reconstruction.]

    The President. Let me just say very briefly about this, this is very 
helpful. Any hope we have, I think, of having a regional system for 
developing the Great Lakes region, and indeed to some extent a larger in 
Africa, rests on the successful emergence of the Congo as a functioning 
democratic society. And we have here leaders--Mr. Royce, the Chairman of 
the Africa Subcommittee in the Congress, and our Assistant Secretary of 
State for Africa, and Reverend Jackson, my Special Envoy for Africa--
we're all trying to figure out how we can best work with and influence 
Mr. Kabila, because, as you point out, I think one of their biggest 
handicaps is so many of them in the government were out of the Congo for 
so long. And then when they came in and started the struggle to replace 
Mobutu, I think it happened even more easily and more quickly than they 
thought it would.

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