tv Central African Republic CSPAN May 5, 2014 1:56am-3:28am EDT
there was no way to cut that any shorter. i would like to begin with our second panel. mr. scott campbell who is the catholic relief services regional director for central africa. he coordinates in burundi, central africa, and congo. and rwanda. since joining crs, he has coordinated food aid during the kosovo crisis, overseeing the emergency response to the 2004 tsunami and directed crs's response to the 2010 earthquake in haiti. he served as a country representative to angola, haiti and the philippines. i myself along with a few other members were there and applaud
the work that was done during that tsunami in 2004 by crs. it is great to know that you were there making sure that happen because otherwise it would have been far worse than it actually was. i would like introduce ms. madeleine rose is an advocacy advisor for mercycorps an aid agency. she leads mercycorps portfolios on sub-saharan youth programs, counterterrorism, and humanitarian access, countering violent extremism and atrocity prevention. she has also worked for the committee on national legislation in congress at the united nations and with community based organizations in south africa and for netapp. we will then hear from mr. caspar -- i hope i am pronouncing that correctly. who is the uganda-based field researcher for the enough project.
we had john pendergrass here many times. his work focuses on the lords resistance army and includes on the ground research and remote areas of uganda, south sudan, and the central african republic that have been most affected by the lra crisis. his research aims to identify recommendations and solutions to the lra conflict. prior to joining the project, he worked for the northern uganda peace initiative and u.n. environmental program. we will then hear from the honorable robin renée sanders who is the ceo of feeds advocacy initiative. it owns fe3ds -- as these organizations, should focus on food security, education, the environment, and energy, self-help programs particularly for small and medium enterprises.
prior to this, she served as the u.s. ambassador to nigeria and republic of congo, and was the u.s. permanent representative. she served twice as africa director of the national security council at the white house. we have a very distinguished panel of knowledgeable experts. and i would like to now yield to mr. campbell to begin the testimony. >> thank you, chairman smith. and for this opportunity to testify on behalf of catholic relief services. we're very grateful to you and your leadership in the interests in the future of central african republic and its people. so i'm scott campbell, the regional director for catholic relief services covering central africa region.
that's seven countries, the two >> we worked very closely with the church partners in the country. our work is mostly funded by the u.s. government. arec --cently in ca in car. i would like to share with you a transpiredbout what there in the country and how we are prioritizing our work. first of all, it is present --oughout the whole red
breadth of the country. during my most recent trip i was in -- and saw the refugees, as explained earlier, in this testimony. visit, i was involved with the distribution of nonfood items to communities that just a few weeks prior had been attacked by rebels. .his is in the area that area had been pillaged or
burned down. people had left. people had very little to begin with even before the crisis. situation is truly desperate for tens of thousands of people. it is also distributing to 7500 households. we have done that already and will do the same in the coming months. areas, we have an initial plan to provide shelter for households that have been destroyed during the same month in may. the kits include word for windows, doors and tarps for roofing. the destruction has also andered much of the country
secure. this is the second consecutive hunting season that has hampered -- that has been hampered by the crisis. seeds, tools, farm animals are scarce or nonexistent in much of the region. with the planting seasons upon us, where disturbing seeds for the stable crops and farming tools for households to respond situation.ical food other economic activities have been disrupted, making life even more difficult. trading and importation of goods have been hindered because muslim traders have fled. when i was in the areas, i saw heaps of cotton that had not been sold.
this was caught in that it had son harvested from last year the much-needed income has not been flowing because of the crisis. and generally more than half the country will need some sort of humanitarian assistance as a result. dire as the situation is, much as what -- much of what i have been describing is the exterior, what we see on the outside. a more compelling story, however, is what is happening inside people's hearts and minds because of the problem. it is critically important for us to understand that this is not a religious war. no head of any faith group has led the fight against another faith group. i spoke to leaders, including the mayor and his deputies in the city. in her they did not want to see their muslim neighbors leave the country. we spoke to the youth and women
from the refugee camp which means liberty school when it was very much like a prison. they also expressed the desire to stay. so there is a willingness among significant portions of the population to return to the pre-crisis reality where people lived and worked together harmoniously and in peace. to that end, crs has been working directly with the interreligious platform, led by the catholic archbishop of bengi, the president of the c.a.r. islamic community, and the leader of the evangelical alliance. crs has brought together faith leaders in bengi. in their respective communities to participate in workshops on social cohesion and reconciliation. this has also since included parliamentarians and other
community leaders. we are closely working with the minister of communications and reconciliation of the new interim government. in fact, we will be sending her to rwanda to see how the process worked in that country. in fact, crs was part of that process over the past 20 years. and one of our rwandan staff is now working in c.a.r. to share the work he has done and learned in rwanda there in c.a.r. one of the leaders expressed how before the workshop he had every intention of buying a gun and shooting at least one person from the other faith community. at the end of the workshop he explained, i do not have those feelings anymore.
i am ready for reconciliation. so the hate, fear and vengeance pent up as individuals in that country, people need and feel that desire for release, to prepare themselves for reconciliation with the others in the community. the workshops have also included muslim faith leaders and some of the most difficult neighborhoods in bengi, where much of the fighting is evident. they were considered the hardliners. they attended and as a result of the time, decided not to leave the country as planned. this is just some weeks ago. if given the opportunity, the space, and the support, people in the country want to rebuild the social fabric of the society. i saw truckloads of muslims
leaving the country during my december-january visit. our office shares a wall with the embassy of the democratic republic of congo and across the street is the ambassador to cameroon. his his residence . they were leaving every single day. so we have seen directly people pouring out of the country. so this is the first step, preparing their hearts and minds of leaders and communities for peace and reconciliation and then they can enter into a process, of dialogue across communities. why this is important is because it has an immediate effect to release people from those
burdens. but it also has the longer-term effect of social cohesion, to heal the sounds caused by the conflict-- heal the wounds caused by the conflict which is the most effective bulwark against manipulation of the most extremist entities intent on serving their own aims in the future. it really works against the radicalizations that could also be happening as these different communities move across borders. more funding is required to cascade that through the country. this is not something that can only be pinpointed in certain areas. it should be cascaded throughout the country. so i see that there is real hope for c.a.r. to build back communities as before, to be productive and harmonized. with this in mind, crs and the usccb make the following recommendations to the u.s. government. first, adequately fund and support un peacekeeping efforts
to ensure that relief and recovery activities are tenable. security is absolutely paramount. we need the right conditions in order to operate effectively. second, provide ongoing leadership and robust funding for humanitarian efforts in the c.a.r. the u.s. government should also help galvanize other donors to fulfill their pledges for humanitarian assistance in the country. all efforts must support the displaced and those who are hosting them to their immediate needs so that their immediate needs are met. as well as their return when conditions allow so that they can rebuild their livelihoods and plant their farms and support their families. support the voluntary return of refugees so the country can restore its rich cultural diversity. in fact, we have plans of doing some cross-border work as well, along the lines of what i described in this workshops.
in fact, the workshops are actually paid by the u.s. government. the usaid people involved were extremely quick in releasing funding to enable us to do that in bengi. also integrate peace building and conflict resolution activities to rebuild social cohesion torn apart by the recent fighting and to defend future outbreaks of violence -- to prevent future outbreaks of violence. third, affirm a commitment to c.a.r. long-term. we commend the appointment of a special representative for c.a.r. and the u.s. government's plan to reopen the embassy. we further call upon the u.s. g to develop plans to address longer-term needs over the next three to five years. this should prioritize reintegration of ex-militia into economic activities with a focus
on youth. young men need to be in rolled in programs -- enrolled in programs that are practical and lead to job activities. prioritize long-term economic needs such as reconstruction of people's productive assets, keeping conflict sensitivity in mind. and recognize that elections should not be rushed. but the process fully incorporates all c.a.r. citizens, especially those muslims who have fled and wish to return. any election held, should be well organized free and fair, to end the cycle of illegitimate leaders who have been elected the needs of the central african people. so, mr. chairman, and ranking member bass, in the members of the subcommittee, thank you for
your time. >> thank you very much for your solid recommendations. thank you for the good work that cardinal mccarrick and so many others have done. his most recent visit was galvanizing and underscored the point you made so strongly that is that this is not about leaders of religious faiths conducting a jihad or any kind of, it is not a religious war, but people are exporting extremism in order to kill and rape and maim. thank you for bringing it forward. i would like to recognize ms. rose. >> i would like to submit my full testimony for the record. >> so ordered. >> thank you for inviting me to testifyon behalf of mercy corps today. i am a policy advisor. mercy corp has worked since 2007 ranging from programs for youth empowerment and economic development. if there's one message that i
hope you take in this testimony it is that right now is the moment to secure long-term support for c.a.r.'s recovery. the window is closing and we have to make smart investments now. in march, i traveled to visit mercy corps programs. the most heart wrenching -- meeting was the one i expected to be easiest. his response was simple. he asked for replacement pencils and papers which had been looted so that he could get back to work processing rape cases. pencils. conflicts waged all around us. across the street, i could see civilians preparing convoys to flee to cameroon. his primary request was for
pencils. i tell the story because it underscores the complexity of an overlooked element of the crisis. we're dealing with a multifaceted conflict and a humanitarian catastrophe in one of the poorest and most underdeveloped countries in the world. this means that every humanitarian activity will be more expensive, capacity building will fundamentally take longer, and political and economic recovery will require long-term sustained engagement. >> as other witnesses have testified, the violence has spiraled so far out of control, that it has deteriorated into at the religious cleansing. mercy corps sees many of the trends emerging that we have
drc, and thein the sudan and other areas that have become entrenched in violence. beinginclude crimes committed with impunity across crises developing an ungoverned situation and these territories. losing faith in the prospects of legitimate rule. actors targeting and recruiting disaffected youth and popular support for s no religious addition of the country that would divided along major resources. if we don't address this quickly and correctly, we are concerned that the situation could metastasize into a new decades long conflict.
current situation is perfect, it is not hopeless. humanitarian element and peace building organizations have a commitment and absorptive capacities to scale up operations if additional funding is made available. the first as my colleague said is to restore security and reinforce civilian protection. we concur wholly with the services requests for full peacekeeping funding. we will also like to add to quick additions. the first is that congress consult regularly to ensure maximum u.s. support in the interim. see what nonfinancial diplomatic tools we might be able to leverage that have not been pulled out of the toolbox yet. we strongly oppose efforts to accelerate elections
if the crisis is would exacerbate the risk of violence against civilians or undermine legitimate raw specs for peace. secondly, we ask for an increase in support for peacekeeping. as cars seniormost members propose, we must win over the hearts and minds of africans. the 2014 global humanitarian appeal is only 20% funded. . unfortunately, the administration's budget request to congress cut this by 28%. if enacted, international responders a difficult time
addressing humanitarian needs. --rth, target interventions from january to march of this year, over 90% of the rape cases we have seen in our centers have been gang raped committed by armed actors. this is a very significant increase in rape cases. in addition, women have been marginalized across all aspects of the response. to date, the u.s. has not committed funds or medicated its strategic intentions beyond december 20, 2014. efforts to reopen the u.s. embassy should be prioritized and expedited. congress could be helpful and accelerating the full engagement of international fight can -- financial institutions. the u.s. has stated that the
prevention of mass keys constitutes a core moral and national security priorities. if the u.s. takes its commitments seriously, now is the moment to secure long-term support. it cannot be understood simply in the face of ongoing atrocities against civilians, it must be seen as investing in infrastructure to mitigate them long before they start. there is a long road ahead of recovery. thank you again for the opportunity to testify. i look forward to any questions. >> thank you very much for your testimony and your work. >> chairman smith, members of the subcommittee, thank you for this opportunity to testify at this critical moment for the central african republic.
i have been working as a field researcher and have traveled over the country for the past two years. i've been looking at the drivers of the violence, and the prospects for sustainable peace. i interviewed fighters and members of the government, aid workers and local journalists. i talked with diamond traders and people with firsthand knowledge. the people i interviewed told me that what has been described as a religion goes much deeper. the crisis stems from a lack of leadership and an exclusion of the people from the decision-making process. social and economic grievances
from decades of marginalization. central african fighters and their allies are part of a broader regional and international system in which outside countries and armed groups compete for state control, natural resources and general influence for resources and central africa. i also learned from interviews that diamonds and elephant ivory are funding the notorious militia from sudan, including the diamond rich areas. they fund their activities with natural resources. interventions by these governments have influenced security dynamics in the country.
the interest in chad and sudan has contributed to the conflict. mercenary fighters from each of these countries were part of the movement. the international community as a whole can take a few critical steps, but we must act as quickly as possible. we must support efforts to rebuild the state institutions that have come to a virtual standstill. we must investigate illicit diamond and ivory trading in the region and cut off funding sources for the armed groups. we must hold accountable those who commit atrocities and engage in economic criminal activity. u.s. diplomat engagement must recognize and address the interest of many actors who are involved in target illicit sources of financing.
if the u.s. government pursues diplomatic initiatives, we could present -- prevent atrocities in the long run. the appointment of ambassador semington will add to these efforts. as the u.s. charts the future of its engagement, i urged administration to not only attacked immediate needs, but also to pursue sustained engagement that addresses the root source of the conflict. the country has experienced more than five military coups since independence in 1960.
first, the u.s. should continue to support for the u.n. peacekeeping mission. the decentralized nature of the conflict, the lack of essential command from any of the armed groups all mean that the nation requires a bottom-up piece approach that addresses the armed groups through local negotiations and local dialogues and reconciliation processes. reconciliation should be broad-based and not only between religious groups. many people take up arms in pursuit of economic interests. we need to include civil society, women leaders, youth groups, a broad range of actors in the reconciliation process. united states and china should press the kimberly process to lead review missions to united
arab emirates, belgium and india to stop smuggled diamonds. these efforts could identify individuals and companies against whom the united states and the u.n. could issue target sanctions. adopt ahe u.s. should regional approach to diplomatic engagement. there is an urgent need to recognize the interest of those who are drawn to the natural resources and exploit the fragile state institutions in their search for profit. the region is a largely lawless area where rebel groups operate relatively freely. the u.s. should determine a common policy for the region. america must continue to lead with and alongside international partners to stop violence in the countries. the most precious resources and people deserve nothing less. thank you. i'll be happy to take any questions.
>> thank you for your testimony and recommendations. >> thank you, mr. chairman and ranking member. i want to thank you for including me in this panel to talk about this very difficult situation. what my group does is work with diaspora groups across the country, particularly with recommendations of -- and economic development. the latter time was when former car president first came to power. this is a time of great conflict in car. the questions the committee is seeking views on today is whether or not the central african republic is already in
the throes of a pre-genocide atmosphere or already embroiled in genocide. my remarks will address this and other elements that might be important to consider as we work toward helping the ca are -- the car. want to say something that is similar to what my colleagues have said on the panel about the sheer devastation. i've been on the border area many times in my years in the past. in fact, there remain refugees there from earlier central african republic conflicts. for more than a decade the , military instability and unsecured environment has really been the focus of the car environment. it has caused internal issues that have never been fully resolved. all these issues keep the country environment unstable. this has allowed for the rise of what we see today.
because of the continued instability and not being on the radar screen of the international community for more than a decade until the rise of the seleca in 2012, killing has now spawned into sectarian violence. we are hearing unconfirmed reports of what have been called reverse revenge killing, rep -- reportedly from armed muslim militia, running rates from enclaves in the north to nearby towns. they kill christians as well as workers with doctors without frontiers. -- these groups also preventing christians who want to live in peace with their muslim neighbors from doing so. therefore, we have, as you know, the following. revenge killing, which is turned
into sectarian violence, a segregated country along christian/muslim lines. a large population of displaced persons that are afraid and hungry. attacks on convoys if -- evacuating people of either religious group, looming potential for famine and for the -- and further spread of disease as neither planting the harvesting season has oh will take lace in this environment. -- will take place in this environment. most importantly, impunity. these are the elements that could possibly lead down the road to something we have not seen before. a two-way genocide, as each group, muslims and christians, impose revenge killings on each other. if we allow this to happen, this will be a new challenge for the country and international community on top of the already critical humanitarian crisis and
thousands of internally displaced persons already on -- on the umbrella of the airport. as it is the only place they feel remotely comfortable. what can be suggested as the way thuswhat can be suggested as the way forward? , i recognize that the administration is working full-time on humanitarian crisis with internally displaced are alreadyyou aware, many have stepped up to assist with humanitarian work. the 2000 french troops and the 5000 african union troops as well as the 150 eu troops that have arrived should all be commended. we also need to double down on ensuring that the troops do not serve one religious group over another. having served in the u.s. government for many years i , recognize the time i needed to get the full complement of 12,000 person u.n. peacekeeping mission in by september of 2014.
every effort must be made to advance this. the reality may get ahead of the arrival. muslim militia is coming back in and attacking other villages. thus, as we balance this try fax -- this triplex of sectarian violence, revenge killings and famine, we may need to jump now to begin working with the transitional government, particularly in the enclaves. without a release valve for people to vent and articulate their fear and hatred, their desire to have revenge killing or atrocities done to them or this family and to adjust the
-- to address the overall environment of crimes against humanity, the impunity issue, we are likely at the beginning to see the current de facto segregation of car into something worse, such as the two-way genocide the likes of which we are never seen before. -- the likes of which we have never seen before. we cannot move to helping people rebuild their lives, restart economic act without addressing divinities these two issues. ,in general, peace or reconciliation such as we have seen it in south africa, and even the communal ones we have rwanda, generally, fragile stability has been restored. we are suggesting that these things happen concurrently now, because you have to have a way for a release valve to cap -- i'm not sure we can wait for that phase. the issues we have seen today
may prohibit an end to violence unless a release valve is established. what are the traditional methods in car to address conflict. i think we need to bring those to the four. the fore. a lot of the diaspora groups that are here today have those good ideas. i wanted to add something else. i know this is not directly related to the question of the committee, but it is very much and attend an issue. events like we see in car, although we might not think it can get worse, it can. it could spiral even more out of control, so quickly and so fast. i think we need to be mindful that there is the potential for untoward groups to come into car and take advantage of the unstable environment, and a segregated environment of
muslims and christians, not only fueling more hatred and violence, but bringing with them or violent methods, such as terror tactics that we have not yet seen. i'm specifically thinking about fundamentalist groups who could come in to provide al qaeda inspired tactics trading to help and these events because we have armed societies there. -- we have segregated societies there. i want to ensure that my group working with other diaspora groups that are worried about this and want to bring it to you r attention today. i'm happy to address your questions. i would also like to submit my remarks with your permission to the committee. >> without objection. although the full statements will be made a part of the record. thank you for your testimony. >> thank you, mr. chair.
i appreciate your flexibility. i want to thank all of the panelists and appreciate your contributions. i did want to ask, ambassador sanders, if you could expand a little more. for example, you're talking about the reconciliation process beginning now. you mention several different countries. you also mentioned looking at the traditional processes that happened. are you suggesting now that reach out begin to the various countries, south africa, rwanda, sierra leone, and that teams are put together -- due north the -- -- do you know if the au or anybody else is attempting to do that? >> as far as i know these are ideas that have germinated within the diaspora community. i did hear a colleague from sierra leone mention a workshop . what we're are talking about is
something a little bit different than that. going into the enclave and having discussions now in the segregated communities, i think is important that we look at it is important that we look at traditional ways of arbitration, similar to what rwanda did. we need to find out what those traditional ways of arbitration have been in the car context. sometimes those ways of arbitration are quite different from group to group. we need to start working with those groups in country as well as look outside. i have heard rwanda mentioned earlier, but other examples are out there, too. i think sierra leone is a good example that is similar to the situation in car given the extent of the atrocities. >> i know you will be leaving soon, but when you come back, i would like to continue conversations about this and maybe look into how we make that concrete.
i thank everyone very much for your testimony. >> thank you, ms. bass. just a few questions. i am concerned that there seems to be a lack of urgency. last july, many of us are raising these issues in earnest. i know when the bishop came and testified, he was fresh from coming from the united nations , where he tried talking to the permanent representatives there, especially security council members. he had a sense of urgency that not only were the killing fields horrific then, that they could quickly become another rwanda. he made that point very clear as he testified here. the u.n. punted for weeks, now months, and now they seem to be sending up a fourth.
i asked ambassador jackson earlier when the employment actually occurs. there are some augmentation of certain troops. were still not sure about the configuration of force. especially if it is light size and not being driven by how much money would be indicated to fund it. but what is necessary to do the job and do it as effectively as possible. the pentagon and others involved in this -- it would seem to me that we have liners to know what -- planners who know what it takes. if they don't have enough people, it doesn't happen. i mentioned earlier about the safe haven cities and horrible
rules of engagement. parenthetically, i had a translator who met with the dutch peacekeeper testify here soon after all of the muslim men were slaughtered in srebrenica. he said the peacekeepers were handing over the men to slaughter. my point would be, are we moving with the urgency and sufficient resources? in your testimony, the importance of a robust security -- global humanitarian appeal is only 20% funded. three quarters not funded. you point out that the first priority for congress, and i thank you for underscoring that two members of congress, should be protecting appropriations funding for international disaster assistance and migration refugee assistance to
ensure humanitarian needs are met through out 2014 and into 2015. then you point out ominously and disappointingly that the administration budget request to congress cuts the international disaster assistance funds for displaced persons by 28% from 2014 levels. the mra account by 33%. you also -- are other countries need to be stepping up to the plate as well with their obligations. you are on the inside for so long, ambassador. how do we get the administration itself, and by extension , -- and byng
extension, congress to realize , that this crisis is being underfunded. we do take our cues from the administration. when an administration lays out a number that they think is the requisite amount for disaster assistance, for example, it does become a very important number that is taken seriously. it is not something we throw over the side. it takes a lot of data and information that you in the ngo community can appreciate. it is a very serious shortfall on the part of the administration. finally, i do have a lot of questions, but the work of catherine sambapanza, there is a heightened sense of expectation and hopeful estimate -- been diminished over the last hopefulness that may have been diminished over the last several weeks. is that true? did she have the kind of
backstopping that she needs from the international community as a head of state? finally, when it comes to children's issues, what are the kids doing? i appreciate mr. campbell that you talked about the one who decided to not go with the root of the gun because you had with the route of the gun because you had inspired him to see another path to take. there are a lot of young people, especially the under five generation and women who are not getting the kind of help that they need, particularly in this crisis situation. you mentioned about famine and further spread of disease. the stocking of a whole slew of diseases that will break out if they have not already. we need to speak to that as well. these are all issues where it helps us to know with as much specifics as possible so we can
respond accordingly, particularly with the resources. madame ambassador, i understand you need to leave shortly. >> let me take the one issue first. we should have learned lessons from rwanda, which should be applied here. i think you're absolutely right that u.s. planners should be involved in this. they can be working with the u.n. department of peacekeeping to make sure we have it right this time in terms of not only the four sides, but the elements of the force, so you are not only addressing the peacekeeping mechanism, but maybe in addition, to the policing.
you need to maintain or keep the security that you gain. every time a peacekeeper goes to different location, you have a fallback of that previously protected area that is no longer protected. i think we should've learned lessons from rwanda in terms of better managing the numbers and making sure we have the rightsizing done. i think more dialogue with our planners and the department of peacekeeping operations at the u.n. i think really needs to be done so we can get those numbers right this time and get the mix right. we may need more police than peacekeepers. definitely, you need those types of forces on the ground. in terms of the interim president, first of all, let me take my hat off to her, because she is definitely trying to manage a very difficult situation, and she needs all the support the international community can provide to her.
i would add that some of the examples that have been provided by my colleagues here, including the idea of possibly having these peace commissions begin, we really need to start working with her and the transitional government in order to make that happen. they have to have buy-in, too. we can't do this things without the buy-in of the transitional government as well. we have to buy into some of these ideas that have been presented so that we are working in lockstep and not counter step with each other. in terms of famine and disease, you heard earlier about the world food program stats on what they have in terms of -- you're able to provide to the idp's. you are also missing the point in terms of normally you have a planting and harvest season. that is not taken place because of the violence. the normal food stocks that are there are also diminished.
in addition to having reduced amounts of relief food, you also have a reduced amount of normal stocks that are in the sierra. i am worried about potential for famine for both reasons. i think that is something that our administration needs to look down the line maybe three or four months, because we could be having the same conversation in august and september quite differently as we are facing famine on top of an already bad situation. >> the cut that has been proposed, would that be devastating? >> delegate activities ability to do their job, particularly from the manager inside her and we can't diminish any of these things. i mentioned earlier that we have
a triplex of issues that we have not had before. it would also help address a potential famine issue down the line as well. >> i would just go down the line, if that is ok. we don't have a position on the numbers, but we are happy with the mandate. it has a very strong well thought out mandate that is strategic about what it is supposed to achieve. it starts as a clear intent to protect civilians and transitions into the state building and institution building done the line. we are also really happy with language that requires us to devise a comprehensive project and strategy from the get go. it means that the u.n. is going to have to allocate resources to do an entire assessment
throughout the country and plan a strategic response. below that, which is more important, we have to support these people. the fluidity of the crisis in car is different every day. there are new threats emerging in different parts of the country. the forecast should really be on reinforcing -- i think that is the priority. on the funding question, i think it would be really great for the administration to feel some pressure from congress and for congress to request a conversation or briefing on their rationale behind those cuts. i think it would be a good initiative, but i want to
underscore the fact that we have to keep fighting for crisis response. these crises are expensive. to get more and more expensive the longer they unravel, yet in our foreign assistance budget we have few mechanisms available for prevention. the fund the newest tools developed in 2010. mercy corps were able to respond very quickly. that is a great tool we think should be scaled up to $100 million. beyond just a ccf and rapid response. on your question of the transitional government, from my perception on the ground and from our staff perception, there still is optimism in the transitional government. we really prioritize is that the transitional government has a support package to pay salaries
and restore basic state functions to begin to provide functions. we think that the imf really needs to get involved. we heard that they plan to send their assessment team in july, which we think is not fast enough. if congress. help accelerate that process for their scale of grant, it would be great. there have been a lot of comparisons of car to rwanda. what we are really seeing is it is actually unfolding in to something more like a drc.
first place, we're going to have to spend billions of dollars for 20 years and still have a crisis. that is why we are encouraging long-term investment so that we don't see it fall into a similar crisis down the line. quickly, on reconciliation, there are some local initiatives going on already. a lot of local structures have been completely destroyed. there's a real need to invest in skills. there's also high-level engagement on political reconciliation so u.n. mediation support unit has been working on a plan. the primary task over the next three months is to find all the different influencers and the power players that start to rebuild that strategy. i think the big key for congress is to stay engaged with that process and see where there are gaps and a need for support. the local efforts and the high-level efforts are going parallel to make sure you don't lose the connection between the grassroots and the elites in society was for so long have not been there. that is the current undercurrent of the crisis. >> thank you so much. i would say that the important point here is not just a matter of common troops we get. for me personally i'm not a military planner, so i can't
talk much about that. i think what we have said on the plan -- on the panel is that the political process has stalled. the transitional government -- there is still hope. her ability to deliver israel -- is very limited because she has no army, no police. there are no judges. she does not have a state budget at the moment. her ability to respond to international and local expectations are extremely limited. those were the international community needs to come in and provide tools. you can provide her with advisers and support to bring out her political mandate. then, i think secondly, the reconciliation process needs to start now, from the bottom up, at the grassroots level. you have all these different armed groups that are operating without any central command in different parts of the country. you can't just call the usual suspects and try to have a roundtable and solve it that way. you need to create a team of negotiators that can actually
travel around the country and start to distill what the local issues are and broker some local understandings. once a dialogue starts, and i think that is what you also heard from under representatives who are here from the religious community last year, that it is possible to reconcile people. it is not happening at the moment. >> i would agree that the new interim president and the government is not given the support it needs to make an impact. they are losing credibility every minute of the day, in fact, i went to the mass where the president had attended as well. the bishop was very clear. the police and the army of the
country itself has no arms. they're not part of this process. the population that is supposed to be part of rebuilding the government and the society are not even involved in the process. with regard to support, i think i see it in three different ways, and it is support which as been slow to humanitarian situation. they cannot move forward and they lose their credibility with the population. they undermine the very governments that got us in this problem over the last several decades. regarding the workshops in reconciliation, in fact, we do work in those enclaves. that needs to be expanded. i agree with my colleagues, but it has to involve the people of the country itself and cascade
down throughout the communities. it is not something that can be helicoptered in. our work is very much with those faith leaders, but also community leaders. they have to take hold of the process of reconciliation and social fabric. thank you. >> mr. meadows. >> thank you, mr. chairman, for continuing to bring this issue to the center and forefront of not only our minds, but too many of our colleagues. sadly, for many of the people we represent, if you were to ask them to find the car on a map, they could not do it.
happening daily the things they would find appalling. so your testimony today is critical because it sheds some light on it. my concern is that at times we take this, and many of you live and breathe this every single day. you know the subtleties of it, you know what works and what doesn't work. yet, when you come to testify, you paint a very broad brushed picture of what you would like to see the cia are look like. maybe 10 or 20 years from now, knowing full well that it will only happen in small incremental stages. but we have a -- from what i'm hearing we have a critical timeline that must be addressed, both financially and with other resources immediately. is that correct? i see all of you are nodding yes. let me go further. i would assume that is a yes from all four of you. let me go further. i'm putting this in several different pockets. -- buckets one of them is
. humanitarian, one is peacekeeping. the other is something that the ambassador alluded to. mr. campbell alluded to the policing side of that to even provide for a peaceful situation so that reconciliation and economic growth, a number of those things, can take place. how do we best assist recognizing the sovereign nation and the sovereignty of a foreign government to come in where it is not the united states trying to put their particular stamp on a country and a culture that we really don't want to american eyes. how do we get that message -- americanan eyes ize. how do we get that message
across and how do we on the policing side of it assist. if you look to train police and military, that is a very long process. it does not happen in a month or two. it almost requires intervention. what is the best solution to that so that the peacekeeping can -- madam ambassador, as you mentioned, recognizing we have limited resources, but how do we best soprano before what we do first, to start this process? madam ambassador, i know you
need to leave, so i will start with you. >> inc. is a much. i think your points are extremely important. one of the things i think they can be done on the human side, because policing can be done with a u.n. mandate, as well, if they included in the mandate. so your timeline about training, that is done the line for people of car. u.n. mandate would not
i think it is something we need to think about and encourage the u.n. to take a look at and invite police units to be part of c.a.r. one of the areas that you didn't mention that i think we haven't spent enough time on is the impunity issue. part of the reconciliation is part of the punity issue is being taken very seriously. we haven't addressed that as an international community. >> with then enter marginal judicial system within the car, how functionally do you have that impunity where it gets dealt with? >> we do have the international criminal court.
as one of the reasons it is there, when an internal system cannot deal with crimes against humanity itself. that is a mechanism. as an area where we can at least begin the dialogue and have the icc look at this question of impunity, of some of the leaders that are out there that have caused the current violence. some have been responsible for the underlying causes that are in car today. i think it is something we can do. that is part of the mandate, is to look at issues where the country itself cannot manage its own judicial system in a way that you can adjust the question of impunity. >> can you comment on the atrocities prevention board? how is that played in our does it play in or what role does it play in terms of the car at this point. can anybody comment on that? >> we heard earlier today that
as far as the administration understood, maybe there is one meeting. there may be others on the panel that might be better placed to answer that than i am. >> i see they are all looking at you, ms. rose. >> the ngo community that has collectively worked on atrocity prevention, we think it plays an important role. for the comments that the state department did not know about the car crisis until september, i thought there was potential opportunity for congress to push back and asked how that could be the case. >> i kind of did ask. >> if the coup happened in march and we have interagency structures to raise red flags to
the highest level, how is it possible that the state department was not looking at this intentionally in november and december. i think that is a follow-up opportunity. they were convening behind-the-scenes meetings. they did convene meetings. they had open sessions with ngo partners. we can express what we were seeing. that would not happen without the prevention board. that said, clearly we were too late. our question is what happened in march. if car was strategically irrelevant until mass atrocities
were occurring, how are we better elevating that framework and how can we get ahead of -- >> how could we please better emphasis ahead of the curve rather than after the curve? >> yes. they're required to create an estimate on mass atrocity threats across the world. figuring out where car was on that list, how it moved, i think car would be a great case study for a congressman or agency to explore where the breakdowns are in that system. we do think there has been progress and because of the presidential study, because of the court u.s. commitment to prevent mass atrocities, the response is faster than it ever would've been. i would add whether needs numeral progress moving forward,
one would be unlocking the information sharing problem and these blockages to investing and more flexible and long-term funding across the board, recognizing that you can't solve crises in 12 months. we let implementors do with the complexities of his problems. or, to codify our commitments in law to mass atrocity prevention. that might not live beyond the obama administration unless congress codifies it into law. that would be great. >> let me bring it down. if we were to only do two things in the next 90 days, what would it be? two things. i know we need humanitarian and policing. if we can only do two things and say this is most critical time because we are underfunded and
understaffed, i was at a dinner and i can tell you that whether it is ngos, state department or the u.n., a number of them, the focus for them was to places, south sudan and the car. they saying we have to act immediately. for every day that we don't act, there are lives that are being lost. how do we do this. if we were to say in the next 90 days you could do anything you wanted to do, what would it do in terms of -- how would you prioritize our involvement there you go mr. campbell, let's start with you. >> security would be first, because we would need that operating environment. >> if you had just one, what would it be?
>> the security, meaning that the police, but because the situation is so volatile, until that is stabilized, nothing else can move. >> and secondly, the humanitarian response. people are in such need. particularly food security, before you get to the immediate response. that has to come -- because of how this has evolved, this is a long-term disaster, particularly with food security. as i said earlier, this is two years of consecutive problems with funding and so forth. even in the lean periods before the crisis, it was very difficult. >> ms. rhodes? >> i would confer with the first can fish it -- we are trying to find replacement.
also just explore across the interagency if there are ways for the united states to increase assistance in the immediate term. number two would be to pass a bill authorizing multiyear assistance funding to car that transcends the regular appropriations calendar. not just financial assistance but a 45-year strategic response will that includes humanitarian development, diplomatic -- >> if you would, and not for open testimony, but if you would submit what the budget would look like, what the parameters, i don't need a cat like a rolls-royce version. i won't mention of the vehicle, but we need something less than that. >> i would agree that those are critical issues.
i would like to propose that we think a little bit outside of the box and not just think about more troops and more police. i firmly believe that with local dialogue, a reconciliation approach, we will be able to contain the violence. it is another method to stop the violence that has not been tried in the country. i firmly believe that what will make a huge difference on the ground once people start to talk together. >> what would be their motivation to talk? >> the motivation that nobody has a really good situation. people are being displaced and attacked daily. my experience from talking to local people, people are seeking leadership and guidance. they're seeking someone who guides to put order in place. it is much more effective to stop local dialects.
realistically speaking, i just don't see where the finance and the troops are coming from at this moment. i know we are pressing on time limits for everybody. you mentioned diamonds and if you're the other things and outside influences. what component or what percentage of this is a terrorist organized crime intervention within that, in terms of diamonds and other natural resources, whether it be hezbollah are any of the others. what kind of presence would you see them having in the car? >> is not something we have seen to date. what we're seeing is this alliance with key members. control of diamond areas to finance a rebel group heard most of those commodities went through sudan because of that strong relations with the
sudanese government and members of the militia. i think that is where we have to look. these are more long-term issues that do not have an immediate effect. as why do not raise it is the most crucial point in madam ambassador? >> thank you. i have to echo police and security as number one. i am going to go back to the impunity issue because i think it is double-sided. one, because it shows if you bring leadership to the justice system, then you have a better chance of reconciliation happening on the ground. if people see that the leaders of seleca and the former president and others have alluded to the company the situation, i think a better helps a reconciliation process on the ground. >> it has to be a motivation for them to talk.
if they can operate without impunity. if you have the leadership operating without impunity, then what is the motivation in your life. even if he had more peace groups, i think it encourages people and they see that the leadership has also been brought to justice. i would encourage that we begin a dialogue with the icc and looking at the car and bringing some of the leadership to justice. lastly, and it was touched on briefly, is the complicity issued by various elements throughout the region. i do think that has historically been a problem with car. you do have various complicity support coming from different countries around car, whether it is on the economic resource side or on the political influence side.
those issues have existed for more than a decade in terms of outsized complicity helping to destabilize car, and that has not changed. we need to bring our voice to some of those leaders around the region and address some of the complicity issues that we all know are there. >> mr. chairman, i appreciate your patience. >> before we conclude, just a couple of final questions, especially as it relates to the icc. the full foreign affairs committee passed a resolution that introduced way back in september and held a hearing. we held a hearing and did an op-ed for the washington post. it was patterned after an ad hoc in sierra leone and yugoslavia. the icc has not had -- they had one conviction in over a decade.
18 investigations. nobody else, for some reason. they seem to have all kinds of internal constraints. a lot has to do it the way it was configured. one of the things that david green said -- he sat right where you all did. he gave a number of scenarios of what that would look like. you have the ability to go after both sides. you can go after more than one actor. with over 18 indictments, it is not a record that gives a lot of hope of any consequence. one question would be, should we be looking at an ad hoc tribunal? similar to what we're trying to get off the ground with syria.
rose, you mentioned targeted intervention toward protecting women. her landmark law in trafficking greg stevens and i learned quite horrifyingly that peacekeepers in congo were raping little girls. they have a duty to protect. they have not properly vetted. we have three hearings. the u.n. could issue a zero tolerance policy. but, we went there and visited the peacekeepers and a place called heal africa. so many women who had been gang
raped or getting a faith-based approach that helps them get their lives back. is it a problem -- trafficking in c.a.r.? we have not heard much about that. have peacekeepers been complicit in any way? the students were being trafficked in nigeria. there have been marches about it. people are frustrated. those young girls were sold into slavery. they were abducted. i wonder if anything like that is happening in c.a.r. have there been any reports?
her would making sure that those peacekeepers will be deployed and vetted? my final question. >> thank you, mr. chairman. on the question of being a tribunal, the bigger macro issue is impunity. it is the message that it sends. the vehicle that we choose -- i think both will be useful. you are right. at least it brings an international zeroing in on impunity. you could also do a war crimes tribunal. i have not heard specifically trafficking. let me just say that i would not
be surprised. that is also an underlying issue going on. there is potential for instability and for that to become a weapon of war. trafficking young men and women in that circumstance. that is another thing to put on the table. in fact, i am headed to nigeria now. so, i don't know if i will be allowed to -- my flight leaves at 2:30. thank you so much. >> thank you again. i will talk to the issue of the peacekeepers. there have been several issues where there have been violent acts. but we talked about earlier today. 30 civilians were killed.
that was perpetrated by chadian soldiers. some are operating without any mandate. that is just horrible and needs scrutiny. and, i would also take this opportunity to say that i am publishing a piece about violence in the country. you can learn more about our ideas. thank you. >> i should note that we are deeply appreciative that c-span has given the american people the opportunity to hear about this tragedy from experts who are living there. can you tell us how one might get that report? >> you will find us online. >> thank you. >> thank you. on justice, i have three points.
i do not have an opinion on whether the icc is relevant. there are three points to think about. one, we need to talk to central africans. when i was on the ground, i saw community-based and transitional -- what will make me feel safe? there are some funds, but not enough. we need to elevate their voices in the debate. we do have some structure and we are engaging with dialogues. secondly, in the immediate future, community-based affiliation is the best approach. with our centers, because they have ground to a halt, we have adjusted the strategy and found
to have objective results. third, i would say there is a point about the need for state building. police are there. there are still so will servants who want to serve. that is a piece of the puzzle. on the issue of gender-based violence, i do not have information. i am happy to ask my staff and get that to you. regardless, the priority is to ensure the due diligence policy. we will put that in place immediately. any new troops to come in or are transitioned up, we'll go through that now. on holistic services, mercy corp is funded from the department of state.
to highlight that something started in congress is now a structure working on the ground. we are not seeing an international response. we're are carving out funding right now. we would like to highlight the secretary of state launched a state from the start initiative that will prioritize emergency response. the grants will be made available. i think that would be a good example. is it true to life? we have not seen it yet. thank you very much. >> as far as the peacekeeping and forces, the configuration and makeup from countries that border c.a.r. is a huge implication.
with regard to the icc and the ad hoc tribunals, i have nothing to share in that regard. finally, for the trafficking by the peacekeepers, i have not heard of any reports. however, many of those countries that do border c.a.r. have these kinds of problems. i have to say that there have been no reports. >> you have all been extraordinarily insightful. thank you for your commentary and recommendations, as well as relaying the facts on the ground. i would like to thank my colleagues for this. thank you to c-span for giving america the opportunity to hear what is going on. some americans may have trouble finding where the c.a.r. is on the map. frankly, they are friends and neighbors and fellow human beings.
we love them and embrace them and will help them in every way possible. your recommendations will be very helpful. thank you for getting this message out to the rest of america. >> the head of the u.s. air force pacific command speaks this morning at the center for strategic and international studies in the asia and pacific region. you can see his remark live on c-span at 11:00 eastern. the u.s. response and the role of nato. that is also live from the center of strategic and international studies. you can see it at 1:30 eastern here on c-span. >> for over 35 years, c-span
brings public affairs events from washington direct to you putting you in the room with briefing meetings and conferences and offering complete gavel to gavel house. we're c-span and brought to you by your local cable provider. like us on facebook and follow us on twitter. >> the education department last week announced the high school graduation rate in the u.s. has reached 80% for the first time ever. also last week, education secretary testified in front of the house. he talked about the high school graduation numbers, expanding preschool. this hearing is two and a half hours.