[Congressional Record Volume 140, Number 103 (Monday, August 1, 1994)]
[Page S]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]

[Congressional Record: August 1, 1994]

                           THE RWANDA TRAGEDY

  Ms. MIKULSKI. Mr. President, I rise today greatly saddened by the 
tragic situation in Rwanda.
  The extent of human misery in Rwanda is overwhelming. Some have 
described the situation as a tragedy of Biblical proportions. I can't 
argue with that description.
  Over half a million Rwandans were brutally massacred during the 
Rwandan civil war. As a result of this terrible war, two-thirds of the 
survivors have fled their villages. Five million Rwandans are now 
homeless, a staggering figure.
  And now cholera has claimed an estimated 16,000 lives in the Goma, 
Zaire, refugee camp. The number of victims rises by the hour.
  Mr. President, I am personally acquainted with the misery of the 
Rwandan disaster. At the start of the fighting, I helped Vanessa 
Uwineze, a 4-year-old Rwandan refugee, come to Baltimore to live with 
her uncle. Vanessa's mother, fearing her daughter would be killed, sent 
Vanessa away, then she herself went into hiding. I was happy to work 
with Catholic Relief Services to help secure Vanessa's safety and save 
her from the inferno in Rwanda.
  Vanessa's story has a relatively happy ending. But there are 
thousands more Vanessas in Rwanda who have died or face death in the 
coming weeks.
  So what are we doing to meet this crisis? Last week, President 
Clinton announced a major humanitarian relief operation. We are now 
sending thousands of American troops to Rwanda to provide refugees with 
the basics of life: clean water, shelter, food, and medical assistance.
  I am very proud to say that once again, the world is seeing America 
at its best. The fine young men and women of our United States Armed 
Forces are helping to relieve the pain and suffering of the Rwandan 
people, helping people who are no longer able to help themselves. Our 
sons and daughters are showing the world what a great and caring nation 
can do when it is mobilized for a worthy cause. These wonderful young 
people don't always make the headlines, but they surely deserve our 
gratitude and firm support.
  Some Members of Congress have argued that we should not send our 
young men and women to places like Rwanda, because we have no strategic 
interests there. In other words, we have nothing to gain, so why get 
involved. Sure, it's a tragedy, they argue, but the world is a cruel 
place, and we can't solve everyone's problems.
  Mr. President, I certainly agree that we have no strategic interest 
in Rwanda. Rwanda has no large oil deposits, nor any great mineral 
wealth. It's not a strategic crossroad. So we have nothing to gain by 
our presence there. Our sole purpose for sending in our troops is to 
help the people of Rwanda get back on their feet. And that is reason 

  I say to my colleagues that regardless of our strategic interests, we 
belong in Rwanda. We must help these suffering people. Why? Because it 
is the right thing to do. It's an American tradition to help those who 
are most in need. And there is no doubt that Rwandans are in extreme 
  The United States is one of the few countries in the world with the 
equipment and the know-how to get the job done. If we had turned our 
backs on the suffering of the Rwandan people, what would that say about 
  We have now decided to act, and I believe that we are on the right 
track. And we can do more. We should take the following additional 
  First, we should seek financial support for the Rwandan relief 
operations from our G-7 partners. If they can't send troops or 
supplies, why can't nations like Japan help us pay for this operation? 
The United States should not have to pay the whole $300 million that 
this operation is expected to cost.
  Second, we should coordinate our relief operations with the many 
NGO's, such as Catholic Relief Services, already in place in Rwanda. 
Let's make sure we're making the best use of all the resources 
  Third, we should encourage Rwanda's neighbors to take part in the 
peacekeeping effort. Repatriating refugees requires a secure and stable 
political situation in Rwanda. Rwanda's neighbors have a real stake in 
helping to restore order in their own back yard.
  Fourth, we should encourage individual Americans to support private 
Rwandan relief efforts. Mr. President, to help individual donors, I 
have a list of relief organizations that are active in Rwanda. I ask 
unanimous consent that it be made a part of the Record.
  Fifth and finally, to assure the American people that we won't get 
involved in another political quagmire, we must ensure that there is a 
firm exit plan for our troops in Rwanda. Let's decide what needs to be 
done, do it, and bring our troops home.
  Mr. President, I commend President Clinton for his decision to launch 
a major relief effort in Rwanda. It was the right thing to do. It was 
the humane thing to do. Now we must take these few extra steps to 
ensure that Rwanda recovers from its current suffering as soon as 
  Let's end this crisis quickly and put Rwanda back on the road to 

               [From the Washington Post, July 22, 1994]

       Relief Agencies Accepting Contributions To Assist Rwandans

                       (By the Associated Press)

       A partial list of aid agencies assisting Rwandans:
       American Red Cross, Rwanda Relief, P.O. Box 37243, 
     Washington, D.C. 20013, 1-800-842-2200.
       AmeriCares, Rwanda Relief, 161 Cherry St., New Canaan, 
     Conn. 06840, 1-800-486-HELP.
       CARE, 151 Ellis St., Atlanta, Ga. 30303, 1-800-521-CARE.
       Adventist Development, and Relief Agency, P.O. Box 4289, 
     Silver Spring, Md. 20914, 1-800-424-2372.
       Concern Worldwide USA, 104 E. 401th St., Room 903, New 
     York, N.Y. 10016, (212) 557-8000.
       Catholic Relief Services, 209 W. Fayette St., Baltimore, 
     Md. 21201, (410) 625-2220.
       Church World Service, P.O. Box 968, Elkhart, Ind. 46515, 
     (219) 264-3102.
       Doctors Without Borders USA, Inc., 30 Rockefeller Plaza, 
     Suite 5425, New York, N.Y. 10112, (212) 649-5961.
       International Rescue Committee, 122 East 42nd St., 12th 
     Floor, New York, N.Y. 10168-1289, (212) 551-3000.
       Oxfam America, 26 West St., Boston, Mass. 02111, (617) 482-
       Mennonite Central Committee, Rwanda Relief, P.O. Box 500, 
     Akron, Pa. 17501, (717) 859-1151.
       Save the Children, Rwanda Emergency, P.O. Box 975, Dept, 
     RW, Westport, Conn. 06881, 1-800-243-5075.
       U.S. Committee for UNICEF, 333 East 38th, St., 6th Floor, 
     New York, N.Y. 10016, 1-800-FOR-KIDS.
       World Concern, Rwanda Relief, P.O. Box 33000, Seattle, 
     Wash. 98133, 1-800-782-5577.
       World Relief, P.O. Box WRC, Dept. 3, Wheaton, Ill. 60189, 
       World Vision, P.O. Box 1131, Pasadena, Calif. 91131, 1-800-