Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2001-07-05-Speech-4-186"

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"Mr President it is sad that Europe seems to be giving real political priority to Congo only now that Belgium is president. The Balkans and the Middle East demand all our attention. Does this not basically indicate that strategic and geographical considerations are ultimately more important to Europe than purely humanitarian ones? For from the point of view of human misery there is every reason for the Union to concern itself intensively with Congo. There are already one and a half million dead to mourn in the country. Hundreds of thousands have become refugees and some 28 million people are being oppressed, plundered and violated under the military occupation. A weak central authority is not capable of governing the huge country with its many natural resources. Congo is extremely vulnerable to merciless neighbouring countries, which by military force are systematically robbing the country of its principal sources of income. The population sees none of the proceeds. It is difficult to state that the European Union has allowed Rwanda, Uganda and Burundi to go their shameless way and allows them to continue their occupation with development aid. Angola, Zimbabwe and Zambia also participate without scruples in the violence in this country. It is high time that clear conditions were imposed on these foreign profiteers. Continuation of development aid will be possible only if all foreign troops leave the country. Western companies involved in the illegal exploitation of Congolese riches should also be exposed. They are also contributing to the continuation of the war. We may expect Kabila to finally initiate an inter-Congolese dialogue, and carry through the process of democratisation. It is the task of the Belgian Presidency and the Commission to win over the European Union once and for all for the lamentable fate of the people of Congo."@en1

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