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Prendergast Talks Sudan Sanctions, Sexual Violence in Congo on MSNBC

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Prendergast Talks Sudan Sanctions, Sexual Violence in Congo on MSNBC

Posted by Eileen White Read on August 5, 2009

In a live interview with Andrea Mitchell on MSNBC today, Enough
Co-founder John Prendergast previewed some of the most important issues in Africa that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will be confronting during her trip this week and next.

Prendergast noted that while Africa has made progress in areas such as economic growth and health care, "what continues to bring Africa down is conflicts." He mentioned the two worst, in Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Asked about the Obama administration’s apparent policy confusion over Sudan, which was the subject of hearings on Capitol Hill last week, Prendergast said there was split over "whether Obama should use carrots and incentives, or pressures and sticks." Prendergast noted that he personally disagreed strongly with simply giving the Sudanese government incentives to change. "I think the government of Sudan is going to eat these carrots and continue with the status quo, which is very deadly."

Regarding the Congo, Prendergast told Mitchell that nation was host to the "deadliest conflict in the world since the Holocaust" and the
"deadliest place in the world if you’re a woman, because of the use of rape as a tool of war." He added that Secretary Clinton should talk about ways the U.S. could address the problems of Congo to "treat the root causes, not just the symptoms." He mentioned one of the causes — the mining of conflict minerals in Congo to produce "raw materials that go into our cellphones and laptops."



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