WASHINGTON April 9, 1997 -- The continuing violence in Zaire is having a destablilizing effect on the entire Great Lakes region of Africa, and one Archbishop is calling on the United States to "employ all diplomatic means" to bring about a cease-fire and the democratization of that troubled nation.
Archbishop Theodore E. McCarrick of Newark (NJ), who chairs the International Policy Committee of the U.S. Catholic Conference, issued a statement today calling for regional and international efforts to return peace and stability to the region.
"More attention should be devoted to supporting the legal institutions based on the transitional Constitution and the political common agreements and commitments," Archbishop McCarrick said.
He also urged greater attention to the human toll being wracked up as a result of the turmoil.
"The international community should not remain indifferent to the thousands of suffering individuals, many of whom are severely malnourished, traumatized and stricken with diseases," he said. "That many thousands of deaths have resulted from the current refugee crisis underscores the need to provide regional and international relief and peace-keeping institutions with adequate resources to address such emergencies in the future."