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Speaker Events - Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Stearns: "Future of Congo Should Be in Hands of the Congolese"

"We need to give Congolese the tools to solve their own problems," said Jason Stearns, author of Dancing in the Glory of Monsters: the Collapse of the Congo and the Great War of Africa, during an IPI event on May 17th. "At the end of the day, it’s their duty, their responsibility. No foreigner is ever going to come in and fix the Congo’s problems."

Mr. Stearns asserted that the history of foreign interference in the country's affairs obliges the international community to provide assistance, but only in certain capacities.

"Given our past pernicious involvement in the Congo, from Stanley to Leopold to Lumumba, to the most recent wars, we do owe at least that to them, of being able to give them a chance at rebuilding their own country and their own institutions," Mr. Stearns said. "And I think, in the case of right now, what this means is giving them the chance to have free and fair elections this year."

The event was moderated by Warren Hoge, IPI Vice President for External Relations.

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