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S. 2125 (109th): Democratic Republic of the Congo Relief, Security, and Democracy Promotion Act of 2006

The text of the bill below is as of May 23, 2006 (Reported by Senate Committee).


S 2125 RS

109th CONGRESS

2d Session

S. 2125

To promote relief, security, and democracy in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

December 16, 2005

Mr. OBAMA (for himself, Mr. BROWNBACK, Mr. DURBIN, Mr. DEWINE, Mr. INHOFE, and Mr. LEAHY) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations

May 23, 2006

Reported by Mr. LUGAR, without amendment


A BILL

To promote relief, security, and democracy in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the `Democratic Republic of the Congo Relief, Security, and Democracy Promotion Act of 2005'.

TITLE I--BILATERAL ACTION ON ADDRESSING URGENT NEEDS IN THE DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO

SEC. 101. FINDINGS.

    Congress makes the following findings:

      (1) The National Security Strategy of the United States, dated September 17, 2002, concludes that `[i]n Africa, promise and opportunity sit side-by-side with disease, war, and desperate poverty. This threatens both a core value of the United States preserving human dignity and our strategic priority combating global terror. American interests and American principles, therefore, lead in the same direction: we will work with others for an African continent that lives in liberty, peace, and growing prosperity.'

      (2) On February 16, 2005, the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency testified, `In Africa, chronic instability will continue to hamper counterterrorism efforts and pose heavy humanitarian and peacekeeping burdens.'

      (3) According to the United States Agency for International Development, `Given its size, population, and resources, the Congo is an important player in Africa and of long-term interest to the United States.'

      (4) The Democratic Republic of Congo is 2,345,410 square miles (approximately 1/4 the size of the United States), lies at the heart of Africa, and touches every major region of sub-Saharan Africa. Therefore, promoting security, peace, and prosperity in the Democratic Republic of the Congo would have a profound impact on progress throughout Africa.

      (5) A mortality study completed in December 2004 by the International Rescue Committee found that 31,000 people were dying monthly and 3,800,000 people had died in the previous 6 years because of the conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and resulting disintegration of the social service infrastructure and that `improving and maintaining security and increasing simple, proven and cost-effective interventions such as basic medical care, immunizations and clean water would save hundreds of thousands of lives in the Congo. There's no shortage of evidence. It's sustained compassion and political will that's lacking.'

      (6) The International Crisis Group concluded, `The conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo remains one of the deadliest conflicts since World War II and has resulted in the loss of nearly 4 million lives since 1998.... The international community, and the United Nations Security Council in particular, must take strong and urgent action to support the transition, establish a national army and secure lasting peace in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, if it is to live up to its responsibility to protect those in need.'

      (7) According to the Department of State, `returning one of Africa's largest countries [the Democratic Republic of the Congo] to full peace and stability will require significant United States investments in support of national elections, the reintegration of former combatants, the return and reintegration of refugees and [internally displaced persons], establishment of central government control over vast territories, and promotion of national reconciliation and good governance'.

      (8) A recent assessment completed by 4 well-known nongovernmental organizations concluded that `[r]ecent fighting in North Kivu which displaced over 150,000 people, as well as fighting in Ituri and other areas, is potent evidence that states in the Great Lakes region, particularly Rwanda and Uganda, and members of the transitional government still harbor different and conflicting interests and concerns which place the entire transition program in jeopardy'.

      (9) According to the 2004 Department of State report on human rights practices in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, `In areas under government control, the human rights record remained poor, and numerous serious abuses occurred.... Government security forces committed unlawful killings, torture, beatings, acts of rape, extortion, and other abuses, such as lootings and interference with citizens' right to privacy.... In areas under marginal government control, where there were many armed groups, those with weapons controlled the population and extorted money, goods, and services.... These groups often acted independently, were poorly trained, and undisciplined and committed numerous, serious human rights abuses with impunity.'

SEC. 102. STATEMENT OF POLICY.

    It is the policy of the United States--

      (1) to promote, reinvigorate, and support the political process in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in order to press all parties in the Transitional National Government to move forward with approval of an electoral law and put in place mechanisms, including national and international election observers, fair and transparent voter registration procedures, and a significant civic awareness and public education campaign, to ensure fair and democratic elections within the timeframe provided by the Sun City Peace Accords;

      (2) to ensure that, once a stable national government is established in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, it is committed to multiparty democracy, open and transparent governance, respect for human rights and religious freedom, ending the violence throughout the country, promoting peace and stability with its neighbors, rehabilitating the national judicial system and enhancing the rule of law, and combating corruption;

      (3) to assist the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo in meeting the basic needs of its citizens, including security, safety, and access to health care, education, food, shelter, and clean drinking water;

      (4) to engage in security sector reform by helping the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo establish a viable and professional national army and police force that respects human rights and the rule of law, is under effective civilian control, and possesses a viable presence throughout the entire country, including by contributing to the provision of necessary equipment and training;

      (5) to expedite planning and implementation of programs associated with the disarmament, demobilization, repatriation, reintegration, and rehabilitation process in the Democratic Republic of the Congo;

      (6) to support efforts of the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the United Nations Peacekeeping Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC), and other entities, as appropriate, to disarm, demobilize, and repatriate the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda;

      (7) to ensure that the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo--

        (A) is committed to responsible and transparent management of natural resources across the country; and

        (B) takes active measures--

          (i) to promote economic development;

          (ii) to hold accountable individuals who misuse the country's natural resources for personal gain; and

          (iii) to implement the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative by enacting laws requiring disclosure and independent auditing of company payments and government receipts for natural resource extraction;

      (8) to promote a viable civil society and to enhance nongovernmental organizations and institutions, including religious organizations, the media, political parties, trade unions, and trade and business associations, that can act as a stabilizing force and effective check on the government;

      (9) to rebuild and enhance infrastructure, communications, and other mechanisms that will increase the ability of the central government to manage internal affairs, encourage economic development, and facilitate relief efforts of humanitarian organizations;

      (10) to halt the high prevalence of sexual abuse and violence perpetrated against women and children in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and mitigate the detrimental effects from acts of this type of violence by undertaking a number of health, education, and financial support measures, including psycho-social programs, counseling, and HIV/AIDS testing and treatment, and providing financial support;

      (11) to work aggressively on a bilateral basis to urge governments of countries contributing troops to the United Nations Peacekeeping Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC) to enact and enforce laws on trafficking in persons and sexual abuse that meet international standards, promote codes of conduct for troops serving as part of United Nations peacekeeping missions, and immediately investigate and punish citizens who are responsible for abuses in the Democratic Republic of the Congo;

      (12) to undertake steps that--

        (A) protect internally displaced persons and refugees in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and border regions from all forms of violence, including gender-based violence and other human rights abuses;

        (B) address other basic needs of vulnerable populations with the goal of allowing these conflict-affected individuals to ultimately return to their homes; and

        (C) assess the magnitude of the problem in the Democratic Republic of the Congo of orphans from conflict and HIV/AIDS, and work to establish a program of national support;

      (13) to engage with governments working to promote peace and security throughout the Democratic Republic of the Congo and hold accountable individuals, entities, and countries working to destabilize the country; and

      (14) to promote appropriate use of the forests of the Democratic Republic of the Congo in a manner that benefits the rural population in that country that depends on the forests for their livelihoods and protects national and environmental interests.

SEC. 103. BILATERAL ASSISTANCE TO THE DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO.

    (a) Authorization of Appropriations-

      (1) IN GENERAL- In addition to amounts otherwise available for such purposes, including amounts from regional funds, there is authorized to be appropriated $52,000,000 for fiscal year 2006 for bilateral assistance programs in the Democratic Republic of the Congo under the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (22 U.S.C. 2151 et seq.), the Agricultural Trade Development and Assistance Act of 1954 (68 Stat. 454, chapter 469), and the Arms Export Control Act (22 U.S.C. 2751 et seq.).

      (2) AVAILABILITY OF FUNDS- Amounts appropriated pursuant to paragraph (1) are authorized to remain available until expended.

    (b) Uses of Assistance- Amounts appropriated pursuant to subsection (a) shall be used to accomplish the policy objectives in section 102.

    (c) Future Year Funding- The Department of State should submit budget requests in fiscal years 2007, 2008, and 2009 that contain increases in bilateral assistance for the Democratic Republic of the Congo that are appropriate and similar to the increase authorized under subsection (a) for fiscal year 2006 if progress is being made, particularly cooperation by the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, toward accomplishing the objectives in section 102.

    (d) Offsets- Not later than 30 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of State should consult with the Chairmen and Ranking Members of the Committee on Foreign Relations, the Committee on Appropriations, and the Committee on the Budget of the Senate and the Committee on International Relations, the Committee on Appropriations, and the Committee on the Budget of the House of Representatives to determine appropriate reductions in funding, especially redundant or duplicative programs, to offset the increase in funding authorized in subsection (a).

    (e) Uses of Security Assistance- Security assistance that is authorized to be appropriated under this section shall be made available consistent with section 551 of the Foreign Operations, Export Financing, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2005 (division D of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2005; Public Law 108-447; 118 Stat. 3015) and other provisions of law related to eligibility.

    (f) Coordination With Other Donor Nations- The United States should work with other donor nations, on a bilateral and multilateral basis, to increase international contributions to the Democratic Republic of the Congo and accomplish the policy objectives described in section 102.

SEC. 104. ACCOUNTABILITY FOR THE GOVERNMENT OF THE DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO.

    (a) Sense of Congress- It is the sense of Congress that--

      (1) the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo must be committed to achieving the policy objectives described in this Act if the efforts of the United States and other members of the international community are to be effective in bringing relief, security, and democracy to the country; and

      (2) the international community, through the United Nations peacekeeping mission, humanitarian and development relief, and other forms of assistance, is providing a substantial amount of funding that is giving the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo an opportunity to make progress towards accomplishing the policy objectives in section 102, but this assistance cannot continue in perpetuity.

    (b) Report on Progress-

      (1) REPORT REQUIRED- Not later than one year after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Comptroller General of the United States shall submit to Congress a report on the progress made toward accomplishing the policy objectives described in section 102.

      (2) CONTENT- The report required under paragraph (1) shall include--

        (A) a description of any major impediments that prevent the accomplishment of the policy objectives described in section 102;

        (B) an evaluation of United States policies and foreign assistance programs designed to accomplish such policy objectives; and

        (C) recommendations for--

          (i) improving these policies and programs; and

          (ii) any additional bilateral or multilateral actions necessary to promote peace and prosperity in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

    (c) Termination of Assistance- The Secretary of State may withhold assistance otherwise available under this Act if the Secretary determines and reports to Congress that the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo is not making sufficient progress towards accomplishing the policy objectives described in section 102.

SEC. 105. STRATEGY ON PROMOTING HUMANITARIAN RELIEF, SECURITY, AND DEMOCRACY IN THE DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO.

    Not later than 60 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the President shall submit to the Committee on Foreign Relations and the Committee on Appropriations of the Senate and the Committee on International Relations and the Committee on Appropriations of the House of Representatives a report setting forth a strategy for achieving the policy objectives described in section 102, including a description of an effective mechanism for coordination of United States Government efforts to implement this strategy.

SEC. 106. SPECIAL ENVOY FOR THE GREAT LAKES REGION.

    (a) In General- Not later than 60 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the President should appoint a Special Envoy for the Great Lakes Region to resolve the instability and insecurity in Eastern Congo, which is the result of multiple international and domestic factors, and to enhance the regional harmonization of United States policies and assistance programs.

    (b) Consultation- In appointing the Special Envoy, the President should consult with the Majority Leader and Minority Leader of the Senate, the Speaker and Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, and the Chairmen and Ranking Members of the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate and the Committee on International Relations of the House of Representatives.

TITLE II--MULTILATERAL ACTIONS TO ADDRESS URGENT NEEDS IN THE DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO

SEC. 201. PROMOTION OF UNITED STATES POLICY TOWARD THE DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO IN THE UNITED NATIONS SECURITY COUNCIL.

    (a) In General- The United States shall use its voice and vote in the United Nations Security Council--

      (1) to address exploitation at the United Nations Peacekeeping Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC) by urging, when credible allegations exist, appropriate investigation of alleged perpetrators and, as necessary, prosecution of United Nations personnel responsible for sexual abuses in the Democratic Republic of the Congo;

      (2) to ensure that appropriate guidelines, codes of conduct, and programs for the prevention of sexual abuse and trafficking in persons are undertaken by the United Nations;

      (3) to strengthen the authority and capacity of MONUC by--

        (A) providing specific authority and obligation to prevent and effectively counter imminent threats;

        (B) clarifying and strengthening MONUC's rules of engagement to enhance the protection of vulnerable civilian populations;

        (C) enhancing the surveillance and intelligence-gathering capabilities available to MONUC;

        (D) where consistent with United States policy, making available personnel, communications, and military assets that improve the effectiveness of robust peacekeeping, mobility, and command and control capabilities of MONUC; and

        (E) providing MONUC with the authority and resources needed to support efforts surrounding national elections and the referendum on the constitution, and to monitor arms trafficking and natural resource exploitation at key border posts and airfields in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo;

      (4) to encourage regular visits of the United Nations Security Council to monitor the situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo;

      (5) to ensure that the practice of recruiting and arming children in the Democratic Republic of the Congo is immediately halted pursuant to Security Council Resolutions 1460 (2003) and 1539 (2004);

      (6) to strengthen the arms embargo imposed pursuant to Security Council Resolution 1493 (2003) and ensure that violators are held accountable through appropriate measures, including the possible imposition of sanctions;

      (7) to allow for the more effective protection and monitoring of natural resources in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, especially in the eastern part of the country, and for public disclosure and independent auditing of natural resource revenues to help ensure transparent and accountable management of these revenues;

      (8) to press countries in the Congo region to help facilitate an end to the violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and promote relief, security, and democracy throughout the region; and

      (9) to encourage the United Nations Secretary-General to become more involved in completing the policy objectives described in paragraphs (1) and (2) of section 102 and ensure that recent fighting in North Kivu, which displaced over 150,000 people, as well as fighting in Ituri and other areas, does not create widespread instability throughout the country.

    (b) Report- Not later than 90 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of State shall submit to the Committee on Foreign Relations and Committee on Appropriations of the Senate and the Committee on International Relations and the Committee on Appropriations of the House of Representatives a report on the feasibility and desirability of increasing the size and scope of MONUC to more effectively achieve the objectives described in subsection (a).

SEC. 202. INCREASING CONTRIBUTIONS AND OTHER HUMANITARIAN AND DEVELOPMENT ASSISTANCE THROUGH INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS.

    (a) In General- The President shall instruct the United States permanent representative or executive director, as the case may be, to the United Nations voluntary agencies, including the World Food Program, the United Nations Development Program, and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, international financial institutions, and other appropriate international organizations to use the voice and vote of the United States to support additional humanitarian and development assistance for the Democratic Republic of the Congo in order to accomplish the objectives described in section 102.

    (b) Support Contingent on Progress-

      (1) REPORT ON LACK OF PROGRESS- If the Secretary of State determines that the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo is not making sufficient progress towards accomplishing the policy objectives in section 102, the Secretary shall submit to the President and Congress a report on such determination.

      (2) WITHDRAWAL OF SUPPORT- Upon receiving a report under paragraph (1), the President shall consider withdrawing United States support for the assistance described in subsection (a) when future funding decisions are considered.

Calendar No. 442

109th CONGRESS

2d Session

S. 2125

A BILL

To promote relief, security, and democracy in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.


May 23, 2006

Reported without amendment