Washington, DC — Today, the Congressional Black Caucus Foreign Affairs and National Security Task Force, co-chaired by Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.), top Democrat on the House Subcommittee on Africa, and Rep. Marc Veasey (D-Texas), hosted an Africa Policy Breakfast Forum to discuss the crisis in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
The forum was attended by more than 200 people. The expert panel, which was moderated by former Assistant Secretary of State, Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield, featured three experts on the crisis in the DRC, one of whom flew to the United States from the Congo to participate just for this forum. The panel consisted of Kambale Musavuli, who is the spokesperson for Friends of the Congo, Sylvain Saluseke, who is a youth activist for LUCHA, a youth movement in Congo which demands social justice, and Mike Jobbins, Senior Director of Partnerships and Engagement for Search for Common Ground.
“The Democratic Republic of Congo has the potential to be one of the richest countries on earth with its abundance of minerals, vast hydro-electric opportunity, and significant agricultural capabilities. I hope one day we can host a forum on just that, on the potential,” Rep. Bass said after the event. “But today, we had to focus on the stark reality of living in the Democratic Republic of Congo, one of the poorest countries in the world, and the violence and massive loss of life due to state-sponsored violence being experienced there. The full room itself demonstrated the severity of this issue. Many people who were in the room today had been personally affected by the violence there.”