Name ID 735
2000 Publishes: Clinton, Bill Address at Burundi Peace Talks in Arusha
Extract Author: Kipkoech Tanui In Arusha, Sunday
Extract Date: 2000 Aug 27
The Nation (Nairobi)
A celebratory mood was yesterday evident in Arusha town two days ahead of the historic signing of a peace accord crafted to stem bloodshed in the civil war-ravaged Burundi.
World leaders have started jetting into Arusha - whose history is replete with peace-making initiatives.
Former South African leader, Mr. Nelson Mandela, who is facilitating the talks - a task he took over following the death of former Tanzanian President Mwalimu Julius Nyerere - landed at the Arusha International Airport at 9 am.
After an interview with an army of local and international journalists, which has pitched camp in the modest town, Mr. Mandela headed straight to his guest house for talks with the representatives of the 19 parties at the centre of the conflict.
American President Bill Clinton is among the 24 world leaders expected to grace the signing ceremony at the Novotel Mt Meru Hotel.
The town is already swarming with US marines and FBI agents who have taken over security arrangements for the American leader.
President Moi will arrive for the talks and signing ceremony which has captured the world's interest in the same way the post-World War II accord did, tomorrow.
Burundi's President Pierre Buyoya, who is set to hand-over the reigns of power to a transitional government six months after the signing of the agreement, landed here at 1pm.
Those who were expected to arrive later in the day include the host - President Benjamin Mkapa of Tanzania and Ghanaian leader, Jerry Rawlings.
Key personalities in the ceremony which will take place at the Arusha International Conference Centre include presidents Yoweri Museveni (Uganda), Desire Kabila (DRC), Thambo Mbeki (South Africa) and Joachim Chisano (Mozambique).
Mr. Clinton who is attending the talks at the invitation of Mr. Mandela has made it clear that he will support the SA's elder statesman to the hilt in his endeavour during his visit. Mr. Clinton will meet Mr. Mkapa to express US appreciation for the role Tanzania has long played as peace-makers in the region.
A special satelite dish was being flown into Arusha to be used to beam the proceedings of the meeting live by world's TV stations. Six months ago Mr. Clinton made an appearance at one of the major Burundi peace conferences in Arusha, via satellite transmissions from Washington DC.
Mr. Clinton is expected to arrive here today at 3 pm to witness the fall of curtain on the seven-year civil war.
Clinton, Bill Address at Burundi Peace Talks in Arusha
Extract Author: Bill Clinton
Extract Date: 2000 Aug 28
Address at Burundi Peace Talks in Arusha:
Arusha, Tanzania -- President Clinton on August 28 urged the parties to the Burundi Peace Talks in Arusha, Tanzania, to drop their enmities and give peace a chance.
In a speech at Simba Hall Arusha International Conference Center, the last stop on his visit to sub-Saharan Africa, Clinton told peace conference participants and African heads of state that there will be no peace agreement for Burundi 'unless there is a compromise.'
Clinton said after viewing peace negotiations worldwide for the past eight years, 'I know that honorable compromise is important, and requires people only to acknowledge that no one has the whole truth, that they have made a decision to live together, and that the basic aspirations of all sides can be fulfilled by simply saying no one will be asked to accept complete defeat.
'So I plead with you,' Clinton said. 'I've seen this in a lot of places, and it's always the same. You have to help your children remember their history, but you must not force them to relive their history. They deserve to live in their tomorrows, not in your yesterdays.
'Let me just make one other point,' he said. 'When all is said and done, only you can bring an end to the bloodshed and sorrow your country has suffered. Nelson Mandela will be a force for peace. The United States will try to be a force for peace. But no one can force peace; you must choose it.'
Following is the text of Clinton's remarks as prepared for delivery:
Thank you very much, President Museveni, President Mkapa, distinguished leaders of the OAU and various African nations and other nations supporting this peace process. It is a great honor for me to be here today with a large delegation from the United States, including a significant number of members of our Congress, and my Special Envoy to Africa, Reverend Jesse Jackson and Howard Wolpe and others who have worked on this for a long time.
This is a special day in America and for Reverend Jackson. I think I should just mention it in passing. This is the 37th anniversary of the most important civil rights meeting we ever had: The great March on Washington, where Jesse Jackson was present and Martin Luther King gave his 'I Have A Dream' speech. I say that not because I think the situations are analogous, but because everybody needs a dream. And I think whether you all decide to sign this or not depends in part on what your dream is.
I thank my friend, President Mandela, for coming in to replace the marvelous late President Nyerere to involve himself in this process. After 27 years in prison and four years as president of his country, which some people think is another form of prison -- he could be forgiven if he had pursued other things. But he came here because he believes in peace and reconciliation. He knows there is no guarantee of success; but if you don't try, there is a guarantee of failure. And failure is not an acceptable option.
So I thank him, I thank the OAU and, Mr. President, you are here today. I thank the regional leaders; in addition to Presidents Museveni and Mkapa, President Moi, President Kagame, Prime Minister Meles for their work. I thank the Nyerere Foundation, Judge Bomani, Judge Warioba and I thank the people of Tanzania for hosting us here in a city that has become the Geneva of Africa, thanks to many of you.
I say again, I am honored to be in a place that is a tribute to the memory of President Nyerere, and I'm glad that Madame Nyerere is here today; I met her a few moments ago, and I thank her for her presence. I thank President Buyoya and all the Burundians from all the parties who have come to Arusha and for the efforts you have made. Peacemaking requires courage and vision -- courage because there are risks involved, and vision because you have to see beyond the risks to understand that however large they are, they are smaller than the price of unending violence. That you have come so far suggests you have the courage and vision to finish the job, and we pray that you will.
I confess that I come here with some humility. I have spent a great deal of time in the last eight years trying to talk people into laying down their arms and opening their hands to one another -- from the Middle East to Northern Ireland to the Balkans. I have had some measure of success and known some enormously painful failures. But I have not been here with you all this long time and maybe I have nothing to add to your deliberations. But I would like to share some things that I have learned in eight years of seeing people die, seeing people fight with one another because they're of different ethnic or racial or tribal or religious groups, and of seeing the miracles that come from normal peace.
First, to state the obvious, there will be no agreement unless there is a compromise. People hate compromise because it requires all those who participate in it to be less than satisfied. So it is by definition not completely satisfying. And those who don't go along can always point their finger at you and claim that you sold out: Oh, it goes too fast in establishing democracy. Oh, it goes too slow in establishing democracy. It has absolutely too many protections for minority rights. No, it doesn't have enough protections for minority rights.
And there's always a crowd that never wants a compromise. A small group that actually would, by their own definition, at least, benefit from continued turmoil and fighting. So if you put the compromise on the table, they will use it like salt being rubbed into old wounds. And they're always very good. They know just where the break points are to strike fear into the hearts of people who have to make the hard decisions. I have seen this all over the world.
But I know that honorable compromise is important, and requires people only to acknowledge that no one has the whole truth, that they have made a decision to live together, and that the basic aspirations of all sides can be fulfilled by simply saying no one will be asked to accept complete defeat.
Now, no one ever compromises until they decide it's better than the alternative. So I ask you to think about the alternative. You're not being asked today to sign a comprehensive agreement, you're being asked to sign onto a process which permits you to specify the areas in which you still have disagreements, but which will be a process that we all hope is completely irreversible.
Now, if you don't do it, what is the price? If you don't do it, what is the chance that the progress you have made will unravel? If you come back in five or 10 years, will the issues have changed? I think not. The gulf between you won't narrow, but the gulf between Burundi and the rest of the world, I assure you, will grow wider if you let this moment slip away. More lives will be lost. And I have a few basic questions. I admit, I am an outsider. I admit I have not been here with you. But I have studied this situation fairly closely. I don't understand how continued violence will build schools for your children, bring water to your villages, make your crops grow, or bring you into the new economy. I think it is impossible that that will happen.
Now, I do think it is absolutely certain that if you let this moment slip away, it will dig the well of bitterness deeper and pile the mountain of grievances higher, so that someday, when somebody else has to come here and sit at a table like this, they will have an even harder job than you do. So I urge you to work with President Mandela, I urge you to work with each other to seize the opportunity that exists right now.
And I urge those groups, including the rebels who are not now part of this process to join it and begin taking your own risks for peace. No one can have a free ride here. Now that there is a process for resolving differences peacefully, they should lay down their arms.
Now, if you take this step today, it is a first step. It can't restore the bonds of trust by itself, it can't restore the sense of understanding that is necessary for people to live together. So I will also acknowledge that success depends not only on what you say or sign in Arusha, also what you do in the weeks and months and years ahead in Burundi. The agreements you reach have to be respected and implemented both in letter and spirit. Again, I say, if you decide to do this, everyone must acknowledge there must be no victors and no vanquished. If one side feels defeated, it will be likely to fight again and no Burundian will be secure. And, after all, security for all is one of the main arguments for doing this.
Now, let me say something else. Of course, you must confront the past with honesty. There is hardly a Burundian family that has not felt the sorrow of losing a loved one to violence. The history must be told, the causes must be understood. Those responsible for violence against innocent people must be held accountable. But what is the goal here? The goal must be to end the cycle of violence, not perpetuate it.
So I plead with you. I've seen this a lot of places, and it's always the same. You have to help your children remember their history, but you must not force them to relive their history. They deserve to live in their tomorrows, not in your yesterdays. Let me just make one other point. When all is said and done, only you can bring an end to the bloodshed and sorrow your country has suffered. Nelson Mandela will be a force for peace. The United States will try to be a force for peace. But no one can force peace.; you must choose it.
Now, again, I say, I watched the parties in Ireland fight for 30 years. I've watched the parties in the Middle East fight for 50 years. I've watched the parties in the Balkans now go at it and then quit and then go at it again, and then I've watched -- saw a million people driven out of Kosovo. And when we began to talk about peace in Bosnia, the three different ethnic and religious groups didn't even want to sit down together in the same room.
But when it's all said and done, it always comes down to the same thing. You have to find a way to support democracy and respect for the majority, and their desires. You have to have minority rights, including security. You have to have shared decision-making, and there must be shared benefits from your living together.
Now, you can walk away from all this and fight some more and worry about it and let somebody come back here 10 years from now. No matter how long you take, when it comes down to it, they'll still be dealing with the same issues. And I say, if you let anybody else die because you can't bring this together now, all you will do is make it harder for people to make the same decision you're going to have to make here anyway.
So I will say again: If you decide, if you choose, not because anybody is forcing you but because you know it is right to give your children their tomorrows, if you choose peace, the United States and the world community will be there to help you make it pay off. We will strongly support an appropriate role for the U.N. in helping to implement it. We will support your efforts to demobilize combatants and to integrate them into a national army. We will help you bring refugees home and to meet the needs of displaced children and orphans.
We will help you to create the economic and social conditions essential to a sustainable peace -- from agricultural development to child immunization, to the prevention of AIDS. I know this is hard, but I believe you can do it. Consider the case of Mozambique. A civil war there took a million lives, most of them innocent civilians. Of every five infants born in Mozambique during the civil war, three -- three -- died before their fifth birthday, either murdered or stricken by disease.
Those who survived grew up knowing nothing but war. Yet today, Mozambique is at peace, it has found a way to include everyone in its political life, and out of the devastation, last year it had one of the five fastest-growing economies in the entire world. Now, you can do that. But you have to choose. And you have to decide if you're going to embrace that, you have to create a lot of room in your mind and heart and spirit for that kind of future. So you have to let some things go.
Now, Mr. Mandela -- he's the world's greatest example of letting things go. But when we got to be friends, I said to him one day, in a friendly way, I said, you know, Mandela, you're a great friend, but you're also a great politician. It was quite smart to invite your jailers to your inauguration. Good politics. But tell me the truth now. When they let you out of jail the last time and you were walking to freedom, didn't you have a moment when you were really, really angry at them again? You know what he said, he said, yes, I did -- a moment. Then, I realized I had been in prison for 27 years, and if I hated them after I got out, I would still be their prisoner, and I wanted to be free.
Sooner or later, hatred, vengeance, the illusion that power over another group of people will bring security in life, these feelings can be just as iron, just as confining as the doors of a prison cell. I don't ask you to forget what you went through in the bitter years. But I hope you will go home to Burundi not as prisoners of the past, but builders of the future. I will say again: If you decide, America and the world will be with you. But you, and only you, must decide whether to give your children their own tomorrows. Thank you very much.
(Distributed by the Office of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)
Extract Date: 2000 Aug 29
Text of President Clintons speech at Arusha released by the Tanzanian Government
Mr. President, Secretary Slater, Minister Nyanda, members of the Tanzanian and American delegations, ladies and gentlemen. First, Mr. President, thank you for your warm welcome, and will save your speech. (Laughter.) And thank you for your thoughtful and deep remarks.
I'd like to begin by also thanking you for the warm welcome that you gave to Chelsea and to Hillary when they were here. They both fell in love with your country, and Hillary asked me to give you her regards. Since you've just started a campaign, you will understand that she is otherwise occupied. (Laughter.)
I am honored to be here in a place of peace, to visit a champion of peace. Tanzania's story is too often not the stuff of headlines. For that I say, congratulations. Think of the headlines you have avoided. Because you have avoided headlines about repression, famine and war, and instead focused on the steady progress of democracy and development, being generous to your neighbors, and being a cause of peace and cooperation across the region, too many people in our country do not know enough about your country. I hope very much that my visit here, with so many members of the United States Congress who are here with me, will help to change that.
I look forward, Mr. President, to joining you and President Mandela and the other regional leaders shortly in your efforts to bring a lasting peace to Burundi, just the last chapter in the distinguished history that you have already made in such a short time.
One of the tragic ironies of life is sometimes the most terrible things happen to those who try to do the most good. You mentioned it was just over two years ago that the terrorist bombs went off at our American embassies not far north of here in Nairobi, and not far south in Dar es Salaam. They claimed hundreds of Tanzanian, Kenyan and American lives.
I believe the terrorists went after Tanzania, Kenya and the United States precisely because we are dedicated to tolerance, understanding and cooperation across frontiers and lines of division. They took a lot of our loved ones, but as you pointed out, they failed utterly to deter us from advancing our common principles.
So, two years later, I would like to say again to the Tanzanian families and the victims who survived, we still share your sorrow and your determination to see justice done. But we are grateful that your nation has stayed on the course of peace and reconciliation.
We also want to continue to support you during the current drought. We have already provided substantial food assistance, and will continue to do what is needed. We are also trying to help both Tanzania and Kenya deal with your significant refugee problems, which we had a chance to discuss in our meeting just a moment ago. We will keep working with you, Mr. President, to promote education and health, to bring the benefits of the global information economy to your nation and to the developing world.
I am glad that we were able to support Tanzania as one of the first three African countries to qualify for debt relief under the heavily indebted poor countries initiative. So long as these economic reforms continue they will be worth the freeing of $100 million a year, which Tanzania can now invest in its greatest resource, your people.
And I might say, Mr. President, I was very moved by what you said in our meeting about how you intend to invest that money. And I hope that the members of our Congress will take home the powerful example that you have set as a good reason for us to fully fund our part of the global initiative to relieve the debt of highly indebted poor countries.
I also want to do more to encourage foreign investment here. When I last met with you, Mr. President, you were just finishing a very successful tour of the United States to promote American investment here. It has doubled in the last five years. The Open Skies agreement, just signed, will strengthen our economic ties further, giving both our countries' airlines unrestricted international access from any airport to any airport in either country, so that more people can travel and market their products to more places at lower cost.
It was the first of six such agreements we have negotiated with African nations, and I am honored that the first was here in Tanzania.
We will keep working with you, Mr. President, on all these issues, not only because your success is important in its own right, and because your people deserve a chance to live their dreams, but because you inspire all those around you who are struggling to achieve freedom and peace and reconciliation. I urge you to continue to inspire them.
I thank you for the power of your example. I support the work you do. And again let me say on behalf of all the American delegation, we are delighted and honored to be here. Thank you very much.
Extract Author: Vision Reporter
Extract Date: 2000 Aug 29
New Vision (Kampala)
....... the talks were being overshadowed by Clinton's visit, with the whole of Arusha focused on putting on a good show for the U.S. president.
Firemen hosed dust off the streets the presidential cavalcade will take and schools closed.
Africa News Online
Extract Author: Kipkoech Tanui
Extract Date: 2000 September 3
The Nation (Nairobi)
President Benjamin Mkapa stared in disbelief as US security agents opened the doors of the sleek limousine from which he had just disembarked to let in a a sniffer dog hunting for any 'hidden' bombs and grenades.
As the Tanzanian leader stood on the front steps of the Arusha International Conference Centre - ready to receive American President Bill Clinton and usher him into the hall where the Burundi Peace Accords were being signed on Monday - the American agents opened the boots and bonnets of his convoy and goaded the furred animal to sniff around for explosives.
Hundreds of Tanzanians hanging around the perimeter fence of the building watched with a mixture of amusement and embarrassment as the American agents meticulously searched the area for any danger to their President.
'Umaskini ni kitu mbaya mno' (poverty is a terrible thing), mused one of the Tanzanians pushing and elbowing each other around the barbed wire - in a bid to get a better glimpse of Mr. Clinton - when he noticed what the American security agents were doing to his President's car. 'It's amazing how far the Americans can go in throwing their weight and money around Africa,' the Tanzanian national added.
Mr. Mkapa, who was hosting the US President and at least 20 other African leaders or their representatives, was also in for a rude shock when he chaperoned Mr. Clinton to his seat, escorted by the facilitator of the peace talks, retired South African President Nelson Mandela.
Moments before President Clinton walked in, the mineral water and soda bottles on his table were cleared by the security agents. When President Clinton took his seat, an aide placed before him a can of Coca-Cola flown in from the US. The President drank directly from the can.
That was to be the only drink he took inside the hall for the five hours he was inside as the rest of the dignitaries on the podium - including President Moi and Mr. Mandela - sipped glasses of water bottled by a Tanzanian company.
Earlier, as Mr. Clinton's convoy arrived at the Arusha International Conference Centre (AICC), a US helicopter was hovering over his car flying barely 30 metres above the ground. The chopper carrying heavily armed security agents had covered President Clinton's car all the way from the Kilimanjaro International Airport, taking every bend and corner with it.
Outside the conference centre, the helicopter hovered above Mr. Clinton as he disembarked from his car, greeted his hosts and entered the hall. The deafening noise and gushing wind from helicopter engines and rotor blades fluttered at the clothes of those present, at times exposing the firearms stuffed on the waists of some of the security agents.
All the tinted windows of President Clinton's 35-foot limousine were rolled up and the occupants waved to the ecstatic crowd behind closed windows. A Tanzanian security official told the Sunday Nation that an hour before his landing, the flight corridor over Arusha was closed.
With his arrival, most of the telephone lines around Arusha went dead. Even the walkie-talkies the security personnel of the African leaders were carrying ceased to work. But when he left the phones came back to life.
A source in the meeting said the security agents jammed the phones to abort any evil plot being hatched over the the lines and ensure total security and safety for the leader of the world's only superpower.
As a result of the electronic jamming of the phones, the State House team waiting for President Moi to land at the Moi International Airport Mombasa lost telephone contact with the security personnel in Arusha led by the Escort Commander and the President's aide-de-camp.
The security personnel in Arusha could not inform those waiting on the Mombasa airport's tarmac that the haggling between the Burundi Accord facilitators and the Tutsi extremists had prolonged the meeting and that the President was still inside the Simba Hall four hours after the meeting was expected to have been concluded.
In desperation, a senior State House official at the airport decided to call the Nation News Desk in Nairobi and enquire if the night shift reporter had received a word on the whereabouts of the President from our reporter in Arusha.
By 10 pm that Monday night, the official had called the Nation twice within an hour to say the team in Mombasa were anxious to know if the President had left Arusha.
Though he promised to call again at 11 pm, he did not, probably because telephone contact with Arusha had finally been re-established. However, a member of the President's press corps kept calling.
President Moi and his entourage finally flew out of Kilimanjaro International Airport after midnight for Mombasa, where in the morning he was on the road continuing his tour of the Coast Province.
A South African female journalist working for Channel Africa broke down inside the Arusha conference hall when the US marines barred her from leaving the theatre while President Clinton was speaking. She had wanted to look for a convenient place outside from which to call her station on the mobile telephone.
She thought that her phone set had ceased working because she was in an enclosed place. But as she rose to walk out, a US agent walked up to her and curtly said the doors won't be opened until the visiting President leaves the hall.
However, the marines changed their minds and decided to open the doors for people to walk in and out as it turned out that Mr. Clinton was going to spend a much longer period inside the hall.
The secret service agents could be identified using their hi-tech communication equipment composed of a wire running from the ear up to the left hand where a miniature microphone, the size of a sweet, was strapped to the arm. When they wanted to talk to one another, one just needed to open his palm and lift his hand as if to wipe his lips.
Except for Mr. Mandela's guards, all the security men accompanying the visiting Presidents carried walkie-talkies, which ceased working for the duration of Mr. Clinton's presence in the hall.
The US agents had began streaming into Tanzania months before Mr. Clinton was set to arrive, flying straight from Nigeria on his last African tour as President. By 2.50 pm, when he landed at the Kilimanjaro International Airport, more than 1,000 Americans - mostly security and secret service agents and the State Department staff - were swarming the streets of Arusha.
The marines and Federal Bureau of Investigation agents had revolvers bulging from their waistlines and covered by immaculate jackets.
The agents arrived with communication and security equipment, such as satellite dishes and antennas, weighing five tonnes. They scanned the runway as if they were looking for landmines.
The President and his daughter Chelsea rode in the long limousine, which can withstand the devastating impact of a mine explosion. The limousine was flown in from the US together with ambulances and other cars in a convoy of more than 50 vehicles.
The convoy had earlier been flown from the US to the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Nairobi, and then driven by road - under heavy guard - for the 260 kilometres to Arusha. A similar security arrangement had been made for his visit to arathing was done for his Nigeria, and the visit to Egypt after he flew from Arusha aboard the luxurious Airforce One jet.
The plane itself is a magnificent piece of technology, complete with a parachute ejector to throw the President out to safety should there be any midair problem. It is furnished like a millionaire's house, complete with sauna, jacuzzi and a luxury bed.
As part of the security arrangements, all business outlets on the multi-storey AICC were closed on Monday. Notices to this effect were pasted on the walls and lift-area of the prestigious building from the Thursday before.
The US had negotiated expensive temporary takeover deals with owners of businesses on the basement, ground and first floors of the building. The rooms were stripped bare of the old furniture and transformed into offices, fax and e-mail bureaus and video-monitoring stations.
On the premises of the popular Arusha fastfood chain, Chick King - whose expansive room at the AICC was temporarily taken over - a host of telephone sets with a satellite connection to America were installed for use by the security agents, White House staff and the American press.
The other sections of the international press were frustrated when they walked up to the bureau thinking the business centre was open to all. 'They paid me upfront and I can't allow anyone else to use these facilities. They put up some of the machines themselves,' was the consistent reply the proprietor had for those seeking his services.
The US marines thoroughly screened anyone entering the premises, using bomb detectors. Those carrying still cameras had to click at least once - just to make sure that its trigger does not detonate a hidden bomb. Those with video cameras were asked to roll at least an inch of their tape before they could be allowed in.
In a hurry to impress the visiting leaders, especially Mr. Clinton, the Tanzanian government cleared the Arusha streets of hawkers and street children. On the morning of the big day, the town's fire brigade personnel, with their engines, washed the streets with water and soap.
Motorists were splashed with water sprouting from the huge canons normally used to fight fires.
The AICC itself was given a thorough wash. Throughout the weekend, workers scraped the floors with detergent and water. The floors were groomed, the walls stripped clean of any old notices pasted on them.
The meeting stole the thunder from the climax of the Tanzanian voter registration programme ending that Monday. The local media devoted its time and space to the Burundi meeting.
The Tanzanian government took advantage of Mr. Clinton's visit to promote its commercial ties with America. The Commerce Ministry published a glossy magazine titled: Ten Reasons Why Americans Should Invest In Tanzania.
The visiting Americans - even the secret agents - were given copies as they picked the keys to their hotel rooms from the receptionists.
In the airport and around the luxurious Novotel Mount Meru Hotel, where the security agents had pitched camp a week to the meeting, a forest of long antennae rose to the sky. Satellite dishes mounted on armoured cars dotted the premises.
The hotel was the base for the security agents and regular guests were kept off because all the rooms had been taken up. Only a few were reserved for the other visiting presidents and delegates. Mr. Clinton did not step in the hotel, on whose doors were mounted hi-tech security screen boxes.
The accreditation process for Simba Hall was a long and tedious affair. The lobbying for the pink badges issued by a team of facilitators led by Brig-Gen (Rtd) Hashim Mbita was as intense as it was frustrating.
In the end, more than 250 journalists who had travelled to Arusha to cover the meeting did not go in. Those locked out included such big news organisations such as Reuters.
Things were made worse by the fact that none of the Tanzanian TV stations had the capacity to relay the proceedings live.
The White House had arranged for the American NBC Television - which had the brief to beam live Mr. Clinton's speech to all the American stations via satellite - to bring in the necessary equipment.
But it turned out that the equipment was not compatible with Tanzania's and the plan flopped. An attempt to use the outside broadcasting facilities of the UN's Rwanda Genocide Tribunal flopped because the wiring was short and the cameras were permanently mounted on the court-house in the AICC.
In the end, journalists who flew in from as far as Europe with huge caches of communication equipment were either reduced to mere by- standers or covered the event from the periphery. Those in the print media mingled freely with the flag-waving Tanzanians who lined the streets to welcome the bigwigs.
The other Presidents inside the hall had to make do without the bulk of their security team because most of their agents could not obtain the badges to enter Simba Hall.
As Mr. Clinton stepped in, his security agents lined all the walls of the hall and when he finally sat, two of them sat on the extreme left and right corners of the front bench reserved for the Presidents.
An hour before Mr. Clinton's arrival, the agents shuffled the seating arrangements on the podium when the African leaders took a break. When they came back they were shown new places to sit.
However, during the Burundi peace negotiations, Mr. Clinton left his chair next to Mr. Mandela and moved from one seat to another talking to the African Presidents. He spent considerable time talking to Ghana's Jerry Rawlings.
But he reserved the best of his warmth for Mr. Mandela, whom he embraced as he bade him bye inside the hall. To the other leaders, he gave a handshake.
Extract Author: lute wa lutengano
Page Number: 139
Extract Date: 2000 September 23 -29
At first I thought I had misheard the statement. 'I am happy to be in this town which has become the Geneva of Africa,' said William Jefferson Clinton, the President of the United States of America, and the most powerful man in the world, referring to the very Arusha town I know of.
When I asked my colleague, sitting next to me, he acknowledged that Bill had actually said so. What promotional coup, I thought. No amount of money could make a President of the USA promote any destination in the world. And here he was calling the very Arusha whose suburbs include Unga Ltd. Majengo, Kaloleni, Sanawari, Ngaramtoni and the like, the 'Geneva of Africa.'
I looked at our President, the very Benjamin William (call him 'Bill') Mkapa. He was all teeth.
The smile was a yard long. He surely was also taken by surprise.
But come to think of it, the Arusha, Bill Clinton of the Lewinsky fame, saw when he visited the land of the Laibonis, was not the Arusha we know of. He landed at the Kilimanjaro International Airport, and surprise, there was a red carpet all the way from the Air force One to the 35 feet long American armored limousine he used.
From there he drove to Arusha along a road whose sides were three deep with smiling Africans waving a sea of miniature American and Tanzanian flags. The road he saw had a few hours before been shampooed in his honour. Arriving at the Arusha International Conference Centre, Bill, was received by a horde of African heads of state after walking again on another red carpet. The AICC had been scrubbed clean and everything had a temporary new lease of life.
After seeing all this and knowing that it was in Arusha that the various Rwanda factions signed the famous Arusha Accord in 1994 and that this is the head office of the UN Tribunal for Rwanda, the East African Community, the Pan African Postal Union, the Commonwealth Health Secretariat for East, Central and Southern Africa and the Eastern and Southern African Management Institute, Bill was in no position not to call Arusha the 'Geneva of Africa.'
What startles me now is why are we not taking advantage of this statement. Where are our tourism experts and our congress tourism gurus? In another country we could have had by now a flood of film clips and brochures quoting Clinton's statement for all and sundry to know. They could have told the whole world from Alaska to Vladvostock that Clinton has called Arusha the 'Geneva of Africa.'
It reminds me of some few years back when some unscrupulous tour operators decided to sell the Tanzanian mighty Kilimanjaro as an attraction in a neighbouring country. When this was disputed, they came up with a new spin on the mountain based in some fake colonial history. They claimed that the mountain had always been in Kenya and was given by Queen Victoria, then Queen of Kenya also, to the German Kaiser, the then colonial ruler of Tanganyika, as a birthday present because she already possessed Mount Kenya.
The truth as far is history is concerned is quite the opposite. I quote from a colonial history authority; 'In 1886 colonial rivalry between Britain and Germany flared again and a fresh Anglo-American Partition Agreement clearly defined German and British spheres of influence. A straight line traced between Kenya and Tanganyika along the actual boundaries divided the territories. North of the line Kenya and Uganda went to England. The southern part together with Ruanda-Urundi to the west went to Germany: this gave birth to German East Africa. ( . . . ). Another meeting leading to the `Heligoland Treaty,' was held in 1890 to ensure Africa `The benefits of peace and civilization' and settled the last disputes which still existed between Britain and Germany who abandoned some places in Kenya, receiving in compensation the Island of Heligoland in the North Sea. A lingering controversy plagued the area around Taveta claimed by
rival German and British explorers and with Germany giving in, and this is why it is the only stretch of this border which does not run in a perfectly straight line.'
Surely we do not need another `Heligoland Treaty' to prove that Arusha is the Geneva of Africa. Let us simply clean up the city, welcome all those meeting in Arusha or passing by to go to the Serengeti and then proclaim to everybody that Clinton calls us the 'Geneva of Africa.' Who are you not to?
The East African
Extract Author: Alfred Ngotezi Dar es Salaam
Extract Date: 2000 Oct 5
The East African (Nairobi) via www.AllAfrica.com
World statesmen who have been hosted by the Arusha Cultural Heritage Centre include King Harold and Queen Sonja of Norway and their daughter Princess Martha Louise as well as South African President Thabo Mbeki and his wife.
Saifuddin Khanbhai, a jovial 34-year-old Tanzanian, has reason to feel on top of the world. On August 28, he became one of the few people in the world to host, albeit briefly, a reigning US president.
Khanbhai got the rare opportunity when American President William Jefferson Clinton paid a short visit to Arusha in Tanzania to witness the signing of a peace accord between Burundi's warring factions.
There was no confirmation of the planned presidential visit, ostensibly for security reasons, until a few minutes to 10 pm, Khanbhai recalls. All that evening, he was pacing up and down the lawns of his cultural centre. If the Burundi peace negotiations had not dragged on until late at night, Khanbhai says, perhaps Clinton would have arrived 'at a more conventional hour.' The American president personally held unscheduled lengthy talks with the Burundi belligerents.
Clinton's extended participation in the talks resulted in a rescheduling of his earlier programme, including a planned 15-minute private shopping session at Khanbhai's curio shop: the Cultural Heritage Centre on Arusha's Nairobi Road.
But to the delight of the young businessman, their friendly encounter lasted a full one hour and fifteen minutes as Khanbhai guided the president and his daughter around the cultural and entertainment sections of his centre.
As soon as Clinton arrived at the centre, Khanbhai presented him with a spear and a shield, the Maasai way of welcoming a respected leader.
The short traditional ceremony was performed in front of one of the tribal huts erected in the sprawling compound of the cultural centre. It was an amusing ceremony, Khanbhai recounts.
'But as warned earlier by security agents, we did not present the president with the spear, but only gave him a shield and gestured to the distant spear,' he says. But a jovial Clinton would not have it that way.
Grabbing the spear, he jokingly threatened his staff, saying, 'I'm the most dangerous person around now,' Khanbhai recalls.
From that moment onward, however, Clinton's itinerary became a private shopping visit, which saw the president and his daughter Chelsea visit every corner of the expansive centre. What impressed him most, says Khanbhai, is the fact that Clinton would stop from time to time to ask searching questions about the ways and values of different ethnic communities in Tanzania.
The American president was so moved by the cultural presentations, the proprietor says, that at one point he could not wait any longer: he joined in a traditional dance.
But where were the American security 'heavies' who had taken Arusha by storm with their sniffer dogs, one may ask. Khanbhai says the centre was swarming with security agents, but they were 'friendly and wanted to make the best of the occasion for us all.'
Indeed, Clinton went to the curio shop unaccompanied by local officials, in a deliberate relaxing of security measures to allow him some freedom to interact with people.
Clinton pulled quite a few surprises during the visit. For example, while earlier on at the Arusha International Conference Centre (AICC), he had not been allowed by his assistants to take a local drink, instead quenching his thirst with a special canned Coke from Airforce One, he readily sipped a glass of fresh juice offered by Khanbhai.
The American president bought art and craft items worth about $1,400 and was given some more as gifts by the Khanbhai family. He promised to display them for a week at a prominent spot in the White House and said that as soon as he moved out of the White House next year, he would be looking for more souvenirs and would contact Khanbhai.
Clinton's visit to the Cultural Centre was missed by the local press and remains a mystery even to the host. 'I certainly would not have dreamt of inviting him,' he says.
Khanbhai says although US First Lady Hillary Clinton and her daughter Chelsea have visited Arusha before, they did not visit the Cultural Centre. Former US Foreign Secretary James Baker visited the centre twice while on a private hunting safari.
Other world statesmen who have been hosted by Khanbhai include King Harold and Queen Sonja of Norway and their daughter Princess Martha Louise as well as South African President Thabo Mbeki and his wife.
What attracts world leaders to the Arusha Cultural Heritage Centre?
Most visitors interested in Tanzania's cultural heritage will look for a place where the past and present of the country's 120-plus tribes can be viewed in a single compound. Khanbhai's project is a clear manifestation of the need for tourism investors in the country to be creative. Beginning with the nearby Maasai and other tribes close to Arusha town in northern Tanzania, he has set out to extend his coverage to other ethnic groups in the country.
The soft-spoken proprietor is also launching an e-commerce enterprise. Customers from all over the world will be able to place orders online for various works of art.
Apart from displaying and storing Tanzania's cultural heritage, the curio shop sells carvings, gemstones, artefacts, clothing and books. The business employs 68 people.
Khanbhai was born in 1966 in Muheza, in the northeastern region of Tanga. He went to school in Tanga and Arusha before going for his A- level education in England. Despite being selected to pursue medicine, he was attracted to the arts and returned home to pursue his studies.
Khanbhai, a Tanzanian of Asian origin, says his immediate business partner is his wife of 11 years, Zahra. Starting with a small store near Clock Tower in Arusha, Khanbhai expanded and opened several other stores around the town. Construction on the Cultural Centre began in 1990, a task that took him four years.
The Clock Tower in Arusha, incidentally, at the halfway point between Cape Town and Cairo.
On the future of tourism in Tanzania, Khanbhai says the industry has a lot of potential but that institutional red tape is stifling its growth.
Khanbhai is critical of the policy of imposing Value Added Tax (VAT) on works of art, proposing that such payments made by tourists should be refunded at the time of departure. He indeed goes on to suggest that the tax be waived altogether.
It may not be a bad idea, after all, for the establishment to listen to a young businessman who has just had the rare honour of hosting the most powerful president in the world.
Extract Author: Elisha Mayallah
Page Number: 335
Extract Date: 28 Aug 2004
Today marks four years since the visit of the former American President William Jefferson Clinton to Arusha. Clinton paid a short visit to witness the signing a peace accord between Burundi's warring factions on August 28, 2000.
The former American President personally held lengthy talks with the Burundi factions at the Arusha International Conference Centre [AICC]. Clinton's participation in the talks resulted in labeling Arusha the "Geneva of Africa".
The Cultural heritage in Arusha got a rare opportunity when Clinton spent some few moments interacting and buying curios. The former American President bought art and craft items worth about $1,400 and was given some more as gifts by the Cultural Heritage management.
To the delight of the owner, Mr. Saifudin Khanbhai their friendly meeting lasted over one hour as he guided the president and his daughter around the cultural and entertainment sections of his centre. The former American President was so moved by the cultural presentations, says Mr. Khanbhai, that at one point he could not wait any longer: He participated in a traditional dance.
As Tanzania’s tourism industry already maximizing, lustre of gems of the Cultural heritage begin to shine brighter in the World. Most visitors interested in Tanzania's cultural heritage will look for a place where the past and present of the country's 120-plus tribes can be viewed in a single compound. The Cultural Heritage in Arusha, so far, is a place to go, says Mr. Khanbhai
Cultural heritage boasts of large and various carvings, gemstones, artifacts, clothing and books – all offered for sale at the centre. In addition, the project is a good example of the need for tourism investors in the country to be creative. Beginning with the nearby Maasai tribe close to Arusha town. The Maasai statutes that you see at the complex depict the true-life of the Maasais. The Maasai tribal huts erected in the sprawling compound of the cultural centre are amazing.
A week ago a group of media experts, who gathered in Arusha for a short course took time off to see, among others, the wealth of the Cultural Heritage. "I must bring my family to see this wonderful collection" said Mr. George Nyembela, a Consultant attached to the Media Council of Tanzania.
Mr. Saifudin Khanbhai is optimistic that expansion of the Cultural heritage, which is on progress, will provide a rare and sought-out unique brand of dining and shopping. "Former President, Clinton would be filled with happiness if he returned to see the new building" says Mr. Khanbhai.
The thoughts of having ‘almost’ rubbed shoulders with a man who was a national leader still thrills most of the staff at the Cultural heritage, most of whom were in the low-income bracket. "When Clinton was here, it was exciting news for most of us who knew him via the media, it was unbelievable to see him at close-range!" Said one of the staff, Mr. Kangai Hiloga. Four years later, the Cultural heritage community still dreams of the reunion with their client, the former ‘famous’ American President Clinton!
IPP Media - including the Guardian
Extract Author: Adam Ihucha, Arusha
Extract Date: 2008-02-19
Business in Arusha ground to a virtual standstill yesterday as US President George Bush entered the city on the third day of his historic four-day state visit to Tanzania.
The visiting President and his entourage jetted in from Dar es Salaam, where the first leg of their high-profile tour began on Saturday evening.
With the only major road linking the city to the outside world closed for hours to facilitate the tour, local motorists parked their vehicles, seriously disrupting transport schedules.
Most workers and other local residents were unable to make it to the city centre following the absence of commuter buses and taxis and other means of transport from as early as 7am. As a result, shops remained closed and most other business premises deserted.
According to an earlier police alert, the relevant stretch of the busy Moshi-Arusha road would be closed to the public from 8am to 5pm.
A similar situation was witnessed here in August 2000 when President Bush?s predecessor, Bill Clinton, attended the Burundi peace accord signing ceremony.
People lined the road stretch all the way from the Philips factory to the Mianzini suburb as well as the Namanga road portion from the Col. Middleton junction to Sakina/TCA.
Hundreds of others had camped at Kambi ya Fisi, along the Ngarenaro Villa corner stretch of the road to Nairobi and at Mbauda/Majengo along the road to Dodoma.
The Dodoma Road section from the so-called Nairobi Corner and all the way to Makuyuni at the border between Arusha and Manyara regions was a no-go zone.
Many Arusha residents had hoped that President Bush would greet them by shaking their hands just as had happened in Dar es Salaam but that was not to be, as his motorcade simply sped past them.
Meanwhile, there was a sudden scarcity of fresh milk in the city since most hawkers normally bringing the milk from the Arumeru hills by bicycle were barred from entering the central business district.
Also, with the 45-kilometer road stretch from the Kilimanjaro International Airport (KIA) to Arusha closed, newspapers could not reach here on time. It was not until about 2pm that they were delivered,which means that they were ready for sale at least two hours later.
An agent of Kilimanjaro Express Bus services, Victoria Obeid, said the Bush visit to Arusha forced them to cancel a scheduled trip to Dar es Salaam.
Normally, some 40 commuter buses ply the Dar es Salaam-Arusha route on a daily basis.
The services of the 300-plus minibuses that routinely ferry passengers between Arusha and Moshi everyday were similarly disrupted yesterday.
The security measures did not spare tour operators, who had no option but to observe the travel restrictions.
Only scheduled airlines were allowed to land at KIA between 10am and 6pm, according to an e-mail message from Tanzania Tour Operators Association Executive Secretary Mustafa Akuunay copied to all tour operators.
Within a radius of 60km from the smaller Arusha Airport, some 8km west of this city, no flight training, aerobatics, hand gliding, hot air balloon parachuting exercises were allowed.
The road from KIA via Mianzini, Nairobi Road corner and down to the Tanzania National Parks Authority head offices, Arusha Airport, and A to Z Textile Mills at Kisongo was also closed between 8am and 3pm.
President Bush and his entourage landed at KIA with the majestic Mount Kilimanjaro fully visible. They were welcomed by Maasai women dancers in purple robes, white discs hanging around their necks. The VIP guests admired the show from a short distance, some nodding in appreciation but not actually joining in the dance.
President Bush and First Lady Laura Bush began the day by touring a hospital, before visiting A to Z Textile Mills that makes treated mosquito nets recommended by the World Health Organisation.
The Arusha net factory, the only one in Africa passed by WHO for the purpose, is a 50/50 joint venture between the Tokyo-based multinational Sumitomo Chemical and Arusha?s A to Z Textile Mills.
The venture is an expansion of a business relationship that took off with royalty-free technology transfer in 2003. The new facilities can make up to 10 million treated mosquito nets a year, much in excess of Tanzania?s needs.
The venture is reported to have created more than 3,200 jobs supporting at least 20,000 people.
``We are delighted to celebrate with you all, this significant milestone. Our collaboration has grown to a full-fledged joint venture,`` said Sumitomo Chemical President Hiromasa Yonekura at the factory?s official inauguration yesterday attended by President Bush.