tv European Relations with Africa Discussion CSPAN December 1, 2019 3:25am-4:33am EST
>> i think i sense that the electorate, the primary electorate was not settled. i think that has been more than confirmed in the visits i've had since announcing in new hampshire and california and nevada and iowa and south carolina. i think there is a lot of room for folks who want both an ambitious agenda and a record of delivering. >> then senator michael bennett on why he decided to run for president. his leadership style and his stance on various policy issues. >> i know how important the idea of america is for people struggling all over the world. it's not that we're perfect. far from it. but we are a beacon to the rest of the world. i believe re-establishing our placement in the world is going to have to be what the next president will have to do. >> watch c-span this weekend.
>> alex rondos, the special representative to the horn of africa discussed europe's aid to that northeast region including thiopia, sudan and djibouti. it included a talk about the middle east influence in the region. just a quick word about the global europe program which i chair for the woodrow wilson
program center. this is design today do something different because it looks at the stresses and issues that confront the continent of europe whether that's the arctic and the issues of climate change and trade. whether that's migration or the big relationships with russia, with china and of course, the united states and mr.it's issues that confronted -- whether it's issues that confronted in many issues and challenging ways. our guests will be able to talk extremely eloquently in this ase around the horn of africa. alex needs to introduction to any of you. he's been the european union special representative for the horn of africa he tells me eight years now. it's based now in nairobi and has been working on issues that concern all of us throughout his
long career. but perhaps especially now on the horn of africa. and i'm going to begin by asking him a few questions. and then invite you to join in he conversation. we have c-span here. and we hope the people watching this will enjoy it as much as ou will. i'm a huge fan of everything you've done. and i know how much you have contributed to thinking through the issues, the policies, the ideas, the objectives of what europe but not just europe can o in the horn of africa. >> what you do cover? for everyonek you,
coming here. elighted to be your guest. my hope always that i would keep -- i would try to keep it out of the crisis entry for you. the remit geographicly is is the traditional horn that expanded to include now sudan, south dan, trieer south sudan, jibouti, somalia, kenya, and uganda. so it tretches down into some eastern african issues. the e.u.'s arranged it in such a way that the remit was to be sort of all things to all
eople. it has clauses and sub clauses that it gets. but the real issue was somalia. piracy how to deal with shabab. where would somalia go? and somalia is part of the region. so the remit really became one where i was the only person who had such a role. which was unusual. and a lot of the people, the leaders in the region i think were surprised, pleased, that there was an attention being given at a political level. and frankly, you know, you gave me a kind of a -- an open book as it were to be an entrepreneurial as possible in dealing with all the different crises. but what emerged and i think
this is where from a european perspective, we could play to one comparative advantage that we have, which is that in the e.u., we're dealing daily with squabbles among member states. the question is we created a framework within which at the very least you don't pull guns out on the horn. and we haven't for a while. and therefore trying to get a whole region which was, you know, despite its geographical name in the horn of africa is a pretty disaggregated place. it's not integrated in the way that other regions are and therefore getting the countries among themselves to get used to finding ways of communicating with each other, preventing crises. and i love the work that i'm doing. it's stuff that doesn't anear the public eye. it's -- nor, do i spend much time seeking permission to do something because you have to
begins to resolve the dispute. and we'll get into that. and the most recent challenge is situating and helping a region navigate its way into a completely changed geographical landscape. the dynamics coming from the indian ole ocean from the gulf totally altering the balance. and our challenge is just to say well, are we as europe -- this is the sort of soft underbelly of europe. it's just immediately below north africa. and it's on the -- the -- on one side of the red sea where a lot of our trade goes through. are we in this changed global setting and given what is going on in the region right now, going to become spectators or how do we engage? and how do we define our interests in europe in this changed setting? so there's a lot of firefighting and a occasional attempts to translate that into some kind of longer term policy. >> i told this story before, a few times in my life. but when somalia got to the point of having some kind of government, i remember flying in on a cargo plane with you to the
airport in mogea dish you when -- mogadishu when the control was probably a square mile. and we had a tin hut and a bed that bedside table, and was the embassy. and we put you in it. and i have photograph of you liing in the bed in a tin hat. and we raised the glag of the european union as a -- we raised the flag of the european union as a way to show that we are committed to trying to support the people of the horn of africa. i mentioned that because that's a begin. what are the things that really strike you as different good or bad? >>ee, it's -- yeah, it's, this
country is going through a transition, the country, this region and key countries noo it. notably sudan and ethiopia but also somalia through a that is n of a depth how deep the change. is and i think that's the first thing to bear in mind. secondly, we need to understand why this is happening. 70% of the population is under 31, 32. and we all need to wake up and this generation has now gone politically operational.
have the upteenth youth project. we intend to have a say in what we think we belong to. do we outside understand what this entire generation -- it's a demographic tidal wave breaking over the politics of the region. that's just mathematical. you don't have to be a crystal ball gaze tore understand that. but do we know enough? do the leaders even know enough about what is going on. what are the aspirations, what are their loyalties? so that is the fundamental change. look at what happened in ethiopia and sudan. you see this huge thing suddenly becoming political. protest meeting politics. the politics capable of absorbing protests?
is what's really going on in this region. and it will take different shapes. therefore what's happening in sudan and ethiopia, for example, 150 million people. those are the sheer numbers that re involved. what is happening is very exciting. ready to speed up. scale up. get engaged in a way that's noded? or will we be polite bystanders making interesting analysis while this goes on? why? next question. big change is that the region has now become part of a whole new set of global competition that's begin on. the politics and the geo politics and geo economics of the indian ocean have spilled
ver into the region. it's india beginning to show a real interest. it is the gulf realizing they have a western flag and strategically doing a 360 degree turn and saying we've ignored that side of the red sea. so the engagement is there. it is ir > verseable -- it is irreversible. at the moment, there's a new scramble not just for this region. we should look way beyond. that scramble, the only difference -- it's about finding local clients, local collaborators and the like. and the only difference is that e werners and the former colonialists are kind of buy stand ners watching this. and the assumption that we were
the player in this region, i think, is changing. now, where that will go is the -- is huge. n terms of its implications. it behooves us where we fit. if we agree that there is a new generation emerging which is going to be decisive in how we decide the interest of their communities, their nations. and my working assumption is that many of the aspirations that generation has are not dissimilar to the aspirations we have in the west for our clirn. are we doing enough to engage that generation? so, our policies have to be very, very carefully calibrated here because it's a very -- how
can i put it? plastic moment. and who we align with -- i mean, the simple challenge that we put it through, certainly the states of the european union iser are we going end up on the right side of history? that is how deep the change. is and i put the same question here too in the united states. it is unstable. it is uncertain. we have a view of stable which includes acknowledging that the popular will has a role if it is cknowledged. many of this other players represent an ill-liberal as opposed to a liberal approach. and that's what we have to work out whether stability from the barrel of a gun can be replaced by stability created by a more a
participatory politics which is what is being forced on some of these countries. >> you know, someone of the issues for europe and i think for the u.s. is in a world where there are so many different challenges that confront everyone, the crises always get ahead of, what you might call the strategies that can prevent the crisis that maybe coming towards you. if you -- if you could change things -- if you could have the resources or get the political attention or whatever it is from european union or europe more generally, politicians and political thinkers, and indeed in the u.s., what are the ingredients that you think could make a difference? you've talked about being aware of the value of popular will. you talked about the players who are coming in from the gulf to china to india and so on.
what is it that you think europe, the u.s. could and should do that could make a difference to the future of these extraordinary young people? objective one, if we agree that ere is a transition of tectonic significance that's going on and it's the general rational one. we -- generation nal one, we could make thure that that -- make sure that that gets stabilized. we all say and everyone immediately when they engage the transition say they'll have an election. every single one of these countries is going to have an election in the next two to three years, well, one to to three years. in countries going through profound changes where it's not quite clear whether the old still has a grip or whether the grab t's coming in will
the grip as it were on the political machinery and in countries which, you know, do an yet have deeply embedded institutional capacity to act as shock absorbers that come and mustards the competitiveness of lectoral politics. so therefore, what needs be done, otherwise this becomes an interesting but academic debate. where europe can step in an has every interest of doing so, is to begin to convene everyone from outside to say let's make sure that we don't pick apart and a lower region to be picked apart by the old methods of the past historically. and so it would be about about bringing an talking to the gulf
and engaging in a very straight discussion about this. and the gulf i believe got a bit o a shock when they saw the reaction to some of what one or two gulf players were doing at the beginnings of the changes in sudan. they objected to one of the gulf players were doing. fine. they reflect deeper inclinations. we need to get everyone around the table and come up with a common understanding on what it's going to take to stabilize. wo, resources. he money is simply not there who have been told to people, wait and the good time will come. meantime it was going to the local pawnshop and selling the family jewels. that's in effect what's been
happening some of we have a massive death problem that's reemerged, which is going to further create problems to meet the aspirations of this generation who are becoming very political. if they don't feel there's a purpose to which they can work, they will go in any other set of other directions. they're loyalties will go. now, we therefore, got to think how you mobilize money and is it there and say, we europe don't have enough, or the united states doesn't have enough. it's not a policy at all. the policy is how do you mobilize all the resources that are available and work out who can -- what's -- what's the business plan and the cash flow plan if i may put it in very simple terms that begins to address the aspirations you 100 y cannot tell of million ethiopians, half of them kids 30 years old. -- of thatliberty of
-- of saying that. half of them are men who are unemployed, but what do you expect? when it comes to election time? what is it when it's able to offer. -- to offer? and i don't mean charity. it's about real investments. it's about getting government to understand what can be done. if the international community merely oherent, it will reinforce any incipient incoherence in the region. we will mirror each other. and then we'll be sitting here in a few years' time wondering what went wrong. and the answer would have been we are the wrinkles of the shirt instead of ironing them out. that is the core, core question of the moment. we could have had the self confidence to say that certain things we believe in and we're
ready to invest in and bring others on boor. and i mean anyone. the object is to put some coherence into the international system at the moment. and that, i have -- a lot of faith in an emerging generation which is totally why i didn't onnect it. there's nucleus of new leadership that could reemerge some of the politics of the region. that is what i think need to be doing if that isn't too general. but that has to be a three teenic objective. if we stabilize the next two years, then there's the breathing space then to look at the next stage, by which time you hope that the new generation going to express itself rather than what we think should wan.
>> when you're lying in your bed in nairobi thinking about all of these issues. thinking about the potential of this young generation and the connections that they make but also the challenges that they're going to face with such high levels of unemployment. the push towards elections, which i always describe as the cherry on the icing of the cake of democracy. and the assumption that gets made so often particularly in countries going through transition which is chaotic that if only they can have an election everything will be fine rather than understanding that that does not give them all that democracy has to give them by any stretch of the imagination. when you think about this landscape, what keeps you up at night?
>> there are significant individuals in the region but also outside for whoms the not in their interests to go down this path. deliberation is a painful, messy business. you know, that's democracy. here are the key issues that scare me and i think we're asleep at the wheel. yes, terrorism is there. and i don't mean to in any way diminish it. but i'm seeing something else. you asked me what are some changes that have occurred in the last eight years that i've been doing this. i want to be clear, this is not just about this region. it is the rising criminalization of economies in politics. what we saw in west africa, the
international criminal syndicates are saying, the horn of africa, that's a useful place from which we could operate. the more you can open up, people flow in. likewise regimes that are very are using criminal methods in the management of their economies. what's the point here? when you really listen and look at the social media, they're asking very simply where has the money gone. all right? a question that some of us would have asked of our own government at other times, all right? so this is not unique to this particular region. this is fundamental.
simply talking about anticorruption is not there. s the a criminalization run by merging cartels. the risk is that they will begin to capture part of whole of states. fortunately, there are people in governments to see that know it. but it is fascinating that this is what's emerging. and if we don't wake up and understand that terrorists are effect piggybacking on this is one. self-financing organization. that's what it is. in other words, is this a terrorist organization or is it a mafia organization cloaked and wrapped? eligion?
governments must do it. we must do it. south sudan is a classic example. we're on the record. i will repeat it. i failed to see why we should be investing in a country where we're engaged in an experience and moral hazard when gauching with the same people -- negotiating with the same people who stole the bank right now. and we're being asked to put more money in. i'm not sure that i would ask them to do that. keep the indigent, and how do we address the fact that other countries in the region, their networks are complicit in this? sudan, we want a civilian to cease the civilians begin to get control. fine, in a country which has had 30 years, the longest single
islamist regime which created its own economic cartels. those would barely scratch the surface. how do we deal with that? we've got to talk to other who are also engaged. friends in the gulf and elsewhere. but if we don't begin to get to the heart of that, we will have missed a trick and the people of the region will have felt that they've been tricked by nice words quaint project. but in the meantime, the money is running venezuela as it were. >> follow the money. alex, thank you from me. now, this is your opportunity for comments an questions. but all i would ask if you can keep them relatively brief because we want to hear more from him. important though, you are. though, i know there's a wonderful mary with a microphone in her hand. there's a gentleman there.
if you could just say who you are just because we're curious. >> i represent somali land right here. i'm going ask you this question. i would appreciate if you reflect on the somali land in terms of its contribution in erms of peace and stability to region. and the political situation in the changing horn of africa. thank you. >> somali land is very interesting, historical position. this is in the region unique in africa, which is already seeing two secessions legitimized if i may put it that way. you representing somali land would probably want to be the third that is legitimized. the reality at the moment is . at
that is for your neighbor, somalia itself, the african union and others. but there's absolutely no doubt that so long as somali land can continue to show thats the keeping stability, and it would help that somali land showed that it could maintain the politics, electoral processes and the like would actually stick to that because right now you're run a bit into the sand on that. i think only time will tell what i -- what i would suggest is that somali land is -- your deep aspirations not with stanning should be watching very carefully what is happening more widely in the region. is there a wider context within somali land can fit its aspirations in such a way that
it doesn't become too narrow in particular but fits into a wider regional set of arrangements? because that's where the future really lies. not just because it's somalia, but all the neighbors of somali land. we need to get very imaginative and get out of the box at the moment. >> ok. next question. this side. gentleman on the leftle -- left. i'm rob hopkins. i've had the pleasure of living in working in kenya for a number of years. i'm wondering if you could share your thoughts on how you see kenya's role specifically in the region outside of their -- you know, exporting security to somalia and things of that nature, the internal struggles that kenya has and whether they're able to -- if they have the capacity to be an exporter of security or what other roles
do you see them in the horn of africa or at large? thank you. >> you know, kenya's an economic powerhouse in the sense that it has this incredibly vibrant economy. it's just a question of making sure that the redistribution within the system works. kenya of going through it own exercise of reviewing its entire constitutional arrangement post 2007, in effect what -- and kenya's emblematic in a much more sophisticated sense of what's going on in the region. we talk about democracy. the real issue is how far do you decentralize in a region where you still have incomplete national projects. ok. this is the interesting and fascinating dilemma of this region. you know, we talk about federalism in somalia, sudan is
the same -- ethiopia today, you know, it's how do you move beyond an ethnic federal country to something else. kenya has its own version. nd they created 48 seven counties. and you've got several views on this. do they mean seven points of corruption? usually it's both. if they can take this to another level where they begin to create a greater cohesion within the country, that will make kenya an absolutely solid platform to be able to play i think a really important role in a region which is as i say is otherwise changing incredibly rapidly. in terms of its role in the region, kenya straddles east and central africa as well as the horn.
it's the natural economic zone for kenya. the horn has been one of security concern. and kenya has a role to play. at the end of this week, there's going to be a -- a summit of egad, the regional -- the regional organization. and it's very possible that at that summit, ethiopia will hand over the chairmanship to kenya. that's an assumption that people ake. we would welcome it and we would be happy to be a support. it's going o be a real engagement to facilitate not only in somalia where it's pretty heavily invested. but helping with ethiopia. helping with south sudan and the like. if it takes on this role
formerly it -- it will be biting off a big chunk that it's going to have to then chew on and we're going to have to be very, very help to feel them. we will let mike ask a question. u.s. department of state and currently -- to wilson center. i wanted to thank you for your comments today and also thank you for your tremendous work in your role over the last eight years in a region of the world i've always felt is the toughest neighborhood on the globe bar none. wanted to ask about south sudan. it's in the news again today because the u.s. department of state is announced we are toalling our ambassador express our unhappiness with the lack of progress towards implementation of the peace agreement. kier,stion is about salva
i don't mean to say he is necessarily the primary cause of all the problems, the south sudan is far too complex to pin on one individual. but he does by far and away hold all the cards in south sudan or at least holds the best hand politically and that in itself becomes a disincentive for him to contemplate -- compromise or make any real political or personal sacrifice. in addition to that, i think in his mind he sees any solution that includes him stepping down from power ends up with him behind bars and that becomes a disincentive for him to step down or give up our and in fact his original electoral mandate as president ran out a number of years ago but for as long as the peace process staggers forward or runs in place, he gets thrown into the office of presidency. how do you navigate the south sudan peace process when you've
got a situation was such a powerful figure has little or no apparent incentive to affect change, how do you deal with that? >> first, i think president salva kiir will have to work out very soon whether he feels he has got the wherewithal to actually take the country to the next stage. it's at a tipping point right now. it's absolutely clear. there is an opportunity to begin to gather together all the parties and begin a whole process that could perhaps begin to stabilize. does he feel he can do that? i mean, does he personally think he can do that? secondly, to what extent is he beholden to his own constituency? sometimes leaders become
prisoners of their own constituency, and this is one of the issues that again he needs to ask himself as well as we asking him the same question. secondly, i think unrelated, south sudan has a very, very influential neighbors who have played a very important role, positively or negatively, in the fate, and even what is unfolded in south sudan and, therefore, i think the time comes and it's happened before and other parts of africa and also in this region, where the neighbors need to decide whether they need to step up to the plate and decide what is in their collective interests for the interest of the citizens of south sudan and make the appropriate moves. >> i'm going to go right to the back. >> hi. thank you so much for that conversation.
my name is valentina. my question is how can the eu partner with coalition organizations in africa like the african union to make sure the responsibility and accountability remain in the hands of africa when dealing with existential security threats that is plaguing the continent, specifically the horn of africa? >> we do a lot of work -- if your question is working with the african union, correct? yeah, we do an awful lot of work with the african union. we, ten years ago, got into the whole security side by supporting amson, you know, 20,000 african troops actually being supported by the european union and the united states, each in our own way by doing that but that's what i think keeps amson going. now, my point there is as time has gone by, the relationship with the african union has moved
from being one of sort of rhetorical sympathy to practical cooperation, and as we bump into various new realities or get mugged by them, so we will have to adapt and see how that relationship builds. it's the bedrock of the relationship. i'm saying this beyond the usual talk about how nice multilateralism is. it's actually really important that there be an entity like the african union, which is able then to provide sort of a chapeau through which one can conduct a whole lot of, much of the cooperation. beyond security there is trade. trade and investment. that's the biggest issue, at the african union is a very, very important conduit. at the very least that is where africans gathere in order to be able to negotiate among themselves in order to give to
-- in order to be able to negotiate with us. that's the core and this is where we are getting to. if that addresses your question. >> thank you. wilson center. -- >> >> thank you. about brexit. if it happens, when it happens, will it have any influence towards the policy of the horn of africa and the european union policies? i don't know if this is true or wishful thinking on, perhaps the concern of other parties that britain might recognize somaliland. >> brexit is going to have a very significant effect. i mean, i speak as someone who thinks it damages the uk and it damages europe. that's my own view.
in africa, it's going to have -- the horn of africa is narrowly aware within the european union, the united kingdom played a very, very important role in keeping people focused on it. and by championing the region, when the champion leaves and steps out, there is a very, very interesting issue that emerges for the european union, but also for the countries of the region. because what they are asking themselves is, what do we bet on because what they are asking themselves is, what do we bet on now? is it the uk alone that can deliver, or is it the eu. and if it is this behemoth called the eu, who in the eu? you know, these debates gone so it's impossible to answer directly the question. it will sort of unpack itself in time. there's no doubt though there
will be cooperation that goes on. there's life after brexit with the uk. reality will actually dictate that on both sides. it would be triangular, the eu, the uk and the region. and out of that slowly in that cuisine things will emerge. >> let's go to the back. >> thank you, mr. ambassador. you have given us a clear picture how many things might keep you awake in the evening. i'm here at the wilson center. we have been looking at this question of economy and aspirations being unmet much in the arab middle east. you seem to be calling for for a national, regional, sometimes global effort on an investment led growth that would start matching education with opportunities. with that idea what are the three things you would like the u.s. in particular to do to move in
that direction? >> one is, one level is purely a psychological thing. i would beg of the u.s. to show repeatedly that it is concerned and engaged. because there are many in africa who wonder whether there is a disengagement occurring. this is in terms of political psychology. it's very, very important that that appears, and then i come back to my original point, which is that in the region there is an entire generation emerging who i think would really welcome that. you know, there's no point in casting aspersions but their -- there are other parts of the world to which a younger educated african may not see his future being shaped.
so that's one. two, it's not about how much money one puts in, but it's the quality of money that one mobilizes. it's quality, not just the quantity of it. and i think there again the u.s. needs to be very, very engaged. third, terrorism is there, but what we are discovering, and you all know it being involved, many of you with africa, that terrorists groups often emerge out of plain bad local government. simplistically put. there is no reason that shabob needed to become what it came. that doesn't mean we are to blame.
that's what happened. it does mean we need to take a much wider view of what we mean by counterterrorism. likewise, to be quite frank, i mean, this debate about violent extremism, to me that all sort of euphemistic blather, if i may put it that way. let's get forensic here. if it's a violent extremism, an -- is it a violent religious extremism? where, how,e who, supported by what? lets get targeted and very clear about this sort of thing. because it just, it tends to sometimes dilute what needs to be a very sharp and discussion. but my point is we can keep trying to kill members of shabaab, but at what point do we reach a point of diminishing
returns? i'm not saying that just about the u.s. it is a general issue and i use al shabaab is just one example. have we got her strategies in order? there i come back to the point i was making earlier. these outfits are no longer really being financial abroad. they have become self financing. time to pick that a part fast and find out who their local collaborators are. they are not ideological. there are others who are in business doing that. >> hello. i'm a student at loyola maryland and my question has to do with chinese influence. so if we have more chinese influence in the horn of africa, what does it mean for those individual countries? >> that's one of the biggest questions around.
i'm glad you raise it. there's a danger of misrepresenting china. so that it just becomes part of a global demonology, as it were. china is there. it's in africa. i think china is itself discovering something, which is that simply saying that we are investing because a country wants it, they are discovering that different people within these different countries have different views about what is the nature of its investment. and i think that is where there is a very interesting discussion to be had with china, developments in places like sudan or ethiopia or even south sudan have reminded china that you cannot separate commerce
from political realities. that was the fate of the east india company 150, 180 years ago, so it will be with others who think that you can keep the separation. and i think, therefore, this is why i was suggesting earlier, actually we are at a very, very interesting strategic moment where a real discussion can begin with all those people who want to invest in africa. who are we to say they shouldn't? the question is, can we all decide on some rules to this game that will therefore benefit the africans? i don't say that out of an act of charity for africa. it is in everyone's collective interest in africa which will
have 2 billion citizens in 20 years' time, 25 years' time, is a place that is stable and is offering some degree of prosperity to its citizens, if not, they are all going to be on the move, within their countries, beyond their countries, beyond the continent. that's a migration issue but it speaks to a deeper unsettlement. and that the conversation that needs to be put straight on the table. but finger-pointing is just pointless. we've got to get beyond that. >> thank you. thank you for your insight as always. paul from seeing our resources, former state. a couple related questions. i'd like you more about about your thoughts about the gold gulf engagement especially in the sudan. qatar has been active in terms of peace sponsored for a long time but it seems like the new military authorities or the
revised military authorities have looked to the status and the emirates especially a not so much the cutter race anymore is there a common purpose and set of messaging between the eu and the u.s. regarding the gulf role in sudan and going forward, especially in terms of supporting the civilians? >> the answer to the last question is yes. in fact, i was in the gulf recently with the u.s. envoy. partly to convey certain messages. and in sudan, it's really, fairly straightforward, as an objective, which is that if sudan, in order to eventually become eligible for any support from the international financial institutions, because it's sitting there with a $60 billion debt that has to get cleared in
one way or another, it's a country that has to go from running itself off budget to on budget. we have the same issue with somalia. steve schwartz here who is ambassador there knows this. now, in order to do that we need our friends in the gulf to help in making sure the country gets on budget. in sudan, 60%-70% of the official budget is related to anything related to security, and that probably is just the tip of the iceberg of the way money flows in sudan. we need to work together so that sudan against to demonstrate that it is managing its economy in such a way that is transparent and certainly meets the standards of people who understand economics a lot better than i do.
so that's point number one. in order to do that, the first thing they would have to be achieved in sudan is to get peace agreements. the reason there is so much a security investment, rather the alibi for all the security investment was this 30 year civil war. all the stars are in effect aligned to put an end to it. now, there again the gulf can be very helpful because some of the parties in the conflict look to the goal for patronage and the like. there is a discussion that is continuing the whole time with them on that. and it's not a closed-door either. it's backwards and forward. at the end of the day it's about also how you eliminate, not eliminate, , get control of who the cartels are running and have been running the economy of sudan over the last 25 years. i will take a couple of
questions together a couple of times and then hopefully that will do it. ambassador, and to you and then the lady i think behind. >> thanks a lot. good to see you again. i'm not asking about somalia. i'm going to ask you about ethiopia and how you see prime minister abiy's ability going forward to manager both an ambitious domestic agenda and regional agenda which seems at times overwhelming. >> there's a lady just there. >> thank you for the conversation. it's fascinating. i was wondering if to speak to the process for the debt restructuring and what happens if the sovereign debt you mentioned that is not restructured? >> the region or sudan in particular? >> the region.
>> let me start on ethiopia. steve, it's a very difficult one. here's this country that is 100 million people and it's like a dam that if it does not come if --, if the center does not hold, then things fall apart, okay? to quote a succession of great writers. prime minister abiy knows that. i think he also came into power understanding that the nature of the federalism has been built up in somalia was one that runs the risk of entrenching and inevitable ethnic fragmentation. nevertheless, in a country which has its own deep history and its own inequalities.
so he's having to balance how to create a new sense of what is a nation and identity of what it is to be an ethiopian? and it's devilishly difficult to do, and we are seeing it play out. i wouldn't want to rush to any conclusions too soon. except to say that we all ought to be encouraging him to -- it's all about how you develop momentum towards an idea politically. because if you stand still, then things tend to go wrong. on the other hand, too much momentum too soon provokes a sort of, you know, things start to move and ricochet in ways that could become dangerous. and i think we are at that point. it behooves us i think, let me put it this way.
certainly i speak as the european union but i would say the same for the united states. if we all to agree that this is a country at a very, very delicate moment, and not just for its own sake but for security of the wider region, prime minister abiy is entitled to our opinion, and we should be rather clear about what our interests are. and i think, i wonder sometimes whether we are active and clear enough as to what those are. but then so are other parties in ethiopia, and i sometimes worry that we are dealing with ethiopia, given our interest, i'm talking purely about interest here, with a degree of kid gloves which does a disservice to ethiopia but also to our own interest.
i think it's time to be fairly open, pretty direct, open and -- in private discussions. this is not for public lecturing. this is a country that is so important, if the dam breaks all the discussions about the horn of africa are moot. it's as simple as that. this is not yugoslavia which imploded. ethiopia straddles every other country around it. it will be infected by that. that's the core strategic question, and there again i think we owe it to ourselves, and also to the ethiopians and the region, more stability in the region. perhaps to be more active, more vocal in just convey how we see things. >> debt. now you're asking someone who
can barely keep his own checkbook in order. [laughter] >> forgive the sheer simplicity of the way i put it. 20 years ago was the famous jubilee campaign to eliminate debt and everything, and an awful lot of that has been done. now we find ourselves with alarmingly high debt ratios, debt to gdp ratios. and we have to work out how we got there. did this just sort of creep up under our noses? we know that various, all sorts of countries have been involved in this. we also know that governments in the region have become aware that they sort of climbed in, you know. i once said, i'm sure i caused offense, so i'll do it again -- we offer good nutritional meals,
but it's a bit boring. others offer cocaine. you get hooked on cocaine and it's difficult to get off of it. this is the debt issue. who is it that took on that debt ? it wasn't the people. no one went and had a referendum. so let's start getting focused. who engaged in that debt? who got bought off? prime minister abiy is explicit about it. he wants to know who are the officials who signed off on sovereign debt loans. he's right to ask that question. perhaps others should be asking that question, too. so the debt question is one that i'm sure it will get to restructuring and china will be engaged in those discussions and everyone will be engaged in it.
i'm perhaps a bit of a cynic in all of this. people will kick the can down the road. they'll talk about restructuring a debt, but will they restructure the political economy that created the debt? that's the real issue. and i come from greece and i know about this one and i know that we didn't scratch the surface of who benefitted and who didn't. and so, i come with a certain passion into this one. let's not make the mistake again because these are countries, if the citizens are going to pay the price of that debt, and you know, because the family jewels were taken to the pawn shop by a group of leaders, well, why should they pay the price? that's a very political personal , reaction to what i'm sure the economists and the financial gurus will give you fancy language of.
this is the next train wreck. actually if we want to help, let's make the next generation of africa financially literate so they know how to ask the right questions about every darn decision that's made. i don't know if that helps you. >> i'm sorry, we are out of time, and that's because alex schedule.a i remember over eight years ago being in a car with you driving through athens when you talked about your passion for part of the world we've grown up and my being in all of your combination, which i think is unique, of entrepreneurial diplomat rolled into one.
eight years on i remain in awe of you, you are the best of us. many thanks. [applause] thank you, everyone. happy thanksgiving. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2019] >> tonight at 9:00 p.m. eastern, for camping 2020, c-span speaks with presidential candidates deval patrick and michael bennet. former governor deval patrick talks about his background, friendship with barack obama and his late entry into the crowded democratic field of candidates. sense the i
electorate, the primary electorate is not settled. i think that has been more than this that i've had in new hampshire and california nevada and iowa. i think there is a lot of room for folks who want both an ambitious agenda and a record of delivering. >> senator michael bennet on why he decided to run for president. his leadership style, and his stance on various policy issues. >> i know how important the idea of america is two people struggling to be free all over the world and it's not we are perfect, far from it, but we are a beacon to the rest of the world and i think i believe reestablishing our place in the world is one of the things the next president will have to do. >> watch c-span this weekend. congressman douglas collins,
ranking member of the house judiciary committee sent a letter to chairman jerrold nadler regarding an upcoming hearing on the impeachment inquiry with testimony expected from a panel of constitutional scholars. in the letter, representative collins writes i request an expanded panel and a balanced composition of academic witnesses to opine on the subject matter at issue during the hearing. he goes on to say i further request you equally allocate those witnesses to the majority and minority serving. the impeachment inquiry hearings continue when house judiciary committee jerrold nadler holds the committee's first impeachment inquiry hearing into president trump focusing on the constitution and the history of impeachment. watch our live coverage wednesday at 10:00 a.m. eastern on c-span three. chairman nadler extended an invitation to the president and his counsel to appear before the committee. read the letter to the president
on our website. and follow the impeachment inquiry live on c-span3, online at c-span.org, or listen live on the free c-span radio app. thanks for your comments, david next in tulsa, oklahoma on the democrats line. >> thanks for taking my call. think a big winner in this whole process is c-span. it's the one network president trump did not criticize. it's the one network that will open the phones to the speaker who was just before me and then to myself and i'm in a state as a democrat were all 77 counties in 2016 voted for president trump, i think there has been enough evidence in what i've which is on c-span and
without commentary from millionaire anchors, that there needs to be a trial in the senate. let the process work its way out. if trump is not guilty, let the process work its way out. >> live coverage impeachment inquiry in the administration's response on c-span. your unfiltered view of the impeachment inquiry. the white house did not release it weekly address from the president. congressman sean casten from illinois delivered the democratic address highlighting the united states role in climate change and his plans to represent congress at the upcoming climate conference in madrid. rep. casten: hello. i am congressman sean kasten from illinois. this weekend i am proud to travel to madrid, spain for the 25th united nations climate change conference and we will be there to represent united states congress and to send a clear
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