Following is an excerpt from Secretary Rice's March 9, 2005 testimony before the House Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on Science, State, Justice, and Commerce, and Related Agencies: [REP. BUD] CRAMER: Thank you. Madam Secretary, welcome before this subcommittee. As you can tell by the number of members here, we're very interested in your issues, the issues that you represent, and that you represent this country over. Yesterday, in the full committee, we did, as we made mention earlier and as you know already, marked up a supplemental appropriations bill. And in that bill there was $580 million that was included for the U.N. international peacekeeping mission. The administration, I think, had requested $780 million, but we included the $580 million because that's the amount of bills that are due. And given the recent and some would say systematic problems at the U.N., I would enjoy your help in allowing us to understand why it's important that we maintain this funding. A number of our colleagues considered this to be an issue that we shouldn't fund and shouldn't be involved in, and members are, in fact, making those positions known. In fact, they want the funding stripped out of the bill. Would you care to comment on this?
From today's NYT: "Unidentified militia fighters ambushed and killed nine United Nations peacekeepers on Friday in the volatile Ituri region of eastern Congo. It was the worst attack in the six years of the mission and a sign of continued instability ahead of planned nationwide elections.... The attack came as the peacekeepers had adopted a more aggressive posture in recent months, confronting and forcibly disarming militia groups that had been terrorizing the local population."
From the UN News Service: "More than $1 billion will be needed to fund the first year of the proposed United Nations peacekeeping mission in southern Sudan, set up to help the vast region stabilize and its people rebuild their lives after a 21-year civil war."
"Secretary-General Kofi Annan today formally recommends that the United Nations establish a peace-support mission in southern Sudan, and calls on Member States to contribute more than 10,000 troops and 700 civilian police to the operation, warning that the civil war that has just ended there "cannot quickly or easily be dispatched to history."