Obama administration defends policy on Congo

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration is defending its policy in dealing with the crisis in the Congo, rejecting criticism from Congress and human rights groups.

A State Department official, Johnnie Carson, told a House panel on Tuesday that the U.S. has worked closely with other countries to try to resolve the security and humanitarian crises in eastern Congo where the M23 rebel group has taken hold.

A recent U.N. report accused the Rwandan government of backing the rebels, a charge Rwanda denies.

Carson said that in the past six months, the United States had reduced its foreign military assistance to Rwanda by $200,000. Lawmakers on a House Foreign Affairs subcommittee scoffed at that cut.

Republican Rep. Tom Marino of Pennsylvania asked how many people have to die before the U.S. gets serious.

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