Clinton snaps at student seeking husband's views

By AFP

June 18, 2010 Updated Aug 10, 2009 at 3:11 PM EDT

Hillary Clinton on Monday showed a rare flash of public anger on a trip to Africa as a student asked for her husband's views, putting him in his place by saying she is the United States' top diplomat.

At an open forum with young people in Kinshasa, a university student took the microphone and asked about the involvement of China and the World Bank in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

"What does Mr Clinton think about it?" he said to the befuddlement of the crowd.

Clinton replied in a forceful voice: "You want to know what my husband thinks?

"My husband is not the secretary of state, I am. You ask my opinion, I will tell you my opinion. I'm not going to channel my husband."

Clinton, whose husband Bill Clinton was president from 1993 to 2001, is a forceful advocate for women's rights and narrowly lost in her own bid to be the first female US president last year.

Bill Clinton has mostly stayed out of the spotlight as his wife represents the United States overseas, although last week he travelled to North Korea to negotiate the release of two detained US journalists.

Former president Clinton, who has actively promoted African development since leaving the White House, is not joining his wife for any part of her seven-nation tour of the continent.

Hillary Clinton has made women's rights a top priority on the Africa trip. She will head Tuesday to Goma, in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo, to meet survivors of soaring sexual violence.

Clinton said she would press President Laurent Kabila to take action, noting that some members of the Congolese military were responsible for the mass rape.

"We are now in the 21st century. It is no longer acceptable for there to be violence against women in the home or in the community," she told the students.

"People need to stand together against it," she said.

"I hope that here in the DRC there will be a concerted effort to demand justice for women who are violently attacked and to make sure that their attackers are punished."




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