Remarks by the President Upon Departure

Office of the Press Secretary
(Kampala, Uganda)

For Immediate ReleaseMarch 25, 1998


Entebbe Airport
Entebbe, Uganda

11:05 AM (L)

THE PRESIDENT: Just before I left the hotel this morning, I talked tothe Governor of Arkansas and extended my personal condolences and sorrowabout the terrible incident in Jonesboro yesterday. I attempted to callthe mayor, who is an old friend of mine, but I haven't reached him yet.

I just want to say again how profoundly sad I am and how disturbed Iam. I've been thinking about this for the last several hours. This is thethird incident in the last few months involving young children and violencein schools, and I'm going to ask the Attorney General to find whateverexperts there are in our country on this and try to analyze this terribletragedy to see whether there are any common elements in this incident andthe other two, and wether it indicates any further action on our part.

Today the people in my home state and a town I know very well aregrieving. They're suffering losses. And we should focus on that. But Ido think in the weeks to come we have to analyze these incidents and seewhether or not we can learn anything that will tell us what we can do toprevent further ones.

Q Do you have any thoughts about how to stop this? I mean, ifyou've been thinking about it, anything come to mind, sir?

THE PRESIDENT: I don't want to say too much until we have a chance toanalyze them. I don't want the American people to jump to any conclusions,but when three horrible tragedies like this involving young people who takeother people's lives and then in the process destroy their own, we have tosee if there are some common elements. And we'll look and do our best todo the right thing.

Q Do you suspect that there are some common elements, sir?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, the circumstances certainly seem to have a lot incommon. What we need to know is what's behind the circumstances. As Isaid, I think that the American people today should send their thoughts,their prayers, their hopes to the people in Jonesboro. But in the weeksahead we need to look into this very closely and see what, if anything, wecan find. And then if we do find some patterns, we ought to take whateveraction seems appropriate.

Q Your trip to Rwanda, could you give us just a little advance wordof what you hope to accomplish there, sir?

THE PRESIDENT: Obviously, I hope that my trip there will help to avoidfurther killing along the ethnic lines, and bring the attention of theworld to this in a way that will have an impact on ethnic conflicts inother parts of the world. And then I'm going to come back here to theregional meeting that President Museveni has agreed to host, and I hopewe'll come out with a statement there that will allow us to make furtherprogress.

Thank you.

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