Sir, The editorial (December 2nd) entitled "The Crisis in Zaire," pinpointed the critical issue: is the international will present to deal effectively with what is, by any standards, a gargantuan problem'? Unless the military intervention is of a kind which will locate, and protect, all the vulnerable groups in Zaire, Burundi and Rwanda, they may as well stay in their barracks.

It is difficult for the rank and file members of the public to comprehend fully the complexities of the Great Lakes catastrophe. Suffice it to say that hundreds of thousands of people, the majority of whom are women and children, are suffering terribly because of an insufficient response from the international community.

Before we vacate the Presidency of the European Union, let Ireland, as your editorial suggests, press for meaningful action to be taken. It would represent, in my opinion, this country's greatest contribution to the alleviation of suffering. - Yours, etc.,


POBox 19,

Dun Laoghaire.