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Cablegate: Rebel Leader Returns to Brazzaville

R 071742Z SEP 07
FM AMEMBASSY BRAZZAVILLE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 0743
INFO AMEMBASSY KINSHASA
AMEMBASSY BRAZZAVILLE

UNCLAS BRAZZAVILLE 000366

SIPDIS


DEPT FOR DS/IP/AF AND DS/IP/ITA

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ASEC
SUBJECT: REBEL LEADER RETURNS TO BRAZZAVILLE

1. (U) The leader of the "Ninja" rebel group, Frederic
Bintsamou, known as Pasteur Ntumi, is set to return to
Brazzaville on Monday, September 10 to assume his new post as a
presidential advisor promoting peace in the aftermath of the
civil war. Accompanying Ntumi will be at least 100
ex-combatants who serve as his personal bodyguard. There are an
estimated 700 ex-combatants who have remained active in the Pool
region south of Brazzaville since the cessation of conflict in
2002, occasionally conducting roadblocks and highway robberies
of large lorries and trains traveling between Point Noire and
Brazzaville.

2. (SBU) RSO has reservations about the general security
situation in Brazzaville with the introduction of the "Ninjas".
The "Ninjas" are a group of rebel soldiers typical of many like
groups in Western Africa in that they are primarily young,
heavily armed, poorly trained and undisciplined. RSO has
witnessed the "Ninjas" in action during a peace ceremony held in
Kinkala, a village in the Pool region, while accompanying the
ambassador. RSO noted a lack of muzzle discipline and suspected
drug use. Some security forces confided in RSO that they were
worried about the discipline of the "Ninjas" and feared that any
small disturbance or perceived threat to Ntumi could have
escalated very quickly.

3. (U) RSO has discussed potential changes in the security
environment with post officials and other security professionals
in Brazzaville. All parties will monitor and assess the
security situation as it develops.

4. (U) Point of contact is RSO Stephen Lesniak, cell 011 242
526 3556.

GREGG

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