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Cablegate: Ugandan Perspective On Museveni-Kabila Summit

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RR RUEHGI RUEHRN RUEHROV
DE RUEHKM #1429/01 2541317
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 111317Z SEP 07
FM AMEMBASSY KAMPALA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 9348
INFO RUEHKH/AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM 0647
RUCNIAD/IGAD COLLECTIVE
RUEHXR/RWANDA COLLECTIVE
RUEHTO/AMEMBASSY MAPUTO 0433
RUEHSA/AMEMBASSY PRETORIA 3343

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 KAMPALA 001429

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL MOPS UG CG

SUBJECT: Ugandan Perspective on Museveni-Kabila Summit


1. (SBU) Summary: Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni and Congolese
President Joseph Kabila met in Arusha, Tanzania for a two-day summit
on September 7 and 8 to discuss border issues, the Lord's Resistance
Army and other negative forces, and sharing of common resources.
The two heads of state agreed on mechanisms to diffuse tensions over
key issues. Kabila's commitment to take action against the LRA in
January surprised Museveni and was a source of disagreement with
Kabila's Defense Minister and Intelligence Chief. The atmospherics
between the two heads of state were excellent. The Ugandan
Government got an agreement in writing that can be shared with
international and regional partners, but the Foreign Ministry
remains skeptical that Congo will deliver on commitments. End
Summary.

2. (SBU) P/E Chief met with Julius Kagamba Singoma, Director for
East Africa and the Ring States, Ministry of Foreign Affairs on
September 10 to discuss the outcomes of the summit between Ugandan
President Yoweri Museveni and Congolese President Joseph Kabila.
Singoma was a member of the Uganda delegation at the summit.

- - - - - -
BACKGROUND
- - - - - -

3. (SBU) The Ugandan Government realized that using the approach
of security and military officials to discuss the issue of the
negative forces over the past year and to diffuse tensions in the
border areas over the past few months with Congolese President
Joseph Kabila was not working, according to Singoma. Museveni had
sent Minister of Security Mbabazi, Chief of Defense Forces Aronda,
and Chief of Military Intelligence Kyanda several times to urge
Kabila to take action against the LRA and other negative forces.
President Museveni decided that changing tactics might prove more
fruitful and directed his ministers to approach the Congolese from
an economic perspective, which he argued would demonstrate to the
Congolese the joint benefits and prosperity that could be brought
about through cooperation.

4. (SBU) On August 11, Kabila called Museveni "to regret" the
recent border incidents. According to the Ugandans, the incidents
were not directed by Kinshasa, but rather the result of soldiers and
local officials "free-lancing" because they had not been paid.
Kabila promised to send his Foreign Minister to provide Museveni
with the details. He did not come so Museveni sent Foreign Minister
Kutesa to visit Kabila. According to Kutesa, Kabila promised that
the Joint Permanent Commission could be resurrected and convene in
Fort Portal, Uganda on August 30 and 31. The meeting never
materialized.

5. (SBU) Kabila sent Foreign Minister Nyamwisi to Uganda to
propose a summit in Tanzania. Kutesa told his officials that
according to Nyamwisi, Kabila did not fear coming to Uganda, where
he was raised, but had to continue to beat an "anti-Uganda drum" for
domestic purposes. Tanzanian President Kikwete agreed to host the
meeting. The agenda for the meeting included: border demarcation,
border security, joint resource sharing, negative forces, reviving
the joint permanent commission, and re-establishing diplomatic
relations at the ambassadorial level. According to the Singoma, the
Ugandans insisted on a formal written agreement, rather than a
Memorandum of Understanding, because a formal agreement could be
shared with outside parties.

- - - - - - -
BORDER ISSUES
- - - - - - -

6. (SBU) Uganda and Congo agreed to demilitarize Rikwanzi and
other disputed areas, such as Arua. Congo would be allowed to
administer Rikwanzi for a month. On October 9, Uganda would name a
co-administrator. In addition, both Congo and Uganda would post an
equal number of police. A joint team of experts would be
constituted to re-mark the border. The British-Belgian agreement of
1915, confirmed by the Organization of African Unity and African
Union consultative acts, would be the basis for the border
demarcation. Singoma asked if there were U.S. experts available to
assist. "Border Authority" meetings would be held to monitor the
progress of the experts.

- - - - - - - -
NEGATIVE FORCES
- - - - - - - -

7. (SBU) Kabila pre-empted Museveni on the issue of negative
forces, according to Singoma. Kabila told Museveni that he was
working on an action plan for January. Museveni thanked him.
However, in the working level meeting to draft the agreement,

KAMPALA 00001429 002 OF 003


Kabila's Minister of Defense and Intelligence Chief objected and
said the plan would be proposed in January, not implemented. The
Ugandans insisted that the issue be taken back to Kabila, Foreign
Minister Nyamwisi and Museveni, who had spent two full days together
as the details of the agreement were worked out. Kabila reiterated
his commitment that the Congolese would be ready for action in
January. Still, the two Congolese Ministers continued to try to
change the text.

8. (SBU) The Congolese also gave Museveni information about
attempts to implicate Uganda as a supporter of dissident General
Laurent Nkunda.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
IMPROVING DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

9. (SBU) Uganda raised the issue of ambassadorial level
representation in each capital. Kabila agreed, but the language
proposed by the Congolese stated that the two parties would
undertake actions that would lead to the full upgrade in diplomatic
status. According to Singoma, those actions include: settling of
claims, resolving a dispute over the Congolese embassy property, and
discussion of the outstanding USD 10 billion International Court of
Justice (ICJ) decision. The parties agreed to set up commissions on
properties and the ICJ decision. On the claims issue, there were
contract disputes between private individuals that were causing
friction. Several include court decisions in the favor of Ugandans
that the Congolese parties do not want to pay. The Congolese
requested that the Ugandan Government pressure the individuals not
to pursue payment of the claim. The Ugandans explained that they
cannot interfere in these court judgments.

10. (SBU) The second issue involved the Congolese chancery in the
Kololo neighborhood. It backs up to a property that was recently
purchased by a new owner. The wall that had been built by the
embassy was on the new owner's property. The new owner tore it
down. The Congolese claim that the wall was on their property, but
the records of the land title had been destroyed in a fire years
ago. The Ugandan Government asked the Attorney General to look into
the issue and found that the land registry had no records of the
Congolese claim and that no fire was ever reported to the police.
The new property owner agreed to resurrect a wall, but on the
correct property line.

11. (SBU) The final issue is the ICJ finding that Uganda owed
Congo USD 10 billion for riches plundered during its foray across
the border. The Ugandan Government was willing to discuss it and
negotiate with the ICJ on the judgment.

- -
OIL
- -

12. (SBU) The Congolese delegation reportedly accused Uganda of
taking its oil. The Ugandans proposed a joint committee to work on
the issue of shared resources, such as oil, drawing from good
examples of international cooperation found between Norway, Sweden,
and the U.K., and avoiding bad precedents such as between Nigeria
and Sao Tome. Each country would deploy its own oil expert at each
embassy that would participate on the committee. Kabila then
requested that the terms of the resource sharing agreement be
reviewed. Museveni reminded Kabila that the first agreement was
signed in 1990 with former President Mobutu, then reviewed and
agreed to by Laurent Kabila. It was already in force. Kabila
insisted that the agreement had not been ratified. Museveni pointed
out that the agreement entered into force upon signature, not
parliamentary ratification. Museveni agreed to send Minister of
Energy Resources, Daudi Migereko, to review the document with the
Congolese.

- - - - - - -
ATMOSPHERICS
- - - - - - -

13. (SBU) Singoma described the relations between Museveni and
Kabila as excellent. The two presidents spent long hours in each
other's company while their respective delegations worked out the
details of what had been agreed. The Congolese delegation members
reportedly tried several times to change the language from what
Kabila had agreed to so there was considerable back-and-forth to the
presidents to clarify what had been agreed. Singoma also said that
the Congolese delegation tried to prevent Kabila from signing the
agreement and insisted that he do it after returning to Congo. The
Congolese delegation then tried to put a number of "urgent" calls
through to Kabila from Congo, presumably to dissuade him from

KAMPALA 00001429 003 OF 003


signing the document, according to Singoma. The Ugandans wanted a
signed agreement that they could show the U.N. and neighboring
countries.

- - - -
COMMENT
- - - -

14. (SBU) Despite the apparent progress, the Ugandans are adopting
a wait-and-see approach as the provisions of the agreement are
implemented. The Ugandans also remain concerned about the split
between Kabila and his security officials, but hope that the
momentum created could be carried through to the Tripartite Plus
meetings in Kampala from September 15-17.
BROWNING

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