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Cablegate: Fuel Shortages Possible As Result of Kenya Unrest

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PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHLGB #0016 0090759
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 090759Z JAN 08
FM AMEMBASSY KIGALI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5027
INFO RUEHBS/AMEMBASSY BRUSSELS 0183
RUEHJB/AMEMBASSY BUJUMBURA 0223
RUEHDR/AMEMBASSY DAR ES SALAAM 1041
RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA 1800
RUEHKI/AMEMBASSY KINSHASA 0357
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 0157
RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 1113
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 0401

UNCLAS KIGALI 000016

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ECON PGOV PREL RW
SUBJECT: FUEL SHORTAGES POSSIBLE AS RESULT OF KENYA UNREST

REF: KAMPALA 31

1. (SBU) Political unrest in Kenya has meant no fuel trucks
arriving in Rwanda from Kenyan railway depots for the last
week or more (as in Uganda - see reftel). Rwanda has a fuel
storage capacity of 29 million liters (gasoline and diesel);
stocks now sit at 5 million liters of gasoline and 1.5
million liters of diesel. Daily usage of gasoline is
normally 150,000 liters; the government has limited daily
disbursements from depots to 80,000 liters -- translating on
paper into a roughly 60 day supply of gasoline. However,
Ministry of Commerce officials conservatively estimate
national gasoline reserves at a 30-day supply. Although, by
government order, private vehicles are limited to 10 liters
at a time at gas stations and taxis 20 liters, there is some
black-market activity occurring and illegal storage of fuel
at private residences. Diesel reserves will apparently last
longer -- far less vehicles take diesel compared to gasoline.

2. (SBU) Rwanda Revenue officials estimate that the halt in
fuel tanker traffic from Kenya costs Rwanda about 25 percent
of its total import revenue. While sustainable in the short
term, such a reduction will be more worrisome if it continues
for weeks or months, say the officials. So far there do not
appear to be significant shortages of foodstuffs, although
supplies of rice are dropping steadily.

3. (SBU) The Minister of Commerce and many fuel dealers have
traveled to Tanzania to jointly negotiate alternate fuel
supplies. Supply of fuel to neighboring Congolese and Uganda
towns have been halted. The government so far is maintaining
current prices -- which it sets by administrative fiat, and
which it increased by 11 percent toward the end of the year.

4. (SBU) Managers at the government fuel depots understand
that fuel trucks bound for Rwanda are currently filling at
the western Kenyan depot of Eldoret. If able to reach and
cross the Ugandan border (reftel reports 10 trucks bound for
Rwanda did so today), they should reach Kigali and the main
government depots in about two days, these managers estimate.

5. (SBU) Comment. Rwanda appears to be managing its fuel
situation competently, and if new supplies begin to arrive
from Kenya in the next few days, the rationing will have been
a successful response to the sudden stoppage of tanker trucks
from Kenya. However, Rwanda's vulnerability, sitting at the
tail end of the supply chain from Kenya, is clear for all to
see. End comment.


ARIETTI

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