Cablegate: Goma Report January 7, 2008 -

DE RUEHKI #0014/01 0081310
R 081310Z JAN 08




E.O. 12958: N/A
SUBJECT: Goma Report January 7, 2008 -
Second day of Kivus Conference

1. (SBU) Summary: The Kivus Conference, which opened January 6 in
Goma, will probably not get down to substance for a few days and is
likely to continue later than the projected finish date of January
14. The relative satisfaction of Tutsis with their prominent role
in the Conference is in contrast to the dissatisfaction of other
ethnicities. Conference president Malu Malu envisions a role for
representatives of the international community in breaking logjams
within the 64 sub-commissions. MONUC flew Pastor Runiga to meet
Nkunda overnight, at Nkunda's invitation and with Kabila's blessing.
End Summary.

2. (SBU) The second day of the Conference on Peace, Security, and
Development in North and South Kivu, January 7, proved insufficient
to finalize procedural issues, despite efforts over the past ten
days by Conference president, Father Apollinaire Malu Malu, and his
core organizers to overcome obstacles. Accreditation of the 800
attendees is not complete, because the responsible entity, the
Independent Electoral Commission office in Goma, is unable to
produce identification cards en masse, though Malu Malu told
representatives of the international community in an evening meeting
January 7 that the Conference would begin to get down to substance
even if all members were not yet accredited. Armed groups, he said,
were already fully accredited.

3. (SBU) Malu Malu said that rules of procedure would be agreed on
in the course of January 8, perhaps to include final decisions on
voting and immunity. Malu Malu was evasive about how long the
Conference was likely to go on beyond the projected closing date of
January 14 but said that his limited budget would necessitate a
limited delay, entailing possibly leaving undecided issues to a
separate conclave or commission. His present budget of four million
dollars would carry to only January 14. It already represented a
considerable expansion over the original forecast, given the
doubling of numbers of members and of the number of days of the

4. (SBU) On voting, Malu Malu and his colleagues have apparently
decided that the best approach is to avoid direct voting if possible
and go for consensus. Failing consensus, he contemplates an
"appeal" to the external facilitators -- viz., members of the
international community present in Goma -- who will perform the role
of suggesting a way out of any impasse that arises. Malu Malu did
not confer with the international community in advance about this
procedure nor did he discuss it in detail in the evening meeting.
Failing success with external facilitation, according to his legal
assistant Bob Kabamba, he contemplates that a two-thirds vote will
be required on substantive issues, or a majority vote on less
sensitive technical issues.

5. (SBU) Once procedural issues are dealt with, the plan continues
to be for the Conference to meet in plenary, followed by meetings of
the two groups (North and South Kivu) separately in sub-plenary,
followed by meetings of the eight commissions: peace (7
sub-commissions for each province), security (11), humanitarian
affairs (6), and development (8), for a total of 64

6. (SBU) EU Special Envoy Roeland van de Geer underlined the
importance that the international community attached to the
Conference and asked Malu Malu's and Foreign Minister Mbusa's
perspective on how the international community could be most
helpful. Mbusa said that its contribution was essential in every
area. Van de Geer said that he and his colleagues had informally
met earlier in the day with Mai Mai and Pareco (who were staying at,
and openly milling around, the Karibou Hotel) and would meet them
and other groups, if Malu Malu and Mbusa agreed, in order to
emphasize the importance of the Conference and unacceptability of
further armed conflict. Malu Malu and Mbusa interposed no
objection. Belgian Special Envoy Jozef Smets stressed the
importance of devoting significant time, perhaps a day, to the issue
of sexual violence and asked how Malu Malu planned to deal with the
FDLR. Malu Malu said that the majority of people involved in the
Conference wanted to invite the FDLR to the Conference, realizing
the need for a political way forward, and he was seeking an indirect
way to accomplish the goal. As for other armed groups, Mai Mai were
already involved in workshops but would not be involved in meetings
in the large hall; meanwhile, he was in constant contact with the
CNDP delegation.

7. (SBU) Presidential Foreign Affairs Advisor Marcellin Chissambo,
present at the evening meeting (and, he says, in Goma "for the
duration"), noted that there was not only a CNDP delegation in Goma,
the CNDP was effectively involved at the highest level ("bureau")
of the Conference (Emmanuel Kamanzi and Azil Tanzi). Chissambo,
Malu Malu, and Mbusa all noted that the prominence of Tutsis at the

KINSHASA 00000014 002 OF 002

highest levels of the Conference had produced keen resentment among
other groups but had not netted much gratitude from the Tutsis, who
were themselves badly divided. Chissambo affirmed that Bishop
Jean-Marie Runiga had traveled overnight to meet Nkunda, at Nkunda's
invitation and Kabila's request (conveyed through Chissambo).
Separately, MONUC Political Affairs chief Christian Manahl told
poloff that MONUC saw Runiga's effort as useful, if not in the same
category of importance as U.S. intermediation via Special Envoy
Shortley. (Note: Runiga has delivered a written request for U.S.
financial assistance, patterned on his similar request to MONUC,
which poloff will forward to Embassy Kinshasa. End note.)

8. (SBU) At opening of day, poloff received a delegation of Hunde
and Nianga legislators from Walikale and Masisi (four national and
four provincial), who provided an insight into the extent of
dissatisfaction in some quarters. They said that their constituents
did not want them to attend the Conference, seeing it as a vehicle
for special treatment of the Tutsi community. They bristled at the
characterization of the Tutsis as an oppressed minority, saying that
it was they who were the truly oppressed minorities of North Kivu.
They expressed particular anxiety at the prospect of movement of
Tutsi refugees to their territories, claiming that a genuine effort
at identification would show that few had any genuine basis for
claiming a right to come to Masisi or Walikale. They characterized
the U.S. as "Nkunda's backer," under the logic that as the U.S.
backed Rwanda, and as Rwanda saw Masisi, Walikale, and Rutshuru as
its "natural" hinterland and had established Nkunda there, therefore
the U.S. backed Nkunda. As for the FDLR, they said that they had
problems only when the FDLR was being attacked; however, they were
eager for the FDLR to leave their area and go to Rwanda (they blamed
Rwanda for blocking this return). Poloff attempted to steer the
conversation toward how to ensure a positive result in the
Conference, without any success. The delegates' entire focus was on
historical injustice and fear of further dispossession.


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