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Cablegate: Goma Report for January 20 - Cndp Makes

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OO RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHGI RUEHJO RUEHMR RUEHRN
DE RUEHKI #0055/01 0210913
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FM AMEMBASSY KINSHASA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7391
INFO RUEHXR/RWANDA COLLECTIVE
RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE
RHMFISS/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE
RUFOADA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK
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UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KINSHASA 000055

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

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E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV KDEM PHUM MOPS PREL CG
SUBJECT: Goma Report for January 20 - CNDP Makes
Demands as Kivus Conference Prolongs


1. (SBU) Summary: On what was meant to be the next-to-last day of
the Kivus Conference (now apparently extended to January 22), the
CNDP expressed dissatisfaction on multiple points. End Summary.

2. (SBU) On what was meant to be a final day of preparations before
closure on January 21, the Kivus Conference was on hold while the
conference leaders and president's advisers were disputing
concessions to be made to the CNDP. As of late afternoon January
20, successful conclusion of the conference -- meaning, to a
significant degree, signature by the CNDP -- remains unsure, and the
conference's closure has been apparently extended to January 22.

3. (SBU) In a meeting with international observers January 20, the
CNDP delegation reviewed its many points of dissatisfaction. The
delegation, speaking mainly through Bertrand Bisimina, said that it
had received different versions of the final conference declaration
to be signed by all parties, a version from the president's Chief of
Staff Raymond Tshibanda and one from the conference leaders. The
former left out key points dealing with amnesty and a presidential
decree formalizing and legalizing the conference declaration, points
which were contained in the version offered by the conference
leaders.

4. (SBU) Bisimina reviewed the many issues which the CNDP felt
remained unaddressed, particularly in the former version. He
emphasized that it was inadequate for President Kabila to assert
that he should be trusted to hold his word, without solid guarantees
built into the conference's final document. He stressed:

-- The ceasefire and other major recommendations of the conference
needed to be converted into formal government decisions through a
decree from the president, with signature by the president.

-- The conference needed to establish political as well as military
follow-up commissions to resolve political problems such as return
of refugees and reconciliation, while the military commission would
deal with problems of demobilization, securing territory, and
brassage.

-- Refugee return would need to be elaborated with a specific
timetable.

-- Brassage would be put in force only after the issue of FDLR was
resolved pursuant to the Nairobi communiqu.

-- Amnesty must be established by decree. CNDP needed solid
assurance that none of its members would be arrested.

-- Exile for certain members (i.e., Nkunda) was unconstitutional and
out of the question.

-- The text would have to be signed and guaranteed by the
international community.

5. (SBU) In response, EU Special Envoy Roeland van de Geer
addressed the main points. On FDLR, he stressed that the Nairobi
process was under way. FDLR was the one of the fundamental causes
of conflict in the Kivus, and all sides had stressed this point
during the conference. A "sensitization" program was beginning and
there was reason to hope that the remaining FDLR could be much
reduced in size voluntarily. He said that a refugee-return
timetable was a laudable objective but not appropriate in the
conference's declaration, which should rather call for return of
refugees as soon as possible in conformance with normal
international standards. Belgian Special Envoy Jozef Smets noted
that the president had told the international community that he
would be soon convoke the leaders of the FDLR to tell them they had
reached "the end of the road" in DRC. He urged the CNDP, however
much they feared that the government with MONUC would not be able
completely to stem the threat from FDLR, to seize the moment of this
conference to bring peace to the region and gain in stature.

6. (SBU) Van de Geer said that amnesty for rebellion was to be
sharply distinguished from amnesty for war crimes and crimes against
humanity. A political solution in Goma required the former, but it
would be very unwise for CNDP to ask for the latter, which was
beyond the capability of an individual state to comply with.
Bertrand said that CNDP had heard that the government had forwarded
the arrest warrant for Nkunda to Interpol. Human Rights Watch
representative, attending the meeting, clarified that, to her
knowledge, while the government had the right to forward the warrant
to Interpol it had not done so. She noted that the existing amnesty
law (amnesty for insurrection) covered the period up to 2003, and
the president to could follow a simple procedure (avoiding the

KINSHASA 00000055 002 OF 002


national assembly) for extending that period to the present. As for
the arrest warrant, she said, it had been valid for only three
months and had expired, and the auditor general could officially
notify Nkunda that it had expired.

7. (SBU) Van de Geer said that on signature by the government,
there was no problem, as he believed a decision had been made for
signature by a high official such as the Minister of State for
Interior. He advised CNDP strongly against demanding that the
president himself sign. As for exile, van de Geer noted that the
issue was not in any of the texts being discussed, and the focus had
moved to a cooling off period rather than exile. He noted that the
real work of bringing peace to the Kivus was only beginning, would
unfold with many starts and stops in the commissions set up by the
conference, and issues such as Nkunda's remaining or leaving the
country for a period could be worked out over time.

8. (SBU) Several other members of the CNDP delegation then offered
their views. They were mollified on the amnesty issue, but they
remained very distrustful of the government and disquieted by the
prospect of moving forward on the Goma peace process without
adequate assurances about Nairobi and the FDLR. They cautioned that
it would be better for Nkunda to remain in the country, as he had
the adoration of his troops and was by far the best person to keep
them under control.

9. (SBU) This meeting was followed immediately by CNDP's meeting
with conference leaders.

Brock

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