Cablegate: On the Road to Better Drc and Uganda Relations
PP RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHGI RUEHJO RUEHMR RUEHRN
DE RUEHKI #0063 0230639
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 230639Z JAN 08
FM AMEMBASSY KINSHASA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7402
INFO RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA 4638
RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE
RHMFISS/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE
RUFOADA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK
UNCLAS KINSHASA 000063
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PHUM PINS PREL PREF PBTS CG
SUBJECT: ON THE ROAD TO BETTER DRC AND UGANDA RELATIONS
1. (SBU) Summary: In mid-December 2007, representatives to the 5th
Session of the Joint Permanent Commission (JPC) between the
governments of Uganda and the DRC met in Kampala to discuss a wide
array of issues in their bilateral relationship. On December 27,
PolOff and EconOff met with Minister-Counselor Ocana Big Jackson of
the Ugandan embassy in Kinshasa to discuss JPC results. If the
issues of demarcating the border and sharing oil revenues can be
resolved amicably -- and recent developments suggest they can -- a
corner will have been turned in Congolese-Ugandan relations. End
2. (U) On December 27, PolOff and EconOff met with
Minister-Counselor Ocana Big Jackson at the Ugandan embassy in
Kinshasa to discuss the results of the Joint Permanent Commission
(JPC) meeting between the governments of Uganda and the DRC in
mid-December. A team of experts from both sides comprising the
Joint Border Committee is scheduled to meet in Bunia in January 2008
to recommend a formal demarcation of the border running through Lake
Albert. Jackson said that this was the beginning of the process and
it marked the first serious effort to finalize the border.
3. (U) Regarding the lack of a Tripartite Agreement between the
DRC, Uganda, and UNHCR for the repatriation and resettlement of
refugees, Mr. Jackson said that the Ugandans were ready to go
forward with the negotiations and that he expected them to begin
work in January 2008.
4. (U) A joint committee on immigration between the two countries
is supposed to meet in Kinshasa in January 2008, composed of experts
from the General Directorate of Immigration in the Congolese
Ministry of Internal Affairs and from the Directorate of Citizenship
and Immigration Control in the Ugandan Ministry of Internal Affairs.
They are to meet to collaborate on a mutual immigration policy.
5. (U) On the 2005 International Court of Justice USD 10 billion
ruling in favor of the DRC, pursuant to Uganda's incursions into the
DRC during the Congo wars, Uganda would like to meet with the GDRC
to negotiate a settlement. Jackson alluded to Uganda's outstanding
claims against the DRC and said they hoped to sort out the total
amount by negotiation.
6. (U) Uganda and the DRC are to form an Oil Sharing Committee in
January 2008 to update an earlier draft agreement on sharing oil
resources in the Lake Albert region. The original agreement, dating
back to 1990, was signed but never ratified by both countries.
Uganda would like to use that agreement as a basis for a new
7. (U) Uganda and the DRC agreed at the JPC to full diplomatic
relations with the exchange of ambassadors during the first quarter
of 2008. Jackson views this step as the beginning of normal
relations. In addition, Uganda is waiting on a reply from the GDRC
on a request to establish a Ugandan consulate in either Beni, North
Kivu province, or Bunia, in the Ituri territory of Orientale
8. (U) At the JPC, the two countries also agreed to the
establishment of a Liaison Office that will be staffed by both
countries' defense ministries and be operational in January 2008.
Its goal will be to monitor and put an end to cross-border
insecurity activities by negative forces.
9. (U) The Joint Committee for Verification of Demilitarization of
the disputed Rukwanzi Island in the middle of Lake Albert is
supposed to meet again after January 2008 to determine needs for
local security and services. The two countries had previously
removed their troops and replaced them with police forces. This
committee will wait for the results of the Joint Border Committee
before providing recommendations.
10. (SBU) Comment: The movement toward full diplomatic relations
between the DRC and Uganda appears to be more than just good will at
the highest levels and has gained significant momentum in recent
weeks. By establishing working level joint committees, the two
countries are forging wider and deeper ties at several levels.
Recent events suggest that the two most sensitive bilateral issues
between these two countries -- demarcating a definitive border and
sharing oil resources -- can be amicably resolved. If true, a
corner will have been turned in ending the distrust and hostility
that has characterized relations between them during the 1990's and
into the 21st century. End Comment.