Search

 

Cablegate: Kivus Conference Closure Ceremony

VZCZCXRO9819
OO RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHGI RUEHJO RUEHMR RUEHRN
DE RUEHKI #0071/01 0241001
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 241001Z JAN 08
FM AMEMBASSY KINSHASA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7411
INFO RUEHXR/RWANDA COLLECTIVE
RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE
RHMFISS/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE
RUZEJAA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KINSHASA 000071

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV KDEM PHUM MOPS PREL CG
SUBJECT: Kivus Conference Closure Ceremony


1. (U) Summary: The five-hour closing ceremony of the Kivus
Conference January 23 featured the two-hour signing of the "Acte
d'Engagement" by 58 parties. The CNDP was the first and the key
signer. End Summary.

2. (SBU) The much delayed-closing ceremony of the Kivus Conference
on Peace, Security, and Development, which had begun January 6 and
had originally been projected to conclude January 14, finally took
place on the late afternoon and evening of January 23. In fact, the
business of the conference was not quite complete, as the conference
had not yet voted on the many resolutions proposed by the many
subcommittees -- work that continues January 24. But a great many
people, to include President Kabila and various international
personalities, had other things to do than remain in Goma.

3. (SBU) The key element to the Goma peace process lay outside
deliberations of the conference. It was the "Declaration of
Commitment" ("Acte d'Engagment") negotiated by the government and
the CNDP and international facilitators, outside but parallel to the
conference, with increasing intensity and frustration over the
previous five days. The seesaw process of doom and joy finally had
tilted in the direction of success with a direct telephone
conversation among Nkunda and conference leaders Kamerhe and Malu
Malu on the morning of January 23. The government, with much
reluctance, conceded a persistent CNDP demand: that the opening of
the document clearly state that the government was as solemnly
committed as the CNDP.

4. (SBU) The five-hour ceremony, in an airless and packed room
holding over 400 conference participants (with many more hundreds
watching through closed-circuit television in other halls of the
Great Lakes University), featured a stage with President Kabila
sitting in isolation on one side and conference leaders Vital
Kamerhe, Father Apollinaire Malu Malu, and Azarias Ruberwa sitting
at a table on the other. A signing table lay between and below.
Kabila was impassive throughout. Rwanda, though invited, had no
representative present. Diplomats from Kinshasa did not make an
appearance, having the previous day gotten as far as Bukavu and
turned around on learning that the closing would not take place as
scheduled then.

5. (SBU) Kamerhe opened with a rousing speech, which garnered the
greatest applause of any of the many speeches during the evening.
He assured President Kabila that what he had done, in calling for
the conference and by approving the "acte d'engagement," was not an
act of weakness but of grandeur. Nkunda and other leaders of armed
groups, he said, had decided with the government to go down the road
of peace, and they would be received as brothers. Kamerhe reviewed
for the audience the main elements of the acte d'engagement, and he
did not flinch from highlighting the areas of concession by the
government. He stressed that all parties, including the government,
had solemnly committed themselves to the agreement's requirements,
to include, in the first instance, a total and immediate cessation
of hostilities over the entire territory of the two provinces. He
said that a mixed Peace and Security Technical Commission would be
established to handle issues of disengagement and brassage, as well
as political, humanitarian, and social issues. The signatories, he
said, would enjoy amnesty for insurrection, but not, he stressed,
for war crimes, crimes against humanity, or genocide. The
agreement, he said, would be a strong signal to the many displaced
persons and refugees that they could begin the process of returning
to their homes.

6. (SBU) There then began the two-hour signing of the documents
(one each for North and for South Kivu but identical except for the
names of armed groups). The two essential signers were the head of
the CNDP delegation and the Minister of State for the Interior,
Denis Kalume. Also key were the international facilitators, new
SRSG Alan Doss for the United Nations, Special Envoy Roeland van de
Geer for the European Union, Senior Advisor to the Assistant
Secretary for African Affairs Tim Shortley for the United States,

SIPDIS
Special Envoy Pierre Yere for the African Union, and Executive
Secretary Liberata Mulamula for the International Conference on the

SIPDIS
Great Lakes Region. There were fifty-eight signers altogether.
Armed groups from each of the provinces accounted for 30 of the
signers, some of them Mai Mai groups that few people had heard of
(leading to speculation that they had been created by the government
expressly for the occasion). Conference leaders, traditional
chiefs, civil society, private sector, and religious confessions
accounted for the remainder.

7. (SBU) With the signing finally done, next came the speeches.
SRSG Doss, van de Geer, and Shortley all sounded the themes of the
historic nature of the Goma Agreement, hopes for a better future,
with the international community committed to assisting in bringing

KINSHASA 00000071 002 OF 002


about that future, and an admonition that the real work was only
beginning. Malu Malu gave the longest speech of the evening,
reviewing the difficulties of making such a conference a success in
Goma, especially when the projected attendees had swelled from 500
to 1200. He had a long list of thank-you's but reserved special
gratitude to the international facilitators who had gritted it out.
He then read every word of the acte d'engagement, as if to underline
that it was not to be in any way a secret undertaking.

8. (SBU) President Kabila gave a concluding fifteen-minute speech,
as unemotional in its delivery as had been his stoic presence
throughout the five hours of signing and speech-giving. The
audience was respectful and not enthusiastic. He spoke frankly
about the huge challenges that lay ahead for the Kivus, with an
emphasis on developmental needs. He thanked the international
facilitators and placed particular emphasis on the role of the
international community in meeting those development needs.

Brock

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Werewolf: Gordon Campbell On North Korea, Neo-Nazism, And Milo

With a bit of luck the planet won’t be devastated by nuclear war in the next few days. US President Donald Trump will have begun to fixate on some other way to gratify his self-esteem – maybe by invading Venezuela or starting a war with Iran. More>>

Victory Declared: New Stabilisation Funding From NZ As Mosul Is Retaken

New Zealand has congratulated the Iraqi government on the successful liberation of Mosul from ISIS after a long and hard-fought campaign. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Current US Moves Against North Korea

If Martians visited early last week, they’d probably be scratching their heads as to why North Korea was being treated as a potential trigger for global conflict... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Lessons From Corbyn’s Campaign

Leaving partisan politics aside – and ignoring Jeremy Corbyn’s sensational election campaign for a moment – it has to be said that Britain is now really up shit creek... More>>

ALSO:

Another US Court: Fourth Circuit Rules Muslim Ban Discriminatory

ACLU: Step by step, point by point, the court laid out what has been clear from the start: The president promised to ban Muslims from the United States, and his executive orders are an attempt to do just that. More>>

ALSO: