Cablegate: Post-Conference in Goma: Struggling with Implementation

DE RUEHKI #0087/01 0281634
O 281634Z JAN 08





E.O. 12958: N/A
SUBJECT: Post-Conference in Goma: Struggling with Implementation

1. (SBU) Summary: The structure and timing for implementing the
Acte d'Engagement and recommendations of the Kivus Conference --
particularly establishment of the technical committee on security --
remain unclear, as the conference leaders and FARDC have different
approaches. Most of the heavy-hitters have left Goma, although
Interior Minister Denis Kalume is now expected in Goma. End

2. (SBU) The Kivus Conference, which had its official closing
ceremony January 23, carried on with meetings until late January 24,
when it finally ended. The main sticking point on January 24 was
the Banyamulenge demand for a separate territory, an angry dispute
that was finessed with an agreement to discuss it later. On January
25, conference leaders Appolinaire Malu Malu and National Assembly
President Vital Kamerhe held two meetings with armed groups
(including CNDP), while the FARDC led by Inspector General Francois
Olenga convened a separate meeting with the same groups, all with
the purpose of securing a ceasefire and beginning the process of
establishing the Peace and Security Technical Committee as
envisioned by the Acte d'Engagement.

Conference Leaders' Vision of Implementation

3. (SBU) In a meeting January 26 with the international facilitators
remaining in Goma (EU, UK, and U.S. poloffs), Malu Malu said that
the FARDC effort had been a failure, while he and Kamerhe in their
second meeting January 25 had secured the armed groups' adhesion to
the ceasefire, except for CNDP in North Kivu and FRF (Banyamulenge
"Group of 47") in South Kivu. The CNDP delegation returned from
consultations with Nkunda overnight and, midday on January 26,
signed a formal ceasefire in Malu Malu and Kamerhe's presence.
(FRF's signature was delayed but not thought to pose a problem.)

4. (SBU) Malu Malu, in his conversation with international
facilitators, shared the conference leaders' complex concept of the
implementation structures: According to this concept, the top of
the pyramid, under President Kabila, is to be a Committee on
Follow-Up, Lobbying, and Mobilization of Resources at the National
and International Level, based in Kinshasa. Malu Malu said that
this committee could consist of three or four persons, and he and
Kamerhe would be available to serve on it. Under this committee
would come the Technical Commission for Peace and Security envisaged
in the Acte d'Engagement, also based in Kinshasa, with
representatives of all armed groups and ethnic communities in North
and South Kivu, with two sub-commissions for each province, for
security and for humanitarian affairs. The security sub-commissions
would be somewhat pared down in size, with six armed groups plus
CNDP and FRF. Coming directly under the Follow-Up Committee would
be a Steering Committee (Comite de Pilotage), also in Kinshasa.

5. (SBU) Continuing his description of the implementation
structures, Malu Malu said that at the provincial level under the
Steering Committee, there would be Management Committees (Comites de
Gestion) for each of the provinces, under which there would be
commissions for Security, Development, Pacification, and
Humanitarian/Social Affairs. Alongside, there would be
observatories for Peace and Reconciliation and for Governance and
Human Rights. Governors would have a leading role in these
provincial committees, as would the international facilitators.
Malu Malu anticipated that President Kabila would issue a decree
"very soon" naming the members of the Follow-Up Committee, the
provincial Management Committees, and the Technical Commission, to
include permanent secretaries. (On January 27, Malu Malu told the
international facilitators that Kabila had named Vice Admiral
Dieudonne Etumba, head of the navy, as co-chairman of the Technical

6. (SBU) To the international officers' question how ceasefire
violations and other issues pertaining to the Acte d'Engagement
would be handled in the interim, Malu Malu said the governor would
convene the existing provincial security committee (governor,
commander of the military region, police, intelligence, MONUC) plus
the concerned armed groups and international facilitators.

7. (SBU) At the ceremony January 26 during which CNDP signed the
formal ceasefire, Kamerhe handed out an Implementation Timetable,
with very ambitious dates for ceasefire and setting up the Technical
Commission (D-day January 23 plus one), deployment of MONUC
observers (D plus 5) return of IDPs (D plus 15), cantonment of
troops (D plus 15-20), brassage (D plus 40), and return of refugees
(D plus 45). Noting that the ceasefire was already D plus 3 and the
Technical Commission was far from being set up, one of Kamerhe's
assistants commented that the timetable was "just a timetable."

KINSHASA 00000087 002 OF 003

8. (SBU) Kamerhe announced that Minister of State for Interior Denis
Kalume would be present in Goma from January 28 to carry on the
business of implementation. Kamerhe and Malu Malu planned to depart
Goma January 26, were delayed by severe storms, and did depart
January 27, with Malu Malu going on for 10 days to Grenoble and
Canada. (Note: Kalume was present for much of the Kivus Conference
but played a relatively silent role, neither supportive nor
negative.) Meanwhile, Kamerhe told the press on background January
25 that the arrest warrant for Nkunda had expired, a statement
generally interpreted to mean that the government had committed
itself not to pursuing a new arrest warrant, while leaving the issue
of exile/"vacation outside the country" up in the air.

FARDC View of Implementation

9. (SBU) When Olenga convened the armed groups, including CNDP, on
January 26, he presented a different timetable, evidently not
coordinated with the conference leaders, but almost as unrealistic.
It called for ceasefire (D-day plus one), setting up of the
Technical Commission (D plus two), deployment of MONUC observers (D
plus 7), setting up of a Verification Team (D plus 10), deployment
of MONUC troops (D plus 14), return of IDPs (D plus 20), movement
toward transit centers (D plus 30), brassage (D plus 38). The
documents which Olenga presented to the armed groups envisaged an
inter-provincial secretariat for the Technical Commission which
would oversee coordinating bodies for each province made up of
"cellules" (cells) for Disengagement and Cessation of Hostilities,
for DDR, for Restoration of State Authority, and for Political,
Administrative, and Judicial Affairs.

10. (SBU) This meeting ended inconclusively, as none of the armed
groups had received the documents in advance. The meeting was to
have reconvened January 27 but CNDP was not present, and the meeting
has been rescheduled for January 28. With the appointment January
27 of Etumba as the FARDC co-chair of the Technical Commission, it
would appear that Etumba, rather than Olenga, will take the lead on
the military side.

MONUC North Kivu Brigade Deployment

11. (SBU) MONUC's North Kivu Brigade Commander General Indrajeet
Narayan gave international facilitators (EU, UK, U.S.) a briefing
January 26 on MONUC's action plan. He said that North Kivu Brigade
had pinpointed 14 "flash points" along the periphery of Nkunda's
territory where confrontations between CNDP and FDLR, PARECO, or Mai
Mai were most likely to occur (from southwest moving clockwise, to
the west: Ngungu, Karuba, Mushake/Bahambwe, Kimoka/Kingi,
Katale/Moheto, Kahira; to the north: Kashuga, Katsiru, Tongo; and to
the east: Nyamilima, Karambi, Ruwanguba, Ntamugenga, and Rugari).
The timetable Narayan presented was as follows:

January 24 -- SCD (Standing Combat Deployment, smaller and more
lightly equipped than the existing Mobile Operating Bases (MOBs)
with 50 troops) at Ruwanguba and Rugari -- already accomplished.
Narayan noted that MONUC would keep its MOB at Kibumba on the
Goma-Rutshuru road, to protect the IDP camp there, keep open the
road, and ensure the protection of Goma. However, he said the first
priority was stationing SCDs at Rugari and Ruwanguba (north of
Kibumba), as these were areas of constant conflict (between FARDC
and CNDP) and of threat to the civilian population.

January 25 -- SCD at Kahira (western flashpoint with FDLR, PARECO,
and Mai Mai) and at Karambi and Nyamilima (near Rutshuru, flashpoint
with FDLR), already accomplished.

January 26 -- SCD at Karuba, Katale, and Moheto (western flashpoints
with FDLR, PARECO, and Mai Mai), already accomplished.

January 27 -- South African contingent was to have established a
MOB at Tongo (northern flashpoint with FDLR and PARECO) and SCD at
Ntamugenga (road to Rutshuru) but its deployment was delayed to
January 30.

January 28 -- SCD at Kashuga (northern flashpoint with FDLR, PARECO,
Mai Mai).

January 29 -- HOB (Helicopter Operating Base) at Ngungu (southwest,
flashpoint with FDLR and Mai Mai).

12. (SBU) Narayan said that MOBs would be established at Ngungu,

KINSHASA 00000087 003 OF 003

Karuba, JTN (a tea plantation east of Mweso), and Nyamilima once
additional troops were available, but certainly by February 10. He
said that almost 900 new troops were being moved into North Kivu
(Guatemalans now based in Bunia, Senegalese in Kisangani, Bolivians
in Kindu, and the Indian 4th Battalion in Katanga), to supplement
the existing 4,500 troops in North Kivu Brigade. In addition to the
SCDs, MOBs, and existing COBs (Company Operating Bases), there were
now 56 unarmed military observer teams (MILOBS), tasked to pick up
information on troop movements and conflicts. Narayan said that he
had the cellular telephone numbers of all the armed groups except
FDLR, whose contact lay through MONUC/DDRRR.

13. (SBU) The international facilitators asked Narayan if MONUC had
heard reports from NGOs and OCHA that a major confrontation had
occurred January 24-25 between CNDP and either FDLR or PARECO in the
area of Bambu, in the northern sector north of Tongo, resulting in a
new movement of IDPs toward Rutshuru. Narayan could not confirm the
reports, but agreed that the confrontation was likely to have
occurred and showed that conflict could easily occur outside the 14
flashpoints conceived by MONUC. He noted that FDLR was not a
signatory to the Acte d'Engagement and therefore CNDP was likely to
argue that its ceasefire undertaking did not extend to FDLR.

14. (SBU) Asked whether the North Kivu Brigade had stiffened its
rules of engagement in order to punish ceasefire violators, Narayan
said that MONUC's mandate remained as it was before: to protect the
civilian population. It was not MONUC's role to engage in combat if
armed groups were firing on each other, but only if they were firing
on civilians.

15. (SBU) Narayan said that the Pakistani Brigade in South Kivu had
simultaneously evolved an action plan, which had been presented to
the SRSG earlier that day. As for a timetable for cantonment,
movement of forces to transit centers, and brassage, Narayan left
such timetables to the Technical Committee, but asserted that MONUC
planned to base cantonment on existing MOBs and COBs, without resort
to the extra step of transit centers.

16. (SBU) Comment: The reality is that the Technical Committee was
always going to be hard to set up and that elements within the DRC
government would have conflicting views, including on the extent to
which the epicenter of action should remain in the Kivus or move to
Kinshasa. (The CNDP will have much to say on that subject.) It is
good that the conference leaders and FARDC have been thinking about
timetables, even if these are uncoordinated and unrealistic. Etumba
is already in Goma, and if Kalume comes as predicted he could lend
gravitas and direction to the process in Goma, if Kabila has
instructed him to play a role of fulfilling rather than undermining
the spirit of the Kivus Conference.


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