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Cablegate: Northern Uganda: U.N. Enovy On Resumption of Talks

VZCZCXRO6923
RR RUEHGI RUEHRN RUEHROV
DE RUEHKM #0197/01 0320824
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 010824Z FEB 08
FM AMEMBASSY KAMPALA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 9936
INFO RUEHKH/AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM 0685
RUCNIAD/IGAD COLLECTIVE
RUEHXR/RWANDA COLLECTIVE
RUEHTO/AMEMBASSY MAPUTO 0471
RUEHSA/AMEMBASSY PRETORIA 3420

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KAMPALA 000197

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREF PREL MOPS CG UG SU
SUBJECT: NORTHERN UGANDA: U.N. ENOVY ON RESUMPTION OF TALKS


1. (SBU) Summary: U.N. Special Envoy for LRA-Affected Areas
Joachim Chissano visited Kampala from January 25-27 to meet with
President Museveni on the resumption of talks in Juba. He also
pushed to secure a letter from Museveni to Congolese President
Kabila reflecting a change in the January 31 deadline for the talks.
Chissano explained that his role was that of a facilitator and that
he would not interfere in the work of the mediator, Riek Machar. He
agreed with the concept of de-linking the reconstruction of northern
Uganda from the peace process and emphasized the importance of
containing the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) militarily. End
Summary.

2. (SBU) U.N. Special Envoy for LRA-Affected Areas Joachim Chissano
met with Charge, P/E Chief, and Senior Advisor for Conflict
Resolution Tim Shortley for almost three hours on January 27.
Chissano was in Kampala to discuss the next steps in the peace
process with President Museveni before traveling to Nairobi to meet
the LRA delegation on January 28.

- - - - - - - - -
CHISSANO ON CONGO
- - - - - - - - -

3. (SBU) Chissano opened the meeting by relaying concerns he had
heard from President Kabila and his advisor, Andre Kapanga, who
serves as one of the African observers to the Juba Talks. In
December, Chissano had informed Kabila that President Museveni had
agreed to be flexible on the January 31 deadline and would grant the
LRA one month to show progress at the negotiations. Kabila wanted a
letter or written communication from Museveni informing him of the
change in the deadline mutually agreed to in Arusha. Chissano said
that Kabila felt under pressure from the United States to take
action against the LRA at the same time Congo had agreed with Uganda
to take no action until January 31. As a result, Kabila was
insisting on a letter from Museveni. Chissano raised the issue with
Museveni, who promised to send a letter on January 28 with a senior
GOU official who was traveling to Congo.

4. (SBU) Chissano described his earlier efforts to encourage the
Congolese and MONUC to establish and beef up their presence at
Dungu. He said that President Kabila could move troops to the base,
in a non-threatening manner, which could help to monitor the LRA and
contain Kony's forces. Chissano thought that Kabila had stationed
some 150 Congolese troops in Dungu. The U.N., however, believes
that this number was reduced prior to the offensive against General
Laurent Nkunda. Chissano emphasized that Kabila needed to have the
capacity for surveillance, monitoring, and intelligence gathering.
He stressed the need to be able to contain the LRA forces in order
to prevent them from scattering into Congo.

- - - - - - - - - - - - -
LRA PLANS AND INTENTIONS
- - - - - - - - - - - - -

5. (SBU) There were rumors and reports that the LRA were beginning
to break into small units to prepare to defend against an attack
from the Ugandan military, according to Chissano. The U.N. does not
see indications that Kony was preparing for an offensive. The
defensive actions included burying arms caches in several locations
in Southern Sudan. Chissano also said that any military action
against the LRA should be fully coordinated. He asked if the U.S.
and/or Europeans were interested in supporting action against the
LRA. Senior Advisor Shortley said that we would get back to him.

- - - - - - - - - - - -
NORTHERN RECONSTRUCTION
- - - - - - - - - - - -

6. (SBU) Senior Advisor Shortley requested Chissano's support for a
strategy to de-link northern reconstruction from the peace process
to accelerate recovery and encourage returns of internally-displaced
persons to their homes. Chissano was unaware that the return,
recovery and reconstruction programs in Northern Uganda were largely
"on hold" because of the "no war - no peace" status, and agreed to
help raise the profile of the situation in Northern Uganda to the
UNSC.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - -
U.N. ROLE IN PEACE PROCESS
- - - - - - - - - - - - - -

7. (SBU) Shortley asked Chissano about the U.N. role in the peace
process, Chissano's own part-time status, and if his role could be
enhanced if required at some future date. Chissano said that his
mandate was to facilitate when needed, not mediate the talks, and
that he was working on the issue whether he was in the region or
not. Chissano said that he would not attend the resumption of the

KAMPALA 00000197 002 OF 002


peace talks in Juba, but was departing for Nairobi to meet with the
LRA delegation on January 27. He said that the U.N. was not likely
to sign a final agreement as a witness or as an observer, a position
based on orders from U.N. headquarters. Chissano and his staff said
that New York was apprehensive about getting involved in the details
of any agreement due to sensitivities on the UNSC, particularly
among members who support the International Criminal Court (ICC).

- - - - - - - - - - - -
ASSISTANCE TO DEFECTORS
- - - - - - - - - - - -

8. (SBU) P/E Chief asked Chissano about his position on MONUC's
facilitation of LRA defections. He responded that MONUC could
continue to welcome and protect defectors in Dungu. He was not
opposed to other actors' efforts to actively assist defectors as
long as they were not within the assembly area. He doid not want
MONUC to recruit defectors by sending people into the LRA camp,
where exposure could undermine Chissano's neutral role as Special
Envoy. Chissano was fine with recruitment of defectors by the GOU or
other bodies/institutions.

- - - - - - - - - - -
REAL PROGRESS NEEDED
- - - - - - - - - - -

9. (SBU) Chissano stated that Museveni agreed to renew the
Cessation of Hostilities Agreement to February 29. He added that
Museveni was not keen on extending beyond February 29 and that any
further progress would be based on progress at the table.

- - - -
COMMENT
- - - -

10. (SBU) Chissano was clear throughout the meeting that military
measures to contain the LRA were critical. He did not come across
as opposing military actions, as long as it did not push the LRA,
which would likely scatter into small groups, deeper into Congo. He
did not have a high level of confidence in the capability of
regional forces to take on the LRA.
CHRITTON

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