Cablegate: Government, Cndp Agree On Moving Goma Process Forward

DE RUEHKI #0162/01 0451714
O 141714Z FEB 08





E.O. 12958: N/A
SUBJECT: Government, CNDP agree on moving Goma process forward

1. (SBU) Summary: Government and CNDP delegations agreed in Goma
February 13 that the Technical Commission charged with overseeing
implementation of the Kivu Conference's Acte d'Engagement will be
officially empowered and have decision-making authority, and that
CNDP will have input to its mission statement. Agreement followed a
critical intervention by Conference President Apollinaire Malu Malu
during the morning meeting, which included participation by
international facilitators (MONUC, U.S., EU, UK). CNDP
representatives planned to return to Kitchanga that afternoon for
consultations and committed to preparing by February 16 a position
paper on elements to be included in the mission statement. End

2. (SBU) The three-way discussions at the Karibu Hotel got underway
at 9 a.m. following arrival -- under their own power -- of the CNDP
delegation from Kitchanga. On the agenda: the Presidential "Amani"
decree, the government's proposed structure of the Technical
Commission and the way forward on the Acte d'Engagement.

3. (SBU) The government delegation was headed by Interior Minister
Denis Kalume, and included Kivu Conference President Apollinaire
Malu Malu and Naval chief of staff Vice-Admiral Didier Lutumba,
North Kivu Governor Julien Paluku, Vice Governor Feller Lutaichirwa,
and 8th Military Region Commander General Vainqeuer Mayala and
Deputy Commander Colonel Delphin Kahimbi. The CNDP delegation was
composed of political spokesman Rene Abandi, political adviser
Bertrand Bisimwa and military spokesman Seraphin Mirindi.
International facilitators were SRSG Chief of Staff John Almstrom
of MONUC, Ben Shepherd of the UK, Colonel Pechoux (Belgium) of
EUSEC and USAID's Nicholas Jenks and Willet Weeks.

4. (SBU) The Congolese side kicked off the meeting by stating that
they had come to the Kivus to explain the decree and its associated
"organigram" to all Amani stakeholders, and in this instance to
CNDP. CNDP spent most of its air time on familiar process
complaints. They brought up situational issues to reinforce their
broad contention that the government was not acting in the spirit of
the conference. Malu Malu and Kalume had their work cut out for
them but made overall a decent job of it.

CNDP Grievances

5. (SBU) Alleged lack of consultations and of authority for
Kivu-based sub-commissions were the core CNDP grievances: they
complained CNDP was not consulted or allowed to provide substantive
input prior to issuance of the decree, and should have been; and the
decree localizes all real decision making in Kinshasa, completely
disempowering the local structures. They also objected that the
government would have an unlimited number of seats on the Technical
Commission and its various sub-commissions, whereas CNDP
participation would be limited at all levels.

6. (SBU) CNDP also called for the decree to be retracted or
significantly modified. They claimed that unilateral actions by the
government were putting the process back to pre-conference days.
They expressed concern that the government's presentation sounded
like "take it or leave it," and threatened to leave the process.
CNDP, they said, may have to go back to a more "defensive" posture
vis-a-vis the FARDC.

7. (SBU) Addressing situational issues, they said they were
surprised, annoyed and offended by statements they contended were
agreed to by the Congolese and Ugandan defense ministers in Beni
numbering CNDP among "negative forces." They are seeing more FARDC
military near their positions in recent days, and claimed that
PARECO forces recently killed two CNDP, and kidnapped a further ten,
and that three FARDC battalions had recently joined forces with

GDRC Rebuttal

8. (SBU) The Congolese side explained that the Amani decree
legitimizes the Acte by making its implementation an official GDRC
program, reflecting official GDRC policy. It also creates a vehicle
through which implementing funds can be channeled, and without such
a vehicle, implementation would be blocked. They urged not getting
tied up in knots about the decree, but rather focus on implementing
the Acte. The decree does not compromise the Acte, to the contrary
it legitimizes it.

9. (SBU) Kalume added that CNDP needed to look objectively at what

KINSHASA 00000162 002 OF 002

the government had done to implement the Acte. It had ceased all
military action, obtained the approval of the Council of Ministers
to move forward on implementation, and come to Goma to move the
process forward. It had also issued a decree to implement the
Nairobi communique, will issue a new decree designating government,
CNDP and international participants, and generally had demonstrated
the political will to move things forward.

10. (SBU) There then followed a number of exchanges, which became an
argument. CNDP insisted that the local structures were disempowered
and that the government was not operating in the spirit of peace
process. The government denied this, saying that the MTCPS was
empowered and that there would be internal operating procedures
adopted by/by the Technical Commission once it is constituted.
These procedures will obviously have the input of CNDP, as it will
be represented on the Commission.

11. (SBU) Malu Malu then reiterated the need to move forward and get
the CNDP names for representation on the commissions. CNDP
countered that they had not been afforded the opportunity to provide
input, and reiterated their request that the GDRC permit this to

12. (SBU) At this point, Malu Malu made a concession that brought
the meeting out of the existential wilderness of whether the
Commission is or is not empowered or has decision-making authority
by offering that the next decree -- which will name participants --
also include a section that clarifies that the Commission and its
sub-commissions are officially empowered and have decision-making
authority, and that the CNDP will have input into its mission
statement. This allowed the meeting to reach agreement on a way
forward. (Note: No mention was made during the meeting of other
armed groups, although they would also have one or more seats on the
commission. End note.)

Elements of Agreement and the Way Forward

13. (SBU) The two sides agreed that CNDP would consult internally
and come up with a position paper on what should be included in the
Commission's mission statement by February 16. The CNDP delegation
planned to travel back to Kitchanga that afternoon to begin this
process. International facilitators agreed to meet the same
afternoon to begin developing a position paper or bullets on the
Mission Statement and thereafter as needed.

14. (SBU) Government, CNDP and international facilitators agreed to
meet at MONUC February 16, with a view to developing consensus
language to be transmitted to Kinshasa to inform the next decree.
MONUC agreed to investigate the accusations against PARECO, and the
issue of the three FARDC battalions.

14. (SBU) MONUC's Almstrom informed us that he will be focusing
primarily on these issues over the next three weeks and that this
was his highest priority. He will also be reinforcing MONUC staff
for this purpose.


15. (SBU) The government delegation did a credible job of
repositioning the decree and the organigram, to some extent making
up for the ham-handed way this was handled. It seems clear that
neither side wants to be blamed for the process falling apart, and
this consideration is motivating both sides to keep the process
moving forward. End comment.


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