Cablegate: Government, Cndp Unable to Agree About Technical

DE RUEHKI #0173/01 0501424
O 191424Z FEB 08





E.O. 12958: N/A
SUBJECT: Government, CNDP unable to agree about Technical

1. (SBU) Summary: No progress was made by government, CNDP and
international facilitators in February 13-18 technical discussions
on implementing the Goma process. The government has shown some
flexibility in small matters but key differences remain,
particularly regarding the structure of the Technical Commission.
The two parties are at an impasse. Higher-level demarches to
government and CNDP may be needed to move the process forward. End

February 16 - CNDP Delivers its Demands

2. (SBU) MONUC hosted government and CNDP delegations February 16
along with international facilitators from EUSEC and the U.S. Naval
chief of staff Vice Admiral Didier Etumba, 8th Military Region
Commander General Vainqueur Mayala and Deputy Commander Colonel
Delphin Kahimbi represented the government; the CNDP's team
consisted of three political and three military representatives.

3. (SBU) CNDP handed out a four-page document entitled "CNDP
Proposals with respect to the Modification of Presidential DECREE to
Implement the Act of Engagement of February 23, 2008 (sic)," which,
supplemented by limited discussion, included the following key

-- The "Amani" Program described in the presidential decree was a
national one and thus inappropriate for the Kivus;

-- The establishment of a Steering Committee at the top of this
structure was unacceptable;

-- Seats on the Technical Commission should be proportional to
military strength on the ground;

-- Although not explicitly stated, the Commission should be moved to
North Kivu and its sub-commissions largely collapsed into it.
(Note: In contrast to the government proposal for a two-person
commission, the CNDP proposal envisions into a 20-person or even
larger commission with sub-commissions -- both military and
humanitarian -- in the provinces. End note);

-- The CNDP should have 40 per cent of the Commission's seats with
the remaining distributed among the government and its "allies;"

-- Decisions should require approval of three-quarters of the
members, rather than consensus; and

-- The Commission should be autonomous and given resources to
accomplish its mandate.

A Predictable GDRC Reaction

4. (SBU) Etumba complained that the CNDP proposals were tantamount
to challenging or revisiting everything that had been done by the
government since January 23. Unlike CNDP, the government had made
concessions. It was "open to all substantive concrete discussions"
with CNDP that remained within legal parameters (a clear reference
to the legitimacy of the existing decree), but there must be good
faith on both sides for this to work. He then passed the ball to
international facilitation "to do its job."

International Facilitators' Disappointment and Frustration

5. (SBU) SRSG Chief of Staff John Almstrom stressed international
facilitators were there "to facilitate the process going forward,
not going backward," and that we would not be passive. He pointed
out that all armed signatories must be given seats on the Commission
according to the Kivus Conference Acte d'Engagement. He suggested
that CNDP's concerns be dealt with in (a) the proposed new decree
and (b) in the Commission itself, and reiterated that we were
waiting for proposals from CNDP that respect the
internationally-accepted authority of the state. He promised to
investigate ceasefire violations raised by the CNDP (Note: There
was a ceasefire violation meeting later that day. End note.).

6. (SBU) The U.S. expressed disappointed and said we had come
expecting to receive CNDP's proposals for a second decree, and this
was a step backward. We would continue to take an active role and
would inform our capitals about recent developments and seek

KINSHASA 00000173 002 OF 002

guidance on options for going forward. The EUSEC representative
proposed that facilitators meet separately with both sides to
identify potential common ground.

February 17 - CNDP: "Free" the Technical Commission

7. (SBU) It was clear following the separate meetings the following
day that the two parties were at an impasse. While CNDP did not
reject the Amani project per se, they said they would not be a party
to a decree they believe exceeds the scope of the accord they signed
with the government following the Kivus Conference. CNDP insisted
that the Technical Commission be a stand-alone organization, not
subordinate to a broader framework in which CNDP is not represented.

8. (SBU) CNDP argued that any decision-making structure must include
representatives from all signatories, rather than the two
co-presidents envisaged by the government, and there must be
separate military and humanitarian commissions for both North and
South Kivu, i.e., four sub-commissions. Almstrom said the
government might be able to offer them more seats on the Commission.
When asked if there were any area where CNDP could be similarly
flexible, they responded they would have to check back with Nkunda.

February 18 - GDRC: CNDP Inflexibility Could Scuttle Peace

9. (SBU) On February 18, international facilitators briefed the
government delegation on the results of the February 17 CNDP
meeting. They were clearly disappointed. Etumba pointed out that
the government had made "significant" concessions by offering
additional commission seats to CNDP, a permanent invited guest
position on the Steering Committee and by clarifying that
international facilitators would co-preside the structure at all
levels. He said facetiously that if the CNDP wanted to be in charge
of "Affairs of the Moon" on the Technical Commission the government
would create a sub-commission and give them that post. He stated
that the demand for a three-quarters vote was unacceptable, a sort
of CNDP ploy to block meaningful decisions; commissions of this kind
always operate on a consensual basis.

10. (SBU) Growing heated, Etumba launched into diatribe against
CNDP, accusing them of a "talk and fight" strategy, and added, "we
know their game," but the international facilitators "must not be
deceived." The government delegation reiterated their complaint
that CNDP had not proposed names of specific delegates for the
commission, nor had they given language for the second decree,
"making it hard to trust their commitment."

11. (SBU) International facilitators tried to explain the nature of
the CNDP's objection to the proposed Commission structure and to
identify negotiating ground, but were unable to get through to
Etumba. His position: we will not negotiate the structure which
(he insisted) had already been accepted by all parties (Comment:
This is not accurate, but is the GDRC starting point. End
comment.), nor will we accept the CNDP proposal of a 60/40 division
of Commission seats with decisions made by a three-quarters


12. (SBU) We will shortly celebrate the one-month anniversary of the
end of the Kivus Conference. Despite considerable engagement by
international facilitators present in Goma, government and CNDP are
at an impasse. Higher level demarches to both sides may be needed
to resolve it. For the time being, international facilitators are
considering whether to ask the UN for a letter to the government
illustrating how the proposed CNDP revisions to the Commission
structure would not conflict with either the Acte or the Amani
decree, and suggesting a follow-up decree that would clarify the
Commission structure while addressing CNDP concerns. End comment.


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