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Cablegate: Goma Report February 21 - Little Progress in Talks With

VZCZCXRO3959
OO RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHGI RUEHJO RUEHMR RUEHRN
DE RUEHKI #0185/01 0521727
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 211727Z FEB 08
FM AMEMBASSY KINSHASA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7572
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 000185

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL KPKO CG
SUBJECT: Goma Report February 21 - Little progress in talks with
government and CNDP


1. (SBU) Summary. Meetings February 20 in Goma made little progress
in breaking the current impasse between government and CNDP on
implementing the Kivus Conference's Acte d'Engagement. Vice Admiral
Etumba, the government's chief representative, signaled possible
willingness to increase CNDP representation on the various
commission, but was angry at the lack of progress and the CNDP
positions. CNDP agreed to draft input for a second decree on the
Technical Commission, and agreed to consult with headquarters on
other points raised by international facilitators. MONUC Force
Commander Gaye warned Etumba that FARDC armor which had arrived at
Beni should move no further. End Summary.

--------------
Etumba: Part I
--------------

2. (SBU) The series of discussions involving government, CNDP and
international facilitators began February 20 with a meeting called
by FARDC Naval Forces chief of staff Vice Admiral Didier Etumba with
international facilitators. It started off calmly, with Etumba
addressing the CNDP's concerns. The government, he said, could not
change the Amani decree signed earlier by President Kabila. It was
a program created by a sovereign government to bring life in the two
provinces back to normal. He called CNDP allegations of ceasefire
violations by the 2nd Integrated Brigade "gross lies" and another
obstacle created by the CNDP.

3. (SBU) Etumba downplayed the declaration issued by the Congolese
and Ugandan defense ministers January 30 in Beni which had so
incensed the CNDP by citing it as a "negative force." He stated
that the Amani decree had superseded the declaration legally and
temporally and the term "negative forces" would not be used again.
He reiterated the government's willingness to issue a second decree,
complaining that CNDP had still not given it anything "concrete."
Significantly, regarding autonomy, he indicated that although they
were all "partners in peace" regardless of military strength or
position, the government could perhaps give the CNDP additional
representation on the Commission, say 25 or 28 per cent of total
seats, and, at the lower levels, 35 per cent.

------------------------------------
GDRC requests -- and an angry Etumba
------------------------------------

4. (SBU) Etumba made five requests of international facilitators:

-- daily joint meetings with the CNDP so they won't "play games;"
and
-- minutes of the meetings to be signed by all; he also asked the
facilitators to:
-- play a more active role,
-- ask the CNDP to be more concrete, and
-- ask both sides to refrain from raising issues already decided.

5. (SBU) Etumba presented these points calmly, but became agitated
and angry when asked about the structure of the Commission. He
rejected the facilitators' conclusion that that there was not much
difference between the positions of the two sides, and that there
was legal "flexibility" to come together. In a great show of pique
and bombast, he raised his voice and launched into a harangue,
ending by saying that "he wouldn't kill himself" just to please the
CNDP.

----------------------------------------
CNDP agrees to draft text for new decree
----------------------------------------

6. (SBU) By contrast, international facilitators' February 21
meeting with CNDP was restrained. MONUC-Goma Head of Office Alpha
Sow conveyed a series of points agreed by the facilitators in a
non-paper, and encouraged CNDP to come forward with a new draft
decree. He firmly told CNDP that the government would not accept
the 40/60 split in the make-up of the Technical Commission because
it was irrelevant, i.e. the Commission must agree to act by
consensus.

7. (SBU) CNDP representatives responded that the government's
position did not allow for much room to maneuver and that a draft
decree was the only place they could now work. "Either we accept
Amani, or we have to renegotiate the Acte," said one; it was "the
blood of our brothers" and their defeat of a FARDC force of 25,000
that had won CNDP the right to be at the table and be treated as
equals. Facilitators assured CNDP that the government was showing
some flexibility, had made some concessions, and remained committed

KINSHASA 00000185 002 OF 002


to the process. CNDP said they would provide draft input for a new
decree within a few days and ask for guidance on other points made
by Sow.

---------------
Etumba: Part II
---------------

8. (SBU) International facilitators notified Etumba and his team
later than afternoon of the results of the CNDP meeting. Etumba
responded, "There's nothing new. There's a lot of work to do and
the train hasn't even left the station." He said angrily that "we
don't like being taken for imbeciles," stressing again that "they
won't get everything from us, at least not from me."

-----------------
Gaye warns Etumba
-----------------

9. (SBU) SRSG chief of staff John Almstrom provided a readout late
in the day of a meeting between Etumba and MONUC Force Commander
General Babacar Gaye. Gaye told Etumba that MONUC was aware of
movements of FARDC armor into Beni. He said that these movements
must stop. Almstrom reported Etumba said they would not be moved
further, noting "we know what condition our army is in." Almstrom
said that Gaye also discussed the delay in getting the Technical
Commission up and running, and the need for agreement on
"humanitarian gestures" to ease the suffering of the population.
Gaye said that MONUC would be creating additional security zones to
promote security and give the IDPs confidence to return home.

-------
Comment
-------

10. (SBU) Government and CNDP negotiators are growing increasingly
frustrated and remain suspicious of each other. Where the
government sees a CNDP unwillingness to provide "concrete proposals"
and attempts to derail the process, CNDP sees government efforts to
control the process through the preemptory Amani decree and a
concerted campaign to dictate the structure of the Technical
Commission. End comment.

GARVELINK

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